Lets talk about torch systems. I want to purchase a torch so I can set it up at home for silversmithing and goldsmithing. I called Advanced Industrial supplies today and they strongly advised me to NOT set up an acetylene/air system (the same system I use at the studio I go to) in the house and that even in a private garage it would not be advisable. Surely there must be smaller and safer systems out there. Unfotunately the only ssytem I have learned on is the ACB tank (acetylene/air) type.
What torch systems do you guys use for silversmithing/goldsmithing?
Does anyone pout there just use a simple propane tank with and extension tip perhaps?
Acetylene is a better choice than propane, but neither is appropriate to use/store within a residence. Natural gas is far safer, nearly as hot, and you'll never need to transport fuel tanks. You will need oxygen tanks, though, but the oxygen goes a long way with natural gas as the fuel. A plumber/gasfitter can hook a system up for you.
You'll need a new torch, and the best type depends on the sizes of the articles you are working on. Larger silver pieces need fat flames and a mini-torch can prove inadequate. Meco stopped making the Midget a few years ago but a web search will find you someone who still has them for sale. They will move a higher volume of gas/oxygen through the system and produce a larger/hot enough flame to peform fairly large soldering operations. I can't vouch for the Hoke torches, I don't like the valves on them but I'm sure many people find them perfectly adequate and they are readily available.
Thanks David for your reply...what about the mni silver smith system....it uses oxygen and acetylne I think. I will investigate if I can find a Meco system.
For your home, nobody will recommend acetylene, in spite of the fact we all like to use it. It will void your insurance, as will propane...neither should be stored or used within a residence. The Mini-torch (as you mentioned) set up will work just fine for most of your work. The heavier pieces you could solder at your classes with the acetylene torch. If you find a Meco Midget, buy it, it is the most versatile among the general-duty torches for jewellery making.
Thanks David...I already knew the insurance thing etc and my gut feeling was saying "NO!!!" don't do it!
I will talk to Azad and see to purchase the mini system., I was however looking at the RIO grande catalogue and they sell it. I may just shop around. I will look around for Meco Midget as well. I'm in no rush. I want to make an informed purchase.
Onre more thing David...I looked at the Rio Grande web site and found the Meco Mini torch systems
Is this what you are refering to? It still uses acetylene so I am confused. I would still be storing acetylene at home??? Also I looked at the Mini Smith system it too uses acetylene??
Read the description, you can select the fittings for either acetylene or propane. The propane fittings will work for natural gas, choose that one. Best torch for the money. You will not need a regulator with natural gas, just a flash arrestor. The plumber will know this.