My Smith Little Torch is acting funny. The flame is a bright
orange "oxidizing" hot flame, no matter how I adjust the oxygen for
a more "reducing" flame.
Bright blue and short -- is oxidizing.
Orange and long -- is reducing.
It's not a sharp, hissing flame like you get when
the torch is turned up high,
Oxidizing flames, even low, can also do that.
it's a soft flame that has the internal
blue cone but the rest is bright orange.
That's definitely a reducing flame. If you can't get both kinds of
flame, it might be that one of the regulators is not opened enough,
or a tank is running out of gas, or the valve on the tank is not
turned on completely. A problem with the torch itself is possible
but less likely in my experience.
I have had a tiny gas leak for a while now; I can't tell where
it is coming from but sometimes I get just the faintest whiff of
gas. Could a leak INSIDE the torch itself be causing something like
If you're smelling it, you should be able to find it with soapy
water. (If it's just the slightest whiff that doesn't persist, it
might be left over from some gas escaping just before you light the
torch.) Check carefully for leaks with soapy water for safety. If
you can't find a leak on any fittings or the tanks, also wet the
hose with soapy water in case the hose is cracked or punctured.
(Those Little Torch hoses are just the right size for pet chewing.)
If it persists, let a welding shop check out your equipment.
Get some materials of oxy-gas welding safety (Google or a library).
If you're using a torch and still confusing flame types, there are
probably safety issues about this kind of welding that you should
also learn more about. It is actually possible to hurt yourself
badly with oxy-gas welding equipment if you don't know the safety
rules -- and there are plenty of them.