Making a Silver Ring Band

Orca Torch Review

Orca soldering torch review

 

After many years of using various sized hand held Butane gas torches to make jewellery, I recently upgraded to an Orca Torch.

 

Why upgrade?

My upcoming 2016 New Collection is made from thicker gauge Argentium Sterling Silver sheet & wire & involves a lot more soldering. The Butane torches were struggling to evenly heat & solder these thicker pieces.

 

What’s included with Orca Torch? 

The Orca Torch comes with a slim hand piece with collet, various sized nozzles & single 2 meter hose with 3/8″ LH thread that comes ready to attach to a gas bottle.

 

Orca Soldering torch nozzles

 

What do I like most about it?

  • Compared to my handheld butane torches, the slimmer hand piece of the Orca Torch feels so much more comfortable & lightweight.
  • The fully ajdustable collet on the handpiece allows you to more easily control the amount of oxygen coming into the handpiece & size of the flame.
  • Because the torch is attached to a 2kg LPG gas bottle, it doesn’t need refilling everyday like my butane torches & it fits easily under my workbench.

LPG Bottle for camping

 

From a tiny pinpoint flame for fine soldering work to a longer wider flame for melting metal, this torch can do it all.

I ordered my Orca Torch from the Australian company Koodak Jewellery supplies. While there website is a little hard to navigate at times, the speed of their service & shipping has to date, been excellent.

The only downside was that the manufacturer of the Orca Torch does not supply any instructions on how to set the torch up.

Orca soldering Torch

 

Luckily though there are plenty of videos on You Tube on how to do this.

Since upgrading it’s just been a matter of practice, practice, practice.

Along the way I’ve overheated & melted a few things – but that’s Ok, it’s all part of the learning curve!

The short video below is me annealing a piece of Argentium Sterling Silver with the Orca torch using the smallest nozzle.

 

 

So if you’re considering upgrading from a Butane torch to a single gas torch with handpiece I highly recommend you try the Orca LPG torch.

 

 

1 reply
  1. Michelle
    Michelle says:

    So happy I found this review. I’ve been back and forth about what torch to get and between this and the Smith acetylene torch. I’m freaked about having acetylene in the house so leaning towards the Orca but have read a lot of reviews about the oxygen nozzle moving around when you move your torch and people have been saying you need a ring or a metal piece to keep it in place. Also saw an older you tube video saying you had to detach the hose after every use as it’s not safe which sounded like a pain. Then I’ve read that a goo like substance forms at the bottom of the hose and it’s a nightmare to clean up so you have to drain the hose after every use. Do you keep your hose attached? Also I’ve heard that it’s not safe to have a refillable propane tank in your house so was thinking I’d have to go with a disposable option or use MAPP as it’s hotter. Are you worried it will blow up? I have a Benzomatic butane torch I’ve been using the last 8 months (getting back into jewellery making after over 12+ years when I took silver smithing. I used to own an acetylene torch with a larger tank and sold it over 10 years ago as it wasn’t being used. Do you still love your torch? Have you had any problems? Do you drain your hose after use? What precautions do you have in place with your torch? ie. mask, window, fan, fire extinguisher. I just have so many questions and want to make the right choice and be able to do more things. I have trouble using 12 gauge sterling silver wire. I made a bracelet and it took about 3 times to get it hot enough to solder.

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