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Smallest possible apeture butane pocket torch


#1

All,

I’m having quite a blast fusing fine silver parts together with my
Radio Shack butane pocket torch and soldering iron. However, I find
myself wishing for an even smaller flame, especially in chainmaille
applications.

Any idea what butane torch on the market has the smallest possible
apeture?

If no idea, any knowledge from a a torch manufacturer or mechanic
about if making my own tips for my pocket torch is feasible or safe
would be appreciated!

Thanks,
Andrew Jonathan Fine


#2

Hi Andrew,

I'm having quite a blast fusing fine silver parts together with my
Radio Shack butane pocket torch and soldering iron. However, I
find myself wishing for an even smaller flame, especially in
chainmaille applications. 

I solder/fuse a large range of silver & gold rings of many gauges &
sizes for chains. The torch I find most useful is the Proxxon Micro
Flam.

It works well for rings & chains in large gauge (12) & small gauge
(28 & 30).

The flame is adjustable but generally not much adjustment is needed.

Dave


#3

Andrew, Dave is right. The Proxxon # 28146 has good adjustment
range. You can see all the parts clearly down at the foot of this
link: http://tinyurl.com/ybxgeow

Mark
Fourth Axis
http://www.fourth-axis.com/flipflopwax/


#4

Hi Andrew,

I’m chiming in on the question side with you :slight_smile:

I also do fusing with a blazer style butane, and sealing close
proximity 20ga rings is great for my reflexes. Other times, I can’t
get a seam to seal because it’s just not cranking out enough before
the heat sinks into bigger pieces. But since I can do a lot with the
butane, I’m a bit stuck justifying the jump between that little guy
and a “real” $450+ setup right now.

Online reviews of Bernzomatic and similar Propane torches were not
reassuring (lack of control, no replacement parts), so I ruled 99%
of them out. The only promising one I’ve found which doesn’t require
a full regulator setup and Oxy tank (much of that $450 cost) is the
EZ Torch from Otto Frei:
http://www.ottofrei.com/store/home.php?cat=1238

They include 3 tip sizes, it’s on a hose and looks like my small
hands will manage it much more easily than what I’ve got now–all a
step up. They also sell replacement parts for just about everything,
which I actually find reassuring as to me it implies the tool is
designed to be maintained over time rather than chucked like a $10
toaster.

Anyone have experience with it? I know it’s nowhere near the league
of the Swiss, Smith Mini, or Meco Midget, but if it’s a step in the
right direction… And at least the propane tank would still be a
keeper when I upgraded later.

Other bridging torch suggestions?

Cheers,
Ann Ray


#5

Hi Ann,

I purchased the EZ torch from Otto Frei about 2 months ago and I
like it. I got the one that uses the small disposable propane
canisters, but I am going to buy the adapter for the large refillable
propane tanks. The only other torches I have used are the butane
micro torches and the larger Messermeister Chef Flame. I got very
tired of having to fill them so often. My insurance would have a
HolyCow if I used acetylene or probably even oxygen/propane since my
shop is in the third bay of our attached garage.

I am ultra cautious about gasses (and chemicals, and
motor-driven-anything) so I bought a gas leak detector. Anyway, a gas
leak detector is a good thing to have if you have natural gas in your
house and/or a motor home with propane. I bought the Bacharach
Leakator Jr Combustion Gas Leak Detector. I really have no desire to
blow my behind to smithereens anytime soon :slight_smile:

The downside with propane (hence the gas detector) is that propane
is heavier than air and will flow to the lowest point. My shop is on
a cement slab so I don’t worry about gas collecting under my house;
it’s probably over-kill with the gas detector but it made my dh happy
that I was being so cautious.

I think this torch could be used for bead making and I do recommend
the torch holder Otto Frei part no 114.204.

I have smallish hands and find the torch pretty comfortable to use.
With the 3 tips, you can get a good range of flame sizes plus you can
control the amount of oxygen reaching the flame. It does everything I
need and as you point out at a fraction of the cost.

Hope this helps.
Sandra Gilbert
Freezing in Snohomish WA


#6

Hi Andrew,

I'm having quite a blast fusing fine silver parts together with my
Radio Shack butane pocket torch and soldering iron. However, I find
myself wishing for an even smaller flame, especially in chainmaille
applications. 

Please excuse my complete ignorance, but could this be used for
making bevels? I’m looking for something simple for occasional
soldering. I can use my husband’s metal shop gas tanks, which he no
longer uses. But they’re huge, at least for inside my studio. I’d
rather have something small and portable for the occasional solder
job. My only interest in soldering is to make bezels and perhaps some
day chains.

Thanks, Dale


#7

Hi Dale.

Please excuse my complete ignorance, but could this be used for
making bevels? I'm looking for something simple for occasional
soldering. I can use my husband's metal shop gas tanks, which he
no longer uses. But they're huge, at least for inside *my* studio.
I'd rather have something small and portable for the occasional
solder job. My only interest in soldering is to make bezels and
perhaps some day chains. 

In my experience, the Proxxon MicroFlam butane fuel torch can be
used for soldering bezels unless the backing is a large heavy silver
belt buckle.

It works well for soldering/fusing both gold & silver chain.

Dave


#8

Hi Dale,

I'm having quite a blast fusing fine silver parts together with my
Radio Shack butane pocket torch and soldering iron. However, I
find myself wishing for an even smaller flame, especially in
chainmaille applications. 

Since I myself will be having to teach myself bezels next year, I
could not tell you if the Radio Shack pocket torch would be good for
making bezels.

I understand that a bezel is simply a flat strip of metal for
holding a gem, possibly recessed for added security. If working with
fine silver it might be possible to fuse the bezel shut rather than
soldering it, using fine silver metal clay as a gap filler. For $30
it is worth a try.

Andrew Jonathan Fine