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Torch holding hand


#1

Was: Losing sensation in my finger tip?

In the meantime, practice holding your torch in your left hand,
which is the way I do. This leaves my right hand free to either
use the pick for pick soldering, or any thing else. 

We all think the way we were trained and do things is the way, I
personally was trained to hold the torch in my dominate hand. I did
try both ways but always have had more control of the flame using my
right (dominate) hand. Not saying it is the way. I think it is more
important to have great torch control, than pick control.

Bill Wismar
www.metalbendersgallery.com


#2
We all think the way we were trained and do things is the way, I
personally was trained to hold the torch in my dominate hand. I
did try both ways but always have had more control of the flame
using my right (dominate) hand. Not saying it is the way. I think
it is more important to have great torch control, than pick
control. 

I was repeatedly told by my teacher to use my non-dominant hand to
hold the torch. Yes, it takes practice, but because of his
insistence, I have complete control of the piece I’m working on with
my dominant hand and complete control of the flame with my
non-dominant. Wasn’t always the case and I accidentally melted a
number of pieces I had no intention of melting but, practice does
make perfect. Amazing how you can “learn” something you thought you
never could. Yup, it’s how you’re trained. Thanks, Don!

Michele


#3
I was repeatedly told by my teacher to use my non-dominant hand to
hold the torch. Yes, it takes practice, but because of his
insistence, I have complete control of the piece I'm working on
with my dominant hand and complete control of the flame with my
non-dominant. 

I agree. It’s like playing the guitar. Most people are right handed,
and it seems to make sense to use ones right hand to cord. But it
actually doesn’t. Look where doing it bas-akwards got Jimi.


#4

Good point Michele,

I’m a non-dominant hand torch user too. There are some things that
hand “learns” to do better than the dominant hand, just because it
had no choice. I finger guitar and banjo chords with my non-dominant
hand and suspect that the dominant hand could eventually be trained
to do the chording… but I don’t want to try that at my advanced
years!

Judy in Kansas


#5
Look where doing it bas-akwards got Jimi 

Ah, so he broke a few strings once in a while. He was incredible.
His CD’s are what gets me through the Christmas madness much better
than caffeine!

Charlie


#6

I use either hand, depending on the job to be done. If you are
manipulating tweezers then holding the torch in the weak hand makes
more sense.

Same goes when making glass beads, the manipulation of the mandrel
holding the bead being formed is done in the weak hand allowing the
strong hand to add the glass cane, use tools etc…

Nick royall


#7

I don’t recall which hand I started out, but as far as I know and
recall ( and that was back in high school), but I’ve always held
torches in my left hand. I have better control over the torch with
my left hand, which is non-dominant, and being a righty, I must use
tweezers and picks in my right hand. If I try to use my torch in my
right hand, it does not feel right and I’m not as good at using it.
When I do anneal, I often use two torches in both hands, to get as
much heat coverage on my metal, since I work large.

I’ve noticed my students often hold their torches in their left
hand, probably from watching me, but many of them say they do have
better control with their tweezers and picks using their dominant
hand. I don’t say much which is the better hand, but tell them to
use what is more comfortable for them.

As for solder, I never clean my solder, unless it is very old, very
oxided solder, and that’s rare. Most of my solder is still clean and
not tarnished, so unless it had crap on it, I don’t bother to clean
it. I do tend to flux gold solder for it seems to flow better. I’ve
soldered for so long, it’s as natural as breathing for me, and I do
need “torch” time to relax and just do something meditative. I tend
to design my work to involve as much soldering as possible. Can’t
help it - just love to solder. However, I do notice that when I ball
up wire, I must flux thesilver wire, esp. Argentium sterling to get
smoother balls.


#8

Hello Orchidland,

Earlier I commented that on occasion I use solder that is decades old
(being an antique myself) and quite dirty/black, and have no trouble
getting it to flow. That is still the case.

However, here is a new thought. To identify the various grades &
types of silver solder, I cover the sheet, front and back, with a
color using a magic marker. Red is medium AS, purple is easy AS,
green is hard regular, etc. What this brings to mind is that the
color from the marker may be a tarnish resist for the solder.

Any thoughts??

Judy in Kansas, where the wind is blowing and temps are in the low
90s… rainfall is greatly desired!


#9

Okeydokey, Jimi Hendrix dragged into a thread about torches and such
; I can deal with that, and it’s not that much of a stretch,
considering his incendiary style of playing and fondness for lighter
fluid, on fire, on his guitar that’s still searing with feedback.

So… propane torch, hand held bottle style: either hand.
Air/acetylene soldering torch : left hand while manipulating things
with the right. Welding torch : right hand (In your left hand, your
welding rod ; in your right hand, your torch. "In your left hand,
your reciever, in your right hand, your fountain pen " (sound bite
from an obscure tune by obscure recordingartist and hot guitar player
Bill Nelson, since that’s now on-topic (^;))). I’ve been forced to
weld with things reversed, but wasn’t good because the precise
circular motion of the torch for running a good welded bead along
takes practice. What else?.. oh yeah, guitar : right handed.

