FAQ Frequent Questions about Torch


1. Is the LP Gas Torch as precise as the Micro welding Torch?

Yes, the flame is as precise and steady as the micro welding torch, just not as hot and not as slim.

2. Can I use the LP Gas Torch on very fine projects, like intricate wire work and small bezels? I was wondering, if it can produce a fine flame for soldering jump rings and also a broad soft flame for annealing larger pieces of metal? And if so, how do you achieve these different flame sizes?

Yes, it is designed to work precisely on intricate pieces, as the flame can be adjusted to a very fine point. (Soldering bezel settings works best when they are lying on a fire brick and are heated from above)

The German Precision LPG Torch offers 4 different ways of adjusting the flame size from very small and pointy, hot and hissing to very large, soft and bushy:
1. via turning the red valve to allow more gas flow,
2. using the settings on your regulator,
3. changing from the smallest tip Number 1 to the largest tip Number 3,
4. plus the additional option of covering the air holes. 

3. Is the LP Gas Torch hot enough to solder without oxygen/air?

Yes it is hot enough to solder, you can even alloy and cast silver & gold & melt your metal scraps, just not platinum and palladium-based white gold.

4. Can I melt large amounts of silver with the LP Gas Torch and what is the largest piece, one can anneal?

The manufacturer guaranties that everybody can melt 50-60g of Sterling Silver, regardless of crucible used, technique, alloy, condition or skill. We have successfully cast 96 g of sterling silver for belt buckles with ease in a short time. The maximum amount has yet to be proven. The extra air suction holes in the tip assist in producing a hot flame quickly. You can anneal large items like silver coffee pots.

5. Is it easy to use for students and beginners? 

Plenty of colleges have been supplied with the Precision LP Gas Torch. We are holding jewellery courses ourselves and our students commented on the ease of use. None of them had any problems apart from vision problems with age or melting down their setting because of lack of skill or concentration. We recommend to always use plenty of flux before and during soldering, also flux the solder bits. Please check out our   Soldering Hints

6. Can I order the torch with a longer or shorter hose?

Yes certainly, we can order any required length from the manufacturer, it just takes longer to be dispatched in that case.

7. Can I adjust the air intake?

It is possible to use an adjustable circular bracket to partly or completely cover the air intake holes. That achieves a softer flame e.g.: for glass bead making. Photos on our webpage: Precision LP Gas Torch
Most jewellers and craft people prefer to make an air hole cover themselves, if required for e.g. glass bead making.
It can be made from a 1cm wide metal strip of any soft metal, e.g. Brass, copper, aluminium (e.g. from a scrap metal dealer) or silver, curved around the desired torch tip 2 or 3, then bent together a little bit tighter to allow for a firm fit and then the end bent up in a 90° angle as grip. 
Hand-crafted air hole cover for either tip 2 or 3  $20 each 
As we normally work in Fine Jewellery and don’t stock copper sheet or other non-precious metal sheets, suppliers require minimum amounts to be ordered or charge more for freight than the actual value, we would need to make a special trip to a scrap metal dealer to not have exuberant costs.

8. Can I use MAPP Gas?

Yes you can use MAPP gas. It is a specially formulated LP Gas with Acetylene. It burns a bit hotter. In Australia it is preferably called Razor Gas.

9. Can I use Natural Gas?

The LP Gas Torch will not perform to its maximum capacity. The smallest tip works better with higher pressure, but as the head teachers of the gold & silversmithing department of Melbourne University RMIT and Adelaide Institute of Tafe states (they gave us permission to mention their reference): “In 1999 we purchased an LP Gas Soldering Torch from you, it has proved to be very good. We have moved to a new building and the German torch seems to be the only one that will run on the available pressure we now have…..”

