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Struggled with the limitations of the little torch


#1

I’ve struggled with the limitations of the Little Torch and is not
happy with the Smith Company these days. It seems like I have to
replace certain things on my torch handle and I can’t buy or order
those parts, and have to buy a whole new handle and hose. I’m onto my
third Little Torch right now. I may just get a Gentec torch by next
year out of spite. However, the larger tips such as the #5, #6, #7
deform very easily, and I’m constantly having to re-round the
orifice, and use the tiny round files to true up the hole. I wish
Smith Company would consider making the tips in titanum or high-temp
tolerated steel, instead of the soft copper. It’s a pain to keep
replacing them, esp. when I’ve only used the #7 tip a few times and
it’s deformed already. I have filed and re-round the orifice and it
is possible to do that on a #4 tip just for a short time till you
can get a new tip.

I do have two oxygen/acetylene welding torches that are from the
40’s and 50’s, and still work excellent. All original tips and
handles but I had to get new hoses for them. Great for gas welding,
melting metal or when you need a big torch. I enjoy using a piece of
history when I use my old torches.


#2
However, the larger tips such as the #5, #6, #7 deform very easily,
and I'm constantly having to re-round the orifice, and use the tiny
round files to true up the hole. 

I am curios. What is that you do that causes damage to tips ? I
purchased my little torch in 1985, I think. Still use the same tip. I
did replace hoses couple of times, but the rest still works quite
well.

Leonid Surpin
www.studioarete.com


#3
I've struggled with the limitations of the Little Torch and is not
happy with the Smith Company these days. It seems like I have to
replace certain things on my torch handle and I can't buy or order
those parts, and have to buy a whole new handle and hose. I'm onto
my third Little Torch right now.

I have two soldering stations, mine and one for employees. Both have
a Little Torch. For larger items, there is a Prestolite acetylene
torch at one station. I have basically used the same torch tips for
over 20 years. The only tips I have purchased are the rosebud and
the #7 when they became available.

It is possible that you are using the torch with too hot of a flame
andit is too close to the work and you are overheating the tip. Most
work is done with a bushy flame. I would suspect you are overheating
the tips with reflected heat. The only small hot flames with tight
blue cones are used for re-tipping gold settings. These torches are
used at least 5 days a week for repair and fabrication for
production models. I mostly use tips #4, #5, #6 and #7.

I had to replace one of the valves once. Here is a URL for Little
Torch replacement parts.

http://www.ganoksin.com/gnkurl/ow

You can call Smith and if you tell them the problem and they will
help you. That is what I did and that is what happened.

Richard Hart G.G.
Denver, Co.


#4

Joy, I am having some problem visualizing how you are using the
Little Torch! I have had the same torch for, let me see now, this is
my second one…had the firstsomewhere around 15 years and lost it
in moving, and the second is now in its 20th year or so. And I can’t
remember when I last bought a new tip, although once or twice I have
tweeked an orifice or two. Limitations? Well, unless you are making
items in the 50-60mm range the LT should do just fine. What size are
you working? What metal(s) are you working? What is the primary tip
size you are using? Are you casting or soldering (brazing)? I often
make huge belt buckles in silver and solder them with the LT. Other
than small lots, I do not cast with it though the rose bud tip will
do up to around a Troy oz. In fact, I do about 90% of my work with
the LT. Frankly, there ain’t much that can be replaced on a LT except
the tip and hoses. True, hoses should be replaced periodically anyway
as they tend to harden and can easily crack…but thats true of any
torch.

Re the Smith gas/air torch I have one on my bench as well and, do use
it on occasion to anneal or melt large quantities of metal. I also
have a VERY old Victor torch available but hardly use it any
more…no particular reason except I only have one tip for it.
Meanwhile, we have 4 Smiths at the school studio and everyone has to
learn to solder with them. Some do very large items, others do small
intricate stuff. I believe its all in the technique (not that yours
may not be good technique) but its what one gets used to.

Never used a Gentech though some of my students have bought them. I
would say six of one, half dozen of another. They aren’t that much
different IMHO! Now, if you go for a MECO or something similar, that
would be a different story. My very first torch was a gasoline fed
torch with air from a foot bellows covered with a piece of truck
inner tube. Try pumping that damn bellows while soldering prongs!
Thats what my Chinese teacher taught me to use and the stuff he (not
me) made was fabulous Unfortunately, everyone uses their equipment
differently but experience tells me most tools of this nature are
made to last a very long time.

Just my opinion and others may disagree. Cheers from Don in SOFL.


#5
I've struggled with the limitations of the Little Torch 

I’ve used the same Little Torch (third set of hoses) and the same
tip for 20 years with oxy/ace I have a “new” (6 years) Little Torch
that I use with LP & oxygen for platinum.


#6

I think the problem here is not how the torch is used, but how it is
stored when not in use. Setting the torch down on hard surfaces will
deform the tips, so will letting them swing by the hoses.

I’ve used these simple metal “C” clips that are used for hanging mops
attached to the edge of my bench. The torch handle clips into the mop
hanger and allows you to keep it lit for production soldering. A
simple pull and the torch is in your hand ready to go with the tip
never touching any surface.

I like hearing the metallic ping the clip makes when you pull the
torch free. :slight_smile: