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Jelveh Designs - Glass Beads Torched One-by-One

Beads of Courage


 

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  #1  
Old 2016-06-20, 2:10pm
pswrd pswrd is offline
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Default Hothead struggles and curious about Japanese B10 or KR3/B12 torches

I am new here and new to lampworking.

Finally started lampworking using a hothead. The size of the "sweet spot" is very small and the air to LPG ratio seems far too high to keep the flame hot/stable. When a couple of air holes are plugged, the flame gets noticeably hotter. Tank/Mapp pressure is just way too high to maintain a flame in any event. The only way I could get a stable flame is by putting on a high pressure regulator and choking the flow, and hot by limiting air flow.

Still, quite a few of the Moretti rods refuse to behave like honey, more like old tooth paste or dried up oil paint. I am struggling with making enough of a gather and keeping it hot for encasing. Increasingly I have been thinning my 3mm rods to stringers make the glass flow better and working with very small beads. Am I doing something wrong with the hothead?

I had my lessons on a minor and everything seemed so easy and not just quicker. So, I am looking to get a torch. The temptation is to avoid getting an oxygen concentrator because shipping cost to Asia is nearly always more than the item itself. A $500 kiln for example cost $520 shipping! So the forced air torches are very appealing since I already have a low pressure high volume compressor. Is there anyone using one of these regularly and happily?

Appreciate any suggestions. Thanks.
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  #2  
Old 2016-06-20, 2:46pm
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You may find the Japanese glass will behave better with those torches.


I think it is all a good 10 or 15 points softer than the Italian glass I am addicted to.


Where abouts are you?


And Welcome to the addiction !


Have you tried ordering the individual parts to build you kiln your self?
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  #3  
Old 2016-06-20, 3:50pm
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I think building a kiln would be the better route to go.
The aussies speak of the same high cost for concentrators and shipping, I am so sorry it is so cost prohibitive to pursue this elsewhere.
I think you are on the right track with the torches. The Indian glass industry might have some things too, I think they use water/gas torches?

But first, I would try another hot head torch. DId you get the brand name torch or one of the imitation torches? They work fine for some, but I had trouble with the less expensive ones and had to buy an actual HOT HEAD. There were some problems with it too, so I upgraded in the end. But if it is a HOT head then they do have warranties. Anything that came with the fireworks kits or similar are awful torches.
Good luck!
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  #4  
Old 2016-06-21, 5:27pm
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a hot head has a reducing flame up close...turn you flame up higher but do not work close up....work further out in the flame where the mapp gas has a chance to find oxygen so it will become a neutral flame.....reducing flames make the colors muddy and burnt.
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  #5  
Old 2016-06-22, 7:59am
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I also wonder that there are not oxygen concentrators being made and used over seas as well.

It isn't like it is only available for use in the west.

Someone has to be making them over there and used ones can't be being thrown out.
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  #6  
Old 2016-06-30, 1:38pm
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That does not sound like the hot head is really working properly. Plenty of people do 104 quite successfully on a hot head. You may have just gotten a bad one. I'd ask for a replacement.

It is true that the torch atmosphere is different, and it melts a bit slower, and bigger pieces are hard to make. But for normal sized beads made from 104, it should be just fine.
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  #7  
Old 2016-06-30, 9:50pm
De Anza Art Glass Club De Anza Art Glass Club is offline
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Here is the Hot Head website with warranty information:

http://www.hotheadsource.com/HHtorch.html

Not all pages of the website are working properly right now if you click the link for technical information. It has been like that for a while.

Do you have an Asian source for the Japanese burners?
http://www.jplampwork.com/a3index.htm

More information on burners here, including what types of glass are recommended.
http://www.jplampwork.com/a3torch.htm

They didn't answer last time I wrote to them, but I haven't followed up on that.

Just for another option, here is a European crossfire burner using fuel and air.
http://lampwork.de/
http://lampwork.de/Bohmisches-Kreuzf...ngl_070628.pdf


You might look in your area for neon sign making equipment, as those burners are usually fuel and air.

Last edited by De Anza Art Glass Club; 2016-06-30 at 10:02pm.
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  #8  
Old 2016-07-02, 12:55pm
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MAPP (which is not available any more as far as I know and replaced with MAP Pro) is not a single gas but a mixture of gases. It burns really hotter, it is true. But when you see the figures they are more exciting than when you melt glass. "Technical" propane (which you have in 1 pound canisters) is absolutely clean comparing to tanked gas you buy at the gas stations. So the dirt you seen in the beads is not really dirt, this is the traces of the unburnt gas.

