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Suitable torch for my needs


#1

Hello there. I am a model maker trying to make this big leap into
Jewelry making and I am trying to find a suitable torch for my needs.
I really don’t want one of the little upright ones. They just don’t
feel right to me. I want a proper torch. I am really restricted to
Butane or Propane because its the most readily available gas in the
UK. I can get it in just about any DIY store. My problem is with the
oxygen side of things. I really don’t want to be messing around with
large oxygen cylinders and the smaller ones wont last long enough so
I am wondering weather to go with a single hose torch that will just
run off the butane or a duel fuel torch and run compressed air down
the oxygen hose. (I have a dry air supply)Walsh sells the “little
torch” that seems to be very popular but it is quite expensive (UKP
125) but i cant find another torch that will just run of the Propane.
I have found a couple but nothing that is available in the UK. I like
the look of the Prest-O-Lite but they are really intended for
acetylene. Can I run it from Propane? is it available in the UK? I
had a wander around Hatton Gardens and there were several people
selling Sievert torches but they were just too big and cumbersome.
Any suggestions would be most welcome.

Peter Morgan


#2

Peter,

It’s my understanding, after reading about the Little Torch at
http://www.littletorch.com/ that it needs an oxygen supply.
Certainly the Microflame torch that I have, which appears to be a
Little Torch clone, requires an oxygen supply.

When I started making jewellery over 50 years ago, my only torch was
a Sievert with a 3957 tip. I used that exclusively for over 20 years
until I purchased the Microflame unit, together with a small
re-fillable oxygen bottle, but even then I mostly used the Sievert. I
now use a water torch for almost everything. It was more expensive
than the other two put together, but its far more convenient and
there is no bottled gas to worry about.

Regards, Gary Wooding


#3

prestolite and purox both have adapters available for propane. The
mecco midget or a hoke though would be my recommendation. Cookson
also sells a swiss torch that is a wonderful to use piece of
equipment- but does require O2- the versatility you’ll get with the
O2 boost in melting, etc. as opposed to room air fuel is worth the
hassle of the 20 lb. O2 tank…Natural gas is another often overlooked
option. Most have it in their homes already and it can be “hard
plumbed” into the studio and a number of torches bought to work with
naatural gas (city gas). There is also the water torch- that
generates its own fuel with a combination of alcohol and distilled
water and electrolyte that wil save considerable time and money in
the long run if properly maintained. (i actually have one for sale
right now!). Bottom line, don’t overlook natural gas, and don’t
downplay the versatility of the butane hand held torches- they are
more than adequate particularly for a beginner until you decide the
entire jewelry making craft is for you (a bernzomatic pistol type
torch with a removable base is the one to go for)…rer


#4

A single gas torch should suit most of your needs. I bought this one
earlier in the year and have no complaints.
http://www.planert-jewellery.com.au/precision_lp_gas_torch.htm

This one should also do the job:

http://www.ottofrei.com/store/home.php?cat=1238

Jakob


#5

Peter - it may be worth trying a simple butane-can torch before you
shop for anything fancier. It’s cheap, and it will be informative.

I use a little one - very like Cookson’s 999 955 - for silverwork,
and occasionally a bigger butane/propane can-type one from B&Q.

I have oxygen & propane in cylinders on hand for blacksmithing and
welding, but I have never found it worth the trouble to use them for
jewellery.

I don’t think you’ll get far trying to use compressed air instead of
oxygen in a two-hose torch. Air is one one-fifth oxygen, so you will
be supplying four parts of cold nitrogen to your flame for every part
of oxygen.

Richard