Torches for soldering with natural gas

I seem to be making a career out of this, but I want to purchase a
torch–my first for soldering jewelry items. I want the most
all-purpose torch that I can get–and I want to use natural gas
without a pressure booster. Can I do this? Which is the best torch
to use in this way? I will also be using an oxygen generator instead
of tanks.

I have been using Natural gas for 35+ years and have never used a
booster. I have even used natural gas to weld plat. in Oklahoma
–USA. We have a line pressure of 8 oz. max --plenty of fuel to do
all my torch welding – soldering or brazing what ever you want to
call the task, my torch of choice is the (Meco) with
inter-changeable surgical stainless steel tips, from 10 ga. to 24 ga.
The Meco is a fine torch that will give you many years of use, mine
is a World War 2 surplus. I now use my LaserStar to do my 90% of my
welding work from David Yurman (sterling silver) to HOF (palladium
w/g) to Simon G --platinum --to eye glass frames made of titanium –
this machine can do it all & produce a far superior end product to
the torch!!


My Hoke works pretty well like this, though you would have to get
one specified for use with natural gas at your pressure.

However, you may need something with a bit more oomph for annealing
anything large, a good option here is something like a Sievert set
up using propane bottles and a couple of different heads to get
different amounts of energy into your work piece.

Chris Penner

I LOVE my shark torch (also called a whale torch and easy torch),
which uses propane gas and ambient oxygen. The torch head has a valve
that mixes the ambient oxygen (the oxygen in the air around you) with
the propane and produces a really nice flame. No need to have an
oxygen tank or to use acetylene, which requires better ventilation.
The torch comes with three easily changeable heads. The flame on my
torch is not as small and hot as an acetylene/oxygen flame, but I
solder well with it. I am currently out of stock on this torch, but
hope to have some in a few weeks.

Kathy Brandon
WorkingSilver for tools, stones, silver & supplies

I have been using this same torch for several years and like it. I
have discovered, however, that the tall, narrow tanks of propane work
better than the low, fatter ones. There must be some difference in
the pressure of the gas, although this doesn’t make much sense.
Another Orchid reader confirmed this awhile back. You do need to
secure the taller tanks somehow as they tip over easily.

Ellen Harris