Hothead operates normally with the gas pressure 2.5bar - 4 bar (35-60 psi if my converter does not lie to me) - when tank is full and the temperature is normal - 2.5 is fine, when it is cold and there's not much gas left - I turned it to 3.5. Worked OK. If you switch to LPG line, not to a tank or with the tank use a regulator that reduces the tank pressure to 4-5 psi which is enough for cooking stove, but not enough for your torch, it will not operate normally.

I had a separate regulator on the gas tank for HH and had to replace it when I switched to Minor - the torches need different pressure and they have different gas consumption, so one regulatore can not serve both.

HotHead can definitely be used till you collect all the necessary things for a 2 gas setup with a tank of propane and proper regulator. Yes, you still need to be very accurate about your place in the flame and some glass (I found no place with opalino periwinkle ) will be still too sensitive but you can use HH with pleasure and have fun.
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  #9  
Old 2016-07-02, 12:57pm
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It can be a little confusing and I may not be the one to clear it up for you.


But......

Different fuels have different burning characteristics and burn at different temps as well.

Some fuels are inherently dirtier than others but more often than not how dirty a fuel is has more to do with storage methods of the dispensing company than with the fuel itself.

Getting your tanks filled from the top of a recently refilled bulk tank that has also had a few days for the solids that might be in the bottom of the tank to settle back down is mostly a question of luck here in the west.

Small one pound canisters can sometimes have problems with freezing up when used for more that 45 minutes and that will cause the fuel flow to slow down a lot like the tank is empty.

Small tanks can also have solids of some kind in them and it's best to let them settle for a few days and then not shake them too much while setting them up for torching. The solids can spit and clog the tiny passages in the torch.

I have seen instructions for cleaning hothead torches but it has been a decade and I don't have any sources for those instructions now.

There are hoses with adapters that will allow you to connect hotheads to the "20 pound" tanks that are some 2 feet tall but there are fire laws that require those kinds of tanks be kept outside and insurance companies can deny a claim if you have one inside even if it has nothing to do with the claim.

Older versions of some of those tanks had bad safety valves that leaked so you have to make sure you get the newer versions.


Chemtane, propylene, MAPP Gas, LPG (liquid petroleum gas), propane and butane are all names of the kinds of gas that you can find in tanks usable with hot head torches. Some of the names are of the chemicals and many are trade names. Most gases available are combinations of chemicals in various formulations that may or may not be specified by local government agencies and /or marketing.

Propane may not be allowed in one county but Chemtane is. Some markets just don't sell MAPP gas at all. Its all over the map.
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  #10  
Old 2016-07-02, 8:59pm
De Anza Art Glass Club De Anza Art Glass Club is offline
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Ed Hoy sells Art Glass products. The shop used to be wholesale only, but I see that they have recently added retail sales. The Hot Head is sold by many retail outlets, but there are also substitutes available. Judging by the price on the Ed Hoy site, it is likely that you have an official Hot Head, but that is not guaranteed.

The Hot Head started out as a common hand held torch. There is a person on LE who claims there is no difference between the Hot Head and this common torch because they appear identical on the outside. In my experience, there is a difference between the common torch (available for as low as $9.99 a few years ago), and that is with the internal orifice plate. At the least, the difference is that the official Cindy Jenkins Hot Head has a mesh screen filter attached to the orifice plate. All the official Hot Heads that I have seen also have a recessed orifice. These orifice plates used to be sold on the official Hot Head site, but are no longer offered. This seems to correspond with the disappearance of the cleaning instructions, replaced by a caution not to disassemble the torch.

The original torch (not speaking specifically about the Hot Head modification) is designed to screw onto small 1 pound (~450 g) bottle for portable uses such as brazing plumbing lines. The disadvantage of using the 1 lb. bottles has been mentioned (post #11). Many lampworkers minimize this problem and also reduce the cost of the fuel by using bulk tanks. This is done by using a bulk adapter hose, which is a standard item, by which I mean that both the fitting to the bulk tank and the fitting to the torch are standard. I mention this because there are people who insist that this practice is dangerous and against the original design of the torch. I, myself, do not subscribe to that theory, but can give you a link if you really want to read it. These bulk adapter hoses are commonly about 1 meter long, but are also available in long lengths if you are working indoors and have the tank outside.

The common bulk tanks are for propane. Many lampworkers use propane with Hot Head torches. Bulk tanks for MAPP-Pro or propylene are not common and usually must be taken to a industrial gas supply (AirGas or the like in the U.S.) to be refilled. So, I would guess that most lampworkers using the Hot Head use propane.

