Lampwork Etc.
 
AKDesign

LE Live Chat

Enter Live Chat

No users in chat


Jelveh Designs - Glass Beads Torched One-by-One

Beads of Courage


 

Go Back   Lampwork Etc. > Library > Tips, Techniques, and Questions > Torch Questions

View Poll Results: Which torch for small pipes
Bethlehem alpha 5 29.41%
Gtt cheetah 3 17.65%
Nortel minor 5 29.41%
Mini cc 4 23.53%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 17. You may not vote on this poll

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 2017-03-04, 10:52am
Larboro43 Larboro43 is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 03, 2017
Posts: 8
Default What should my first torch be? HELP!

so I've narrowed down my choices to theses four
-Bethlehem alpha
-mini cc
-Nortel minor
-gtt cheetah

I know these torches were made for beads and marbles, but would like to know if the flames of any of these can also make small hallow pieces. Some feedback would be much appreciated
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 2017-03-04, 11:00am
RanRhoads84's Avatar
RanRhoads84 RanRhoads84 is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 08, 2017
Posts: 4
Default

Alpha or Cheetah will be the best on oxy use, mini cc has a wider flame they say but uses more oxy. Personally I would go with a GTT Bobcat over the mini cc.

There is always the option of a National 3a-b hand torch with different sized tips for what you are trying to make, and the best part about that is you will always have a hand torch when you upgrade to a bigger bench burner.

Sent from my SCH-I545 using Tapatalk
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 2017-03-04, 11:04am
SharonP's Avatar
SharonP SharonP is offline
Flame Dames Rule!
 
Join Date: Jul 12, 2005
Location: Alameda, CA
Posts: 2,746
Default

I started 20 years ago on a Nortel Minor burner and still use mine as backup, and select it at class venues if they have one. Nice torch to teach with.

But switched to a Nortel Mega Minor - not much more expensive, and a bit hotter. Nice little torch. I work with 104 glass.

If you think you'll play with boro, the Mini CC is hotter and would work well with 104 and smaller boro work. I don't use it because it has more peripheral (side) heat than the Nortel's, but that can be an advantage for some work. It's just my preference.

Is there anyplace you can go to test torches before you buy?

If you could, I *highly* recommend the ISGB Gathering in Las Vegas at the end of the month. There's an open torch event and you could try out a lot of varieties and maybe even buy what you want at the vendor event.

edited to add: If you're going to do hollow functional pieces, a hotter/more powerful torch would be better.
__________________

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Sharon Peters
New Bead Display Stands Available - pm me!

Specializing in Critters and Puns and other Cool Stuff...

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Last edited by SharonP; 2017-03-04 at 11:07am.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 2017-03-05, 4:06pm
earthandsky's Avatar
earthandsky earthandsky is offline
Present tense
 
Join Date: Mar 21, 2006
Location: NW OK
Posts: 956
Default

Soft glass or boro? What is your oxygen source?

After the Hothead, I went to the Minor. It's a great torch and many beadmakers use it.

I wanted something with more radiant heat, so I got a Hellcat, which has the Mini CC as its center fire. It is an oxygen hog and I use two 8lpm oxygen concentrators with it. I turn on the third oxycon when I'm also running the outer fire.

I tried the Bethlehem Alpha (and Bravo) at the Gathering and quickly decided that if I was beginning beadmaking today, I'd go with the Alpha. This new generation of Bethlehem torches were designed with oxygen concentrators in mind, which is great for us that use them.

If you want to use boro and have functional glass in mind, I'd go bigger and get the Cheetah. The advantage is that GTT holds its value pretty well, so if you want to upgrade later, you probably won't take much of a loss selling it.

But any of those torches will easily make small hollow beads and vessels from soft glass. Boro will just take longer.
__________________
Tiffany


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
|
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
|
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
- non-glassy de-stash (shoes, books, yarn, Coach)
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 2017-03-06, 8:54am
dusty dusty is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 18, 2007
Posts: 568
Default

I voted Mini CC, but I haven't tried the others (except the Minor - MiniCC wins easily against it).
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 2017-03-06, 9:38am
AVTrout's Avatar
AVTrout AVTrout is offline
Bohemian Bead Peddler
 
Join Date: Feb 12, 2007
Location: Lancaster, PA
Posts: 1,193
Default

I bought a Mini CC 10 years ago and it's still going strong today. I use it for COE 104, 96 and 90 glass. Tanked propane and a 5 LPM oxy concentrator.
__________________
Alexis
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 2017-03-06, 6:47pm
Larboro43 Larboro43 is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 03, 2017
Posts: 8
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by RanRhoads84 View Post
Alpha or Cheetah will be the best on oxy use, mini cc has a wider flame they say but uses more oxy. Personally I would go with a GTT Bobcat over the mini cc.