10. Any information on safety using LP Gas?  

LP gas is described as having a low toxicity & low reactivity. There is an odour added to the gas to be able to detect leaks quicker. As it is heavier than air, it sinks to the ground. If you had a gas leak, remember to air the room well, preferably with window and door. Gas Suppliers offer Material Safety Data Sheets and should be able to supply legislation requirements.
To test for escaping gas you can prepare very soapy water with dishwashing liquid and apply it around every connection with an old toothbrush and watch for bubbles to develop. This can happen, if the nuts are not tightened properly.  Always close the gas bottle valve in the evening, as the small valves in the torch are more sensitive than the bottle valve. They would react like a water tap, which can start to drip, if they are constantly forced too tightly.
Further advantages:
Only one type of gas needed and no flashback arrestors. 
LPG does not leave black carbon residue all over the workshop like some Acetylene / atmospheric air torches ( Presto-Lite )
Please also read our Gas Cylinder Safety advice under:  Soldering Hints

11. Can I use the LP Gas Torch without regulator? 

To comply with safety regulations and as a gas savings device we recommend the use of an LP Gas Regulator. We also supply Australian Regulators

12. What is the difference between NGP No 2 and other LP Gas regulators?  

BBQ regulators reduce the bottle pressure down to 25KPa for household use, which is far too low for industrial soldering. Our ngp regulator Number 2 is specifically adapted by an Australian company for this torch to support the maximum setting of 600KPa. Especially the smallest tip offers a longer, more stable and precise flame, because the extra pressure forces the gas through that tiny opening hole and avoids blocked tips. The regulator No 2 has a gauge, which shows the chosen pressure setting. The German torch manufacturer recommends the optimum working pressure between 400 - 600 KPa = 58 -87 PSI, which is quite high. A lot of US-regulators don't offer such high pressure settings.
We have successfully used the torch at low pressure of 200 KPA = 24 PSI and some schools are regulated to very low pressure of natural gas therefore are always using Tip No 2 only.
The conversion rate for KPa:
1 KPa = 0.145 PSI
200 KPa : 6.895 = 29 PSI
4 – 6 Bar = 400-600 KPa = 58 – 87 PSI

13.Will the regulator fit a standard gas bottle in Melbourne, which type of gas bottle do I need & where do I purchase it?

The inlet valve of the ngp regulator No 2 fits large gas cylinders with a POL outlet valve. The Melbourne company ngp Niche Gas Products fitted the regulators for us with a 3/8" (A-fitting) outlet valve, corresponding to the normal hose end nut on the German LP Gas Torch. We also can supply the torch and the regulator with the 9/16" (B-fitting), which is more common in USA, in case you ever want to attach another torch to the regulator.
We strongly recommend the swap system for large gas bottles in Australia, as you get a fully serviced cylinder each time you need a refill. The large LP Gas cylinders, e.g. 9kg have a standard POL outlet in Australia. The small 2kg BBQ camping gas bottles have 3/8" outlet, the 4kg bottles vary. BBQ regulators are adjusted too low for household use only, not for industrial soldering. The service stations are stocked by Elgas, Gogas or other gas suppliers. They are all ok.

14. I will use the torch in a home studio in USA with a 1 lb propane disposable tank. ( I am very happy to finally discover a torch I can use safely at home without violating state or insurance regulations!) I am still confused as to which regulator I'd need.

For disposable LP Gas or MAPP gas cylinders we can get custom fitted:
No. 2A Australian ngp LP Gas regulator for disposable cylinders 3/8” BSP LH male outlet A, adjustable up to 400 KPa  = 58psi, CGA600 inlet. 

15. Does the LP Gas Torch fit to a Comet Regulator? 

Yes with the correct fitting. Cigweld / Thermadyne told us their Comet regulators have an outlet connection 5/8 -18 UNF  LH EXT. To make sure please specify nut diameter, when ordering or take the torch along, when you get a gas-bottle & regulator to make sure it fits. In the worst case you can get adapters to connect different threads or cut off the existing nut from the end of the torch hose and get a correct nut fitted. It has to be done by a professional gas supplier to be sure it is gas tight.

16. I just ordered a Smith Regulator, can I use it with the German LP Gas Torch? 

Our torch manufacturer recommends to set the regulator between 400 and 600 KPa. This is 58.01 and 87.02 PSI. The output of the Smith regulator sounds very low. The German torches are designed for high pressure, especially for use with the smallest tip ( fine soldering). We know some schools are working with natural gas only, which has a very low pressure, but they can only use tip No. 2 or 3. That means you would limit your range of application. Gentec and Uniweld have a regulator that offers 0-60 PSI. The Goss EP-70G is set to 0-60 PSI. This gives you about 414 KPa or get one of our regulators.

17. Isn't the pressure setting for the German LP Gas Torch quite high? On a Hoaks torch my friend uses 7-10 psi?

Yes, the German LP Gas torch is designed and made for high pressure. That ensures the accurate small, pointy flame for finest solder points and the efficiency (fastness of reaching high temperatures quickly).

18. What is the Hose End Fitting (tank end) on the Precision LP Torch?  

We can supply 3 different fittings: factory finished with British or German 3/8" = A fitting or

Australia has a 5/8" fitting on some of their gas bottles or regulators.
Your gas suppliers should be able to tell you which outlet your regulator has. Or

9/16" = B fitting, which is the more common one in America.

19. Is the regulator one that I could find at a gas supplier here in Canada?

Comet or Victor Thermadyne regulators are available in America/Canada or via Internet. The Australian manufacturer produced especially for us a regulator fully adjustable to 600kPa, which suits the maximum recommendation for the German LP Gas torch. We can supply it with US standard fittings.

20. I have not really mastered the control mechanism of the adjustor of the BOC fitting and it seems sometimes as if gas is escaping.

The regulator needs to be attached to the gas bottle using a spanner. Fuel gas hoses have left-hand thread and will be tightened anti-clockwise. If you are using the largest nozzle, you can turn the screw of the regulator further in clockwise, to increase the pressure.

21. Is the LP Gas torch available in Canada or the USA or do I have to order from Germany?

We are the agents for all English speaking countries. You can order directly from us. The manufacturer sells only larger quantities wholesale to retailers, not directly to the public.

22. Do you offer troubleshooting/ support/ warranty/ upgrades or repairs here in Canada?

We offer a one-year full warranty worldwide and include spare o-rings, which is the only serviceable part you might need to exchange, if it gets squashed from frequent tip changes. We only had to replace red valves so far. There is no agent in USA or Canada, but you are welcome to contact us with any question or requirement that might come up.

23. I’m interested in replacing my ORCA Gas torch, the nozzles tend to get blocked quickly these days and it drives me crazy when it starts to splutter in the middle of soldering. Have you had any feedback from customers as I’d be keen to know. How small is the smallest tip?

The actual opening of the inner valve  of the smallest Tip No. 1 of the German LP Gas Torch, where the gas is being forced through, is not measurable with normal measuring tools, but just visible with the naked eye. We ourselves are using this torch for over 30 years for jewellery manufacture and have no problems with blocked nozzles. The size of the tip does not matter that much in that respect. The nozzles have been designed to produce a clean steady flame, working with high pressure. We got an Australian regulator manufacturer to adapt a regulator for us, which is adjustable up to 600KPa, allowing to use the torch to its maximum capacity.
 Tip blockage can occur from impurities in the gas or too low pressure. One of only two clients, who contacted us about that problem over all these years we have sold this torch (already hundreds of torches) stated, that there seems to be a profound difference in the cleanliness of bottled LP Gas between gas suppliers and BBQ stores or Service stations. She had problems with blocked tips until she got her gas bottles refilled or swapped at the suppliers. The other one was from a local high school, where they don't have high gas pressure and lots of beginners using the torch, probably afraid of a large flame. The problem is easily solved for the German Precision LP Gas Torch, as the tip can be dismantled with a spanner and the valve turned around to be blown clean by the gas pressure or if that does not help, it can be soaked in Methylated Spirit or can be taken to an outlet, where compressed air can be used to blow it through. (or more info you can also refer to question No.38 and 39)

24. Can we use existing hoses of an American Jeweler's Torch?

No, sorry. The German torches are equipped with high-pressure hoses of long-lasting quality, which are crimped to the torch for gas tightness and are quite stiff. The hose inside or outside diameters differ in each country. They are not standard-sized. We are supplying correct fittings for different countries to suit the regulators. Insurances would not offer cover, if clients temper with the attachment.

25. Would the LP torch offer more control then the Bernzomatic pencil torch over the size and persistence of the flame?  Does it stay lit easily?  

Yes, it is designed to offer a steady precise flame with German craftmanship, which stands for quality. It is easy to ignite and adjust by turning the valve half a turn between your thumb and forefinger. You decide when you want to turn it off.

26. Which metals will the LP gas torch melt? Will it weld steel rods of 6-8 mm that you buy in hardware shops? 

You can melt gold, silver, bronze, copper, brass and all the other lower melting metals like lead, tin......         The LPgas Torch will braze steel rods together using the large No. 3 tip and solder, but it will not weld them. Oxygen in combination with a fuel gas is required for gas welding.

