The Smith® acetylene and air soldering system is a great choice for silversmiths and craftspeople. Larger tips are ideal for annealing, sweat-soldering, brazing and light casting applications. Additional tips are available. The tank is available separately.
• Fast, economical heat, burning acetylene and atmospheric air at 4,770°F (2,632°C).
• No oxygen needed.
• All-metal construction with long-wearing, precision-machined brass parts that are nickel-plated for added heat resistance.
• All B fittings (9/16" ID).
• Sensitive, dual-gauge regulator with large, easy-to-read dials.
• All-metal handle with O-ring-sealed tips for safety and durability.
2016-2017 Tools and Equipment Catalog p.485
• Dual-dial regulator.
• Torch handle.
• Torch striker.
• #00 tip.
• Leak-detector fluid, 8 oz.
• Long-wear single-line rubber-reinforced hose with neoprene center, 10-ft.
please note: All items in this kit are made in the USA.
Frequently Asked Questions About Beginning Torch Soldering
Interested in learning to use a torch to weld, braze or solder? Start with these questions fielded by Rio Grande's Tech Team from jewelry makers new to torch-soldering. If you don't find the answers you need here, please give our Tech Team a call; we'll be happy to talk to you about your soldering goals.
Q: What torch do I need for soldering jump rings?
A: If jump rings are all you're doing, we recommend the Blazer Micro-Torch as the easiest to operate. If you prefer to avoid working with open flame, we recommend the Hot Spot®.
Q: What torch do I need if I'm soldering more than jump rings?
A: If you are serious about soldering, will not be working with small, fine tasks, and are willing to learn your way around a tank and regulator, we highly recommend the Smith® SilverSmith™ torch system. It is easy to learn, straightforward operation of tanks and regulator and will handle just about any larger applications. If you are a motivated and savvy beginner or an intermediate jeweler who will be doing small, fine work, jewelry repairs or platinum work, we highly recommend the Smith® Little Torch™ oxygen/propane system. It handles fine tasks, works cleaner, is easy to learn, and offers a lightweight handle that helps ensure ease of use.
Q: What type of fuel should I use?
A: This depends on the torch selected. I recommend oxygen/propane over oxygen/acetylene because the flame is cleaner and you can do platinum.
Q: Do I need oxygen with a torch system? A: Depends on the torch. Some require oxygen, some don't.
Q: What torch do I need if I want to cast as well as solder.
A: We recommend a Smith® Versa-Torch™ as a good choice to cover both applications.
Q: What’s the safest torch to use indoors?
A: When used correctly all torches can be used safely indoors. The key element here is ensuring proper ventilation.
Q: What’s the difference between the fuel gases?
A: • Natural Gas is easily accessible because it is delivered through existing gas lines. It is clean, economical and supports most jewelry-making tasks without the risk and maintenance associated with bottled gas forms. • Acetylene Gas is very accessible and reasonably priced. Its hot-burning, concentrated flame supports multiple applications, including cutting, welding, brazing and casting. It is not a good choice for all metals because it has a carbon by-product that can contaminate metals, such as platinum. Lighter than air, acetylene tends to dissipate through the air in the event of a leak. • Propane Gas is easily accessible, reasonably priced and clean-burning at a relatively low cylinder pressure. Propane is ideal for general applications such as brazing, soldering, melting and casting. The heat is dispersed throughout the flame. Heavier than air, propane tends to settle in low areas in the event of a leak. • Hydrogen Gas is a very clean, high-pressure gas that is excellent for melting and casting platinum. Hydrogen is more expensive to use than other gases, is not as readily available in all areas, and requires careful handling and storage.
Q: What’s the difference between an air system and an oxygen system?
A: An oxygen system has a tank of compressed oxygen that supplies the oxygen necessary to regulate the size and intensity of the flame. The fuel and oxygen are combined in varying amounts to achieve different types of flames. For example, a reducing flame (which is nice for annealing) has very little oxygen in it. A neutral flame has a mix close to 50/50 fuel and oxygen, making it good for soldering. An oxidizing flame, with little fuel in it, is good for platinum welding. An air system uses ambient air and mixes it with the fuel gas in the handle. This allows less control of the type of flame you can produce because the handle automatically adjusts for more or less fuel and mixes enough air to produce a neutral flame at all times. Because the flame is automatically adjusted, it is a little easier to operate.
Q: Where do I get my fuel and oxygen?
