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Thread: Torches

  1. #1
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    Default Torches

    Hello

    Had a great day yesterday on a course where we had a go at casting using water, cuttlefish and delft clay. Really enjoyed it and eager to carry on experimenting, however will finally need to get a proper torch as the handheld butane ones I use for soldering just won't pack enough punch.

    So I was wondering if anyone had any recommendation as to which torch/gas would be best for melting silver for casting - one thing I noticed yesterday was that a surprising amount of heat is needed to get that silver molten (surprising as I have no trouble melting things when I don't want to with my tiny torch!). We had to have 3 handheld butane/propane torches going at once to melt even a tiny amount of silver.

    Also if anyone had any tips about set up that would be great - have been putting off getting a proper torch for ages as the whole gas thing terrifies me a bit, but finally need to bite the bullet.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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  3. #3
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    Thanks for this

    Had been looking at the sievert's but the one thing that was confusing me* was whether this would be hot enough just having propane and air, or whether I would need an oxygen/propane set up. I only plan on casting smallish things in delft clay - so would the cookies sievert kit be fine for that, am assuming would need a bigger burner...? http://www.cooksongold.com/Jewellery...rcode-999-AKZ1

    *this is a bit of a lie, there are many things that confuse me!

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Melanie View Post
    Thanks for this

    Had been looking at the sievert's but the one thing that was confusing me* was whether this would be hot enough just having propane and air, or whether I would need an oxygen/propane set up. I only plan on casting smallish things in delft clay - so would the cookies sievert kit be fine for that, am assuming would need a bigger burner...? http://www.cooksongold.com/Jewellery...rcode-999-AKZ1

    *this is a bit of a lie, there are many things that confuse me!
    Why would you want to get it from Cooksons? It's considerably cheaper at the place James linked to. The only thing the Cookson kit has that the Hamilton one doesn't is the neck tube, which you can get separately from Hamilton's for another 10.

    Propane and air can get plenty hot enough for general jewelry work. The main drawback with the Sievert as far as I'm concerned is that you can't regulate the air intake yourself. With the Orca torch there is an adjuster ring that allows you to do this. Of course having separate fuel and oxygen intakes would be preferable, but those kinds of torches are in a higher price bracket.
    ETA: Oh, and the Hamilton kit gives you a longer hose than the Cooksons one.
    ETA 2: You can get bigger burners from Hamilton too if the need arises.
    Last edited by Aurarius; 01-11-2015 at 04:04 PM.

  5. #5
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    Was browsing cooksons at the time so the link was to hand to use as an example, price comparison would have happened later don't worry

    If the sievert will handle melting silver/gold in a small crucible fine then that's perfect. Was just seeking assurance that the sievert would manage a small scale melt like this with ease - want the right tool to achieve a good result, not necessarily the cheapest, but likewise don't want to waste money if more experienced folk felt that an oxygen/propane set up was over-kill for small scale work like this.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Melanie View Post
    Was browsing cooksons at the time so the link was to hand to use as an example, price comparison would have happened later don't worry

    If the sievert will handle melting silver/gold in a small crucible fine then that's perfect. Was just seeking assurance that the sievert would manage a small scale melt like this with ease - want the right tool to achieve a good result, not necessarily the cheapest, but likewise don't want to waste money if more experienced folk felt that an oxygen/propane set up was over-kill for small scale work like this.
    I think the Sievert would cope quite well with a small melt, even with the standard needlepoint burner. You could always get a bigger burner quite cheaply if you needed one. If you're able to afford it the oxygen/propane type torch would be the best, no doubt. It's just a question of three or four times the money once you've factored in your oxygen supply on top of the torch itself.

  7. #7
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    I don't think the little needlepoint will get hot enough for melting very much at all; it doesn't feel any hotter than a decent little butane torch. But a sievert with a nice big head should be fine.

  8. #8
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    Hi
    I have done quite a bit of Delft casting and just use the Sievert. I found the largest torch head that cooksons supply (3941 I think, they may do a bigger one now) did work for smaller jobs, and I did do this in the lounge although I got stern/alarmed looks for my more sensible half!! I had better luck for bigger jobs with a massive 2943 (I think, maybe 2942- I'll have to go and check) and a little firebrick oven on 2 sides and half top. But beware that this burner is massive- not something for the lounge, it sounds like a small jet going over and has a flame 30 cm long. It is good because it gets the whole crucible up to temp really fast. If you are interested I might get round to posting photos of my set up if you like? (I have some close ups on my FB page-I think this is the big torch here: https://www.facebook.com/MMMJeweller...type=3&theater
    and also defo here- you need a longer neck tube so your hands don't melt: https://www.facebook.com/MMMJeweller...type=3&theater )
    Let me know if the links don't work, or else just browse to the page, it's open to the public.
    Best of luck, this is my favourite technique!!
    Cheers Matt

  9. #9
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    Thanks for the help everyone - much appreciated.

    Matt - I think that massive torch head is the one I was looking at last night so its great to hear that it works well for you, think that's what I'll end up with. There's no way am I lighting that beast in my lounge though, have a feeling the garage may shortly be taken over as a second work space for my more dangerous experiments! Love your work btw

  10. #10
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    Hi. I checked and it is the 2942 that I have. It needs 4 bar pressure to go fully so get a variable regulator rather than the fixed 2bar one although 2 bar is still good.. You will also need fire and heat proof gloves that retain some dexterity, i have leather welding gloves but use just one to hold hot things and one to adjust the knob. A crucible holder also makes it easier and safer. I found I had to bend the prongs often to keep the crucible from slipping, which is alarming when pouring. Thr firebricks are the cheap soft ones so they occasionally crack but still work well and are easier to move about and provide good insulation and containment. One last thing-alot of heat goes up so make sure nothing flamable is above your work area.
    Cheers Matt
    p.s. Thanks for the like
    Last edited by MMM Jewellery; 02-11-2015 at 09:49 PM.

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