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Torches


#1

– [ From: Robert E. Jones * EMC.Ver #2.3 ] –

Hello everybody. I’m back with another question. I am wondering what kind
of torch is best for me. Money is an object, so I’d like to go cheap if I
can. I am an amateur, and I don’t need a jewelry repair type professional
setup. I currently just solder in my little workshop, but I’d eventually
like to cast.

Should I go with a presto-lite acetylene setup or should I go with the oxy-
propane torch from Hoke. What are the pros and cons? What do you guys
use? I’d appreciate any feedback.

Another part of this question has to do with flame size. I like the presto-
lite, but the flame size is a bit big sometimes, even with the smallest
tips. The Hoke and little torch systems have much smaller tips and are
hotter and more precise. I guess what it comes down to is the difference
between big flame+cheap vs. precise very-hot heat+expensive. Any pointers?


#2

Robert: it depends on what you want to do as far as torches go. MOst
silversmiths I know use the presto-lite setup. A big flame is not bad;
proper soldering means heating the whole piece and not one small part .
When I was first exposed toa presto-lite I thought the guy was crazy using
a welding torch to make jewelry! I do mostly silver jewelry and fairly
sizeable pendants and the prestolite is great to use. It might however be a
little dirty for gold work, so thats a point too. The Hoke by the way has a
silversmith tip set for larger flame that goes for 40 bucks from Gesswein.
As for myself I have a prestolite (a Smith version) and a propane/oxy Hoke
too, plus a Smith little torch thats handy for small stuff. I think if I
was you I’d go for the Hoke and get the silvermsith adapters if you can
afford it too and the propane setup is better for casting in my opinion
too, though you’d probably want to get a larger torch for that. Gavin uses
his hoke for casting, though so I guess that works too, depending on how
much metal you’re melting. …Dave

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


#3

– [ From: Robert E. Jones * EMC.Ver #2.3 ] –

Hello everybody. I’m back with another question. I am wondering what
kind
of torch is best for me. Money is an object, so I’d like to go cheap if
I
can. I am an amateur, and I don’t need a jewelry repair type
professional
setup. I currently just solder in my little workshop, but I’d eventually
like to cast.

Should I go with a presto-lite acetylene setup or should I go with the
oxy-
propane torch from Hoke. What are the pros and cons? What do you guys
use? I’d appreciate any feedback.

Another part of this question has to do with flame size. I like the
presto-
lite, but the flame size is a bit big sometimes, even with the smallest
tips. The Hoke and little torch systems have much smaller tips and are
hotter and more precise. I guess what it comes down to is the difference
between big flame+cheap vs. precise very-hot heat+expensive. Any
pointers?

Robert:

I have used the Presto-lite torch and like it. Right now I use a small
oxy/propane torch. I had an awful time getting used to a small hot flame at
first because I had grown used to the acetylene air torch. I am thinking
about hooking it back up because of the ease of use. However, for some work
there is just no denying the advantages of small hot precise flames. I did
not like trying to melt metal with the presto-lite, but it is inexpensive
and great for general jewelry soldering.

I will never get a torch that uses proprietary hoses. Those cute little
lines that come with some torches are too short and cost way more than
standard torch hose.

Another consideration is regulator size and gas pressure sensitivity. My
first and only oxy/acetylene rig I purchased is an industrial size Victor.
The large regulators work with not only a small torch but large welding and
cutting torches. The supplier just couldn’t get over me purchasing this
rig for jewelry, but I am glad I did. I have used it to cut and weld
equipment I have made for myself that saved me expenses above and beyond
the cost of the torch itself. I have also used the same setup to produce
steel sculptures. These same regulators are used daily with the small torch
for jewelry production. I use the acetylene regulator with a propane tank
for jewelry as the acetylene is too hot for my taste. I have also used the
large torch for melting metal.

One thing I did not understand at the time I purchased this setup was the
idea of multi-stage regulators. I sometimes wish I had put out the extra
dough for one of these as the single stage regulators cause annoying
variances in extremely small flames.

I would be wary of cheap regulators, especially considering oxygen tank
pressure is up to 2000 pounds when filled.

The point I am trying to make is a that a torch setup is comprised of more
than just the torches. Good regulators of any size are expensive, but
regulators capable of higher volume allow you to run almost any torch you
hook up to it, large or small. In equipping my shop I have always tried to
keep an eye on what my future needs will be. Even though the initial
expense is somewhat higher than currently necessary, the final outcome has
always been less expensive. Well, almost always.