DS


#10

Holding your torch in the right-hand habit might go back towhen gas
was not bottled. I did a work experience in 1980 in Kathmandu on the
floor, holding in my right hand a kerosene flame and in my left a
blow pipe, creatinga sharp even flame, similar to that of a
french-torch.I think now that this is the root of the (holding right
hand) habit, were you hold something dangerous in your right hand. It
is a guessonly. I also wondered at the time why all workshop set ups
are withright-handed torches.

This argument might be similar to the position of the catch for
brooches, which is looking from the back up, on the left. People pick
upthe brooch with their right hand, fiddle the pin and catch with
their left.Even if you place the catch on the left, most customers
will still try to do upthe catch with their left hand, making this
look like a circus act.

Peter Deckers
NZ


#11

I’ve seen a few jewelers who made a clamp and the torch was firmly
held by the clamp ON the bench, flame FACING the jeweler, then they
used both hands to hold and move two things while the torch was
stationary.

David Geller
www.jewelerProfit.com


#12
However, here is a new thought. To identify the various grades &
types of silver solder, I cover the sheet, front and back, with a
color using a magic marker. Red is medium AS, purple is easy AS,
green is hard regular, etc. What this brings to mind is that the
color from the marker may be a tarnish resist for the solder. 

I do the same thing, only do one side, and I use red for hard, yellow
for medium, and green for easy. Obviously I use traffic signal
colors, and my brain does not have to reorganize around another
system to remember.

Richard Hart G.G.
Denver, Co.


#13

Your method of colour-coding your solders is interesting and clever.
As to its value in keeping solder clean - I’ve used magic marker as
an etching resist when etching copper and brass. It seems to work
quite well. This implies to me that it does a good job of shielding
metals from at least some of the corrosive or reactive substances
they may encounter - so maybe it does preserve your solders from
tarnish etc. Incidentally, the person from whom I learned this
useful tip claims, on the basis of far more experience than I
possess, that the red coloured markers do the best job. That is, they
do the best job of staying in place and protecting the metal surface
below. We have been using “Lumocolor” permanent markers which come in
various widths of felt tips. Whatever the brand, the "permanent"
designation is what to look for. Those markers all have that pungent
solvent odour common to magic markers. i don’t know what the
solvent(s) is/are. One of my old mentors called it “Brazil oil.”

Marty in Victoria, where we frown upon pungent odours … although we
flush our untreated sewage into the surrounding ocean waters. Whoops!
maybe I shouldn’t have said that. Chamber of Commerce will be mad
now.


#14

Torch in the right hand, tweezers (or whatever) in the left, here. My
dad was left handed and that’s how he did it. But he also went to
school in 1950 when everybody held the torch in their right hand. It
was just how it was done.

He also used to punch small holes in his solder to mark it as to flow
temp, one hole is hard, two for medium, three for easy, four for
ultra greazy flow. When he started having me doing the ordering, he
told me to get some 14 yellow three hole, better get two dwts. I
called Swest and told them that among other things, I needed two
dwts of three hole 14 yellow solder. Took a few minutes to straighten
out.

I still mark my solder with holes, but I roll it out as thin as I can
first. Rolling it out lets me use decently sized pallions that aren’t
too much solder. Most sloppy solder work, especially in fabrication,
is the result of using way too much solder, at least that’s my humble
observation. If you’re just beginning with fabrication, start out
using half as much solder as you think you’ll need. You can always
add more, cleaning up the lumps later is a lot harder to do.

I mark my solder with one, two or three holes, about 1 mm apart, in
the center at the very bottom of the sheet indicating 14K, in the
corner for 18K, oriented horizontally for yellow, vertically for
white. After punching the holes on wood with the back end of a 68 or
70 drill bit (works more like a punch than a sharpened point does),
I tap it flat from the back and clean it up with the tip of a large
setting bur twisted in the fingers so it doesn’t have any burrs. The
only time I ever clean solder is after rolling. Never had a problem
with tarnish, even on decades old silver solder. Pull it through
some 400 grit, steam it and drive on.

Dave Phelps


#15
After punching the holes on wood with the back end of a 68 or 70
drill bit (works more like a punch than a sharpened point does), 

In case anyone is wondering why I don’t just drill these holes,
please don’t try it to find out. It might cut you to shreds. A drill
bit cutting all the way through to the back side of a piece of metal
will have a tendency to grab that last little bit of metal and hold
on to it. This is when a drill bit will most likely break, the moment
before it starts to break through. I’m sure there’s someone on Orchid
that can explain why, I sure don’t know, but it will. A thin piece of
solder will grab a drill bit at the very moment it starts to cut, and
if you just rolled it as thin as that ol’ Durston will get it, it can
act just like a spinning razor blade. But with coarse, just-rolled
edges.

A word to the wise.
Dave Phelps