Type of Jewellery Torches
There are so many torches how do you pick which one to use especially if you're new to any type of metal smithing. Hi, I'm Melissa Muir, welcome back for another tool time Tuesday. In this video I want to introduce you to a few of the different torches that I have and use quite regularly in my studio and in my workshops. We're going to start off by talking about some of the butane torches we'll talk a little larger butane will move into a propane torch and finally I'll introduce you to my map gas and my acetylene torch and kind of explain how each of those are used and how they're a little bit different.
The first torch I've ever used was a small blazer butane similar to this. It's great because it's small it's not intimidating it's very easy to use you just kind of turn this on ignite it and you're ready to go. A little bit of flame adjustment can happen with this torch but not a whole lot this is going to be great for small pieces such as light chains, ear wires, smaller thinner head pins, nothing too big. They won't ball up a 14-gauge piece of copper 14 gauge silver you would be fine but not copper.
So once I got to the point where I wanted to make pieces larger than maybe just about an inch or an inch and a quarter and I was trying to get all that done with this torch, I found that I needed two to three torches just to get that done. So then it was time to move to a bigger torch and that is where my jumbo max butane torch came in. So this torch was great because now I was able to work on pieces that were probably two and a half to three inches. To ignite this one is a little different there's a safety back here on the back you push that down you ignite the torch and then you lock it on.
So just to give you kind of a comparison the flames on these, you could see how much bigger that flame is so we are able to anneal larger pieces, solder larger pieces but still not find enough to do anything like casting. Both of these use butane. Now I've tried many different types of butane and I've had a lot of other instructors and friends that have tried different butane. I found that even though a butane would say that it's quintuple refined quadruple refine triple refined doesn't necessarily mean anything. I had friends that were using quadruple refined torches and it was still gumming up their torches which make them useless.
So I have really stuck with the blazer brand and it has served me very well. My lines seem to be still clear and it has worked very well for me, but there are a lot of different types of blazer or different types of butane that you can buy. If you ever in like a shortage of it go to like a smoke shop you can also find it sometimes at different hardware stores. I order mine in bulk online and it usually runs anywhere from six to eight dollars a can plus your shipping.
To fill one of these butane torches both of them are very similar so there's the little nozzle here for our torch. On the bottom of the torches there's even one here on the bottom of the torch you have a little brass fitting in there and what you do is you will just take the can where it has that little knob. Hold your torch and your can upside down. You're going to push this until you can make the sound that it'll make when it's all done is kind of like the can is spitting and you'll actually be able to see it as well.
There was that spitting. This was a fairly full torch to begin with. Once you fill it you want to set it down, let it rest for at least 30 seconds to a minute before you use it just to let the gas settle. Because people were having issues with the jumbo max torch and also because again it is still a smaller flame when it comes to some of these things. I began to look at some of my other instructor friends and what they were using and one that came up, was there's actually a couple that look like this. One was made by sterno and one is here by euro tools and it is called the Handy flame.
So you just buy the torch head which is kind of nice. It's very inexpensive, these run about twenty-five dollars, where something like this runs about fifty. The Blazers run anywhere from fifty to eighty dollars. I guess this is more like 40, but it just kind of depends on where you get it and everything.
These are kind of nice because what you do is you just go get these little butane cans that are meant for camping and you can use those. So you just take the can you take your torch head put it on here and it's going to kind of click into place and then you just twist it on and now you're ready to go. It's not so heavy and bulky that it's difficult to hold and again we have a very good flame. So just to show you, turn that on with a very large flame and again if you compare this to my jumbo max here, they look a little bit similar. This one is still much bigger you can see how far out it goes compared to the jumbo max. You don't have as much flame control on this, the only way that you can control this flame is to give it less or more gas. To turn it off you just switch the knob to off. So this is also a very great little torch that's nice to use.
Stepping up a little bit further this is a newer torch so I've not had the chance yet to run it through its courses, so be watching for a video coming up soon on that. This is a torch that has a hose, got the head and you hook it up to the propane. So this you can also use this with map gas so it doesn't have to be just propane but once you pick one then it needs to stay with that torch. I don't want to take it from here and unscrew it and then hook it up to my map gas torch. But this torch again, all I'm going to do is I'm going to open this up until I kind of hear those gas flowing. To turn this off, you just twist it all the way back close down.
You do you want to be very careful with this because the torch tip will become very warm. Already there's a little bit of warmth to it and since I've got a plastic mat here I don't want it to set that down. You do want to be aware of that this torch has a little bit of a hotter flame then your butane torches do, so you may get things done a little bit faster than with the butane torches. Again something to kind of keep in mind as you are looking at something like this for the propane.
