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Beads of Courage


 
  #1  
Old 2017-05-08, 3:02pm
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Question I think I need a new torch

I am looking for guidance to help me decide which torch to buy.

I have been using a GTT Cricket hooked to my NG line and two 5LPM concentrators. I recently took a blown beads class and really want to do do this but I don't think I have enough heat. The glass gather seems to be cooling too quickly so I need to use more glass, but my flame does not seem big enough.

In class, we used Nortel minors with propane and tanked oxygen. I don't want to get involved with tanked oxygen since I work in the basement and I don't want to have to move them.

I am considering a Minor or a Mini CC.

I've also looked at a Bobcat but I'm not sure how much hotter it would be than what I have now.

Thoughts?
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  #2  
Old 2017-05-08, 4:10pm
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echeveria echeveria is offline
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I would not consider a minor hotter than a cricket.
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  #3  
Old 2017-05-08, 5:25pm
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Try propane instead of natural gas. Propane burns hotter. The bobcat will give you a bit of a wider flame

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  #4  
Old 2017-05-09, 5:08am
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Propane is heavier than air, so it pools in basements and is much more dangerous than natural gas.

I'd recommend a National 3b or 6b with a 19-hole Wale Hush Tip or a 55-hole Shelbo Whisper Tip (National HT-2 or HT-3 tips might be a good choice, too, but I don't know which would be best for your oxygen supply). It's a premix torch, and its flame is different than a Cricket - more focused and much hotter. People say that premixes aren't good for soft glass, but, in my experience, the multi-port hush tips like these are great, and with natural gas burning cleaner and cooler than propane, they'd probably be even better for you than they are for me.

Last edited by dusty; 2017-05-09 at 5:14am.
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  #5  
Old 2017-05-09, 8:08am
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The Scorpion runs on NG, has the Cricket as its centerfire and has an outerfire ring for when you need extra warmth, width or oomph. Household NG pressure is adequate to run both inner and outer flames at the same time. Personally the Cricket wouldn't be my torch of choice, but paired with the outer ring and the ability to run everything on NG, it makes a great torch.
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  #6  
Old 2017-05-09, 7:42pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by artwhim View Post
The Scorpion runs on NG, has the Cricket as its centerfire and has an outerfire ring for when you need extra warmth, width or oomph. Household NG pressure is adequate to run both inner and outer flames at the same time. Personally the Cricket wouldn't be my torch of choice, but paired with the outer ring and the ability to run everything on NG, it makes a great torch.
This should definitely be considered. It is a bit pricey for me at the moment though. I will keep my eyes pealed for a used one.
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  #7  
Old 2017-05-10, 5:52am
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You just need more o2. Get concentrators with some power behind them. I use the Scorpion with only the center fire most of the time. With enough O2 that small center fire is fine. I run my torch on 2 M-20's and almost never use the outer ring. The torch is not your problem. You just need more O2 t get a larger flame even with NG
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  #8  
Old 2017-05-10, 12:45pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dasi View Post
You just need more o2. Get concentrators with some power behind them. I use the Scorpion with only the center fire most of the time. With enough O2 that small center fire is fine. I run my torch on 2 M-20's and almost never use the outer ring. The torch is not your problem. You just need more O2 t get a larger flame even with NG
Thanks Heather. I will check into it. An m20 should be all I would need.
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  #9  
Old 2017-05-11, 3:30am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clh View Post
Thanks Heather. I will check into it. An m20 should be all I would need.
You might need a couple, or just 2 more 5 lpm's. The M20/EX20's/UO20's put out 20psi, most of the 5 lpm machines put out 5psi, and the pressure difference can cause issues ("backflow") with the machines.
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  #10  
Old 2017-05-17, 5:30pm
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I have a Phantom but may be more than you need. If I were you I'd consider the GTT Lynx. It's an awesome torch!!!
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  #11  
Old 2017-05-18, 5:09pm
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I gave graduated from 3 different torches over the years. My 4th torch is the Scorpion hooked up to natural gas and at the same time I bought an M20. I'm so happy with this set up. I work hot so I use both flames concurrently. I can work faster that way. I preheat my shocky rods always as with my torch being set up to run this that a lot of rods would turn to frit. They designed the Scorpion particularly to do great with NG. I know their expensive. I paid around $750 for a used one with the option for a foot pedal. I didn't get the foot pedal for the extra money. I figured I'm not use to having one so I won't miss it. I pit up a request in LE' S garage to see if anyone was willing to sell theirs. I got someone willing to sell me theirs. However, I was worried until the day I received it. I did check him out in a lot of places. The money I used was saved up from bead sales as well as the oxycon. The guy was slow about putting it into the mail and I was persistent. He was probably super busy like he said he was, but I could hardly wait to get it and when he wasn't putting it in the mail the same day or the next day, but turned out to be a week, I was feeling like I had been taken. There is a better way for you both to get your merchandise, when you don't want to worry about someone ripping you off. I forget what it's called but the mailman will ask for the money and you sign that the merchandise was received. Please make sure you open the box before you do to make sure what you purchased was inside. So my torches were of course hot head, Nortel Minor, pirannha, and now a Scorpion. I ran the I ran the hot head on a 5lpm oxycon and propane, Nortel Minor with 5lpm and natural gas (it's slower, but only a couple of hours to get use to it). Then I got the Pirranha and added another concentrator so I had two 5 lpm's with a y line that attached to my concentrator as one. I loved it and worked with set up for years. I was happy with that set up for a good number of years. When the Scorpion came out and I read it was made to work the best out of natural gas, I wanted it. I've been satisfied with it for 4 years now. I do have all my torches and just had a 60th birthday and was thinking I should start getting rid of some things. If interested in purchasing for $125, let me know. I've been a member here for a very long time. I've had back and knee issues for 10 years. Just got operations for them and am finally feeling better. I was selling up until October, 2016, when I had to quit due to a pinched nerve that pinched me all the way from my back and traveled through every section of the right side of body. I spent two weeks in the hospital because the pain was unbearable. It took them 2.5 months from the release i November to bevl able to schedule my back surgery. I'm now recuperating from my knee surgery, which was done 1.5 weeks ago.
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  #12  
Old 2017-05-19, 12:12pm
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killerbeedz1 I sent you a PM. Thanks!
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  #13  
Old 2017-05-19, 12:44pm
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Replied The torch I would be selling is a Nortel Minor for.$125. It sounds though you would need 2 5lpm's so your torch would be hotter. If you ever find a Scorpion for $125 snatch it up. I've never seen one that cheap before. New a few years ago they were $900 2 stud and you had to wait 6 months or more for them to be built due to their popularity.
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  #14  
Old 2017-05-19, 1:05pm
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Oops sorry I made a big mistake in pricing. A new scorpion is $780. I paid less because mine was used, but they had not been out for very long. So I'm guessing I paid $100 less. At the time I bought it, you couldn't buy one at the factory unless you wanted to wait 6 months or longer.

