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Water torch

Hi all

I am thinking about buying a water torch (turbo blaze) any
comment would be appreciated. How does it hold up does it require
any special service must it be used daily etc.

thanks steve ross
Steve Ross, Executive Director,
Michiana Free-Net

Thank you so much Rex, Guy, Eben, Patty for your evaluations of
the water torch. The idea of working with toxic/carcinogic
substances does not appeal to me. I really appreciate the time you
took to describe the pros and cons of these torches. As I have no
torch right now and am new to the world of jewelry makers, I hope
someone can recommend a regular “little torch.” Thanks again.

Antoinetto, what do you want to do with the torch? For example,
are you going to cast in gold or silver? Are you going to fabricate
in gold or silver? Where is your work area and are there any
housing codes…etc. etc. etc.

Marilyn Smith, mid west America otherwise know as Sunny and
Summery, Southern Indiana

Hi Antoinetta,

      As I have no torch right now and am new to the world of
jewelry makers, I hope someone can recommend a regular "little

Depending on the type of work you’re going to be doing, there are
several solutions. If you’re going to be working on larger silver
pieces (bola’s, buckles et c) you need a torch that’s capable of
producing a large quanity of heat (big flame). Silver really soaks
up the heat & conducts it away from its point of application. Gold
& platinum doesn’t conduct heat as well, so the heat tends to stay
in the area it’s applied. Two torches that qualify are the
’Prestolite’ acetylene/air & propane torch. There are different
size tips available for the Prestolite, 0-5, that allow you to size
the tip to the job, 0 for small (chains) to 5 for big (bola’s etc).
Propane/air torches generally don’t have changable tips unless you
get a ‘Turbo’ torch that a lot of plumbers use. The smallest turbo
tip I’ve see n puts out a large flame; it may not be usable for
small work. There are several other propane/air torches available,
some with built-in ignitors, from places like Sear’s tool dept.
These torches attach to the small disposable propane cylinders
available from many suppliers. There a re also propane torches,
that produce a small flame, available from places like Micro Mark
( 800-225-1066). These also use the smal l
disposable cylinders. The Smith ‘Little Torch’ is a small torch
that has changable tips & is capable of being used with either
acetyline/oxy or propane/oxy. It’s available with regulators for
the disposable oxy/propane/mapp cylinders or the refillable gas
cylinders. A large ‘bud’ tip is available for melting metals for
casting. All around the ‘Little Torch’ offers a lot of options It’s
available from most any jewelry supply house. The type of torch
you buy really depends on the type of work you’ll be doing & the
requirements of the job location. If you’re going to be doing any
air travel between locations, the propane or Little Torch using
disposable cylinders may be the way to go. If start up tool cost is
a factor, but you need the tip selection, the Little Torch using
disposable cylinders is the way to go. If money is no object, get 1
of each (bg). For gas fuel selection you’ve generally got a choice
between acetyline, MAPP, propane & natural gas. Obviously to use
natural gas it’d have to be available at your location. Acetyline
is generaaly only available in refillable cylinders. Both MAPP &
propane are available in both disposabl e & refillable cylinders.
Oxygen is also available in both disposable & refillable cylinders.
Depending on your usage, disposable cylinders, especially Oxy, can
be expensive. Any of the fuel gases will produce enough heat when
used with oxy. The ma in disadvantage to acetyline is the soot. If
it’s burned without a sufficent supply of air or oxy it produces
strings of very black soot that float around & attach themselves to
everything, they’re a PITA to clean up. If you’re going to be doing
any platinum solder/welding acetyline isn’t the way to go. The main
problem with propane is its’ weight. It’s heavier than air & if you
have an undetected leak in your system, the gas will collect in the
lowest spot it can find. This could cause an explosive situation.
However , propane has an odorant add to it & it’s very unlikely a
leak would go undetected, you came smell it even if you have a
cold. The same applies t o natural gas. There are other torches
similar to the ‘Little Torch’ available. When it comes to actual
selection the gases work the same in all torches. It’s ju st your
decision about which will work best for you that determines which
yo u get. What do I use you ask, all of them & also the Blazer
handheld, butane fueled torch, it’s great for chain work. Each has
its’ application & good & bad points. BTW, availability of the
items mentioned applies to the US, it may ar may not apply
elsewhere. I’m not connected with any of the companies mentioned,
just a customer.



I wish I had known about Orchid when I started. Actually - I wish
I’d known Dave Arens. His description of torches is the best and
most informative I’ve seen. I use both the Smith Little Torch with
propane/oxygen and the Prestolite acetylene/air. The only thing I
would add to Dave’s post is that you can usually get the Prestolite
jewelers torch from your local welding/plumbing supply for less
than from the jeweler supply houses. They won’t have it in stock
but can order it for you for around $120 including regulators, tips
and “M” tank. The “M” tank is smaller than the “B”, but is easier
to transport, safer (only because it contains less fuel) and lasts
me at least a month, sometimes two (I only do fabrication, no

Bacliff, Texas Gulf Coast USA

Hi! I highly recomend the “LIttle Torch” We use it with
oxy,propane and it works just fine! Look for a sale with your
regular supplier if you use a larger one, they usaully have 2 or
three a year! Good Luck! @GoldSmithy