Micro torch?

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DianneB
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Re: Micro torch?

Post by DianneB » Sun May 27, 2018 3:03 pm

THAT'S the kind of info I was looking for! Welding inside a cigarette tube is impressive :D I guess I am getting a Smith's I(or an off-shore clone). Thanks guys!!!

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10KPete
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Re: Micro torch?

Post by 10KPete » Sun May 27, 2018 4:57 pm

I have no experience with the asian knockoff version. The one by Smith (the original) is a very impressive, well made, bit of kit. I've had mine for many years and, like other Smith equipment I've had, should last just about forever.

I highly recommend the Smith.

Pete
Just tryin'

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Bill Shields
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Re: Micro torch?

Post by Bill Shields » Sun May 27, 2018 7:22 pm

when you are working with combustible gases, I strongly recommend that you purchase equipment from a company that you KNOW.

My VICTOR equipment is almost 50 years old, my SMITH's stuff close to 40

All I have ever done for either is replace the O-rings on the tips and throw away dry rotted hoses.

A faulty (or cheap) gas regulator may well be the most expensive purchase of your life.
Too many things going on to bother listing them.

Harold_V
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Re: Micro torch?

Post by Harold_V » Mon May 28, 2018 1:36 am

Frank Ford wrote:
Sun May 27, 2018 10:52 am
Here's a second vote for the Smith Little torch. Only problem I've had is remembering that the tiny flame is actually there on the smallest #2 tip sometimes, it's so small it's hard to see in some lighting situations. I find the tiny tip works with acetylene.
I purchased my set many years ago in anticipation of using it in my retirement. I'm just now getting my shop set up, so it has yet to be used, but I'm encouraged to read the small tips work ok on acetylene.

I purchased the entire torch kit, including the tiny bottles, which are oxygen and acetylene. They may recommend hydrogen (much cleaner burning), but I expect one should enjoy success with acetylene.

Thanks for the report.

H
Wise people talk because they have something to say. Fools talk because they have to say something.

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DianneB
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Re: Micro torch?

Post by DianneB » Mon May 28, 2018 6:37 am

I am sure that the Smith's is a fine tool but at my age and on a pension AND for infrequent use, I have to consider the Smith's is ten times the price of the Asian knock-off. My regulators and the rest of my setup is all older brand-name North American so I am not too worried about using a lower quality torch.

Thanks everybody for your comments!

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Bill Shields
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Re: Micro torch?

Post by Bill Shields » Mon May 28, 2018 8:48 am

good regulators eliminate 99% of the safety risk....
Too many things going on to bother listing them.

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DianneB
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Re: Micro torch?

Post by DianneB » Mon May 28, 2018 12:48 pm

Bill Shields wrote:
Mon May 28, 2018 8:48 am
good regulators eliminate 99% of the safety risk....
I have good regulators, Millers. The torch set I bought more than 40 years ago was Rego and I replaced the regulators with Millers about 15 years ago 'cause the Rego acetylene wasn't holding pressure - it would creep. I have the original Rego handle, a bunch of tips, and a Nordsea jeweller's torch. The Nordsea is a fine torch but I don't have a small enough tip and Nordsea (like Microflame) moved from "the craft business" into industrial gas equipment - more money in the commercial field I guess. I wish I could modify my Microflame Model B to use bottled gas - it would be perfect for what I want!

Having done a bunch of research on the Asian knock-offs I am hesitant to go out and buy one. They have, in general, a "4 star review" but the odd "1 star rating" (or no star!) give me reason for concern. Apparently the hoses are crap and the fittings leak. Still, I only need the head and tips and can throw everything else away and use my commercial grade hoses and stuff.

The next time I am in the city I will stop at my welder supply store and discus it with them. I just don't have enough "precision work" to do to justify the cost of the Smith, which is nearly $300 CDN. That's the equivalent of my grocery bill for the whole month - a LOT for a pensioner LOL!

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Bill Shields
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Re: Micro torch?

Post by Bill Shields » Mon May 28, 2018 9:19 pm

unless your local welding shop is EXCEPTIONAL do not expect them to know ANYTHING about a micro torch...

best you surf some jewelry hobby sites....
Too many things going on to bother listing them.

