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zrokool123 2013-03-19 1:20pm

Getting a new torch for Med-large boro
Hello, been blowing glass for a few years now. Making mostly glass pipes and bubblers. Been using the nortel midrange, can't complain about it to much...only that i want to get a minor for more detailed work or another torch that can handle the small to the large. First question:
1. Is it possible to get a minor burning upgrade and just attach it to my midrange? IF so, what is the difference between pre-mix and surface torches?

2. Is the Redmax a good enough upgrade to consider? Or would it just be better to get a bigger torch? I like the midrange, but i am really starting to outgrow it. I would like to be able to melt my glass faster with a bigger flame, make bigger pieces...but also would like a minor flames as well.

3. Been looking at some torches like the Barracuda, phantom...etc.. what are your thoughts on the Barracuda? Phantom? Lynx? What are some other torches you would recommend? I'm looking for a price range of around 1k or so give or take a little.

4. Does anyone have any torches they want to sell? :)


Cheryl 2013-03-19 2:13pm

I cannot help from my limited experience but I do highly recommend you contact Ron at
R4GlassStudio, that is his user name here. I had so many questions and he was able to answer them all and make some great suggestions. His main concern is his customers needs being met and their being happy and satisfied with the choices they make. He really cares and I personally think that is what makes someone deserving of not only my business but that of others. I'm telling you it would be worth shooting him a PM. He can help you make a much more informed decision. Just my humble opinion, no affiliation.

Maui Greenstone 2013-03-19 2:34pm

Red max is not much of an upgrade over what you have. Look on eBay right now. There are several carlisle cc type burners on auction that would suit your needs and will end up being $600-$900 after the bidding is done. Otherwise put yourself on the wait list for a phantom or a sidewinder (gtt makes the best torches on the market IMHO). If you have a bit bigger budget the mirage is an ideal workhorse.

istandalone24/7 2013-03-20 2:52am

i'd get the phantom if i were you. i've got the midrange which i upgraded to a redmax with the kit...the redmax just uses more oxy and gets all carboned up. i feel i can do the same with the midrange with less oxy and less radiant heat burns on my hand.

i'm on the wait list at gtt for a phantom and am looking for a used one in the mean time.

GlassAlias 2013-03-20 4:05am

I will agree with the suggestion to get a phantom. Lots of heat when you need it and nice tight flame control with the Lynx centerfire. You'd probably be best off adding in a few hundred more and getting a mirage though. If I ever upgrade again....I got my eyes set on one of them.

zrokool123 2013-03-20 12:02pm

Thanks to everyone who replied. :)
I will look into these..

zrokool123 2013-03-20 12:19pm

Is the phantom a pretty hot torch? Can you get a real good fine needle point flame for doing precise work? How much hotter is the mirrage? They both look freaking awesome. lol :)


zrokool123 2013-03-20 12:37pm

holy cow, look at this guys setup at around the 6:30 mark. He has a setup of a water cooled bethleham pm2d and barracuda stacked ontop

marcel 2013-03-20 12:48pm

The Phantom and the Mirage has the lynx as centerfire they rock a super tight needle flame! for details ;) i use to have the phantom and it is awesome!! and now the Mirage moreeeeee Awesome!!! it depends a bit what you want to make :)

zrokool123 2013-03-20 4:39pm

sweet, sux though cuz GTT torchs are on backorder everywhere...crazy

AmorphousDesigns 2013-03-20 6:10pm

used Phantoms come up for sale periodically here in the Garage Sale section

and on the Melting Pot

zrokool123 2013-03-20 6:43pm

thanks. :)

GlassAlias 2013-03-21 3:41am

You will probably have more of a chance finding a used one on the melting pot as many its users tend to upgrade to the mirage/similar sized torches more often. If youre not in a big hurry keep checking there and even post that youre looking and you might could get a good lucky deal going. Ive seen used phantoms on there for $8-1000.

zrokool123 2013-03-21 11:30am

thnx everyone

Lampwork49 2013-03-21 11:01pm

I have a Phantom and I love it!! Very hot very versatile!! Upgraded from a Lynx but the center fire is the Lynx so it's really like two torches in one. If you only won't to do soft glass the inner fire is perfect but also can kick in the second stage for larger work. Excellent torch!!

Bunyip 2013-03-22 7:01am

GTT makes a good torch, for sure. I work a lot of solid, and I can honestly say, GTT torches just make me happy. If you decide to go that route you might think about just biting the bullet and getting a Mirage and skip the intermediary stage of the Phantom. It never hurts to have that extra "oomph" on tap if needed... but read on...

Something to think about is the flame characteristics. Make sure you've spent some time on a Lynx or Phantom (or any other GTT triple mix torch) before buying GTT. The flame from a Nortel is going to be VERY different (less penetrating, heating a larger area more evenly) than a GTT torch and you may find yourself in the midst of a frustrating learning curve - particularly if you work hollow primarily. It's always beneficial to work on a few different torches, try a CC, try a Herbert Arnold, etc. prior to making a buying decision.

Do the research on various torches. For example, in your situation, it might be a good idea to consider the Red Rocket, rather than a GTT or even the RedMax. It will have similar characteristics to what you're used to while leaving you room to grow without needing to buy another torch.

These are my thoughts on your question, hope that helps :)

zrokool123 2013-03-22 8:06am

i was thinking about going the red rocket route, i wish i could try some different torches but there aren't many glassblowers here. Maybe only a few that i know of and they are pretty secretive.

Bunyip 2013-03-22 9:47am

Where exactly are you located? Oftentimes there are lots of lampworkers you may not be aware of. Don't discount the "bead ladies", for example & some of them rock a much bigger torch than you'd think. Often gatherings of lampworkers include open torch time, etc. - a perfect time to test drive :)

glassactcc 2013-03-22 10:14am

I love my Herbie.

zrokool123 2013-03-22 1:51pm

I live here in the "Green State" Colorado. :)

Crazy Woman 2013-03-24 9:24am

Where in Colorado? I'm in the denver area.

zrokool123 2013-03-24 3:26pm

Montrose, on the western slope.. :(

Polgarra 2013-03-24 4:02pm

Western slope but much farther North than you, up by Steamboat Springs.

Crazy Woman 2013-03-24 4:27pm

Let me know if you are heading this way and you can try out some GTT's

Waving at Nikki!

zrokool123 2013-03-27 10:38am

will do. :)

pattycake 2013-04-04 2:03pm

I am just a beginner with boro and will stay a hobbiest, so small to med. range of work, would a Lynx torch to good, ? All the others i see listed here I just think are too much for me? What else is midrange like the Lynk and I hear bad things about Nortel as of late?
thank you
ps going to be using a concentrator ( I know that matters for some torches)

GlassAlias 2013-04-04 8:46pm

Lynx is a great torch. But...what kind of concentrator?

pattycake 2013-04-05 6:27am

lynx torch
I think a m15 would be strong enough for the lynx??

todda 2013-04-05 9:27am


GlassAlias 2013-04-06 3:21am

@pattycake It will run it but I dont think its the ideal setup. Ive never used oxycons so I will defer to, hopefully, the next person who answers your question.

If you search for Lynx I'm positive there is a thread that will have more info for you.

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