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Tips, Techniques, and Questions -- Technical questions or tips

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  #1  
Old 2010-03-13, 7:44pm
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Default Clean propane?

Hi there LE-ers!

I have a question (and I may be splitting hairs with this one) that involves HH torches on 20lb bulk tank propane.

Is there a cleaner (or less filthy) brand of propane out there?

I know of three brands available to me off the top of my head, but am confident there are more. Wellington(i think), AirGas, and Bull or rhino something (they have the tank swaps infront of gas stations).

My mini ducks are turning out really really dirty from prolonged exposure to pure propane from the HH.

Thanks folks!!!
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  #2  
Old 2010-03-13, 8:36pm
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Back control valve down from the wild bushy flame to a very narrow pencil point flame..... You flame is to propane rich and not having "complete" combustion..... IF you are on "new" HH its going to be really hard to get flame to adjust to proper flame for "clean" work.... If you can find a older HH with proper '"orifice" you will be much happier..... Best thing you can do is graduate up to more refined (fuel/oxygen) torch....

For the most part, propane is propane..... Brand names are not really relevant because it all come in same train cars from same refinery and only assume a brand name once it is filled into a "branded" tank........

http://www.artglassanswers.com/forum...c.php?f=12&t=7

You might also find this thread interesting read.....

http://www.lampworketc.com/forums/sh...d.php?t=133983

Dale
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Last edited by Dale M.; 2010-03-13 at 8:41pm.
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  #3  
Old 2010-03-13, 8:47pm
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thanks for the reply Dale.

I was just about the reply to my post about what I've learned on the internet HD-5 is the grade propane that is available to consumers. It's basically the only grade available, so you're right propane is just propane.

I have a new hothead..i think it was manufactured sept 2009 (i have no idea where im pulling that date from. it just sticks out in my head).

I am looking to upgrade to a minor as soon as possible. I can't wait for a clean flame. I'm trying to decide if i should get a kiln or torch first...but for now, im using HH and fiber blanket.

thanks again dale and ill check out the links.

-justin
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  #4  
Old 2010-03-13, 9:15pm
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Your best bet is to try the local welding shop and see if you can get MAPP, propylene, or Chemtaine. They are all brazing fuels, so there are several name brands available in different areas. They burn much cleaner than propane, and I mean MUCH cleaner. I was on a HH for 18 months and tried regular propane a few times, and it was awful. That was back in 2003-2004.

I tried propane with my old HH torch again last year, and it still stinks. So I know I will never bother again. Airgas has the propylene but it will cost me too much to get set up right now, as they only carry the 60lb tanks in Miami. Some places carry the 7.5lb and 30lb tanks, so it might be worth it to ask them.

I have a Bobcat and a generator, but I still love my HH because there are beads I make on it that aren't as good on the Bobcat. Bobcat's too hot for some of my beads I make.
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  #5  
Old 2010-03-13, 9:56pm
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Get the torch first, you can always batch anneal your beads later.

Have you considered buying a Cricket rather than a Minor? Having used both a Minor and Mega Minor, I would recommend the Cricket if you buy a 5lpm oxycon
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  #6  
Old 2010-03-14, 3:32am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carolyn M View Post
Get the torch first, you can always batch anneal your beads later.

Have you considered buying a Cricket rather than a Minor? Having used both a Minor and Mega Minor, I would recommend the Cricket if you buy a 5lpm oxycon
I agree. The Cricket IMHO is the best torch to start out with when you buy a 5lpm concentrator. If you get a 10lpm or 15lpm, then your best bet is the Bobcat or Lynx.

(can you tell I love GTT??)
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  #7  
Old 2010-03-14, 7:43am
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Justin, this is exactly why I still use the 1 lb canisters of Mapp/Pro, rather than bulk propane. I never could get it to burn clean enough for me. No doubt it costs more, but I spend less in glass and frustration.
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  #8  
Old 2010-03-14, 8:57am
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You'll have *better* luck with propane if you buy a *new* empty tank (try a hardware store) & get it filled at a filling station--don't use a "swap" place--that's a great way to get a tank that's been left out in someone's back yard, etc.
Then when you need more, take it to be filled & make sure you ask them to "purge" the tank before re-filling it--that way you won't get a build up of the nasty crap that settles out of the propane (the "smelly oil" & stuff they put in it for safety, etc) at the bottom of the tank...which will give you better results.
My tank still looks close to "new" (the "new tank wrapper" finally fell off this year ) after several years--as opposed to tanks I've seen in the "swap cages" that have rust, ick, etc--you're never 100% sure if those are *really* purged between fills, etc. (they're only as good as the kid who does the fill....)

