Regulator pressure with Smith Silversmith kit

Dear ALL

After reading all that has been on Orchid --I am so confused, being
fairly new at metalsmithing, I need help. I just received my new
air/acetylene - "Smith Silversmith kit " [an on line buy]. It has two
gauges, while my “inherited” old air-acetylene tank had only one. I
would like to make the suggested -“OPENING/CLOSING” card to tack
above my B tank. I do not know what pressure the regulator should
read for general silver soldering work. Plus, after closing the
tank, should the regulator be turned to full open and remain open
till after the tank is turned on the next day ? Please help me with

Shirley Carter


You are correct the thread on this was very confusing. While my dad
has for years left his gauges (30 to 40 years) as set on his torch
set and he leaves them in an open shed all year round, he has never
had a problem with them. I, on the other hand, have always followed
the instruction that came with my torch set, and have never had a
problem with mine. This just gives you some background on my usage.

Single gauge torch-I know nothing of these, I have seen them but
that is all, do not take anything I am about to say as applying to
your single gauge torch setup except the 15 PSI maximum on Acetylene

You do not turn the Acetylene valve fully on, it was recommended by
the manufacture of my gauge set and that was how I was taught in
welding class, once you see pressure on the main gauge you give it
one full turn, then adjust pressure on the secondary (low pressure)
gauge. For bigger things, you only open the valve enough to allow the
flow required by the tip you are using. Jewelry tips do not require
that much flow so a full turn should be enough I know you don’t have
an oxygen bottle, but if you did, the oxygen is turned fully on in my
instructions and training, and then adjust the secondary for the
pressure recommended for what you are doing.

I am surprised your gauge set did not come with recommended pressure
settings mine did, but it is not an Air/Acet. torch set. What I will
say as a general and most important rule, never set your Acetylene
gauge over 15 PSI.

I was taught to relieve the pressure on the gauges and drain the
lines after use. Draining the lines is the only point my dad and I
have in common on torch use.

This may or may not clear things up for you, I hope it does. If not,
it is safe guidelines to follow as stated in my welding class and by
my gauge set manufacturer.


Hello Shirley,

Most schools of metalsmithing/trade welding teach 14-15 lbs as MAX
for gas pressure. That should be very adequate for whatever you are

Don’t leave the tank opened after turning it off- However-- after
shutting off the gas supply, open the LINE /hose and bleed any
remaining gasses off, with your fume hood, or draw fan ON. After
nothing can be felt on your hand, or at your ear then turn it off,
turn off the draw fan or fume hood, and turn off any other electric
items in the studio. A spark from a faulty light can ignite gasses
that collect on a ceiling, or a faulty outlet near a baseboard can
ignite propane.Just as a precaution, when setting up shop, remove
the outlet cover plates and make sure the wiring is nice and tight
around the terminal screw, turn off the lights and unplug something,
and if a blue spark is observed call an electrician and have it
fixed… Where I am living at the moment( due to hurricane Katrina), I
am in the middle of a forest, miles from civilization and miles from
a firestation- when there are electrical storms the entire house must
be turned off at the inverter- the point here is when i know an
electrical storm is coming I put child proofing plugs in the outlets
that are not used because i have seen blue sparks shoot out five
feet fromthe outlets during violent storms…( and yet another reason
I am jubilant and thankful that a fellow Orchidian provided me with
the gift of a water torch ! He has literally saved me from explosion
on many levels, many times!!) I recommend this practice particularly
to those using propane tanks indoors, but as a general good habit to
get into particularly f you are going to be away from the studio and
know it will be storming for an extended period of time…sparks can
also come through telephone lines which i cap off with a plug made of
hot water activated thermoplastic…, or have installed swing down
cover styles of modular cord outlet plates…

Hope this helps R.E.Rourke

Dear Shirley,

It sounds from your post that your “inherited” acetylene torch was
actually a fuel/atmospheric torch where there was no oxygen tank,
thus only one regulator. This type of torch draws in air from the
atmosphere at the torch hand piece to combust with the fuel.

The new torch with two regulators is what is known as a fuel/oxygen
torch where both the fuel and pure oxygen come from seperate
compressed tanks so each tank requires a regulating gauge on it’s
valve. Check with the manufacturer for help with instructions on how
to use their regulators. Or contact a local welding supplier for
assistance with setting up the regulators.

With the acetylene/oxygen torch you will want to use eye protection
like welding goggles and you will want good ventilation of your
soldering area. The acetylene/oxygen flame is the hottest available
and the bright flame can burn your retinas if your eyes are not
protected. The soot and off-gases from acetylene have been identified
as carcinogenic with links to birth defects and proper ventilation is
the only safety measure that can minimize your exposure.

I know this didn’t answer your specific question, but I hope it
gives you some more Check the upcoming September 2007
issue of Art Jewelry magazine for a comprehensive article on torches
and fuel choices.

Nanz Aalund

Your question about the two regulators is a bit confusing. Might it
be that you have two gauges on your regulator?

If that is the case, one gauge is to indicate the amount of fuel gas
in the tank and the second gauge is to indicate your delivery
pressure. I believe the correct term for the two gauge regulator is
"dual stage regulator". It answers the question of whether the tank
is nearing empty and separately indicates the pressure of gas that
you send to your torch. A dual stage regulator is my preference for
an air/acetylene torch.

The provided by other Orchidians is correct on delivery
pressure. Stay under 15 pounds.

Judy Hoch

Hello Shirley, Judy and All,

I do not know what pressure the regulator should read for general
silver soldering work. 

The line pressure (left hand gauge) for the acetylene atmospheric
air torch confused me too. I’ve owned this torch and sold it for
many years but it was always with a single gauge regulator telling
me only the tank pressure, not until recently did Smith Equipment
start selling it with dual gauges. I have contacted Smith Equipment
to clarify the proper settings and they recommended that the line
PSI be set at 12 - 14 for ALL tips on the ACETYLENE ATMOSPHERIC
torch. Never exceed 15 psi for any acetylene tank.

I believe the correct term for the two gauge regulator is "dual
stage regulator". 

There are two types of regulators most commonly used in our little
part of the torch world “single stage” and “dual stage” both
typically have two gauges indicating tank pressure and line delivery
pressure. The difference between dual stage and single stage is not
the amount of gauges but the consistency/accuracy in line pressure
delivery. The dual stage delivering the more accurate consistent
line pressure, basically two regulators in one. Check out the price
difference and if you get a chance to look at both close up you’ll
see the dual stage is much bigger in size and cost.

Regarding the starting up and shutting down of a torch system.
Please, please, always follow the manufactures procedures, you’ll
find they match some of the other responses on this forum.


Thackeray Taylor
Rio Grande Technical Support
505-839-3000 ex 13903

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