I am not suggesting that you do the same thing that I have done, just
offering food for thought.

Kenneth Gastineau
gastin@mis.net


#4

Hello everybody. I’m back with another question. I am wondering what kind
of torch is best for me. Money is an object, so I’d like to go cheap if I
can. I am an amateur, and I don’t need a jewelry repair type professional
setup. I currently just solder in my little workshop, but I’d eventually
like to cast.

Should I go with a presto-lite acetylene setup or should I go with the oxy-
propane torch from Hoke. What are the pros and cons? What do you guys
use? I’d appreciate any feedback.

For the last couple of years, I’ve been using city gas and oxygen. I’ve
always used a Hoke torch or a cheap imitation. On my web page, you can see
me welding platinum with it. Do a lot of casting for a little guy , too.

http://www.knight-hub.com/manmtndense/bhh3.htm
e-mail: @Bruce_Holmgrain
snail mail: POB 7072, McLean, VA 22106-7972, U.S.A.


#5

Jones@MAIL-CLUSTER.PCY.MCI.NET, Robert E. wrote:

– [ From: Robert E. Jones * EMC.Ver #2.3 ] –

Hello everybody. I’m back with another question. I am wondering what kind
of torch is best for me. Money is an object, so I’d like to go cheap if I
can. I am an amateur, and I don’t need a jewelry repair type professional
setup. I currently just solder in my little workshop, but I’d eventually
like to cast.

Should I go with a presto-lite acetylene setup or should I go with the oxy-
propane torch from Hoke. What are the pros and cons? What do you guys
use? I’d appreciate any feedback.

Another part of this question has to do with flame size. I like the presto-
lite, but the flame size is a bit big sometimes, even with the smallest
tips. The Hoke and little torch systems have much smaller tips and are
hotter and more precise. I guess what it comes down to is the difference
between big flame+cheap vs. precise very-hot heat+expensive. Any pointers?

orchid@ganoksin.com

Hi Robert.  I'd recommend the propane/oxy hoke torch for an all around

inexpensive torch that you can also cast with. I find that propane,
while not as hot, burns cleaner and is very inexpensive. If you’re
working on silver, you’ll want the hoke as compared to the Smith
mini-torch. The mini torch just won’t put out enough flame for many
silver applications. Also, if your tips for the hoke are too large for
say gold tipping work, drill one out and insert a brass tube to reduce
the size of the orifice. Cheap and effective. Eventually, you’ll want
both the mini torch and a hoke available at your bench and a large
rosebud style torch for casting, but for now, the hoke will cover all
those bases. Flame on! Mike


#6

Jones@MAIL-CLUSTER.PCY.MCI.NET, Robert E. wrote:

– [ From: Robert E. Jones * EMC.Ver #2.3 ] –

Hello everybody. I’m back with another question. I am wondering what kind
of torch is best for me. Money is an object, so I’d like to go cheap if I
can. I am an amateur, and I don’t need a jewelry repair type professional
setup. I currently just solder in my little workshop, but I’d eventually
like to cast.

Should I go with a presto-lite acetylene setup or should I go with the oxy-
propane torch from Hoke. What are the pros and cons? What do you guys
use? I’d appreciate any feedback.

Another part of this question has to do with flame size. I like the presto-
lite, but the flame size is a bit big sometimes, even with the smallest
tips. The Hoke and little torch systems have much smaller tips and are
hotter and more precise. I guess what it comes down to is the difference
between big flame+cheap vs. precise very-hot heat+expensive. Any pointers?

orchid@ganoksin.com

Get the Hoke propane and oxygen setup by all means…G.


#7

Robert,
First let me say that if you plan on doing any type of jewelry soldering,
Acetelyne is WAY too HOT. There is absolutely no use for it in jewelry. Also
do yourself a favor and buy the “little torch” It is very effective for doing
every type of jewelry work. alhough you cannot use it for casting it is the
best torch I personally have used. i have used the “midget torch” and another
big clumsy torch i can’t name off hand. Beleive me when I say that if the
"little torch" gets a hot enough flame to do platinum work with than you don’t
need an acetelyne set up. Also I consider myself a proffesinal jeweler and I
don’t consider the torch I have or any other torch on the market "a
proffesional " torch… Remember this " It is only what you yourself can do,
the torch is merely a tool , just as a pair of pliers is a tool… You are the
user… Always take pride in any work you do in the future and remember to ask
yourself if you would accept the repair you have just finished. What I mean
is, For example you are repairing a herringbone chain, it is broke in the
middle. Do not make a stiff spot a mile long in this chain, (I have seen alot
of bad work in my 8 years) use only enough solder to join the chain back
together, then clean it up. Your customers will be much happier. Another point
I should make about repairs is that anybody could solder things together, It
is what you do with the peice after you have done your soldering. Clean up is
the MOST IMPORTANT part of doing repair work… As far as I am concerned
repaired peices should look as if they were never broken and s if they have
just been taken out of the case…i have seen many butchers out there and it
aggrivates me to see a jeweler who doesn’t take the time to make things look
perfect…

