[Source] Water Torch

Has anyone made or found a supplier of water torches? I am very
interested in this new technology and would like to try and build my
own torch.


Beth Millner
Marquette, MI

Has anyone made or found a supplier of water torches? I am very
interested in this new technology and would like to try and build
my own torch. 

Beth, please be careful if trying to build your own. This isn’t
simple kitchen chemistry of cobbled together parts, if you want a
torch that works well, and is safe. Remember that what the torch is
doing is taking a substantial amount of electricity, which has it’s
risks and considerations all on it’s own, and using it to generate a
mix of oxygen and hydrogen. Handled wrong, that’s a rather potent and
explosive mix. And to make the water electrically conductive, it’s
mixed with highly corrosive chemicals. And don’t forget you can’t
just burn the oxy/hydrogen mix as is. Too hot, too combustible. The
torches all run the gas mix through a vapor fluxing unit to mix in
the fumes of one of several common solvents, either with or without
added boric acid flux. The result of all that is your nice usable
clean flame. The commercially made torches do it right, and do it
safely. But getting there is not as simple as describing what the
things do.

Also, for the record, this is hardly new. The first one I ever used
was in the mid 70s, not long after I first entered the commercial
jewelry world after college. They’d been around for quite a while
before then. The torches HAVE, however, been refined since then, and
one can get decent units for less money, that work better, than the
earlier ones. There are quite a number of different brands and
versions around for your purchase consideration. L&R makes a great,
though somewhat costly, workhorse of a torch. Spiraflame makes
several versions, even costlier if I recall, but very high quality.
Krohn industries makes one, I think, and those three are just the
first names to pop into my head. There are at least three or four
others I can think of, but who’s names escape me as I type this. A
bit of net searching should be able to find you a number of choices,
and I’ll bet you that buying one, at least one of the smaller units,
would be a good deal cheaper than making one, if you value your time
at all reasonably as part of the cost…

Just as an illustration, consider the humble electric motor. A good
polishing motor costs perhaps a hundred fifty dollars. You don’t
really even need to know how or why it works to copy the obvious
features of the design of one if you’ve got one to take apart. But
getting it right, so your own home built version of a buffing motor
runs, develops power, doesn’t short out, burn out, or make too much
noise? Try building your own for less than buying one. I doubt even
the geekiest among us could do so.

Peter Rowe

Dear Beth:

I manage North American operations for Spirig (www.spirig.org). We
manufacture the Spirflame[tm], a fully patented multicell
hydrogen/oyxgen gas generator. We have good number of jewelers and
goldsmiths, some who are Orchid members. They use and highly
recommend our Spirflame[tm] for their benchwork (list available). It
is quite some task to build your own water welder, even a simple
single cell unit. Your cost would far exceed the cost of any unit.
There= are also considerable concerns in regard to the chemistry,
materials, safety, etc. I would compare this to building your own
rolling mill. It is certainly possible, I have even done it, but in
hindsight, it is far better to spend this time making jewelry
instead. Having said this, if you would like our complete
a little support, our DVD, I do have considerable
experience in this area, I would be happy to send you our info and
support you where possible. Please check my complete contact
below. I will be back in the office at the end of this

Best Regards,

Gary W. Miller
Sr. Technical Advisor
Spirig Advanced Technologies, Inc.

Spirig’s Gary Miller is a generous man.

His combination of offered torch and support, safety and
feasibility warnings, commercial advice is very open-hearted. I do
hope Beth follows the trail and, fully advised, decides
not to re-invent, re-construct and re-roll the wheel. Wheels are an
available, affordable specialist product that can still tire-track
the innocent.

My company places open, downloadable and printable tutorials
(regarding a totally unrelated process) at its website and it is
heartening to see typically 300 hits a day from non-customers to
those tutorials. If people with some other product than ours can get
results because we showed the way, it has cost us nothing and we will
be remembered as generous people.

Better than not being remembered!

Mark Bingham

Could not agree more with both Gary Miller of Spirig and Mark
Bingham of Fourth Axis. I have been updating my Jewellery Class list
steadily for free tutorials. I have about 20 more subjects to go.

Go check out

As with Mark website, it is amazing how many people check out the

Cheers Hans Meevis

I am an old retired Chem Engineer from the Oxygen - Nitrogen -
Hydrogen business.

I have worked with more Hydrogen on NASA and industrial systems than
every one on the list put together ( probably with exponents on the
quantity). 40 years-- Cocky --but I don’t think I am overstating my

I .design and build a lot of my toys. The rest I modify. Years ago (
50’s ) I built and ran industrial scale electrolytic hydrogen plants,
later it was Liquid hydrogen… It is not nuclear physics or new

I have looked at building my own small system and could do it. but it
is more trouble than buying one!!!

A standard system may be big enough for you - maybe not. There is
always a propane torch – maybe ( probably) without oxygen too. There
are some safety issues for the inexperienced. There is really no
economic reason to build one. Don’t do more than think about it.