First I want to say I have great respect for all of your opinions and
your experiences, it means a lot to me when this group offers its
expertise and critiques. However, while I agree the Little Torch does
have some limitations I can see there are a few opportunities to
clarify just a little regarding the Little Torch.
Alan had stated
The very small size of the tips along with the use of
Oxygen/acetylene limits this torch to very small work; chain
repair, retipping and small gold fabrication. It is fine for that
size of soldering operation."
You may not be aware – and others may not be either – that the
torch has various tips that range in orifice and flame size, please
see below. Also there is a very informative chart on page 390 in our
tools catalog, it describes tip size and the flame size for each
tip. We also have rosebud tips available for acetylene or propane
for melting up to 3 ounces of silver or gold or these can also be
used to anneal large forms such as hollowware.
#2.006 less than 1"
#3.011 up to 2"
#4.020 up to 7"
#5.029 up to 6.5"
#6.037 up to 7"
#7.047 up to 7"
The Little Torch's flame works best in oxidizing mode, which makes
it impossible to heat things slowly with a reducing flame, as often
desired. The only way to heat a large object is from a distance
with a flame that is really too hot."
That hasn’t been my experience. I teach classes at Rio using oxygen
and propane, as well as various jewelry shows using disposable
propane and oxygen tanks, all the time routinely creating reducing
flames, neutral flames and oxidizing flames. I feel this is a very
important part of any soldering curriculum.
I wonder how people are going to learn to make jewelry if they are
limited to the Little Torch's small oxidizing flame. It is
certainly less than ideal for silver jewelry.
I have personally used this torch for many silversmithing
applications including melting several ounces of silver. Some of my
work included hard soldering western style belt buckles, hard
soldering heavy cuff bracelets, each weighing several ounces. And
I’ve never had a problem using either acetylene or propane as a fuel
source. Not enough heat? Bump up to a larger tip. Too much heat?
Back off or use a smaller tip.
Please understand that I have no problem with anyone’s preference
for the Meco Midget, or any other torch. I have a Meco as well as an
acetylene air system, and I like them for some applications. Yes I
am a tool junky! But after using these torches extensively, my
preference is actually for the Little Torch, because of its light
weight and flexible hoses, as well as easy to adjust torch handle.
Everyone has a different learning curve and different preferences,
they key is to be able go with what works for you. I guess that’s
what makes the jewelry world so unique, different strokes for
Rio Grande Technical Support
505-839-3000 ex 13903