For melting of metals such as sterling or gold alloys for casting
ingots in amounts less than about 30 dwts, I use a Harris model 16
torch with a rosebud tip. This torch is excellent for melting,
alloying and annealing gold and silver, but for platinum or large
quantities of other metals, it’s not quite up to the task. For the
shop that doesn’t do platinum casting or melting of more than 30 or
35 dwts at a time this torch is ideal. It’s a real gas/oxygen
internal mixing torch handle with a tube and changeable tips, but
it’s smaller and much easier to handle than most, making it very
useful, user-friendly and efficient in a small shop. I got mine from
I use a Meco 63103 Weldmaster cutting torch body with a custom tube
and modified rosebud style tip for heavier melting such as platinum
or more than about 30 dwts of other metals. It really cranks out the
BTU’s. This torch was custom built and given to me by my brother.
So it is clearly an issue of what you are using your torch for, not
what is the best torch.
In my humble opinion, there is no such thing as “the perfect torch”,
only as you say, the best torch for the job at hand… My experience
is that it should take less than thirty seconds from the time the
flame hits the metal to the time it’s ready to throw (or pour)
without having to use too much oxygen (and using a pre-heated
crucible). Any longer (or using too much O2 as a way of increasing
heat output) causes problems with porosity in castings and ingots
that will crack and split due to “cooking” the metal, burning off the
zinc and oxidizing the melt. Too large of a torch can cause the same
results, but more because of getting the metal too hot rather than
from heating it for too long.
I run all of my torches with LP and O2. I find that LP has a good
balance between cleanliness and heat production. I also use arrestors
on every torch.
Hugs back at ya!