I did an exhaustive search of the Orchid archives before I decided
on my present soldering rig, which is a Hoke torch with a 1 lb
propane bottle and an oxygen concentrator (5 lpm). The Hoke torch
isn't all the rage now, but it was one of the common jewelry torches
back in the day. The Hoke is less popular now because people like the
Little Torch, which is good for small jobs, very convenient and
maneuverable. Also, the current incarnation of the Hoke is made in
China and the valves are often poorly made and difficult to adjust. I
have an old US made one that works a lot better. Some say that the
Chinese ones can be cleaned up and/or worn in to where they work
If you aren't having trouble with the adjustments, don't worry.
The Hoke torch has both regular tips and a set of metal hypodermic
tips (small) available at a very reasonable price. The adapter for
the hypodermic tips can be used alone as a very large tip for, say,
melting some metal. The acetylene tips are usable with propane and
will give a multiorifice, larger flame than the propane tips. You can
find a rosebud tip and adapter, fairly expensive, but the adapter for
the hypodermic tips may be all you need. There is a limit to how much
metal the Hoke will melt.
The acetylene regulator is fine for propane. You will need a
standard oxygen regulator, which you already have. Of course, you
know, NO OIL on the regulators, it is an explosion hazard. The
standard hoses for acetylene/oxygen will also work for propane.
I am using plastic transparent hoses, as you are. With the oxygen
concentrator, I don't need a flashback arrestor on the oxygen line.
I could put an arrestor on the propane line at the tank, but it would
still be possible for a flashback to occur in the hose. I don't think
this is a very likely event, but I will continue to check on whether
I should have an arrestor.
Someone I know took the barbs off his Hoke and welded threads onto
it so that a flashback arrestor could be installed at the torch. One
could also rig a threaded setup slightly downstream from the barb,
with a little added weight. A local machinist in my town could weld
on the threads needed. I would be interesting to hear from others on
this issue. Since the Hoke is an old design, used for years, I think
a really dangerous fire in the hose is unlikely, or there would be
horror stories about it. But IDK for sure.
Enjoy your Hoke, it will do everything the Little Torch will do and
somewhat more, as bigger tips are available for it at little expense.
It's a question of what you like and what fits your hand.
Hi Marty, When I first started in a trade shop over 40 years every
jeweler had a Hoke torch. If not the standard jewelers torch back
then it wasone of them. Good solid usable torches. We used to set
watch jewels inthe tips or hard solder hypodermic needles in to get a
super small precise flames (pre little torch era). When I bought my
first torch it was aREGO torch sold as a mini plumbers torch back
then. Loved it and had itrepacked a couple of times. Nobody I know of
used that torch but me butI am sure I wasn't the only one. Don't know
how you would use an acetylene regulator on a propane tank without
some adapting but at that point a basic propane regulator would be
about as cheap as the adapters. I would carefully check the ratings
of any hose neoprene or otherwise beforeusing it with any flammable
gas. I have had perfectly good "looking" clear hoses crack just using
compressed air. I have often stepped on or stressed rated hosing with
no ill effects but sure wouldn't trust plastic hose to survive long
if it ever got kinked even once. Gary