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Small, simple torch for 18k gold wire?


I know this question has been posted on the forum in the past, but I
just can’t get an adequate answer to my specific question.

I want to be able to ball up 18k wire and do some simple
soldering. I also want a small, hand-held torch that isn’t
complicated to use, preferably with a SMALL tank (8" or less);
possibly disposable. I’d be happy with one from the hardware store
if it will get hot enough to work with 18k.

The simpler the better for my small home studio (in a wood frame

Thanks, everyone.

Barbara Lee
Gemella Contemporary Jewelry


Bernzomatic makes a small hand held torch that is butane fueled and
gets up to 2400 degrees…enough to ball up or melt anything
gold…they are NOT the type that use disposable fuel oxy canisters.
They are available at ace hardware stores,some wal-marts,kmarts and
smaller owned family hardwares in addition to Lowe’s and home
depot.Harbor freight makes a knock off but it’s not worth the 10
bucks at all… They are not the “blazer” brand torches sold for food
and metal clay work…though i’m certain metal clay people will
disagree (as most sell the things) that brand is problematic in my
experience. If you can’t find a Bernzomatic in your area I will be
happy to get one here locally for you and send it on to you…(you
pay cost and shipping). or will look up the exact item number.The
torch is black and has a removable base.It’s about 7inches high and
I use it for hit and run soldering, balling wires, and when any other
torch is either out of fuel or I’m waiting for the gas company to
deliver full tanks!..anyway That’s my recommendation. Alternatively
if you want a lot more power Bernzomatic offers a torch that is
about 45 bucks at any hardware or home supply and uses MAPP and oxy
and has a regulator and check valve and mixer built into the torch
assembly. tips aren’t interchangeable though but it dos a great job
for melting small amounts of metals, soldering, annealing, etc. -
however if you are just balling up gold wire I still recommend the
hand held butane model…its afar cheaper o run and less dangerous
overall…and will last years with some basic cleaning of the ceramic
element after use…rer

I'd be happy with one from the hardware store if it will get hot
enough to work with 18k. 

I’ve successfully resized (removed a section of shank and
resoldered) quite a chunky 18k white gold ring using a handheld
butane cook’s torch, so balling up 18K wire with such a torch
shouldn’t be a problem. I was thinking that you’d be better buying a
larger propane plumber’s torch from the hardware store as it would be
more versatile in the long run, but having just looked up the flame
temperatures for butane and propane with atmospheric air, there’s
only a 10 degree Celcius difference in temperature. So a small
oxy/propane setup with perhaps disposable propane cartridges may be

In fact I’m STILL using my handheld cook’s torch and my oxy/propane
kit waits patiently to be put to good use!




A small LPG torch will do what you need in 18ct, even melt 3 or 4
gms of scrap gold or silver into a blob on your soldering pad.

The main items to get are a torch handle with tap, a flexible tube
with screw fittings, and a nozzle (small will do what micro does and
is more versatile) - all available in hardware shops. With these you
can attach a small or large refillable LPG cylinder available in
hardware and camping shops.

A torch mounted directly on a disposable cylinder should do the
same, but last time I looked there is no choice in nozzle size.

I use a LPG torch with a small nozzle for the bulk of my work. I
change to a large nozzle occasionally for large silverware items, and
use an oxy-acetylene torch for melting in a crucible or for welding
and special tasks.

Cheers, Alastair

If you can't find a Bernzomatic torch in your area I will be or
will look up the exact item number. 

The item number would be great thanks.