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Swiss torch/platinum tip/oxygen concentrator?

Has anyone used a Swiss torch with a platinum tip and an oxygen concentrator?
I’m trying to figure out what size (lpm) machine might work for this combo.

Thanks!

If the machine you are referring to is the O2 machine, I have used both a 10 lpm and a 5 lpm O2 machine in tandem on my Meco and Little Torch with propane and they work fine. My current O2 generator is a 5 lpm machine and I have to bleed O2 while using either torch to keep the O2 in range. Look for a local medical supply place that takes in O2 machines and rebuilds them. You will save a lot of money on both the machine and shipping vs buying from one of our typical tool suppliers. My 5 lpm machine cost me $275 and was completely overhauled with all new wearable parts and filters. Good luck…Rob

Thank you, Rob!
Yep, I’m looking at an O2 machine to use with the Swiss Torch. My concern is that I’d like to use it with its bigger/broader tip, the platinum tip (not for platinum work, but for larger silver pieces, for instance sweat-soldering silver belt buckles), and I can’t figure out whether 10lpm will be enough. Any thoughts?

As I said in my previous post, I have used both a 10 lpm and now a 5 lpm O2 generator on my meco and little torch. I am able to solder with no trouble all of the pieces that I make and easily melt as much as 2 oz of sterling with the large rosebud tips for the Meco. I could melt more, but don’t. You can take a look at my website to see the size of the pieces that I make. (www.robmeixner.com). I don’t know anything about the Swiss Torch. It looks very nice and a bit expensive. I think that I saw a review of it on ganoksin recently, but don’t recall the reviewer’s comments. I don’t know where or how you intend to buy the O2 machine. They are very expensive to buy and ship from our usual vendors. Again, if you have a medical device rebuilder in your area, you may be able to buy a rebuilt machine and pick it up for a lot less than you would pay Rio, Gesswein, Frei and others. You don’t say anything about the gas you will be using. I am assuming propane. I use propane from small 1 lb. refillable campstove cylinders using a non-adjustable regulator. My goal was to have as little compressed gas in cylinders in my shop without any impact on my torch operation. I have gotten it down to 1 - 1lb. propane cylinder. Good luck…Rob

I just looked at the Stuller site to compare Swiss Torch prices and they show a question identical to yours. Go take a look…Rob

Hi, I use an oxygen concentrator and propane with my Smith’s little torch to all the time and melt silver and gold with rosebud tip. Not sure what a platinum tip is though but try it and see. Good luck.

I looked at the Stuller site and I’m not sure I found the comment to which Rob referred. I did find some comments recommending a 5 lpm concentrator for either Meco or Swiss torches and those are coming from Stuller itself, which sells a concentrator. I looked up the psi required for the Swiss torch casting tip and it specifies 43.5 psi oxygen and 22 psi propane. I looked up the psi ratings for some 10 lpm concentrators and they are within the 17-30 psi range. So based on those figures, you are perhaps a little low for the casting tip…I have tried out my 5 lpm concentrator with the casting adaptor for my Hoke, which is essentailly one very large orifice, and it throws quite a flame, which I would think is more than adequate for melting a couple of ounces of silver. I think even a 5 lpm concentrator would melt some silver fine and I’m thinking that the 43 psi figure may be the max that the torch can deliver with that casting tip. However, that’s only a guess from me. My concentrator is supposed to operate at 8.5 psi. If you still harbor doubts, take your torch and a bottle of gas down to the shop where they sell concentrators and hook up and see how it works. I don’t have any doubt it would work, but it’s your call.

I would also add to what le frere Meixner said that you can often find these for sale from some private individual on craisglist or similar for $100-$250. Look at the hour meter to see how much use it has had. They will go 10,000 to 20,000 hours and you will often find them with less than 5,000 hours on them. They should be run every 14 days to keep the catalyst bed active. Realize that even 1,000 hours is a hell of a lot of soldering or casting. Hope this helps…I love mine and wouldn’t go back to big tanks, just too much worry. Only the 1 lb propane canister and the concentrator now…nice! -royjohn

Thanks!!

Yes, I found the Stuller question, which leads me to think that the combination will work. They didn’t say what size concentrator they were using, and I haven’t been able to get an answer from them. It’s heartening to see that there are other people doing similar-size stuff, though-- and knowing about cheaper options for buying them is great.
Yes, propane is what I’m planning on… trying to keep the studio situation as safe as I can, and it looks like this is a pretty reasonable solution.

Great to know-- thanks!!

I looked at the photo of that casting tip and it has a LOT of holes in it. 43 psi is a heck of a lot of oxygen but maybe it is for melting platinum, which requires a lot more heat. By comparison, the rosebud tip for the Little Torch takes 14 psi and it will melt a couple of ounces of silver or gold, the manufacturer says. Paige recommends about 8-10 psi for its rosebud tips. Just a little more info…-royjohn

Yeah… I was looking at the platinum tip, not the rosebud tip. The platinum one apparently requires 21psi. The thing I’m unclear about is how to think about the lpm numbers along with the psi ones.
Thanks for the little torch info-- getting more data points is helping me get a better sense for what people can get out of the concentrators.

Here it is:
https://www.ottofrei.com/Swiss-Torch-Platinum-Head-or-Tip-Only

I think it depends a lot on what you want to do and how you want to do it. On the glassworking forums they do talk about major glassworking outrunning the concentrators and some of them have gone to ganging two 10 lpm concentrators together, which would take you up into the 40-60 psi range. You can find the psi ratings of the concentrators on their spec sheets on line under their names. As Rob said, he’s cast small ingots with his concentrator and torch. As far as I’m concerned, I would not want to do a big melt (over a couple of ounces) with a torch anyway. Hard to hold the torch and pour with one person anyway. For almost the same money as an extra concentrator, you could get an electric furnace to do 2-3 kg of metal in a carbon crucible with less oxidation trouble and less danger than with that huge torch flame. Right tool for the right job kind of thing. A 5 lpm concentrator would do for your torch and everything up to annealing and even casting a couple of ounces. If you’re going beyond that, consider alternative tools. Just my $.02 -royjohn

Glass bead artists use the concentrators to provide oxygen and those burners are pretty big and hot!

Thanks!
I’m planning on using it to fabricate larger pieces (larger belt buckles, etc) rather than casting… It sounds, from all the responses, that a 10lpm concentrator should be adequate for the tasks.

Based on the flame sizes and the psi requirements for the tips I use, even a 5 lpm concentrator should work fine for you, but if a 10 lpm is only a little more, why not get it. Let us know how this works for you! --royjohn

I will!

Just wanted to say that I got the Swiss Torch and a 10psi oxygen concentrator, and they’re playing very well together.

Great!

Hi Mary,
Glad this worked out for you! I would be interested in some more details…what concentrator you ended up with, where you got it, and how it’s working with the rosebud tip and what size work you’re doing with it…
My 5 lpm concetrator, which was very old, recently started giving me an annoying “service required” beep and I finally replaced it with another, refurbed one, which I haven’t had time to set up yet. The old one was a DeVilBiss and the guy who does the refurbs says they don’t hold up well and he can’t get parts for them…the new InvaCare is supposed to be a lot quieter and more reliable. Refurb guy says to keep it somewhere with low humidity for best longevity. Price, at $375, was a lot higher than what I paid ten plus years ago from a private party…refrub guy said because of Covid-19 demand and prices are way up…FYI…I’ll report later on how this new one is working with my Hoke torch. -royjohn