I hate to enter the propane / acetylene war, but Paf and Larry are
absolutely correct. Acetylene can destroy platinum. Contrary to the
usual assertions, propane generates plenty of heat. I cast platinum
using propane and have no problem whatsoever with melting 60 dwts of
900 Ir platinum in less than ten seconds. Also contrary to what you
will likely hear is impossible, I use a Smith Little Torch with
propane to easily melt up to 10 dwts for creating buttons to roll or
forge. I fabricate with the Little Torch as well, and it works great.
Keep all carbon bearing and steel materials as far away from hot
platinum as possible. Steel will contaminate platinum like nobody’s
business (I think it’s the carbon, but I don’t know for sure). Never
use steel tweezers or solder picks when working with hot platinum,
use only ceramic or tungsten tools. Firecoat and flux are both
additional no-no’s. They can stain the metal and aren’t necessary.
They can actually hinder the flow of platinum based solders rather
You are going to love working with platinum, Christine. Like Jo, I
use only 900 Ir Pt, old-school I guess. I call it the Magic Metal.
You can forge and draw a left-over casting button into 30 gauge wire
with no problem. You can cast using scrap sheet and wire with no
problem. I even re-use clean filings (they gotta be really clean
though). Platinum really does work like magic.