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Little Torch: switching over?

I have a Little Torch handle, hoses, body, and tips 1-7.

It was used with acet-oxy. Can it be used for LPG-oxy with no ill
effects? I say this realizing that tips 1 and 2 cannot be used with


I have been using one this way for the last year. For casting, I use
a welding torch. LP & O2 seem to work fine.



Yes your little torch can be used with oxy propane. I have been
using that set up for about 20 years and find it does the job.

You are correct in the fact that the smaller tips with the synthetic
ruby tips can’t be used with this set up.

Greg DeMark
email: @Greg_DeMark


It’s not a problem to switch the little torch to propane (LP) from
acetylene, you should experience no ill effects. If you do it’s
probably time to clean your tips. Toss them in an ultrasonic for
5-10 minutes let them dry and your good to go.

Thackeray Taylor
Rio Grande Technical Support.

What is the advantage to switch over???

Jeff Ellis

Dear Jeff Ellis,

The advantage is, according to my reading, that platinum is not in
danger of embrittlement. Acetylene is carbon-rich, and apparently
platinum soaks it up to its detriment.

The other “advantage” is that I have a 20 lb. propane laying around,
alongside a 20 cu. ft. oxygen.

Oh, and dad took the oxygen and acetylene cylinders I was using for
the Little Torch.

Daniel Woodard

Continue from:

   The advantage is, according to my reading, that platinum is not
in danger of embrittlement. Acetylene is carbon-rich, and
apparently platinum soaks it up to its detriment. 

so far as I know, platinum does not actually soak up carbon. The
problem is that carbon, at platinum soldering or melting
temepratures, is an exceptionally effective reducing agent. And in
our workshops, another material thats very commonly around are
various forms of silicates. That includes the silicon dioxide (fused
quartz) we might use for soldering blocks for platinum, or various
silicates in fluxes (borosilicates), or any of a number of other
possible sources, including even just common house dust. Carbon, at
platinum soldering temps, is able to reduce silcates to silicon
metal. And silicon metal DOES alloy with platinum. Even small amounts
quickly cause brittleness and cracking. This is the reason why some
people report being able to routinely do platinum work with
acetyelene, withough having problems, despite the carbon rich flame.
First, they’re generally being careful to use a fully oxidizing
flame, which gets rid of the free carbon. And, usually they’re
working in a manner that eliminates the contact of platinum
soldering temps with both platinum and silicates, such as holding the
work in tweezers, instead of on a block, and not using any flux.
You’ll find, if you try actually melting platinum in a fused silica
crucible, with acetylene, a situation that really is tempting the
fates, the incidence of contaminating the platinum will go WAY up.
Even that, may be possible if the flame is quite oxidizing.

The same mechanism is part of the reason why it can be quite useful
to get in the habit of cleaning your platinum, via steam, or
ultrasonic, etc, before soldering or melting. It removes things like
fingerprints, oil residues, or other surface contaminants that might,
upon heating, carbonize and give you a source of both silicates and
carbon on the platinum surface.


Yes your little torch can be used with oxy/propane. 

As Greg stated, “A fine little torch.” I use mine for fully 95% of
my soldering needs, mainly wire woven rings and chains. As he also
stated: the smallest tips, with the synthetic ruby tips do not work
with propane (LP). When I need a very fine, controlled flame a
friend lets me borrow a small acetylene tank so I can use the
smallest tips. And when I need a brutish flame for large surface
areas or projects she lets me come to her studio and use her big
rig. We often trade a lot of tools, but she is a very special
woman, whom I have known for more than fifty years. It also might
help that we both occasionally enjoy a snifter of old brandy

J. Russell

J. Russell,

You might want to think about a Y connector for your torch. That
way you can hook up the Little Torch along with a standard torch or a
Casting Torch. When you are doing multiple tasks such as doing fine
wire repair and then need to do a ring sizing there is no switching
of torches.

Greg DeMark


A lot of years before I knew better, I melted platinum either beaded
up on a steel surface or melted in a cavity in a charcoal block. No
silicates involved. My experiences have shown me that embrittlement
indeed followed the charcoal treatment. Likewise, heating the
platinum in oxygen to a bright yellow heat would bring the platinum
back to a usable state.

Try it. It is only by others validating the experience that such
data can be proven.