One effect of having the filter before the orifice is that the gas flow is slightly reduced. Anecdotal evidence is that some lampworkers have found that the official Hot Head has a slightly reduced flame temperature than a standard brazing torch sold as a hot head. http://www.devardiglass.com/Torches.htm

One advantage of the older Hot Heads (no longer available) is that the shutoff valve had better throttling characteristics. Some valves are so finicky that they will only let you operate at near full throttle. One way to solve this is to purchase a throttle valve (valve with finer metering characteristics) and install it upstream of the Hot Head with the Hot Head valve fully open. A better option, when using a bulk tank, is to use a standard gas regulator, such as you will when you get a fuel-oxygen burner, and run the Hot Head at reduced pressure. The reduced pressure is alluded to above (post #10), but if you're interested, I may be able to find a reference. Again, there are opinions that state this is inherently dangerous because it goes against the "design" of the plumber's torch or Hot Head (i.e., the belief is that they are intended only to be used with a portable 454g tank). I, myself, do not believe that to be valid, but it is a written opinion.

The following is opinion and not fact. (Well, there are some facts, but since I don't give references, you can treat them as opinion.) There is a limited range in which the gas and air combination is combustible, and the Hot Head or plumber's torch are not very adjustable. Some people have found that if it is difficult to light the torch, one solution is to cover the holes with metal foil. (Some people might also do this to create a more reducing flame.) Other times, if the pressure is high, too much air can be entrained through the air ports (actually, this is just a restatement of the previous), and the mixture is not right and the torch can blow out (too much fuel for the flame). If the pressure is too low, sometimes flames come out the air vents. Anyway, what I am trying to say is that you might solve your problem and make the torch operation more reliable (and adjustable) by using a regulator at about 4 bar. (So, just repeating and emphasizing post #10 for the regulator.) A high range regulator is less expensive than a welding regulator and should be available at the shops and websites that sell propane equipment. (Not mentioning any here since you are in Asia ... well, on second thought, I will provide a link so you know what I'm talking about https://propanewarehouse.com/product...le-regulators/ . Even though 60 psi is what I'd recommend as a working pressure, you want your set pressure somewhere in the middle of the range, so I'd get a 0-100psi, 0-6.5 bar regulator, not the 0-60psi, 0-4 bar.)
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  #11  
Old 2016-07-03, 3:19pm
De Anza Art Glass Club De Anza Art Glass Club is offline
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Flashback prevention is a concern with fuel-oxygen burners. A flashback occurs when a combustible fuel-oxygen mixture is forced back through the burner into either the fuel or oxygen line.

My opinion is that trying to add a flashback arrestor and check valve would not improve the safety and would be relatively difficult (I mean, you wouldn't be able to do it with an off-the-shelf configuration), unless you used a welding type fuel regulator. Welding components, such as flashback arrestors use a 9/16"-18 threads per inch connector (a "B" fitting) while propane fittings are pipe threads. You certainly can use threaded adapters with hose nipples.
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  #12  
Old 2016-07-03, 11:16pm
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Flashbacks can be installed in the line with clean hose ends. There are models in the market with 1/4" ends. A threaded model can be installed in the line with the fittings like this one (male or female type depending on the threaded end of the arrestor).

http://artistryinglass.on.ca/ADAPTOR...E-FITTING.html

Of course extra joints in the line require reliable connection and inspection for leaks but technically it is not difficult at all, observing direction of the gas flow (marked with arrow on the flashbacks). For hothead flashback arresor is not necessary but since the consumption of this torch is pretty high, I think it is worth spending 30$ or so to calm down any thoughts about potential risk even if it is nearly impossible to happen.
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  #13  
Old 2016-07-04, 2:28am
De Anza Art Glass Club De Anza Art Glass Club is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pswrd View Post
Ed Hoy is apparently the new owner of Hothead as of this year.
I'm not convinced of this.
Ed Hoy offers a "Hot Head" which might be different than the Hot Head (tm). Delphi sells a Hot Head without the quotation marks or (tm). Frantz, Sundance, Arrow Springs, and Artistry in Glass almost certainly sell the official Hot Head (tm). Most sellers do not put the (tm) mark, but it troubles me more than it should that Ed Hoy uses quotation marks.

The only way I could be sure is to purchase an Ed Hoy torch and disassemble it, but I'm not that curious.

A picture of the box and/or instruction sheet would be helpful.

Last edited by De Anza Art Glass Club; 2016-07-04 at 2:37am.
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  #14  
Old 2016-07-04, 2:44pm
De Anza Art Glass Club De Anza Art Glass Club is offline
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Thanks for the pictures. I apologize for doubting you.