					MarcFrom: 	owner-orchid@proteus.imagiware.com on behalf of 

Jones@MAIL-CLUSTER.PCY.MCI.NET
Sent: Wednesday, October 02, 1996 2:13 PM
To: Orchid
Subject: Torches

– [ From: Robert E. Jones * EMC.Ver #2.3 ] –

Hello everybody. I’m back with another question. I am wondering what kind
of torch is best for me. Money is an object, so I’d like to go cheap if I
can. I am an amateur, and I don’t need a jewelry repair type professional
setup. I currently just solder in my little workshop, but I’d eventually
like to cast.

Should I go with a presto-lite acetylene setup or should I go with the oxy-
propane torch from Hoke. What are the pros and cons? What do you guys
use? I’d appreciate any feedback.

Another part of this question has to do with flame size. I like the presto-
lite, but the flame size is a bit big sometimes, even with the smallest
tips. The Hoke and little torch systems have much smaller tips and are
hotter and more precise. I guess what it comes down to is the difference
between big flame+cheap vs. precise very-hot heat+expensive. Any pointers?

procedures


#8

Kenneth Gastineau wrote:

– [ From: Robert E. Jones * EMC.Ver #2.3 ] –

Hello everybody. I’m back with another question. I am wondering what
kind
of torch is best for me. Money is an object, so I’d like to go cheap if
I
can. I am an amateur, and I don’t need a jewelry repair type
professional
setup. I currently just solder in my little workshop, but I’d eventually
like to cast.

Should I go with a presto-lite acetylene setup or should I go with the
oxy-
propane torch from Hoke. What are the pros and cons? What do you guys
use? I’d appreciate any feedback.

Another part of this question has to do with flame size. I like the
presto-
lite, but the flame size is a bit big sometimes, even with the smallest
tips. The Hoke and little torch systems have much smaller tips and are
hotter and more precise. I guess what it comes down to is the difference
between big flame+cheap vs. precise very-hot heat+expensive. Any
pointers?

Robert:

I have used the Presto-lite torch and like it. Right now I use a small
oxy/propane torch. I had an awful time getting used to a small hot flame at
first because I had grown used to the acetylene air torch. I am thinking
about hooking it back up because of the ease of use. However, for some work
there is just no denying the advantages of small hot precise flames. I did
not like trying to melt metal with the presto-lite, but it is inexpensive
and great for general jewelry soldering.

I will never get a torch that uses proprietary hoses. Those cute little
lines that come with some torches are too short and cost way more than
standard torch hose.

Another consideration is regulator size and gas pressure sensitivity. My
first and only oxy/acetylene rig I purchased is an industrial size Victor.
The large regulators work with not only a small torch but large welding and
cutting torches. The supplier just couldn’t get over me purchasing this
rig for jewelry, but I am glad I did. I have used it to cut and weld
equipment I have made for myself that saved me expenses above and beyond
the cost of the torch itself. I have also used the same setup to produce
steel sculptures. These same regulators are used daily with the small torch
for jewelry production. I use the acetylene regulator with a propane tank
for jewelry as the acetylene is too hot for my taste. I have also used the
large torch for melting metal.

One thing I did not understand at the time I purchased this setup was the
idea of multi-stage regulators. I sometimes wish I had put out the extra
dough for one of these as the single stage regulators cause annoying
variances in extremely small flames.

I would be wary of cheap regulators, especially considering oxygen tank
pressure is up to 2000 pounds when filled.

The point I am trying to make is a that a torch setup is comprised of more
than just the torches. Good regulators of any size are expensive, but
regulators capable of higher volume allow you to run almost any torch you
hook up to it, large or small. In equipping my shop I have always tried to
keep an eye on what my future needs will be. Even though the initial
expense is somewhat higher than currently necessary, the final outcome has
always been less expensive. Well, almost always.

