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I am planning to purchase either a Carlisle CC Mini or a Nortel Minor. Any suggestions about torches also appreciated. I would like to be able to work with both soft glass and boro. (Boro small items) The challenge is I do not have an enclosed area in which I can install a ventilation system. Would it be safe to work outside? I am in Florida - weather generally not a problem other than hot at times. When there is no air movement, would this be a problem? Any information is most appreciated.
It's fine to torch outside! Lucky you that you can do it most of the year. I tried to set mine up outside last summer, but found that the sun on my stainless table top gets HOT and also the wind tends to blow the flame around and that can be dangerous too...
Thank you for your reply. I have enjoyed your thread about the progress of your studio. If I decide to build a studio one day, I will have many questions to ask you.
The only problem you may have is the ability to see the flame. Flames disappear in bright sunlight. You will need something to work against in the background for contrast.
I bet if you give your self some shade it might help with the ability to see the flame, but the wind will probably be an issue. In the summer it gets super hot in my studio 110 on most days and even a small fan will move my flame around. I have a larger torch though (cheetah)so when it moves it bothers me.
Isn't Mr. Smiley's studio under a carport in FL?
Oh, I torch outside with my hothead...in *Maine*! Fana torches with hers outside in MA...some of us are just nuts ;)
Stained glass artisans have the same problems with flux fumes while soldering and many like to work outside whenever it's possible. Although a draft from wind or fan won't blow the flame around (they use electric soldering irons) even a small breeze can cause the glass to crack during soldering. They've learned that it's essential to set up wind breaks to ensure that even a gentle breeze can't blow directly on their work. The same wind breaks would prevent breezes (from fans or winds) from moving torch flames around.
Whether used outside or inside, a fan works best if it's used to pull fumes instead of push them - and a large slow moving fan works better then a small fast one. A simple test can demonstrate the difference. Light a candle and watch how your fan moves the smoke around. Watch how some fans create an swirling eggbeater pattern in the fumes rather then draw the fumes away. A few such experiments will show you how having a fan behind you can create exactly the problems you're trying to prevent.
Is it safe to torch OUTSIDE? And if there is no air movement, is that a problem?
Yes, it's safe to torch outside, and yes it's a problem if there's no air movement. You can decide for yourself how best to create the needed air movement.
You need ventilation, period.
If you are working outside, you typically will want to block stray wind, but doing so will create a "quiet" area where there is no air flow.
The same rules of ventilation apply, although you don't really need a hood.
Go by the square footage of your work area, for example 2 feet by 2 feet. 4 feet square. You will need approximately 400 to 500 CFM of air flow.
Despite what others may propose, using a "large slow fan" will not properly remove fumes and hazardous levels of NOX from the immediate work area. At the very minimum, you are going to need a window box fan blowing over your shoulder.
If you are in a sheltered area, in the middle of a wall, sheltered above and to the sides, I would still encourage you to consider putting a hood in.
If you are working inside of course, the rules for a hood and ducting and a fan still apply.
I torch outside when the weather permits. I just finished my garage studio's ventilation so I can torch year-round.
My vote for a torch is the Mini CC. It's incredibly versatile! OCR (http://www.glasscolor.com/products/default.aspx?cID=113&pID=1415) has a great price on it.
Be careful with the breezes if you work outside. The obvious problem of the flame blowing over into your hand is there, but the breeze can also cause odd cooling in your glass leading to cracking.
Best to control the elements when you can via some partitions and intentional ventilation.
When people work outside, what do you do with your equipment? If you're under a porch or a carport they're safe from the weather, but how do you keep people from just walking off with your torches, hoses, presses, and the like? Or do you pack up EVERYTHING every single time and move it back indoors? (i've moved to a house with a carport, not a garage, and around here lawn tools have a way of wandering off if one doesn't lock them up, so I think small brass saleable items, a torch, etc. would be prime candidates for being lifted.)
My hothead is attached to a small rolling computer cart--I just drag the cart back inside when I'm done torching--I haul out whatever I want to use that day on a cookie sheet--glass, frit, etc. I've learned to be "specific" (yeah--right--it takes me 4 trips every time :lol:)--stuff lives in coffee cups--stringers, half-used rods, etc--& then I just grab what I need in full new rods from my picnic basket (that's where my new glass lives) before each session.
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