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Propane/Oxygen Torch pros and cons ?

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Original Post

Ok I need some adive from all the wonderfull smithers here! I have a mini butane torch for small projects, and a propane torch for larger pieces ( from the hardware store) Up until now, those have always sufficed, however now I am needing a hotter torch, for the projects I am working on, and have been looking into my options.
I know there are plenty who love acetylene/oxy, but I've heard it burns quite dirty, and it kinda scares me a little, since I work inside my home.
I've been looking into a propane/oxy setup, and Im wondering if anyone can outline some pros and cons for me ?
What do I need to know ?

Posted at 7:47 pm Mar 29, 2009 EDT

Responses

No one has an opinon ? CG ? Joyful ? Anyone out there ?

Posted at 8:33 pm Mar 29, 2009 EDT

Metaluna says

I haven't worked with propane but I am a big fan of acetylene. You probably don't an need oxygen tank too, just an acetylene-air is hot enough for most small to medium scale soldering. What kind of projects are you planning that need more heat?

Here are a couple of recent threads comparing different types of torches (to get you started, since it seems to be a slow night here).

www.etsy.com/forums_thread.php?thread_id=6069717
www.etsy.com/forums_thread.php?thread_id=5938972&page=1

Posted at 8:36 pm Mar 29, 2009 EDT

Thanks Metaluna. I am not just wanting the torch for solder, I am wanting it for enameling and melting scrap in a crucible for water casting.

Which is more safe ? Acetylene, propane ?

Posted at 8:47 pm Mar 29, 2009 EDT

Metaluna says

That's debatable. Propane is heavier than air and tends to pool at ground level so some people say it's less safe. I have heard another argument that propane is safer because it doesn't ingite as easily as acetylene.

I you are working from home you might want to look into local regulations and talk to your insurance agent. There may be rules about what you can and can't have in your home.

I have melted small amounts of silver and brass with the large tip on an acetylene torch before. I think it would work for small water castings. But if you want to do anything large scale you probably will need an oxygen tank as well.

Posted at 8:54 pm Mar 29, 2009 EDT

Also check with your insurance company. See what the rules are ... you don't want to have an accident, then find yourself without insurance.

Generally they have rules on what kind of flammable gases you can have inside, and in what size containers.

As far as safety ... they both have drawbacks safety-wise.

I suggest reading through the forums at www.ganoksin.com. Do a search for torches ... you'll find tons of info and tons of opinions.

Posted at 8:56 pm Mar 29, 2009 EDT

Hey Firelily! Since we are both in Vancouver - any idea about safety regulations ?

I've been researching all over, and I think im turning myself in circles lol

Posted at 9:01 pm Mar 29, 2009 EDT

I knows its sunday night,but anyone else hat can weigh in on this for me ? I've read pretty much every forum post on this, and am still unsure. Someone said something about acetylene being safer if you are working in the basement, not sure why, but as it stands now I am doing this. However, the chances of us moving to an apartment are highly likely.

The set up I was thinking of (propane/oxy) uses disposable tanks. I was also looking atthe Little Torch set up on Rio, but have NO IDEA where I could get the tanks filled!

Posted at 9:36 pm Mar 29, 2009 EDT

bellabijoujewellery says:

The set up I was thinking of (propane/oxy) uses disposable tanks. I was also looking atthe Little Torch set up on Rio, but have NO IDEA where I could get the tanks filled!

----------------------------------------------------

The Little Torch is what I use, and it works great for soldering the pieces I make. I have melted down silver scrap with it, too, but never tried enameling.

I ordered mine through a local welding supply shop and paid MUCH LESS than at Rio. The tanks are refillable. You can swap out the empty oxy tank at the same (or any) welding shop for a full bottle. The propane can be refilled at any place that sells it. For me, it's a gas station right down the road.

Posted at 9:44 pm Mar 29, 2009 EDT

rubygirl says

You want to torch-fire enamels with it? I would recommend a larger torch than the Smith. I actually have both - a Smith Little torch that runs on oxy/propane and a larger acetylene and atmospheric air torch. I have torch-fired enamels with the Smith, but it is SO MUCH easier with a bigger torch. The flame on the Smith (while hotter) is not that much bigger than what you get with a butane torch. It makes it difficult to get the flame close enough when heating from beneath. Also, I have melted silver in a crucible with the Smith, but it was not easy. Unless you are only heating a tiny bit at a time, I would go with something bigger.

Posted at 9:52 pm Mar 29, 2009 EDT

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