My final two torches are pretty much set up over here at the end of my station where the tanks are kind of bolted in, whenever, not bolted but strapped in. Whenever I use a tank that's going to be something like this, I do strap it to a table or find some way to make sure that it's supported and that way I'll have to worry about it tipping over while I'm working with it.
So this torch is a map gas torch. It's something that I got just over it
one of my big box retail stores probably like Home Depot or Lowe's or
something like that and I have a little clamp that's here on my my
table. That will clamp around the neck of that and hold the torch into
place and that way I don't have to worry about things getting knocked
over when I use this torch. Now, things that I like about this one: The
map gas is very hot, does have a very broad flame so I can take larger
pieces and anneal them very, very, quickly.
Something like this to turn on my torch everything is already open, as far as it's open at the tank and it's open here at the torch head. To ignite this I'm just going to push this yellow button. Now if I let go of it, it just turns back off but I don't want to have to sit and hold this the whole time I'm working with it.
So what I do is I hold this down and then while this button is pushed, there's a little silver button here, you guys can see that, and I'll push that button and then I will be able to release the yellow and it will stay lit. It's quite a large flame we have. If I bring over this propane torch that we just demonstrated you can see the size of the torch. It's very big difference so our little propane one here this is called the Handy flame 2. This torch is going to be a little smaller; it still runs hot but not nearly as hot as this map gas. Plus we have a larger tip which is going to allow me to do larger pieces.
Now this is the one that I use when I'm doing my casting. I do small-scale casting, so this works really well for me. I'm able to melt an ounce or two of silver or bronze and it works well. It doesn't work as quickly as say an acetylene oxygen tank or our torch would, but it has worked very well for me. I've been able to melt down, like I said one to two ounces, pour it into an ingot mould, roll it down or cast my pieces if I'm doing sand casting. So that's a great torch to also consider. These run probably, I think the setups probably like fifty dollars or so. Over at like I said any of your hardware stores and this one is a bernzomatic but I believe that there may actually be some other styles out there as well.
Now the hose can actually be purchased separately, so when I bought mine it was just the tip and the tank of gas and then I think I paid an extra ten dollars or so for the hose. It was really nice because this allows me to keep my hands-free. I have another thing too with casting, if I really need to try to keep my tank standing straight up and down and tilt it as little as possible, otherwise you begin to lose pressure which makes it so that you lose your heat.
I would highly suggest if you do something like this to do this with a hose. So the last torch that I use here in my studio this is my acetylene torch. This is an acetylene air torch, mine happens to be a gauss which I believe is very similar to the prestolite. The acetylene air torch is kind of nice because I don't have to have an oxygen tank. It actually pulls in the oxygen from the atmosphere so with this torch I do have a bee tank of acetylene that is here at the side of my soldering setup that is kind of strapped into place.
You do need to talk with your insurance companies to make certain that it would be covered. Any of your little tiny canisters of gas, you're pretty typically safe. Like they're ok with the camping gas and everything like that, but again just to be certain, make sure you check with your insurance companies to make sure that you would be covered in case anything were ever to happen. So my torch here I have multiple heads that I can use and so they just simply screw off. You'll see I've got four or five different tips here that I use.
My most regular one that I use is a number 4, this is kind of my go-to, he's on my torch about ninety percent of the time. If I need to do large pieces of annealing or maybe some casting that I might go to a seven. This does take up a lot of gas as you are really cranking it through this but you do get a nice big flame. Actually I lied that's a six, so these torches are kind of nice because you can pick and choose which kind of a tip you want. You just screw this into place and get this guy in here, just screw them into place, nice and tight and then to ignite this one though I do actually need a striker. So I'll get my gas going so you can see on this one I have such a tiny little flame. So this is a great one if I'm trying to do fine little details but if I need to do something larger and you didn't really hear too much of that when you turn this off there will be a little bit of a pop and that's totally fine, because it's just putting that flame out.
So just to compare this with size 4, so my size 4 tip, I'm actually able
to do some pieces that are probably about 3 inches or so. When it comes
to the size and it all just depends on the thickness of your metal, how
big it is, what else you have on there. But to show you the difference
here so you can see we've got a really good flame. So even with this
tip, I have been able to melt about an ounce or so of silver for any
kind of casting purpose. Now here on the edge of my table I installed a
little wrench that came with some other piece of equipment, that I was
putting together a table or something like that. Then I can just hang my
torch right on to that and it's always ready for me when I'm ready to
go. So hopefully this gives you kind of an idea of what you can be
looking for in a torch. If you have any questions by all means feel free
to give me a contact drop me a comment in the video down below and if
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