Need some advice about regulator settings for oxy propane

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I'm a brand new member.

I've just setup my oxy propane tanks with regulators and have a Hoke torch for making jewelry.

I also do glasswork and beadmaking.
Beadmaking with a Minor torch. Both are set up together with a Y splitter so I can switch between torches.

What is the best regulator mix for soldering silver? I was told to use 3 to 6 on the gas and double that for the oxy.

And also what is the best mix for beadmaking?

Does anyone have some advise for me?


Dick C's picture

Equal pressures work for me.

Equal pressures work for me. I use a Smith Little Torch with oxy propane and for most things I do I'll use their #4 tip -- which seems to be about .5 mm, and one of their smallest tips which I broke the ruby out of so it's now much larger -- about 1.4 mm. I usually set my regulators at 5 lbs., but if I'm casting with a rosebud tip on a large torch I'll boost the pressure to 6 or 7 lbs, and may find myself using that for soldering. It's not a big difference. 

I haven't yet tried beadmaking.

Joyce3473's picture

Regulator settings

I tried 6 on propane and 11 for oxy and got a lot of oxidation on my silver piece. It's in the pickle now.

My Hoke torch has 5 tips and is probably similar to your Smith.

Tomorrow I give equal pressures a try.
I'll also try using a smaller tip.

Thanks so much for your post.

Rich Waugh's picture

The Hoke torch is not at all

The Hoke torch is not at all similar to a Smith Little Torch, actually. The Hoke is, in my opinion, a rather poor torch compared to any of the better fuel gas torches available such as the Smith or Victor or Harris lines. I had a Hoke many years ago and disposed of it rather quickly in favor of a small Victor oxy/acetylene torch. If I was doing much small detailed work, I would get the Smith Little Torch without hesitation.

If you are experiencing excess oxidation on your work, try running a bit more reducing flame rather than just changing the delivery pressures. Also, if you hold the flame too far back from the piece, the flame velocity draws atmospheric air into the stream, increasing oxidation. The tip of the flame should just contact the work to minimize air entrainment. Note that a reducing flame (lower proportion of oxygen) is also cooler than a neutral flame and less likely to incur excess oxidation.

I do think that running 11 psig of oxy to 6 psig of propane is much more oxygen pressure than you really need. Try about equal settings, say 6 & 6 or even lower, and adjust the valves on the torch to give you an inner flame cone that is around half the total length of the flame. If you're unsure of what reducing, neutral and oxidizing flame patterns look like, check some of the many welding sites online for pictures of flame cones and you'll be able to clearly see what I'm talking about. I'd copy and paste a few here, but I don't want to infringe on anyone's copyrighted material.

I'm sure you'll get this resolved pretty easily with what everyone has told you. If you get an opportunity to test a Smith Little Torch at a dealer or another smith's studio, try it out - I think you'll find it to be much more manageable than the Hoke, and more comfortable, too.

Joyce3473's picture

The torches

I'm fairly new at all of this. My Hoke was bought second hand. Didn't invest too much into it. I looked at the Smith on the Rio Grande website and it does look very nice. Can't wait to get back to my piece and try out your suggestions, thank you!!