A: Once you have your tanks (available on our website or in our catalog), you can purchase both fuel and oxygen at local welding supply stores; you can also purchase propane anywhere they sell propane for grills.
Q: Can I change from disposable cylinders to permanent ones later?
A: Yes, but you will need to get new regulators for your tanks.
Q: Do I need flashback arrestors?
A: Yes, flashback arrestors are highly recommended, here’s why: Flashback arrestors are built with in-line check-valves that prevent a hose fire from reaching the regulators or tank and causing an explosion. Dual-duty arrestors also cut off gas flow when back pressure drops to 0.5psi--an added safety feature essential for you and your co-workers.
Q: Why can’t I use a flashback arrestor on my air/acetylene torch?
A: Because you don’t need one; the handle itself is a flashback arrestor. Additionally, since the air/acetylene system is a single-fuel system, there is no secondary compressed gas to force the flame back to the tank.
Q: How to read a regulator.
A: See instructions that come with the regulator you choose.
Q: Setting up a torch for the first time.
A: See instructions that are included with the torch you select. Check our website, too, for some excellent videos on setting up a Little Torch™.
Q: How to safely shut down a torch after use.
A: See instructions that are included with the torch you select.
Q: Can I use my natural gas line instead of a cylinder?
A: You can use natural gas, but it's likely you won't have sufficient gas pressure and will need equipment to boost the pressure. This would really need direct input with a professional about your gas supply and your soldering needs.
Q: What tools do I need for a soldering station? A: Depending on your budget and what tasks you need to accomplish, there is a wide range of tools you could use. On our website and in our catalog, we offer several kits ideal for equipping a soldering station. Give our tech team a call to discuss your individual needs.
Q: Can I switch the fuel on my Little Torch™ from acetylene to propane or vice versa?
A: Sure, no problem; however, you will need a new regulator appropriate for the new gas, and we recommend new hoses, too, just as a precaution.
Q: How about using my propane regulator with acetylene gas?
A: No; not only are the fittings different, but the regulators are made differently and are therefore not interchangeable.
Q: I want to start soldering and am going to teach myself, what do I need?
A: First, we recommend the excellent educational material that will help you get started. Often, it’s a good idea to read some material or watch a soldering basics video first before ordering. That way you can see the process and what is needed and how to use it before ordering. Afterwards you can call back in and we can go through the website or catalog together and put together an order. Or, for the more experienced customer we will build a basic kit or recommend the basic soldering kit. Rio Grande also offers great soldering classes throughout the year!
How To Solder More Successfully
These tips can help you solder more successfully and more reliably . . . every time. They are so simple, but it can be too easy to let the little things slip our minds as we work through our processes.
• Use the least amount of solder needed to make a good joint. Do not flood the joint with solder.
• Pieces to be soldered should fit tightly together with no air space in between.
• Make sure the joint and the solder are clean. Prior to soldering, flux all surfaces well to prevent oxidation, which can inhibit solder flow.
How To Understand the A's and B's of Torch Fittings
So simple, there isn't even a "C" to this one. Understand how to tell the difference between "A" and "B" torch fittings as well as the difference between fuel and oxygen connections.
• "A"-style fittings have 3/8" threading.
• "B"-style fittings have 9/16" threading.
• Fuel fittings are left-threaded and tighten to the left. They are standard-marked with a groove (notch) on the screw nut.
• Oxygen fittings are right-threaded and tighten to the right. They are standard-marked with a smooth screw nut (no notch).
How To Store and Use Fuel Gas and Oxygen Safely
Fuel gas and oxygen are essential to soldering operations and, though they can be extremely dangerous, when you know how to store and use them with unwavering attention to safety steps, they can be very safe. Follow all precautions to ensure your operation is as safe and dependable as it can be. IMPORTANT notes about converting from compressed air to oxygen • If you use your torch with compressed air, dedicate that torch for ONLY compressed air and fuel, and NEVER switch it back to oxygen and fuel operation. • NEVER use an oxygen regulator for compressed air. Oxygen must never be allowed to contact grease, oil or other petroleum-based substances. In the presence of oxygen, these substances become highly explosive and can ignite and burn violently. Once your designated torch has been used with compressed air, it should not be used again with oxygen unless the oxygen hose is replaced with a new one and the correct oxygen regulator is installed.
Store all fuel and oxygen tanks safely in an appropriate carrier or securely chain them to a wall to reduce the risk of valve damage that could potentially cause a dangerous release of compressed gas.
Always engage the main tank shut-off after every use.
