– [ From: Robert E. Jones * EMC.Ver #2.3 ] –
Hello everybody. I’m back with another question. I am wondering what
of torch is best for me. Money is an object, so I’d like to go cheap if
can. I am an amateur, and I don’t need a jewelry repair type
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
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
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
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.