27. How wide is the flame of the LP Gas Torch at its hottest point (presumably just past the tip of blue cone) using rosebud tip 3?

We measured the diameter of tip No. 3 to be 25mm, the flame is 34 – 36 mm wide at about 200mm distance from the tip.

28. My intended use is to manufacture decorative scroll work in steel for doll houses that is 1/12th scale. Do you have any advice on types of materials that would be suitable and suppliers details?

 A&E Metal Merchants ph 02-8568 4200 are offering round wires, square, half round, twisted, sheet in different materials: Silver, Gold, Base Metals, Brass, Copper, Nickel Silver=Brass-Nickel, Stainless Steel & Titanium. They also stock a specific copper solder, which is used for copper and brass. If you are using stainless steel, we can recommend BOC Pro Silver Brazing Alloy, but for small joints you need to roll it down to approximately 0.5mm or alternatively if you don't have a rolling mill, flatten it with a hammer and cut it with tin snips into small pieces or long strips, depending on your soldering technique.  flux you can use for steel Easyflo flux paste from AGR Matthey, available from BOC ph 131262  www.boc.com.au. A well-priced Asian jewellers supplier in Sydney is: Jewellery Tools & Boxes ph 9599 4270 or 9567 6827  www.jewtb.com.auemail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. An American Supplier:  www.riogrande.com  Otherwise you can try http://www.yellowpages.com.au searching for steel rod suppliers.

29. Do you offer ‘High melt soft solder‘ (Plumbers is it called)?

In the jewellery trade there is hard solder used for higher temperature, graded into hard solder for highest melting point, medium and easy solder. They all are lead free. Soft solder usually describes lead containing solders, like the electrician's solder, melting at very low temperatures and not offering such a strong bond. We are not sure, if hard jewellery solders would solder steel. You can buy a small quantity and try it. You can order solder from A&E Metals ph 02-8568 4200 and talk to them about your solder requirements.

30. Torch needed for model engineering....small steel silver solder - say cylinders 1" dia by 1" long up to copper boilers 6" dia x 15" long (the last in sections). Which should I get ?

Our recommendation is the German Micro Welding Torch, as it gives you more options: extremely small flames to large flames, especially when you are combining too different materials with different heat conductivity. For this you need Oxygen and a fuel gas, e.g. LP Gas plus the required regulators for both and flashback arrestors for both. But if you are on a budget the German Precision LP Gas Torch with all three tips should do the job sufficiently once you acquire the technique of soldering large items.

31. I believe I got a gas leak or can’t get the micro welding torch gas tight by hand, what can I do?

The connection nut at the end of the hose definitely needs to be tightened with a spanner to the regulator. Only the small tips can be pushed onto the end of the gooseneck without spanner. The knob on the regulator is fully opened, when you have turned it clockwise to its limit, allowing you to use 400KPa, which this torch can handle with ease. You only need to close the bottle valve in the evening or after finishing work for the day. If you still think you cannot get the connection between the torch and the regulator any tighter, please return both well packaged. We will test them and replace them, if necessary. Please let us know how and where you determined a gas leak and which gas you are using?
 In case there is a leak in one of the valves, which are very sensitive to too much force in tightening, we might need to replace the valves. Soapy water with dishwashing liquid can show the spot of the leak: Shut down the main valve on the LP Gas Cylinder, open the main valve of the Oxygen and check with the soapy water all connections, the handpiece (Oxygen valve) and the torch tip. Check using LP Gas only. Do not use any grease on connecting parts! - Danger of explosion!
 When you undo the screw that holds the large goose neck, you can pull it off and you will see the small and the large black o-ring, which can be replaced, if worn out or squashed.

32. Could I use the micro welding torch just with lpg ?

Sorry the micro welding torch cannot be used just with lpg only. It is an oxy combination torch, working with any fuel gas in combination with oxygen. But our German Precision LP Gas Torch uses LP Gas only. It has been designed to suck in surrounding air through holes in the tip and mix it with LP Gas. It therefore heats the metal quicker than other torches and also supports very fine soldering jobs with precision.

33. Is the Micro Welding Torch able to do brazing jobs for steel parts......for moulds?  

According to the manufacturer a mould out of sheet metal should be easily repairable. If the steel you are using does not require shield gas, there should be no problem to weld on it, of course up to a certain size and thickness of the mould.

