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Orca/EZ torch with atmospheric oxygen

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Author Topic: Orca/EZ torch with atmospheric oxygen  (Read 3380 times)
Debbie K
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« on: September 09, 2013, 07:16:26 pm »

I got one of these at a local store (for really cheap!) and thought I'd give it a try. http://www.kingsleynorth.com/skshop/product.php?id=99071&catID=214

I have only used propane before, and never had any problems with firescale. I noticed right away that I had some gnarly-looking firescale with the new torch. I didn't think it'd make that much difference, but the atmospheric oxygen really seemed to make the firescale bloom everywhere but where the silver was fluxed.

I know some folks use boric acid, borax and alcohol to reduce firescale, but in my experience it didn't work too well. I can go back to propane, but boy the little flame was sweet and I hate to give it up.

Any advice?

Debbie K
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deb193
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« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2013, 07:46:18 pm »

is it firescale or just lots of oxidation
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- Daniel

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Debbie K
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« Reply #2 on: September 09, 2013, 09:30:23 pm »

Daniel:

Firescale. The oxidation wasn't that bad, but the firescale was difficult to sand off. I don't think I still got all of it off after sanding repeatedly.

I've used nothing but propane all these years and never seen anything like this with just propane. The little oxygen intakes on the side must be pulling in enough air to cause it; I'm going to try to back down on the intake (it's adjustable).

It's a shame because it's really neat; the flame is a tiny pencil-point. Oh well...

Debbie K
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deb193
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« Reply #3 on: September 09, 2013, 10:02:44 pm »

seen that torch in a few DVD. looked pretty good. I hope the adjustment works.

maybe use a larger tip. pin-point flame works better when hotter. Small point propane is known to distribute more heat throughout the piece before solder flows. I've had some trouble getting enough heat on cab-sized pieces with the #4 tip on Smith Little torch, and that was propane & oxygen.
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- Daniel

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Debbie K
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« Reply #4 on: September 10, 2013, 06:41:00 am »

Thanks, Daniel, I'll give it a try. It comes with three tips and I was using the smallest one, I'll try it out with the larger tip. You're probably right about that heat distribution.

The little torch is a dream! But firescale is too difficult to deal with, I haven't had these kind of problems since I took jewelry in college with their equipment, I got a propane torch almost immediately. This new torch gets HOT HOT HOT fast! With the big flame on the old torch you're heating all over to get it to temp, I suspect that part of the problem was not moving the little torch enough.

Debbie K
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Bentiron
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« Reply #5 on: September 10, 2013, 05:02:31 pm »

The one I used was hooked up to a propane tank but is yours using acetylene? I have used an atmospheric/acetylene Prest-O-Lite torch for most all of my jewelry making career along with an ancient Hoke propane/oxygen torch. I use a thinned Handy Flux over most all of the silver to help prevent fire scale and the only time I have trouble with it is when I over heat the piece. Usually when I'm rushing things and don't  have good torch control, like too much heat from above or  trying to solder with the piece laying flat on the ceramic pad.
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Debbie K
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« Reply #6 on: September 10, 2013, 05:58:12 pm »

Bentiron:

I'm sure it's probably something I'm doing wrong. It uses propane, not acetylene. I used handy-flux, but didn't coat all the silver. Where I did flux, there was no firescale. Maybe I overheated it, and I did solder from above on a brick, had to on the job I was doing.

It's just going to be a learning curve, and I'm getting too old to learn much more (or too lazy)!

Debbie
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Bentiron
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« Reply #7 on: September 11, 2013, 12:52:48 pm »

If you just raise it up off the brick with a few pieces of binding wire it allows some of the heat to get under the work and helps prevent overheating and thus firescale. They are a pretty good torch for the price.
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deb193
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« Reply #8 on: September 11, 2013, 01:23:16 pm »

I'm trying to think through this. Wouldn't some of the heat getting under the work heat it more? Does it make a difference if the brick is heat-resistant or reflective? I mean is lifting off slightly form a heat-reflective surface actually mean less reflection and less heat into the work?
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- Daniel

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Carol M
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« Reply #9 on: September 11, 2013, 02:37:57 pm »

Or you could try working with Argentium Sterling. yes
Zero Firesale there. yippie

Check out the bar graph in this report
  http://www.silversmithing.com/catra-firescale-report.pdf
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Carol M
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"Imagine the Possibilities!"
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"People who never make mistakes.....probably never do anything!"

Debbie K
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« Reply #10 on: September 11, 2013, 02:49:01 pm »

Carol:

Maybe I will in the future, but right now I'm heavily invested in sterling and fine silver.

Bentiron:

I'll give it a try.

Daniel:

I'm not sure, but I think that the metal would get hotter quicker if it were raised up off the brick; I'm going to try it next time and use a bigger tip as you suggested. I hoping everything together will work.

Thanks to all of you!

Debbie K
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deb193
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« Reply #11 on: September 11, 2013, 03:50:21 pm »

Yes, it does. But unless the brick was absorbing heat (instead of reflecting it) I can't reason why.  Someday I'll run across the physics of this.
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- Daniel

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DonniesTreasures
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« Reply #12 on: September 11, 2013, 04:02:08 pm »

Can this be used with the propane tanks you get at the hardware store?
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Debbie K
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« Reply #13 on: September 11, 2013, 04:45:11 pm »

Yes, it can be used with the disposable propane tanks (which is all I ever need) and the large ones usually used for grill. I have both adaptors, so I can use either but as I solder in my house, I wanted the little tank.

I'm really happy to have it, as I paid less than half of what most folks are asking for it. Kingsley has them on sale right now. http://www.kingsleynorth.com/skshop/products.php?keys=orca%20torch&catID= This company was bought by Grobet, which is pretty good about stocking and standing behind their products, which is the only reason why I tried it. I dislike using oxygen assist torches, which is why I didn't want the Smith little torch. I think the oxygen is more dangerous than the gas, and don't want it in the house.

Debbie K
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DonniesTreasures
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« Reply #14 on: September 11, 2013, 05:57:08 pm »

Thank you, Debbie!  I have been wanting some way to change the tip & didn't think there was any. 
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