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  #15  
Old 2017-05-19, 6:24pm
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As someone who has taken the blown beads workshop with Davide Penso and is using only the inner fire of a Scorpion (which is a cricket) to do them, I would like to suggest that the heat of the torch is not the problem. As Davide taught us, you literally have around 15 seconds to blow the bead from a hot gather to completion. Perhaps you are taking too long and the glass is cooling? What climate are you in? I have made blown beads bigger than a 3cm diameter on my Cricket with a 5lpm concentrator (which I know does not have great purity). Before rushing to buy a hotter, bigger torch, perhaps honestly analyse your technique and see if that could be the problem. Good luck!
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  #16  
Old 2017-05-20, 12:23pm
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I am in Northern Michigan and working in the coolest part of my house, the basement.

Technique is clearly an issue. I have made a reasonable large blown item, maybe 2.5 inches long with my cricket and my two oxycons y-ed together.

I think I have several issues starting with the need to use more glass. If I use more glass it will retain more heat, right? I am moving quickly since I do know I have no more than 15 seconds to get this done.

I had to wait a few weeks for my tools after I took the class and I may have forgotten quite a bit. I will watch more videos for sure and get back to practicing before I commit to another torch.

Thanks for the feedback. I truly appreciate it. I will work on my patience and frustration for a while!
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  #17  
Old 2017-05-26, 6:03am
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I think people are quick to think they need a bigger or better torch. Bigger torches need more oxygen.
Try starting with a good oxygen supply to the torch and see the difference that makes. If you move up in torch you will still need more oxygen. I have seen people tell me they have a small flame and need a new torch. Then they buy a bigger oxygen unit and it is like they have a brand new torch. I always tell people to buy a 15 or 20 unit. Do not even bother with the smaller units. Every torch runs better on a bigger oxygen unit. Chain a few bigger units together.
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  #18  
Old 2017-05-28, 3:17am
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Yep. I suppose I knew that more oxygen could be the issue. I have 2 5lpm units that I got as a huge bargain. But whenever I use a torch with tanked oxygen, it's much hotter. So much to consider and now I'm on a pretty tight budget.

Time to troll Craigslist again!

Thanks
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