Purge all fuel and oxygen lines before each use to ensure no mixed gases remain in the torch system.
Always check all connections for any possible leaks whenever you're setting up tank and torch systems and whenever you're changing tanks.
Always wear safety equipment when soldering, brazing or welding.
Always use flashback arrestors and check-valves in lines to prevent a hose fire from reaching the tank.
The Basics On How To Solder Effectively
Here's how to solder effectively using the basic skills for soldering. Follow these steps to ensure strong, long-lasting joint.
Clean Solder won’t flow on a dirty or greasy surface. Use a de-greasing detergent cleaner and an abrasive pad, or an abrasive such as pumice powder to remove dirt or grease from the metal being soldered. Rinse thoroughly after cleaning. You can also steam-clean the workpieces.
Fit Components, findings and joints must fit tightly together. Gaps in joints and poorly matched junctures between parts create a poor solder joint, which could result in pitting of the solder or in a weak joint that could break. Occasionally, solder simply will not fill a poor-fitting area.
Flux Flux prepares the metal surface to receive the fluid solder. When applying flux, make sure it is in contact with the solder at all times and that it touches both metal parts being joined. Some self-pickling fluxes also help dissolve oxides. Keeping the joint oxide-free is important for creating the ideal soldering surface.
Flame Use either a neutral flame (equal parts oxygen and gas) or a reducing flame (more gas than oxygen). The metal adjacent to the joint must reach the necessary temperature before solder will flow. First concentrate the heat on the surrounding surface, then on the joint to be soldered. Remember, solder flows to the hottest part of the surface and toward the flame.
Follow-Up After soldering, use a mild acid pickle to clean nonferrous metals. This removes oxides and other soldering residues prior to finishing. When storing solders, keep them free from dirt and grease. Sheet solders may be cleaned to remove dirt or residue.
How To Choose A Torch Tip
Selecting the right tip for the job is the first step to a quality professional finish. Use this quick and easy guide to help you select the most suitable tip for your Smith® Little Torch™ or SilverSmith™ torch based on the task at hand.
Keep in mind that each tip can have a wide range of temperatures and flame types (neutral, reducing and oxidizing) so it can be hard to pin down jobs to just certain tips. Experiment a bit with your particular jobs and keep a record of which tip performs best with each of your often-performed tasks.
Little Torch™ torch tips:
#2 Use for retipping and small chain repair, small joints, soldering hinge pins. Note: Use with acetylene or hydrogen only, not for use with propane or natural gas.
#3 Same as above, slightly larger flame. Can be used with all fuels.
#4 Use for soldering shanks for ring sizing, medium-sized seams and gauge metal, soldering wedding bands together.
#5 Same as above, slightly larger flame.
#6 Same as above, bigger flame.
#7 Large shanks like class rings, anything that needs a lot of gentle heating. Sizing a thick platinum band. Annealing sheet or large bar stock. (This tip is most often chosen for soldering silver.)
SilverSmith™ torch tips:
#00: Very small tip used for small jump rings and not much else (size that is included with the torch).
#0: Small tip used for larger jump rings and soldering silver wires, good for gold sizings.
#1 A good general-purpose size for lots of applications (highly recommended as an add-on for the SilverSmith).
#2 Another useful general purpose size, slightly larger flame.
#3 Use for large pieces and hollowware (also highly recommended as an add-on; with the #00 and #1, a good a starter trio).
#4 Use for large annealing, melting and large hollowware.
Approximate SilverSmith Tip
Properties of Fuel Gases
Properties of Fuel Gases
Low-Pressure (LP) Gases: propane, MAPP, butane, natural gas High Pressure (HP) Gases:
Figures in the table below are approximate
Flame Temp. with Oxygen
Flame Temp with Atmospheric Air
Avg. BTU per cu. ft
Burns clean; economical to use; low pressure
Highest flame; temperature; most popular fuel gas
Burns clean; economical to use
High heat; cleaner than acetylene
Low heat; available in portable containers
Somewhat concentrated high-temperature flame
*Typical analysis: methane 83.4%, ethane 15.8%, nitrogen 0.8%
**Hand-held butane torches can produce higher temperatures than those listed.
Selecting Silver Solder
When assembling, start with your highest melting point solder. As you assemble each piece, use a lower temperature solder. The chart below describes the uses for and flow temperatures of four standard types of solder.
Laser welding, repair operations
First soldering operations
General soldering; intermediate operations
General soldering and repairs; intermediate or final operations
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