Then, turn your torch down & work further out....seriously--you're likely trying to "rush" the glass--you want it to be "faster" & "hotter" & that's something the hothead just *can't* be--when you try to make it be something it can't, you get soot! (and you'll do it without even realizing it--it just happens!)

And I'll agree with the "get a cricket" crowd--much, much, much nicer than a minor, you can adjust it with such tiny tiny adjustments it's amazing! I my cricket!!
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new purple cricket @ home! minicc @ playing with fire in rockland! Sue & Nikki fighting over who gets to anneal the wonkies
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  #9  
Old 2010-03-14, 11:30am
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I'm also on a HH.
I was having a heck of a time with scum.
I did like Luna said and went and got a brand spanking new tank that I have them fill, no exchanging.
I can actually use clear now!!
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Currently on a HotHead w/ Bulk Propane, can't wait till I can use my Cricket!
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  #10  
Old 2010-03-14, 6:41pm
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I try to make sure that I get my tank filled right after a new shipment of propane has been delivered. It seems to be cleaner then. My husband fills my tank and his company gets their propane shipment on Friday. If he fills my tank on Friday after delivery or the following Monday it seems to be cleaner.

Celeste
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  #11  
Old 2010-03-14, 10:16pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lulu View Post
I'm also on a HH.
I was having a heck of a time with scum.
I did like Luna said and went and got a brand spanking new tank that I have them fill, no exchanging.
I can actually use clear now!!
So lucky, all of you that get good results with propane. Must be the area because I used the HH for a long time and never had problems with clear when I used MAPP or propylene. With propane, if I didn't get streaks of black or brown, I got pee yellow. I never once got a nice transparent bead on propane, not out of the hundreds of times I tried.
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  #12  
Old 2010-03-15, 8:07am
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I'm kicking myself...
I had bought a brand new tank and when it ran out, I went to the nearest place to get more propane and ended up swapping it instead of keeping/refilling the tank that I had bought. D'oh!!!!! (what was I thinking?!?)
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  #13  
Old 2010-03-16, 9:34am
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I was thinking of shooting for the lynx if i didn't go with a minor...should i go ahead a splurge?? i was to do sculpture work more than bead work...so im pretty close to convincing myself to go with a bit bigger torch
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  #14  
Old 2010-03-16, 10:44am
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Oops...not to confuse you, but I think the Mini CC would be the best torch for sculptures, small and medium. I have that one and the Bobcat. The Bobcat's flame is sharper, more focused and can melt boro a little faster than the Mini CC. But if you are working soft glass, the Mini has a bushier flame which has a radiant heat surrounding it, so while you are working on a piece, even though you are out of the direct flame, it will still stay toasty warm in the radiant heat. With Bobcat you will have to do a lot more flashing back and forth in the flame to avoid pieces of your work shattering off.

My advice based on experience with both torches:

Boro - small to medium and sculpture - GTT torches
Soft glass - small to medium and sculpture - Carlisle Mini CC
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Old 2010-03-16, 10:57am
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I'm beadmaker that makes mostly small beads. About three years ago I made this 30mm rose with these little petals I made one at a time and they were being kept warm on a plate in the kiln. I placed them one at a time on a barrel shaped bead and never a problem with shattering. For my first time doing this, I was surprised! I love the Mini CC and would be using it now, except it's in need of repair because some well-meaning friend of mine broke off a piece of cleaning wire inside a gas port.


