thanks for the tip on Smith Little Torch hose “shelf life” being approximately 5-10 years. i need to go pull the invoice of my last purchase of them and check the date!
my dad used to label purchase dates on all kinds of stuff…security light batteries, etc…and he had a spreadsheet!…in that, i am definitely my fathers daughter!
I’ve experienced cracked Little Torch hoses and have replaced a number of hoses over the past decades. I never thought about how polyurethane tubing has a shelf life. That sure seems like info that should be in the Little Torch owner’s manual!
The hoses are easy to replace with the hose replacement kit that they sell, so you shouldn’t have to replace the whole torch.
Thanks for the reminder for Little Torch owners to stay of top of that issue royjohn!
Mine is probably 35 - 40 years old. Maybe I should replace the hose set…Rob
Like royjohn mentions, diagnosing the location of the cracks can be kind of a pain because the entire hose has a flexible cover. Fortunately for me the cracks were always by the brass connections, so they were easy to find.
Hi Jeff and royjohn,
re hose cracks…my first hose developed a crack/ leak…inside the handle.
the black handle unscrews…the hoses continue up into the handle and then connects to the torch head.
be sure to check the whole hose for leaks.
i just use the leak detect solution with the wooley ball on a stick that is in the bottle cap, and run it ip the length of the hose fiber wrapping.
Couldn’t one just submerge the hoses in water to see if there is a leak like one does with a bicycle tube?
You definitely can submerge the hose under water to check for leaks, but like I said, it’s kind of a pain because the hose/tank and torch handle have to be connected for gas pressure to come out to expose the leaks. I think the hoses come in 6’ or 8’ lengths. Plus, the entire hose has some kind of flexible fiber cover. But yes, you can do that.
I was finally able to speak to someone who was able to give me a better understanding of torch/ tip/ fuel uses.
It is now my understanding that the Smith AW1A Versa Torch handle and AT61 torch neck are NOT suitable for use with Disposable 1lb Propane Cannisters, because the cannisters are too small.
I have now learned that, among other things, there are many variables to consider when selecting a torch setup, some of which are that the fuel cannister/ tank cubic feet size, and its cubic feet per hour flow needs to be suitable to the cubic feet per hour flow requirements of the torch handle/ torch neck/ tip size.
and, also that different fuel gases are in their cannister/ tanks in different ways and convert for use in different ways, all of which is very technical …
there are many very important to understand before using torch setups.
Agree… I am finding that equipment is getting more technically complex as time and technology advances… even the old stuff changes… I have a harder time trying to understand poorly written technical user manuals than having the dealer/seller demonstrate and instruct me in person…except it’s becoming harder and harder to find a live person… I have an oxyacetylene torch set with large bottles for melting, as the gas flow and heat output as well as high temperatures melt quickly, with less oxidation… a cutting torch head with multiple orifices has worked well for me. Otherwise I’ve not used it for much else. It will run on propane as well. I did some fabrication using an air/acetylene torch off the same bottle but I still found that the flame was too hot… for soldering, just propane air with a hand held 1lb disposable cannister worked well enough.