34. We would need to automate the gas flow, using valves that can be controlled by computer; is such a setup feasible with the micro welding torch?

A computerised pressure regulating device could bypass the valves of the torch. In that case the valves need to be fully open (about 1 full turn). We will contact our regulator supplier about the computer control.

35. I am interested in a small brazing / welding torch with an oxygen assisted flame that I could use for a craft and home mechanics type role. I want the ability to cut metal as well as welding / brazing. I have had a full oxygen and acetylene system before but want to get away from the high cost of renting bottles. I thought the MAPP gas type bottles with one oxygen and one propane bottle would be most cost effective. The micro welding torch seems as though it would suffice. What do you think? Do you also supply small flashback arrestors and regulators? I guess the regulators used for small argon bottles for MIG welding would suffice.

 We ourselves have not yet tried to use the German Micro Welder for cutting metal. As far as we heard the cutting torches are really heavy built and operate on very high pressure. Our micro welding torch works already on a higher pressure than the American Smith Torch and offers a much more accurate and stable flame. You can use it with one Oxygen and one LP Gas bottle, each with its own regulator and flashback arrestor. For LP Gas most suppliers offer a swap system nowadays, which means you pay for the first bottle with content and get a fully tested exchange bottle each time. That offers higher safety and efficiency.
 The micro welding torch is suitable to be used for brazing/soldering stainless steel and of course gold alloys. To weld stainless steel you need to use a tig-welder (tungston inert gas welder) using Argon as a shield gas.

36. It seems I would need a special regulator for high pressure for your LP Gas Torch. Will I need an additional regulator for my LP gas?

For the German LP Gas Torch you need only one regulator, which you will fit with an inlet valve to the LP gas cylinder and an outlet valve to the connection nut at the hose end of the torch. Please refer to question 14 & 15  in regards to which regulator to choose. This torch will work with low pressure, preferably using tip Number 2. High pressure offers the maximum performance, especially with the smallest tip Number 1.

37. I do a lot of Platinum work. When I am soldering Platinum I like to be able to bump up the heat to bring the solder to 'final flow'. Would the LP gas torch 44a be able to add flame intensity and then return to the earlier plat temp I was working with? Some fellow jewelers here are having a hard time believing that with the added pressure of Oxygen the flame temp. would increase. They seem to think that Propane with oxygen will burn at a said temp regardless of Oxygen pressure. Could you help clarify this for us? Are you using this torch for your Platinum work?

The Precision LP Gas Jewelers Torch can achieve 1225°C = 2237°F with Propane-Butane Gas, which is sufficient for an 'easy-melt' Platinum solder. 'Medium' Platinum solder needs already 1250°C and would not melt with the LP Gas Torch. This torch is using LP Gas only. It is designed to suck in surrounding air through air intake holes in the tip and mixes the gases to an optimum. Therefore it is able to heat up the metal quickly and is ideal for metals with a high conductivity of heat, e.g. Silver and Gold alloys. As Platinum and Palladium metals have a lower conductivity and a higher melting point we ourselves are using the German Micro Welding Torch. It offers a hotter localized flame. You can also use its large gooseneck and tips for silver work. As you are working a lot with Platinum we would recommend the hotter Oxy/Lpg solution: The German Micro Welding Torch offers all options.
The Micro Welding Torch could reach following temperatures:
             2200°C for Oxygen in combination with Propane / LP Gas = 3992°F
             (5300°F for Oxygen with MAPP Gas)
             2700°C for Oxygen with Acetylene = 4892°F
             3200°C for Oxygen with Hydrogen = 5792°F
You can regulate the oxygen and LP Gas flow via the red and blue valves adjusting the flame to hotter or 'cooler', which we show in the photos on our webpage: Micro Welding torch

38. The jet on the small tip is clogged and hence we can't light it up. Can you please give me any advice on how to fix the problem and what might have caused this to happen?

Sometimes there are impurities in the gas which can leave a residue in the tiny opening of the smallest rosebud tip, especially if the regulator is set very low and only allowing for low gas pressure or if the soldering is performed very hesitantly.

1. You could soak the inside valve in methylated spirits for about one hour. If that does not clear the tip:

 2. Blowing out the inner valve from the other side (from the front) with : Compressed air or

 3. with the torch using the gas pressure by removing the tip: Use a spanner and unscrew the inner valve, hold it in reverse (turned around) in front of the torch and try to let the gas blow it out in the opposite direction without igniting it. That can be done outside to avoid gas build up in the workshop.

