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Water torch [Was: Ingeborg]


#1

Hi Jill,

A water torch is a machine that takes water (H20) and separates
the Hydrogen from the Oxygen and burns the hydrogen as a gas.
It’s a bit more complicated than that but it’s a box about 16" X
10" X 15" with a torch and usually a few tips, no tanks or
regulators. They can cost upwards of U$2,000 but are relatively
safe. Good for small jobs but it is a very hot flame, about
1,000 F above that of natural gas or propane. A very clean
flame! Great for platinum but you might melt the first few
solder joints you make. The Aqua Torch 2800 is New York City
fire department approved and a good machine, believe Gesswein has
it. [ http://www.gessweinco.com ]

However for the price, a good gas/oxygen system is much cheaper
and more versatile. I would recommend Natural gas and oxygen,
the Meco “midget” torch, best most versatile torch on the market
today. You can do everything except casting with this torch,
check out the small tips too. Once you have the gas/cylinders and
regulators you can have many torches hooked to the same system.
Perhaps a casting torch and a mini torch in addition.

Bottles gases:

Hydrogen: The cleanest gas, very hot and quite volatile.
Requires a special type of regulator. This Hyd/oxy system is for
the professional, handle with caution!

Acetylene: Very dirty, very hot, high carbon, not for jewelry!
Acetylene is for the pipe welder, not the jeweler!

Propane: Not quite as clean, good heat range but this gas is
heavier than air, can be very dangerous in enclosed areas or
basements.

Natural Gas: Very clean, ideal heat range, lighter than air,
very safe, the best and cleanest gas for jewelry. Many homes
already have natural gas piped in the house already, ready to
use no regulator needed.

Use bottled oxygen, not compressed air. Oxygen makes your flame
hotter and more efficient. Compressed air will reduce your max.
temp by about 1,000 F and moisture in the tank or line can cause
your torch to sputter.

Good Luck, Duane
@pebworth


#2
  Natural Gas: Very clean, ideal heat range, lighter than air,
very safe, the best and cleanest gas for jewelry. Many homes
already have natural gas piped in the house already, ready to
use no regulator needed. 

Duane, I currently use a propane/oxygen setup and work primarily
with sterling, as well as using my Minor Bench Burner for
lampworking. However, I do have a gas water heater, so I assume
natural gas would be an option. Could someone explain what is
involved in changing over? If I had a plumber put in a
connection, could I switch my existing set-up over to ng without
problems? Could we get some discussion on “the best and cleanest
gas for jewelry?” For the uninformed, please explain why no
regulator is needed. Why would you term ng “very safe.” Seems
that a few houses have been reduced to rubble by ng in the past.
Certainly would be less expensive and would be one less tank to
transport. Thank you for your comments. Terri D.


#3

Duane- What do I need to use the natural gas piped into my home
as a torch?

Janet


#4
Duane, I currently use a propane/oxygen setup and work primarily
with sterling, as well as using my Minor Bench Burner for
lampworking.  However, I do have a gas water heater, so I assume
natural gas would be an option.  Could someone explain what is
involved in changing over?   If I had a plumber put in a
connection, could I switch my existing set-up over to ng without
problems? Could we get some discussion on "the  best and cleanest
gas for jewelry?"  For the uninformed, please explain why no
regulator is needed.  Why would you term ng "very safe."  Seems
that a few houses have been reduced to rubble by ng in the past. 
Certainly would be less expensive and would be one less tank to
transport.  

Im not Duane, but I like to use natural gas. The reason it
doesn’t need a regulator is the pressure comming in the house is
almost always just right. The reason people lose their home to
explosion is they refuse to buy a very inexpensive kick back
valve. If you don’t have one and you turn the torch off
incorrectly you can reverse the flame back down the line to the
gas meter. It is very easy to run a pipe to the area you want.
Just make sure the line is tested for leaks and has a kick back
valve installed. Steve Ramsdell


#5

Terri: Propane settles on the floor and can accumulate from a
leak and you would not know it until you drop a something burning
down to the floor,like a drop of alcohol and boric from a ring
you are pre-fluxing.So it can be dangerous. Natural gas is lighter
and disapates or dilutes into the air,thinning out and becomming
less likely to combust if you develope a small leak. The reason
that you would not nessessarily need a regulator is because the
common pressure of natural gas to a house is acceptable to run
your torch.Although I would not call any flamable gas "Very safe"
NG is the the safer of the bunch.NG is the cleanest burning and
you can run it through your existing torch,you will find that you
turn the knobs on your torch a little more on to allow for the
cooler flame.I used NG for all my repair and casting years ago
and it worked well. Get a plumber or do it yourself.Run a
standard size copper line from the nearest gas source to your
shop and put a fitting on the end.I did use a regulator.

Michael Mathews Victoria,Texas USA


#6
    Duane- What do I need to use the natural gas piped into my
home as a torch?

Janet, we have been using natural gas in the shop for about 15
years without having any problems. This is how I do it, right or
wrong it works for us. I work with gold and silver. I have my
gas line connected directly to the household gas jet and secure
it with a hose clamp. We do not use a regulator or any kind.
The gas pressure is is fine. I also use the natural gas with
oxygen. I forgot to mention, I use the midget torch. Hope that
this will help answer your question. Fred