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LPG Torch Problems


#1

Thank you for all the replies to this topic! There has been quite a
few different methods suggested for cleaning my torch - I think I
will start by trying soaking my handpiece in alcohol and blowing
compressed air through the hose… and then move on and try some
more of the methods suggested if that doesn’t do the trick.

I do have one more question though - it has occurred to me that the
advice I get from my supplier must be motivated by their potential
for immediate profit rather than their potential to make a customer
happy and get the returns later by keeping the customer. This
thought came to me when I received so many responses as to how I
might try to clean my torch handpiece and hose here, when my
supplier’s only advice was to buy a new one. Anyway, my supplier’s
advice to my torch tips blocking up was the same - that they must be
replaced - they told me why and it seemed logical at the time…
now I wonder though - and I just want to check in case I am being
taken for a ride. The torch tips I use have very small holes - too
small to use a pick… I am wondering now though if blockages could
be removed by blowing filtered compressed air through from the front
or by soaking in alcohol or something.

I’ve had a look online to try to find a picture of the tips and I
found this page - the tips that have “ultra pinpoint” “pinpoint” and
"medium flame" under them are the ones I use.

https://pgw100.portal.gases.boc.com/

Thanks again everyone,
R.R. Jackson


#2

2 possibilities

  1. goto a place that sells Oxyacetylene torches and look at a
    cleaning kit. It is a collection of wires in different sizes for
    cleaning torch tips which get blocked sometimes

  2. goto a place that sells to the machinist trade and buy some
    number dills. You want at least one drill the same size as the tip
    hole and one about 3/4 the size of the tip hole.

The technique is top start with the smaller tip cleaner (or drill)
and work up to the full tip size. If using drills hold them in your
fingers or a pin vice. Done correctly the tip should come clean and
back to it’s original size. Over time the hole (orifice) in the tip
will slowly wear larger if repeated cleanings were necessary. In the
oxy-Acetylene world we would simply drill them out to the next size
orifice at that point and keep on using them.

Hope This helps
Kay


#3

If they are the same sort of LP Gas tips that Primus sell (also
called pin point and ultra pinpoint), I commonly used to fix them
for my father who had an electrical contracting business. I’m sure
the ultra pinpoint pulled apart the same way, the pinpoint, medium
and full flame ones all did.

I couldn’t get your link to work so here is one:

http://www.caravansplus.com.au/index.php?cPath=30_243

These have a hexagonal jet that section that screws into the outer
"diffuser" housing. A good pair of pliers or multigrips allows the
hex section to unscrew from the circular outer section. Give the
front face a good scrape to remove any hard deposits first. Then,
giving them a good long soak in an acidic cleaner sold here for
cleaning hard water deposits off baths, out of kettles etc called
CLR often worked wonders. Even a soak for a day or more can’t hurt
as the jet is a write off any way.

Regards,
Brian.


#4

Cleaning LPG from small orifices is very hard and replacement is
probably the most effect solution. In other industries our company
serves, the answer to LPG contamination is a green scrubee and elbow
grease - something that obviously is impractical in this case.There
aren’t any effective solvents that we know of, just plain friction.

There is the alternative of switching to high-pressure natural gas
for torchwork. Natural gas is never in liquid form and so this kind
of problem can’t occur. It is possible to get high-pressure natural
gas safely, without going through the gas utility, by using a natural
gas Torch Booster. At sufficient pressure, about 20 psi, natural gas
is even effective for casting a high temperature metal like platinum.

Ed Howard
G-TEC Natural Gas Sysytems
www.safe-t-gas.com


#5

Well, I finally have some good news…

It occured to me to take the tip off my hand piece and run gas
through to see if it was getting through that far. It turned out it
was and that it had to be my torch tips - even my new ones… In
the past I’ve had to return tips that were blocked straight out of
the packet so I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised about that.

Anyway, having discovered online that BOC stocks all the Primus
torch gear I went to my local store today and asked them if they
sell anything that I can use to unblock my tips. The lovely sales
staff there told me that there are no tools to unblock those tips
because the hole is too small but one of them also told me that he
had heard (but not tried) that a soaking in a glass of coke
overnight unblocks these tips.

I went back to my studio and took out an ultra pinpoint tip that was
discarded long, long ago and took out the end bit (the piece with
the hole) and soaked it in a glass of coke for two hours. I then
rinsed it in water and gently heated it (along the sides) with
another tip on my torch to make sure that all of the water dried off
it. I put it onto the torch and lit it up - it was a perfect
flame… the likes of which I have very rarely seen come out of my
torch. :slight_smile:

I mentioned all of this to my father who raised a concern that on
the leading surface it is very important to have a square edge on
the hole and that soaking in acid (coke) will blunten this. I guess
its okay once or twice… but after that could it become a problem -
does anyone know? I had an idea to remedy that problem and am
wondering what you guys think - what if I masked that surface with a
plastic adhesive tape before putting it in the coke - then the acid
couldn’t touch that edge but could still open the hole out from the
back. Would this work? And is it necessary?

R.R. Jackson


#6

Ed Howard suggests using natural gas (NG) as an alternative to LPG -
and I agree that if available, it is a clean alternative. However,
it is NOT necessary to invest in a pressure booster for the NG to
work in silver and gold. Casting and platinum work require greater
temperatures, then the booster becomes useful.

I’ve used NG for years straight out of the low pressure supply line
to the furnace. I have a 20# bottle of compressed oxygen and a
Hoch torch. Simple. Cheap. No fouling or problems.

My US$.02 on that.
Judy in Kansas


#7

Hi RR.

I mentioned all of this to my father who raised a concern that on
the leading surface it is very important to have a square edge on
the hole and that soaking in acid (coke) will blunten this. 

What if you took a fine grained whet stone and just squared up the
edge of the hole after the soaking? Chuck in Asheville where it’s
threatening to snow!