I am not suggesting that you do the same thing that I have done, just
offering food for thought.

Kenneth Gastineau
gastin@mis.net

orchid@ganoksin.com

While I wouldn’t recommend that anyone do so, I have been using a $10
propane regulator made for applications such as barbeque pits and travel
trailers and it has worked fine for me for many years.I purchased a
large old medical oxygen regulator at a flea market when I first started
years ago for $15 and it still works fine also.I placed my propane and
oxygen cylinders in a seperate room well away from my bench by the way.
By all means as a first torch get a Hoke since it can be used for
most any application.I have the Little Torch for fine work such as
re-tipping and I do use it when I need to limit the heat to a specific
area such as when a sensitive stone is involved in a ring sizing job
etc.


#9

Here! Here! for the and the little torch … my choice

At 04:52 AM 10/4/96 UT, you wrote:


#10

First let me say that if you plan on doing any type of jewelry soldering,
Acetelyne is WAY too HOT.

A few years ago, I worked in a mall where the fire marshall wouldn’t allow
us to use propane. He was however okay with acetylene. It wasn’t too hot for
gold. The only rel problem, was that it generated a lot of soot. A whole lot
of soot.

Bruce D. Holmgrain
E-mail: Manmountaindense@Knight-Hub.com
WWW: http://www.knight-hub.com/manmtndense/bhh3.htm
Snail Mail: POB 7972, McLean, VA 22106


#11

I’m getting ready to buy my first “real” torch, and am curious as to
everyone’s preferences between propane and acetylene. I’m looking at
getting the Little Torch (propane/oxygen), and am wondering if anyone has
any better advise regarding this.

I’m currently working with silver (both sterling and pure) and copper
exclusively. I do fairly small jewelry items, although I am looking at
doing some larger pieces in the near future (like boxes - maybe 6"X6"). I
would also like to have the ability to melt up to a few ounces of metal,
which the Little Torch says it will do.

Any and all advise regarding this issue is greatly appreciated! :slight_smile:

@Amy_Hale


#12

HI, I RECOMMEND TRYING AS MANY TYPES AS POSSIBLE. I FOUND A LOCAL AMATEUR
CRAFT CENTER THAT HAS SEVERAL SETUPS OF DIFFERENT GASSES ,HEADS,
AND TYPES. PERSONALLY:
1. PIECES IN STERLING AND FINE SILVER I PREFER USING
A LARGE PLUMBERS ACETYLENE AND ‘AIR’ SYSTEM.
THE AIR IS MIXED FROM THE ROOM AT THE HEAD.
I REDUCE THE FLAME DOWN TO A VERY SMALL QUARTER INCH
FLAME AND WORK IN A ‘WELL’ FOR REDUCED OXYGEN/ATMOSPHERE.
2. I USE A MEDIUM HOUSE GAS "‘NATURAL GAS AND OXYGEN’ MIDGET
FOR MOST SMALLER PIECES, THIN GAGES.

BEST OF LUCK . MICHAEL RAILEY

#13

Hi Amy,

I have talked about this before propane is very dangerous to use indoors

  • It doesn’t dissapate like acetelene and will pool to the lowest point and
    sit waiting for someone to lite a match. If your studio is inside your
    house, use acetelene— if you use propane and there is (god forbid) an
    accident , and your insurance carrier finds out - your homeowners will be
    voided out.

Also, if you use acetelene/ oxygen combo- it gives you a hotter flame than
the propane/oxy---- better for casting. I myself - use straight B tank
Acetelene for most of my work. I just bought a tip for acetelene/oxy to try

  • replacing my propane/oxy setup - My home and family are important to me ,
    and my studio is inside. Will keep the propane for the barbeque.

my 2 cents
Joan


#14

Hello everybody,

I think I’m going to open a can of worms, but would anybody care
to recommend a torch? What I have available for gas, is natural
gas. I can get bottled oxy, and regulators. I will be using it
for everything from light soldering, through building large
pieces and some casting, mainly to scavenge my filings and bits.
Any advice would be appreciated, even if I don’t follow it.

                Richard

#15

The “Little Torch” will run on natural gas, though when I was in
a shop that had a natural gas line in downtown Boston, we all
had hoke torches hooked up to it. If you can go to a jeweler’s
supply company and look at different torches that can use natural
gas, you can then decide what you like best.