 If you are not successful with any of those methods, send the inner valve back to us and we replace it.

 To avoid blocked tips you can alter the soldering technique with the smallest tip: Be bold: Enlarge the flame but move back further from the object you want to solder rather than trying to use the tiniest hesitant flame. The hottest point is about 2cm from the tip of the blue flame. The inside of the blue flame is cooler.

39. I bought one of your torches from you a few years ago and it's been very reliable. However, over the last few years, the red button needs to be turned more before gas is released and yesterday it stopped working completely. The red turning knob can be completely wound out without releasing any gas. Is there anything you recommend that I do to fix the problem?

Our German supplier rang back and explained, if there is too much Butane in the gas mix with the Propane, it can clog up the handpiece. Butane is thick, sticky and sluggish and can accumulate.
You can try to remove any residue in the hose and handpiece using compressed air (e.g. at a service station).
To get residue out of a gas bottle, you could tip it upside down to release some pressure, but it has to be done in an open field without any flammable stuff around.
You should also change your gas supplier in future.

Soaking in Meths helped slightly. The flame is a little bigger but not very hot. Note our (9kg) gas bottle pressure cannot go higher than what's shown in the photo, never 600kPa. This bottle is not empty.
This tip no1 is so small that I rarely use it, but I suspect the problem is ultimately with low pressure in the gas bottles in NZ.
I assume there in Australia the bottle pressure is up to 600kPa, correct? 
Next, I'll try a full bottle.

We contacted our gas regulator manufacturer:
We have a client, who had a blocked tip on the German LP Gas torch and just got it working again by soaking it in Methylated Spirit. He also sent a photo of the gas pressure being below 200KPa.
Is that normal for NZ or could the low gas pressure also have clogged up the regulator?
And what could be done in such a case?
Our regulator manufacturer's reply: The fact that you had to clean the tip leads me to believe you might have inadvertently sucked some refinery residue through the system. Can be present in LPG cylinders, depending on the supplier. Pressures should be comparable between Aus & NZ
Try taking the regulator off, inside the inlet stem you will see a hex, unscrew with an allen key and tap the filter out. You may find that the filter is blocked. Leave these components out and screw the regulator back on and see if this remedies the situation.
40. I was hoping to melt down jewellery which contains a mixture of white and normal gold and change it into a bracelet.  I was informed by a jeweler that white gold is unable to be melted down and converted into a different piece of jewellery due to it being brittle.
Is this true?  Could you please provide me with the pros and cons of white gold?

It depends on the white gold alloy. If it is a nickel based alloy the jeweller is right, the whole lot of gold could become brittle. Sometimes you are lucky with the first melt or if there are only a few cracks they can be cut clean with a saw blade and soldered which means a lot of extra work. If it does not work the whole lot of gold is beyond use.
The colour will be quite pale once you mix white and yellow gold. As you are going to have an unpredictable gold colour the solder joint might show up in a different colour. The same colour problem applies if you mix different caratage, 9ct yellow gold with 18ct gold. You also cannot hallmark jewellery of indefinite caratage.
It also depends on the kind of bracelet you are going to make. Many small intricate parts might be a problem.
If you are not sure if it is a nickel based white gold, anneal it. When heating up Nickel based white golds they develop a black oxide layer which has to be sanded off. Therefore it is mostly better to melt down only the yellow gold and add new yellow gold if you need more.
For large amounts refiners extract the fine gold and could send you any alloy you require, but they charge for their service, so we collect for a few years all jewellery items which cannot be reworked and then send a larger amount to a refinery to receive the content in return in fine gold granules.

41. Even though I bought this torch from you more than a year ago I have really only just started to use it a lot.  I really like using it and it is great for the tafe jewellery course I have just started at night school.
I have a question in regards to the melting of silver.  I have done a bit of cuttlefish casting and last weekend I tried to do this at home with my torch.  I found that it took so so long to heat the crucible and then I just couldn’t get all of the 20g of silver to melt.  In the end I had to pour what was melted which turned out to be just enough which was pleasing.  I was using the largest #3 tip and I was trying different pressures and positions of the flame and proximity to the metal.  Would you be able to provide some guidance as to what pressure you would recommend, if you would change the air inlet setting or not and which part of the flame you would recommend. In regards to the air intake – do you think it’s necessary to vary the air using an airhole cover or should the full air hole be appropriate for most general soldering and melting? If you are soldering jewellery with the smaller rosebud tips, what pressure do you recommend?

