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Boro Room -- For Boro-related tips, techniques, and questions.

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  #1  
Old 2007-07-29, 2:50am
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Default Why not more use of hand torches?

This is something that is driving me a bit crazy. I am used to working in metals and building my pieces by soldering components together so this is how I am conditioned to work, but I am used to the main piece staying stationary and moving the torch to heat the spots where I want to make the connection.

I know I can't be as precise with glass since I need to worry about thermal shock, but it still seems like it would be easier to use a hand held torch to make, or at least finish the attachments on a sculpture than to constantly try to work a big piece on a punty into awkward angles to use a fixed torch.

I have thought about getting one of the National 3A's and experimenting with that. All most all my larger torches I use for silver work are Acetylene/Air torches so I don't think they would work on glass. I do have a Smith Little Torch and a Hoke Oxy/fuel torch that should run on propane, but they are very small flamed torches and may not have enough heat to keep things warm.

So am I totally off track on trying to build with a hand torch?

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  #2  
Old 2007-07-29, 3:12am
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I suppose the difference is that you are soldering or welding stationary objects together, glass tends to drip so you need to turn it. Be okay for little bits of fine work but then you need to constantly work it over the whole bead to keep it warm and if the bead is stationary, then you need to be very mobile and so forth.

Good Luck

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  #3  
Old 2007-07-29, 4:51am
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I've got a friend who is a "neon guy"...he uses a National, and swears by it. He's been working with both neon and boro for the last 22 years or so - he brought his torch up to my Studio to play, and baby it can melt stuff! The only thing I found personally, was that it was condiferably louder, and not as "pretty" as some other torches - BUT - being able to grab it out of it's stand and use it in a specific area is a very cool feature if working on sculptural stuff, or a base of a tree or something else you wanna keep perfectly flat....plus it's got all these cool tips you can switch out quickly.

I've got a Smith Little torch, and absolutely LOVE it for attaching flower petals and the like - it's super-hot, and a delight, but I wouldn't want to try using it to melt anything too big...
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  #4  
Old 2007-07-29, 5:55am
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Quick clarification, I am doing small sculptures, not beads. They are anywhere from 2"x2"x4" to hopefully 6"x8"x8" or so which is about the largest I can get in my kiln. I make the individual components, fish, fairies, mermaids, leaves, coral, etc separately and a normal torch works well for doing these small pieces.

It is the final construction where I pull the parts out of the holding kiln and attach them together that the hand torch would come in very handy. Having the main base setting stable while I weld the small parts in place would keep things from shifting as much. Also holding a small piece on a punty and a torch seems easier than maneuvering a big punty with the full weight of the whole piece on it.
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  #5  
Old 2007-07-29, 8:30am
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I am thinking it would be easier for those hard to reach places and for working 2 sides of an attachment at once...but having never tried one, I can't say if it makes a difference.

I have the GTT hand torch on order. The base can be fitted with your choice of Lynx, Phantom or Mirage torch head. I chose the Lynx because I want the fine point.
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Old 2007-07-29, 8:56am
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Lots of folks use a little torch (like Smith's) for small sculpture, esp paperweight set ups. If you have a hot plate with maybe a graphite pad on it you could work right there if you can keep your piece evenly warm. Or if you are using the Italian method (start at one end work to the other, or working boro the hand torch would also work well. I personally would want both a mounted torch and a small micro flame at my disposal for sculpture work but alas, not in today's budget.
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Old 2007-07-29, 11:08am
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the little smith torch work great for small glass stuff like attching and welding stuff and poping holes. Also great for goldsmithing and silver.
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Old 2007-07-29, 11:22am
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the little torch is ggrreattt
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Old 2007-07-29, 1:01pm
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There are just limitations in budget for most folks. There's no reason not to have hand torches or anything else you want. I've got a few hand torches, but for the work I'm doing now, a bench torch is all I need. Go for it and let your imagination work while you're setting up your studio. I do things way different than some people do, because it makes sense to me. Might be back asswards, but it works.
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Old 2007-07-30, 8:34am
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i just bought a bethlehem SGO hand torch, should be here by the end of the week. there are so many times ive needed one, aquatic sculptures, ice wreath im making now, vessels sometimes, helicopters etc.... getting into the smaller areas to fire polish or connect by moving a large piece, or smaller one with tight tolerances for getting into areas will be so much easier. i have needed one so many times, now i just have to get the regs and hoses. i will use it often!
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Old 2007-07-31, 7:29pm
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Well if I ever retire from the day job I'll have a hand torch too because I have sketches of big things that will require it!
The glassblower that I rent from all of the time has one and uses it daily.
I was really surprised last month to find out that he has a big CC too.
Paula
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Old 2007-07-31, 8:11pm
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You can use your bench torch like a hand torch too. I pick mine up often if I'm working on something that requires it. Don't limit yourself to any one thing... creativity knows no bounds.
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Old 2007-08-01, 7:32am
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I use both ... mainly my Jupiter bench torch, but I've got a hand torch ready, hooked on the side of my bench within easy reach, that way I can work into those hard-to-reach areas and use the bench torch for keeping the whole thing hot ... the line is long ehough to reach into my kiln, too, so I can work in there ... there's so many times I've found that really handy. I also used to have a hydrogen hand torch at the ready ... amazing stuff the old hydrogen ...
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by Miema on LPG and oxy bottles and a GTT Mirage.

Last edited by wickedglass; 2007-08-01 at 7:35am. Reason: typo
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Old 2007-08-01, 8:36am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wickedglass View Post
I use both ... mainly my Jupiter bench torch, but I've got a hand torch ready, hooked on the side of my bench within easy reach, that way I can work into those hard-to-reach areas and use the bench torch for keeping the whole thing hot ... the line is long ehough to reach into my kiln, too, so I can work in there ... there's so many times I've found that really handy. I also used to have a hydrogen hand torch at the ready ... amazing stuff the old hydrogen ...
that jupiter torch looks awesome.

What do you think about hydrogen?

I thought of using hydrogen for gas to see how it works
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  #15  
Old 2007-08-01, 10:11am
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yes lots of people use hand torches (not me though lol)....some people even use them to work on pieces while they sit in the kiln
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  #16  
Old 2007-08-01, 12:38pm
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Why not? grab on and use it on everything! ~I have seen people all geared up working with a hand torch in the kiln.......on the other hand I never did see the work produced or finished.

Carlisle and H.Arnold both make great hand torches by the way.
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Old 2007-08-01, 1:09pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wickedglass View Post
I use both ... mainly my Jupiter bench torch, but I've got a hand torch ready, hooked on the side of my bench within easy reach, that way I can work into those hard-to-reach areas and use the bench torch for keeping the whole thing hot ... the line is long ehough to reach into my kiln, too, so I can work in there ... there's so many times I've found that really handy. I also used to have a hydrogen hand torch at the ready ... amazing stuff the old hydrogen ...

Do you happen to have pics of your kiln, esp while working in it? This I'd really like to see in action!
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Old 2007-08-02, 7:37am
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gwacie: unfortunately I don't have any images of working in the kiln (needless to say, gloves are a handy thing to have), but I've got a couple of pics of work in the kiln. i usually have a punty which I stick through the bunghole so the piece is hot while the punty is cold. I don't have a fancy kiln with one of those flap doors at the bottom (sometimes I wish I did, so I could garage multiple pieces on punties). my working kiln is a 35 cm cube inside, which is enough for most things, but I have much larger kilns which I utilise when the piece gets too big, after final assembly of all the components. As I said, I either have it in the door, which enables me to work on the piece (if I need to) as the door swings out or I have the piece right in the front of the kiln. Here's a couple of pix of pieces sticking in the kiln door.

jokersdesign: in regard to hydrogen, I haven't used it in a while, but it's very nice. it gets the glass very hot, and because the H burns hotter than LPG with less oxygen, it doesn't cook the glass as easily. It also makes exceptionally fine joins as the H makes the glass flow much nicer. I used it to join 3mm tubing at a right angle to 26 mm tubing. here in australia, at least, it's not as viable as lpg, as hydrogen is way more expensive. unless the job you're doing is worth enough to offset that cost, I'd recomment staying with LPG. If you still want to try, make sure your torch is suitable and be careful not to stick your finger in the flame, the burns can be much nastier than lpg. I recommend garaging the piece straight away in a hot kiln, or even flame annealing it over an lpg flame before garaging as the temperature differential will potentially introduce more stress. I've never used hydro on colour, so I can't say anything about that, though. have fun
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Old 2007-08-02, 9:48am
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I borrowed a Lynx hand torch for a long time.

My shopmate was going to get a bench torch, I suggested he should get the hand torch so I could use it as a hand torch when he wasn't around. However, theres no stand really for the GTT hand torches, apparently and the one we built didn't really allow for easy removal. He just uses it as a bench torch.