Rick
Richard D. Hamilton
USA
Fabricated 14k, 18k, and platinum Jewelry
wax carving, modelmaking, jewelry photography
http://www.rick-hamilton.com


#16

Richard,

Sometimes I don’t think you can have just one torch. I am a rank
amateur (emphasis on rank!) and I needed a smallish propane
torch, which I got from micromark for 50.00.

– Hi! You were the high bidder on this auction, and the amount
you owe is $ , including shipping. Please send a check or money
order to the address below, and enclose either a copy of this
form or an indication of what you are paying for! I accept
returns as long as you notify me within seven days of receiving
the item and return it in a timely manner.

Thank for your business!

Sandra List
13205 Superior Street
Rockville, MD 20853


#17
I think I'm going to open a can of worms, but would anybody care
to recommend a torch?  What I have available for gas, is natural
gas.  I can get bottled oxy, and regulators.  I will be using it
for everything from light soldering, through building large
pieces and some casting, mainly to scavenge my filings and bits. 
Any advice would be appreciated, even if I don't follow it.

Even though I’m a ‘newbie’, both to this list and to jewelry, I
have been doing some research on torches of late, with similar
needs to yours. I have settled on a torch by Smith - the
"Versa-Torch". No, not the “Little Torch”, I have one of them
and love it! … but it has it’s limitations, mainly in the
"volume" of heat it can deliver. I haven’t used the
"Varsa-Torch", but have heard good things about Smith from folks
whose opinion I trust. I will be ordering one as soon as my
cash flow improves a bit!

The “Versa-Torch” can use acetylene, propane, and natural gas,
as well as MAPP and some of the other ‘manufactured’ gasses.
With the proper tip, it can use natural gas down to 4 OUNCES/sq
in pressure. Therefore it can be used on city gas without having
to get a different meter and regulator system. With an adaptor,
it can be used as an acetylene-air tip, as in the same function
as a plumber’s ‘B’ torch and tank. That "with an adaptor"
statement is both the beauty and the problem, I think. The
adaptors are not all that cheap!

No, this is not a type of torch commonly used by any of the
jewelry folks that I am acquainted with, but I believe it will
work quite well. No, I am not allied in any way with Smith. I
just use their products.

Marrin Fleet
@Marrin_and_Mary_Dell


#18

Hello Richard Natural gas is great for general repair. It burns
cleaner than anything else. If you use a big tourch it is even
good for casting. Were it falls short is working on large items
that sink alot of heat like silver belt buckles or large items
with heat sensitive stones that you would have to weld half under
water. I would keep a bottle of acetylene for those welds. I use
the “Little Torch” with propane (from a gas grill tank) and oxy.
for my general repair, but switch to acetylene when I need more
heat

Michael


#19

I think I’m going to open a can of worms, but would anybody care
to recommend a torch? What I have available for gas, is natural
gas. I can get bottled oxy, and regulators. I will be using it
for everything from light soldering, through building large
pieces and some casting, mainly to scavenge my filings and bits.
Any advice would be appreciated, even if I don’t follow it.

Hi Richard…You’re bound to be flooded with answers to this
one so I’ll present mine. I work exclusively with Presto-Lite
torches and Presto Lite gas which you know is a modified
acetylene. By changing the torch tip I can do everything from
holloware ( bowls, pitchers etc.) to fine jewelry. The downside
is that I have to make sure that I have enough gas on hand when I
need it. In another studio at an earlier time I had natural gas
available and did the same type of work with only the addition of
compressed air which required the one-time purchase of an air
compressor with storage tank. I would much prefer to work that
way now if I could. Oh I did leave out the need for a gas
regulator…which you did anticipate. Happy hunting. Sol K.


#20

Richard, you also need to tell us a bit about the type of
soldering you will be doing. I work with Sterling Silver, rather
large pieces and I use a Presto-lite type torch (acetylene- room
air mixed in the hand piece,) which works very well for me and my
applications. I purchased this type of torch on the
recommendation of my instructor (who has been soldering sterling
in her basement for the last 25 plus years . . .and who has never
encountered a problem of any sort.)

Some state that gasses (any kind) aren’t to be used in basements
without some sort of exhaust fan hook up, and some state that the
TANKS should not be indoors at all- although others have stated
that it’s not a good idea to store tanks outdoors either if the
tanks are exposed to very cold temperatures (as in my area.)
But, I would think that tanks/outdoors/hot temps wouldn’t work
very well either . . .

Good luck in finding exactly what you seek! ; )