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Old 2010-03-16, 11:01am
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I'm biased, but if you're going to do sculpture work I think you would be happy with the biggest torch you can afford. Mini CC is everything Lisi says and that radiant heat is great for soft glass, but if you can get a lynx... why not? The lynx is a great torch, especially if you want to do both boro and soft glass.
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Old 2010-03-16, 3:10pm
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thanks for the input folks. yall are a big help... Ive heard somewhere else to go ahead and buy all the torch i can afford. The lynx is right in the area of my budget....ill still be able to get a kiln as well.
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Old 2010-03-16, 3:17pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bakerman44 View Post
thanks for the input folks. yall are a big help... Ive heard somewhere else to go ahead and buy all the torch i can afford. The lynx is right in the area of my budget....ill still be able to get a kiln as well.
Here's a selection of great kilns:

www.theglasshive.com
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Old 2010-03-16, 3:24pm
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There are two parts of the flame, oxydizing and reducing. The tip is oxydizing. Deep in the flame is reducing. You will always get carbon build up inthe reducing flame. Use the tip of the flame and you will get a cleaner result. I have used the hothead torch and was frustrated that the white glass was mottled. I solved the problem using the tip of the torch. If you use propane with oxygen you should have no problem
Darrell
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Old 2010-03-17, 7:54am
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this is one person's torch review...it has me a little concerned for the lynx. any thoughts?
http://www.corinabeads.com/pages/torchreview.php
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Old 2010-03-17, 11:41am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lunamoonshadow View Post

Then, turn your torch down & work further out....seriously--you're likely trying to "rush" the glass--you want it to be "faster" & "hotter" & that's something the hothead just *can't* be--when you try to make it be something it can't, you get soot! (and you'll do it without even realizing it--it just happens!)
working farther out helped significantly!!! my ivory had a few specs on it, but all in all..the key to bulk propane is working farther out and patience patience patience!!!!!
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Old 2010-03-17, 1:14pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bakerman44 View Post
this is one person's torch review...it has me a little concerned for the lynx. any thoughts?
http://www.corinabeads.com/pages/torchreview.php
That is just one person's review and I think she was a little biased. Many if not all Lynx users are very happy with their torches. Her review of the Mini CC I like, as I love the torch too.

As far as repairs and maintenance, I sent my Bobcat in once for cleaning in the 5 years I had the torch. Torches don't "break" really, unless they are abused in some ways. They can get dirtied up inside, and sending them in for a cleaning makes them like new again.

The Lynx is a decision you won't regret if that's the one you are leaning toward.
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Old 2010-03-17, 1:14pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bakerman44 View Post
working farther out helped significantly!!! my ivory had a few specs on it, but all in all..the key to bulk propane is working farther out and patience patience patience!!!!!
And turn flame down!

Dale
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  #24  
Old 2010-03-17, 8:48pm
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i found that if i turn the knob the thickness of a hair jsut before it shuts off i can get a smaller flame..but my newer HH is kind of all or nothing.

thanks dale. you've been a great help along with everyone else!!

next sort of question i have (and i have yet to actually research it), but if i do small sculptures out of boro similar to my little fish (kennedy half dollar size), will i need a kiln more so than i would with soft glass or am i getting the coe backwards?
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  #25  
Old 2010-03-19, 8:41pm
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You really need a kiln for all coes of glass. You're going to have thermal cracking on beads of half dollar size unless they are annealed. When i first started torching I could get away with sticking my small stuff in the fibre blanket, but the larger the object the higher the likelihood of cracking became. And some colors were more fussy than others. I have still some issues with thermal cracking, but they are before my beads go in the kiln now.

Celeste
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  #26  
Old 2010-03-21, 5:06pm
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Default Dirty Propane

I spent several months in Mexico last year with my portable studio which includes a Minor torch and oxy concentrator. I had similar problems with propane down there and had to completely avoid some types of glass as it always came out dirty. I started with an new empty tank and my Spanish was not good enough to explain that the tank had to be purged when it was first filled. The first tank was so bad I took it outside and let all the gas bleed out and then refilled it. The second tank was better but still not what I was used to in the states. I think not purging the tank may have been part of the problem. I have also been told that the component that is added to Propane to give it it's odor is a bit heavier and tends to concentrate in the bottom of the tank after several refills and this may alter how clean it burns. I don't know if this is correct ...but Propane is fairly inexpensive and you might consider emptying your tank and having it purged at the refill station. Cheers, Ernie Wagner
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Old 2010-03-22, 8:43am
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thanks for all the responses. I found this iat tractor supply today:

A brand new 20lb tank is about $28 at tractor supply and refills are a little under $20. So that's the expense for a new set up in case anyone was wondering.
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