We have successfully molten 90 g of silver in a draft-free room in an area, arranged with oven bricks around, preheated crucible and the largest tip Number 3. Silver is the best conductor for heat, it leads it away as fast as you can apply it. 20 g is not a problem. It should melt in about 5-10 minutes.
Melting is a learning process, it takes practice and mastering the techniques, like soldering and rather learnt by feeling than by actual theoretical explanation or knowledge. Only perseverance will teach you.
Protect the work area from wind, if working outdoors.
Use the highest available pressure and maximum flame size. You will not see the actual flame colour while melting as it is so bright and reflects back from the metal.
The crucible needs to be preheated to glowing yellowish/orange state with the flame (takes about 2-3 minutes) and then add your metal and 1/3 teaspoon flux (Borax) to the warm silver as described in the soldering hints we provided. It would just get blown away by the flame, if added to the cold silver.
Heating the crucible is actually a good exercise to learn to judge the best distance to the crucible.
If too close or too far away, it will not glow, the heat simply is dispersed past the crucible or reflected up and away through the air again.
If the metal starts to liquify and then develops a dull spot in the middle, you are too close.
If it solidifies again, you have moved the flame too far away.
Once your silver looks mirror like, you carefully move the crucible with the holder like a frying pan to see, if it is completely liquified or if there is still a solid bit in the middle.
Once it is molten, the whole mass will wobble like an egg yolk. You move the holder with the crucible together with the flame over to the cuttle fish mould and while pouring you still need to keep the flame on the crucible to keep up the temperature of nearly 1000°C as it would cook down extremely quickly.

The smallest tip Number 1 actually works best with the highest pressure of 600KPa because it has got such a small opening that the high pressure is required to force the gas through it with a pointier steady flame as a result.
Tip Number 2 works with the lower pressure setting as well, therefore you can save gas working at 400KPa.
The air holes only need to be covered for glass bead making.
For soldering you get a hotter flame quicker with the extra air that is sucked in through the holes.

42. I purchased a Precision LP Gas Torch No. 44 from you back in 2007. I love it so much. I was reading an article about hose safety and was wondering if and when I need to replace the hose. I read in your FAQs that it is a high-pressure, long-lasting hose that is crimped to the torch so it cannot be removed. Would you ever advise replacement ? Any advice is appreciated. I hope you are well and making it through 2020!

Dear J…, We have been using our first torch for over 20 years and only needed to replace it, when the valves would not shut anymore and the whole handset was simply worn out.
But we have had clients, who poured acid over the hose or kept touching the hoses with oily fingers and another one, who constantly cramped the torch into a suitcase to carry it with her, when running courses.
They definitely needed to replace the hoses earlier, when they became obviously brittle.
You can test the hose with water containing dish washing liquid e.g. once a year, which would also remove any oils/fat/grease.
We have used hose clamps to screw on when re-attaching the hose (if clients needed a different connection nut.
Other sensible answers on the internet are:
Generally hose that have lots of pits and bruises and are going grainy on exterior should be replaced..
UV light from using a torch set-up outside will cause a different life cycle then what an indoor only torch set-up would see. Same can be said for rough environment (foot traffic over the hose, heat OR cold conditions above or below the norm and even how well the employees respect the equipment they are tasked to work with.
Simple answer, if you're worried, torch hose is cheap enough to replace yearly if need be. Inspect the hoses for degradation of the rubber or composite and look for the typical rubber 'rust' effect where the rubber starts showing a graininess...think old rubber garden hose left out too many summers. BTW, all bets are off if the hose experiences undue abuse...replace it immediately and save yourself the bills from the insurance company, hospital, workman's comp., etc. if you hadn't.
Hose which has been subject to flashback, or which shows evidence of severe wear or damage, shall be tested to twice the normal pressure to which it is subject, but in no case less than 300 p.s.i. Defective hose, or hose in doubtful condition, shall not be used. https://www.osha.gov/laws-regs/regulations/standardnumber/1926/1926.350 ...
Thank you for your speedy and thorough response. I feel much better about the hose - every now and then I read an article about studio safety and begin to second guess my set-up. I appreciate the advice and assurance.

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