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Torch choice


#1

Have any articles been written comparing the pro’s and cons of
the various torch systems? I plan on getting a torch
(acetylene/air??) for general silver work, but have only minimal
experience with one kind (Smith) at a metalworking class I’m
taking. I would appreciate any help anyone might offer in making
the choice.

Thanks,

Chunk Kiesling

chunk@intaccess.com


#2

My Presto-Lite is still going strong after many years.I like the
big tips not the tiny ones. Marilyn Smith


#3

Chunk: the Smith Acetylene/air torch is a damn fine torch ,
great for silverwork, but I’m told acetylene is too dirty for
fold work, that other option would be propane/oxy in that case
with a simple Hoke torch which is also way cheaper than a Smith.
MOst silversmiths use prestolite style torches, depends on what
you want it for. I also have a Smith Little Torch for small work,
propane/oxy…Dave

Art Jewelry for Conscious People
http://www.opendoor.com/stephensdesign/crystalguy.html


#4

When you solder silver pieces you need to heat up the whole
piece and concentrate the heat where the joint is. While
air/acetylene torches are fine for this they are not well suited
for gold soldering. Acetylene, because of a high energy bond
between it’s carbon atoms, transfers heat very rapidly to the
metal- natural gas or propane are less energetic, and don’t as
readily oxidize the metal being soldered. My suggestion would be
an air/propane torch that plumbers often use, and when you start
doing a lot of fine work, you can add oxygen, and the proper
torch head such as the micro-welding torch.

Rick Hamilton
Richard D. Hamilton, Jr
http://www.rick-hamilton.com
@rick_hamilton


#5

In a message dated 97-03-06 15:22:22 EST, you write:

My   suggestion would be 
an air/propane torch that plumbers  often use, and when you start 
doing a lot of fine work, you  can add oxygen, and the proper
torch head such as the   micro-welding torch.

I agree completely, there are many special techniques which
respond much better to the propane (and oxygen) than anyother
fuel. Start off this way, and you will be prepared for growth.

Elizabeth


#6

Dear Orchid Forum,

Forgive me if this topic already exists in archive…

I’m getting an acetylene set up for my studio.

Should I get the Prest-o-lite or the Smith (the regular size,not the
mini) ??

Which one and why? Any big differences between them I should know
about? Is one more heavy duty than the other? Is one safer?

I hate how the Smith handle gets hot while in use, but I also hate
how the Prest-o-lite dial spin to the off position when even your
sleeve brushes up against it.

Help me Orchidians!
Signed,
Tortured 'bout Torches


#7
   I hate how the Smith handle gets hot while in use, but I also
hate how the Prest-o-lite dial spin to the off position when even
your sleeve brushes up against it. 

Hi- I have an ordinary Acetylene/air set up. I use the Smith torch
handle and tips and love it/them. For years I had a simple set of
torch tips and handle I bought at a welding shop and they worked
fine. But I definitely prefer my Smith torch tips/handle and am
sorry that I didn’t spring for them the first time around. They are
easy to attach and function so well.

And by the way - my torch handle never gets hots. I don’t think I’ve
ever heard of that - the tip gets hot but cools quickly when you
turn the torch off, but never the handle. I’d have it checked out.

K


#8

Hello Torchered,

If the on/off knob on your Prestolite is too loose, open it all the
way (with the gas turned off, of course) and tighten the nut with a
wrench. This will solve your problem.

SilverSorceress Designs
Unique, handcrafted Silver and Gemstone Jewelry
http://www.silversorceress.com
Visit my studio/gallery in Bangor, Maine
19 Bomarc Rd.
Bangor, ME 04401
207-947-6200


#9
Should I get the Prest-o-lite or the Smith (the regular size,not
the mini) ?? 

Dear Tortured 'bout Torches,

I have worked extensively with both and hands down I would choose
the Smith, here’s why.

First, the fuel adjustment knob is above your hand and can be
adjusted using one had while holding the torch. The Prest-o-light
adjustment knob is underneath your hand so two hands must always be
used for any adjustment.

Second, Smiths handle and tips are simply higher quality, the
Prest-o-light has a breakable plastic handle and I don’t care for
the tips.

Thirdly, and most important, Smith is a wonderful company to work
with, they have a 1-800 # for tech assistance and are very helpful.

I’m not sure why your Smith handle gets hot, I’ve never experienced
this and I’ve used the large tips for extended times. I would look
into it further.

I know we sell Smith and not Prest-o-light but I’m speaking from
honest experience.

I hope this helps.
Sincerely,
Thackeray Taylor
Rio Grande Technical Support


#10
I also hate how the Prest-o-lite dial spin to the off position
when even your sleeve brushes up against it. 

This is not because it is a Prest-o-lite-- it can happen with about
any brand. It just means the adjustment knob is a bit loose. Where
the flame adjustment knob is attached to the torch body, there is a
hexagonal nut that the stem passes through. Just slide a wrench or
pair of pliers on it and tighten it up a little bit, and your torch
will stop being so touchy.

–Noel


#11

It sounds like you have damaged seals at the mixer and you are
burning back in the torch body.

Get it checked out.
jesse


#12
     I hate how the Smith handle gets hot while in use, but I also
hate how the Prest-o-lite dial spin to the off position when even
your sleeve brushes up against it. 

I have had a Prest-O-Lite for more than twenty years and the dial
does not do that. Do you know that you can adjust the direction the
tips point? This might enable you to keep your sleeve away from the
dial. Of course, you could always push your sleeves up to keep them
out of the way.

marilyn smithBegin forwarded message:


#13
I also hate how the Prest-o-lite dial spin to the off position
when even your sleeve brushes up against it.

I ordered a new Prest-o-lite torch handle for IJS 6 months ago and
it has a newly designed valve that right where your thumb goes when
holding the torch and you can flick on with your thumb. If you have
an electronic sparker on your bench you can light your torch with one
hand. It doesn’t, however, allow you to adjust the flame. I adjust
mine at the regulator. I’m a happy Pres-to-lite user for more years
than I care to remember…

Rick Copeland
Silversmith and Lapidary Artisan
Colorado Springs, Colorado
http://home.covad.net/~rcopeland/