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Soldering with natural gas


Hi Everyone in jewelryland

Can anyone tell me how to setup a gas line for natural gas? Somewhere I
read that a special valve was needed when using a house gas line but I
can’t remember what is was called. Do I still need to use oxygen with
natural gas? Also, what opinions does anyone have on natural vs. other
gases. I am trying to use acetylene but I seem to melt …everything. I
don’t want to bring propane inside. Any help will be greatly



Hi, Claudia

Natural gas is a very clean way to go. I had been using acetylene for
many years with Oxygen, and although very very hot, it was extremely messy.
Black plumes of gas would result in extinguishing the flame. Soot
everywhere. Natural gas very clean, and at a more reasonalbe temperature
for gold and silver.

As far as installation, at least in the big cities, you must have a
licensed plumber connect for you. They use ‘black’ pipe and possibly
notify your gas utility company of the change in service. There are
special valves needed for turn-on turn-off, plus possibly an additional
valve needed before your special outlet. Just remember that unless you
really know what you are doing, gas explosions from leaking gas are quite

Hope I helped
Allan Freilich


In a message dated 97-04-17 23:23:48 EDT, you write:

< Can anyone tell me how to setup a gas line for natural gas? >>

Claudia Most jewelers I know do not use acetlyene because it is so hot.
Everyone I know uses propane. If you are worried about the tank being
inside set the tank outside and run a line inside. The tanks are really
quite safe as long as you do not bang them around. Think about all of the
tanks on outdoors grills and the conditions they survive in. If that rout
is not the way to go for you then natural gas or house gas as you refered
to it will work but it is not very hot, and you will still have to use
oxygen with it. The type of torches that use only breather holes for the
oxygen are certainly not delicate enough for small jewelry jobs. Although I
have seen some small butane torches that operate on that principal that
were quite interesting. Just make sure that you install a flash back
arrestor on the line. Having a qualified service tech to do the work would
be the best way to proceed if you do not want to use propane. RED


Claudia, I forgot,-- I used a backflow valve on both the oxygen line and
the natural gas line. I got them at a plumbing supply place. Ruth


We use a natural gas/oxygen setup for the soldering torches… It is the
cleanest burning combination. I also use Oxygen/acetylene in my casting
shop, but it burns dirty… Natural gas alone will not do anything for
you, you must have oxygen. A plumber can install the line, but make certain
that you install a " check valve" .This valve will stop an errant spark
from traveling up the torch to the source of fuel. Believe me , that could
be lethal!!! Best wishes, Rob Ringold


Claudia, I had a plumber connect the natural gas line from where it hooks
in to the water heater. (my shop is a little room built into my garage. )
It provides a very clean flame, at low pressure. I do have to use
oxygen, however, to make it hot enough. I was afraid also to have a
propane tank in the house, although I just met someone who has the takn
outside, with the tubing running inside via a hole in the wall. I don’t
think that would make me feel any safer. I used acetyline once, and had
little black wisps floating in the air, and found it hard to regulate the
temperature down. I have trouble with excessive dust and polish residue
in the air, so I wouldn’t keep my computer there, even if I had room. I
even find it too dusty to do wax work in there now. I,m researching
different ventilation options, so maybe that’s something for you to think
of too, now, before you get into this too far. I would also suggest
closed cabinets for storage of tools, etc., as opposed to open shelfing,
which collects dust too.

Good luck and have fun! ruth


I use a Presto-Lite torch and am happy with it. It does not use oxygen and
is therefor not so hot. It is possible to use natural gas with compressed
air.I, myself did not want propane in my basement studio. Marilyn Smith