Needle tips for Torches

Q: I’ve got a Hoke torch, but the finest tip it came with isn’t really small enough for what I want to do. Do they make any smaller tips for it?

A: No, but if you use a Hoke torch, for under 20 bucks, I think, you can buy a small adapter which screws onto the torch instead of a tip. It comes with six all-stainless steel hypodermic needles, with the tips cut straight across, not sharpened at a diagonal. The adapter simply allows the torch to fit any hypodermic type Lauer Lok needle, which is what the included tips are. Similar tips are also used with many of the water torches.

The trick of soldering in a length of small diameter tube to an existing Meco or Hoke torch tip is another way of achieving the same thing that I’ve seen done, not in any books, but on perhaps the majority of jewelry repair benches, especially those driven by people who’ve been around for a few years or decades, and even more especially by those folks who do a lot of chain repair and similar tiny stuff. Most were simple brass tubes, which is easier to solder to the brass torch tips than is stainless. A few bright fellows used bits of more precious tubing, if that was what they had around.

by Peter W. Rowe M.F.A., G.G.