At school (where we worked in copper and silver) we used Prestolite
Acetylene/Atmospheric Air rigs. A year after graduation, I have
finally got my studio set up, and bought the Smith
Acetylene/Atmospheric Air torch … the kit that comes with the single
headed regulator, the hose, the 00 tip, the handle, and the striker.
I also bought some additional tips.
As soon as I fired it up, I felt that the flame was not ‘right’; it
didn’t look like the Prestolite flame that I remembered, although they
both use Acet/Air. So I did quite a bit of reading and all texts
speak of a ‘good’ flame as being blue and bushy … and this is what I
remembered from school. The Smith flame is very long (no matter what
tip), thin, with a sky/aqua blue cone, a light purple envelope and a
yellow tail that comprises about 1/3 of the flame length.
People whose opinions I respect are on opposite sides here. Some
folks I know who use the same rigs in their studio say that the flame
is fine. Others, equally sure, say that the yellow tail means that
there is too much fuel and too little oxygen in the flame and that it
is completely wrong for the Smith Acetylene/Atmospheric Air torch
flame. Smith has sent me another regulator to try (same model) and I
get the same flame. Since the torch involves Atmospheric Air, I can’t
adjust the air flow.
I have adjusted the regulator screw, the torch handle, cleaned out
the tips, etc. The tank is half full.
Yes, I can solder with the flame but I don’t want to be adapting
my soldering habits to a bad rig, if this is the case.
Please advise me; I’m extremely frustrated, can’t work, and am
considering returning the Smith for the Prestolite, but am now told
that the Prestolite is ‘wrong’ for the high karat gold work which is
what I want to do.
Yours in length and desperation,