I can think of lots of uses for a hand torch, but they never seem to crop up in my work. The Willy-Wally certainly make nice ones, though!
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Old 2007-08-03, 4:55pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wickedglass View Post
gwacie: unfortunately I don't have any images of working in the kiln (needless to say, gloves are a handy thing to have), but I've got a couple of pics of work in the kiln. i usually have a punty which I stick through the bunghole so the piece is hot while the punty is cold. I don't have a fancy kiln with one of those flap doors at the bottom (sometimes I wish I did, so I could garage multiple pieces on punties). my working kiln is a 35 cm cube inside, which is enough for most things, but I have much larger kilns which I utilise when the piece gets too big, after final assembly of all the components. As I said, I either have it in the door, which enables me to work on the piece (if I need to) as the door swings out or I have the piece right in the front of the kiln. Here's a couple of pix of pieces sticking in the kiln door.

jokersdesign: in regard to hydrogen, I haven't used it in a while, but it's very nice. it gets the glass very hot, and because the H burns hotter than LPG with less oxygen, it doesn't cook the glass as easily. It also makes exceptionally fine joins as the H makes the glass flow much nicer. I used it to join 3mm tubing at a right angle to 26 mm tubing. here in australia, at least, it's not as viable as lpg, as hydrogen is way more expensive. unless the job you're doing is worth enough to offset that cost, I'd recomment staying with LPG. If you still want to try, make sure your torch is suitable and be careful not to stick your finger in the flame, the burns can be much nastier than lpg. I recommend garaging the piece straight away in a hot kiln, or even flame annealing it over an lpg flame before garaging as the temperature differential will potentially introduce more stress. I've never used hydro on colour, so I can't say anything about that, though. have fun
I like that aquatic scene as well as the "irons" you got there in the kiln!

Thanks for posting these for others to enjoy!
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  #21  
Old 2007-08-06, 6:39am
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There was the most awesome hand torch at the Gathering. Maybe someone knows what the heck it was. It attached to a stand on the bench and it had "hand controls" to adjust oxy and propane right at the point where you held it. It could see that it would be great for so many applications. I also suspect that it might be danged expensive too. If anyone knows what it was, post here.

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Old 2007-08-06, 6:53am
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Neat pieces Wicked. Thanks for posting.

Would love to hear more Janelle, who was using it maybe?
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Old 2007-08-06, 10:03am
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I'd like to know what that torch was too!

Paula
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Old 2007-08-06, 1:19pm
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Quote:
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There was the most awesome hand torch at the Gathering. Maybe someone knows what the heck it was. It attached to a stand on the bench and it had "hand controls" to adjust oxy and propane right at the point where you held it. It could see that it would be great for so many applications. I also suspect that it might be danged expensive too. If anyone knows what it was, post here.
I think you are referring to the Wale prototype hand torch. It was only hooked up the second night of the Gathering's open torch, and it was hooked up at the table where the Bethlehem burners (Barracuda's I think) were. That was also the same table where Lewis rocked the house the night before using the Japanese glass.

Anyways, that hand torch is a prototype that Wale is developing that has the same kind of head as their Firebird bench model. The neat feature about it is that it has two rollers around the thumb area where you can roll them forward of backwards to adjust the flow. Very nice design, and a great little torch. I spent some time on it and found the head to be very versatile, and actually liked it better than the bench model, if that makes sense.

I have no idea what the price is on it, and also am not sure when it will be available for sale. Contact Wale Apparatus for more details on that one.
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Old 2007-08-06, 1:23pm
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Yep! That's it! I didn't know it was just a prototype but I thought the hand controls were the most unique innovation in torches that I'd seen. Well, that volcano thing was pretty interesting too. It looked very cool - but also hard to light.

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Old 2007-08-07, 4:42am
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here's a couple of more in-progress pics of another piece I posted here on another thread a while ago. this is me gunning for some action in a bigger kiln, the hand torch is a "Colt"! here i got the single jet attachment, I have several attachments, including a ribbon-type head and a couple of large barrel heads.

Note: I won't be held responsible by anyone sustaining damage by being brave or stupid enough to wear towels to do such a thing ... kilns are hot!

I also posted some more images of this madness on glassartists.org
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Last edited by wickedglass; 2007-08-07 at 4:46am. Reason: added image
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Old 2007-08-07, 4:51am
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WOW!! Brave!!!
And look at the size of that kiln! WOW!!!
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Old 2007-08-07, 5:21am
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Wow that looks like fun!!!

Paula
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Old 2007-08-07, 5:29am
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Dude, nice purple towel. That's an interesting kiln, is it yours?

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think they actually make gear to wear for this sort of application (would a welder's helmet work?).
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Last edited by gwacie; 2007-08-07 at 7:51am. Reason: spelling
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Old 2007-08-07, 7:22am
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wickedglass wickedglass is offline
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the gear you're talking about is called furnaceman's apparel ... it's aluminised, so it's like a silver space suit, with a heat resistant hood and faceshield. It looks something like this ...

http://riveriamarketing.com/product_...t/62/102_1.jpg

at least with one of those the handy metal rims of your glasses doesn't get hot
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by Miema on LPG and oxy bottles and a GTT Mirage.
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