I am concerned since internal replacement parts are no longer available from the original vendor or from Ed Hoy. Since some vocal people believe that there is no difference between the Hot Head and the brazing torch, I can't help but think that any difference, if any, may be lost.
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  #15  
Old 2016-07-05, 9:37am
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I started on a Bobcat, so I think it is very feasible. Many people start on a mini cc, a minor, a Bobcat, an Alpha or a Cricket. All good entry torches. My least favorite on that list is a minor, but it is perhaps also the most widely used.
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Old 2016-07-05, 12:05pm
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I think the 8M/SM11 might be outside the range for a common oxygen concentrator. The manufacturer doesn't post any information on the surface mix tips that I can find, but the SM11 has 18 fuel holes (0.020") and 25 oxygen holes (0.036"). Their multiport premix tips require 6-15 psi for oxygen at 12-25 CFM (roughly 6-13 LPM), orifice diameter 0.025" to 0.055". I know you can't make a direct comparison, but since the SM11 is in the middle of the range, I think it would require more than a relatively inexpensive oxygen concentrator will provide. Plus, the Bobcat has been tested on oxygen concentrators and is known to operate well ("very well" according to GTT) with a 5 LPM.
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  #17  
Old 2016-07-09, 11:22am
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I believe that it is a common claim (common to different manufacturers, e.g., OGSI < www.ogsi.com > for a U.S. manufacturer with that claim) that, under ideal conditions, the sieve will last for the lifetime of the machine. Ideal conditions meaning not exposed to temperature extremes, moisture, and dust, with regular filter cleaning/replacement as appropriate.

At 10 LPM, a newbie might benefit from less frustration on having to stop and get the cylinder(s) refilled, but I'm sure there is another opinion.

I think you would have better luck searching this site for suggestions on Hot Head use. If Ed Hoy recently acquired rights to the Hot Head, I doubt whether they have done any testing, especially since they have only recently moved to retail sales. I think Delphi would have more experience since they upload videos showing the use of some of the products they sell.

Last edited by De Anza Art Glass Club; 2016-07-09 at 9:55pm.
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  #18  
Old 2016-07-09, 4:10pm
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I wonder if the fuel you have access to is somehow not ideal for the way the hot head burns.

I believe the hot head is optimized for propane but if the fuel you are using is say more butane than propane that might change how the flame burns.

I know the US has at least some 6 different mixes with some being available in one place and others not and if the chemistry is not 'just so' for the air to fuel ratios designed into the hothead the flame could be getting too much air or not enough either of which could give the problems you have mentioned.

Edited to Add: I think acetylene might be a fuel that has a different enough air requirement and it might be used for a lot of things overseas.
Any way I am guessing now and that is not going to add much to the conversation.
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Last edited by Speedslug; 2016-07-09 at 4:13pm.
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Old 2016-07-09, 9:57pm
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also might want to check the 0-rings. I didn't see that suggested above, but I recall that was a problem with all the Hothead and similar torches that I had. With the weather here, they dry out and crack in a matter of months.
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Old 2017-04-24, 8:06pm
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Oh good! Thanks for the update. Hard to have such frustration when you are starting out. I felt the same way trying to put together my rig. How are you doing with things now? Any pics of beads?
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Old 2017-06-22, 2:12pm
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I've been reading this thread and thinking about getting a setup for my Hothead. I already have a Minor, but I have this stinking Devardi glass that I want to use. I have had excellent results with Devardi in the past - ON MY MINOR - but I can't for the life of me figure out how I did it! I have beautiful beads I've made and now when I try to even make the smallest bead, the glass devits. It's so frustrating! I'd like to get hoses, a regulator and a second propane tank, just for the Hothead. I read all the posts here and clicked on the link which mentions proper psi Hothead - thanks DeAnza. Just need hoses and I believe an adaptor of some sort. Anything else I need to know?
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Old 2017-06-22, 2:52pm
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Here are some of my Devardi beads. They are a mixture of Devardi, Moretti and CIM: The base of most of all of these beads is Devardi.


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Old 2017-06-22, 2:53pm
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I can't seem to get the right size for the ridiculous requirements of this forum. That teeny tiny little photo was what met the requirement. I'll try again.
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Old 2017-06-22, 2:59pm
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Here is a larger photo. Hopefully some details are visible. All the bases are made with Devardi. No devit. Beautiful amazing colors!



It looks like I just posted with a gallery photo, but I just want to clarify that this photo is to show why I need to use a Hothead. I cannot seem to get Devardi to work on a Minor.
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