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Needle tips for Oxy-Acetylene?

I’ve got a chance to buy a new oxy-acetylene rig at quite a modest
price: dual regs, torch, hoses, small rechargeable tanks, striker
and all. Oxy-Acetylene is somewhat attractive to me because I’m
familiar with it from general shop use and it’s got a lot of
versatility in that regard. The torch that comes with the rig is just
a basic two tip affair so I’ve been looking at other, third-party,
torch options for jewellery making.

What I’ve noticed is that a number of oxy-gas (propane, nat-gas,
etc) torches offer the option of needle tips for ultra-small flames
but I haven’t seen the same for oxy-acetylene. Case in point, the
Hoke torch comes in several fuel gas variations and has a set of
needle tips but those carry the caveat that they “are not recommended
for use with acetylene”.

So, my question is, are these super-small tips something
oxy-acetylene simply can’t do? If so, why not? Or does the
oxy-acetylene mix require something “special” in order to go that
small (as in “special” tips)? Or have I simply missed something and
needle tips are no problem for oxy-acetylene?

As usual, all input is welcome and appreciated.

Trevor F.

Trevor, I have been using a Smith’s Little Torch with Oxy-Acetylene
for years. When I purchased it, it came with 5 tips, #'s 1 - 5. I
have since added a couple of larger tips but find that for most of my
work I use the #3 & #4 tips. I don’t think that I have ever used the
#1 tip. I recall reading in the original instructions that with the
#1 tip you could solder or braze a .001" wire. Never tried that but
if you want a really small tip that would be the one. The #1,2, & 3
tips have synthetic ruby orifices. Hope that this helps.

Joel Schwalb

I’ve tried using the #1 tip on my Little torch. Spark lighters were
ineffective with the tiny tip. I ended up using a zippo lighter to
get the thing lit. I can’t remember if I succeeded soldering the jump
ring or whatever the job was. I might have stopped in disgust and
"tipped up".

Jewelers with insects as clients, or miniaturists, will be well
pleased with the sapphire-tipped tips. BTW, the manufacturer says
that only acetylene and hydrogen fuel are acceptable for the little

Dan Woodard