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DianneB
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Re: Micro torch?

Post by DianneB » Wed May 30, 2018 9:08 am

Thanks Bill - I have been doing my homework and I agree, my local welder's supply house, although the largest in the province, is not likely to be knowledgeable so I have been surfing the Internet to find out everything I can on micro torches. It is quite enlightening and a bit disturbing!!!

There is an extensive offering of "Smith Little Torches" in the $20 to $60 range (all prices in Canadian dollars) that are oriental clones - they even copy the Smith box! - but they are, according to the reviews, CRAP! They are poorly made, tolerances are sloppy, and material is inferior. Some reviewers deem them dangerous! (There ought to be a law enforced against copying someone else's product to this degree!)

Then there is the brand-name Smith Little Torch available through Smith distributors that sell in the $250 to $330 range here. Genuine Smith products are VERY highly rated by all reviewers.

Lastly there is a small offering in "middle ground", the $180 to $220 range, that appears to be offered by discount jewellery supply and large speciality warehouses. These appear to be genuine Smith products. (I even had correspondence with Smith Equipment on how to identify the genuine Little Torch.) But is is like buying 'a pig in a poke' without being able to get hands-on with the product.

Being part Scottish (= CHEAP!) and on a pension, I am chasing the final category to find a vendor who is willing to GUARANTEE the authenticity of their Smith Little Torch in the $200 price range.

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Bill Shields
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Re: Micro torch?

Post by Bill Shields » Wed May 30, 2018 11:58 am

D:

in reality, I don't think you really need one of these things....ok if you are doing jewelry and need a LOT of heat in a VERY SMALL PLACE - QUICKLY….but I have built quite a few locos and never come to a situation where I needed one.

Getting solder to flow is not about putting a LOT of HEAT in one place, it is about getting the right amount of heat everywhere, then 'nudging' it along by putting JUST A LITTLE MORE HEAT where you want it to flow.

I struggled for a long time until I learned to heat things slowly and have the solder IN PLACE and WARMING at the same time as the part and almost never 'get the part hot then stick in the solder'...

I emery cloth the part and solder and clean everything (including the solder) with acetone cover everything (including the solder) with flux...and use VERY SMALL DIAMETER SOLDER...much of what I use on small parts is 0.03" diameter...makes a big difference.

using BLACK FLUX can make things easier also.

I also make sure that there is always a gap into which the solder can flow once it becomes liquid...the technique of 'center popping' surfaces to raise a dimple or three which creates an air gap into which the solder can flow is worthwhile.

My favorite torch is a Sievert with several different tips depending on what I am doing. My favorite for small stuff is one of their TURBO tips.

It is a RARE situation where this does not work.

There is also silver solder paste (flux with solder ground up in it), so all you have to do is SMEAR and heat which is what is used industrially for production line soldering -> and ribbon solder that you can put between flat parts (with flux) and just heat.

many different ways to skin a cat (fish)...and while one of these micro torches may seem like a solution...I am willing to bet that you really don't need it.
Too many things going on to bother listing them.

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DianneB
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Re: Micro torch?

Post by DianneB » Wed May 30, 2018 12:22 pm

Bill Shields wrote:
Wed May 30, 2018 11:58 am
...I am willing to bet that you really don't need it.
"Need" is a hard thing to define! :roll:

I know what I was able to do with my Microflame torch decades ago and I know what I can do with my Nordsea torch today but the Microflame exceeded anything else for precision and control, which is a matter of pride for a craftsman. I have, however, "gotten by" with the Nordsea

Considering that I don't have much small silver soldering or brazing to do, I will probably try making as smaller tip for my Nordsea or a hose adaptor for my Microflame.

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DianneB
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Re: Micro torch?

Post by DianneB » Tue Jul 10, 2018 6:47 pm

In the end, I always seem to have one more thing to silver solder and on these small parts (mostly 1/4" plumbing) even the smallest tip on my Nord Sea torch is like driving finishing nails with a sledgehammer! I am good at soldering but without a pinpoint flame I can't "run the puddle" like I can on bigger stuff. I also can't tolerate second rate tools so I found the best deal I could and sprung the money for a genuine Smith Little Torch.

Thanks for all the suggestions and recommendations folks!

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