There is always the option of a National 3a-b hand torch with different sized tips for what you are trying to make, and the best part about that is you will always have a hand torch when you upgrade to a bigger bench burner.

Sent from my SCH-I545 using Tapatalk
The only reason why I wouldn't go for the cc is that I've heard that you can get the flame into a needle sharp flame..is that true?

Imma have to look into that national because I do plan on upgrading in the future when I'm financially ready
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 2017-03-06, 7:06pm
Larboro43 Larboro43 is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 03, 2017
Posts: 8
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by SharonP View Post
I started 20 years ago on a Nortel Minor burner and still use mine as backup, and select it at class venues if they have one. Nice torch to teach with.

But switched to a Nortel Mega Minor - not much more expensive, and a bit hotter. Nice little torch. I work with 104 glass.

If you think you'll play with boro, the Mini CC is hotter and would work well with 104 and smaller boro work. I don't use it because it has more peripheral (side) heat than the Nortel's, but that can be an advantage for some work. It's just my preference.

Is there anyplace you can go to test torches before you buy?

If you could, I *highly* recommend the ISGB Gathering in Las Vegas at the end of the month. There's an open torch event and you could try out a lot of varieties and maybe even buy what you want at the vendor event.

edited to add: If you're going to do hollow functional pieces, a hotter/more powerful torch would be better.
I don't really know of anyplace we're I can test before buying, I've been into lampworking for only a year and for what I know it's not very popular out here in California (818 area). San Francisco is the closest place I know of that lampworking culture is rich.

I like to hear more about the event you mentioned tho, the only ones I know about is champs and glass vegas.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 2017-03-06, 8:26pm
Larboro43 Larboro43 is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 03, 2017
Posts: 8
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by earthandsky View Post
Soft glass or boro? What is your oxygen source?

After the Hothead, I went to the Minor. It's a great torch and many beadmakers use it.

I wanted something with more radiant heat, so I got a Hellcat, which has the Mini CC as its center fire. It is an oxygen hog and I use two 8lpm oxygen concentrators with it. I turn on the third oxycon when I'm also running the outer fire.

I tried the Bethlehem Alpha (and Bravo) at the Gathering and quickly decided that if I was beginning beadmaking today, I'd go with the Alpha. This new generation of Bethlehem torches were designed with oxygen concentrators in mind, which is great for us that use them.

If you want to use boro and have functional glass in mind, I'd go bigger and get the Cheetah. The advantage is that GTT holds its value pretty well, so if you want to upgrade later, you probably won't take much of a loss selling it.

But any of those torches will easily make small hollow beads and vessels from soft glass. Boro will just take longer.
I'm going to start with soft first but I eventually want to get to a bigger torch and to boro but due to financial reasons and mostly because I've been itching to melt. I used to work for a production glass company were they used boro and Carlisle ccs

And I eventually do want to get a oxy con when the money is right..that's why I haven't really looked into them. In the old shop they only had tanks soo that's what I was thinking about doing what. Thanks for the advice by the way
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 2017-03-06, 8:36pm
Larboro43 Larboro43 is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 03, 2017
Posts: 8
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by dusty View Post
I voted Mini CC, but I haven't tried the others (except the Minor - MiniCC wins easily against it).
How's the center fire on the mini I'm looking for a needle sharp flame aswell
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 2017-03-06, 8:37pm
Larboro43 Larboro43 is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 03, 2017
Posts: 8
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by AVTrout View Post
I bought a Mini CC 10 years ago and it's still going strong today. I use it for COE 104, 96 and 90 glass. Tanked propane and a 5 LPM oxy concentrator.
A lot are going for the mini imma have too take a second look
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 2017-03-07, 5:20am
dusty dusty is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 18, 2007
Posts: 568
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Larboro43 View Post
How's the center fire on the mini I'm looking for a needle sharp flame aswell
The Mini only has one stage, so it's either center-fire or nothing. When you're running a short neutral flame, it's not particularly narrow and not particularly hot. I actually zip-tied a Smith Little Torch to the back of mine so that I could have a sharp/hot needle flame - it wasn't too often I felt the need to use it, but every now and then it came in handy. Not having a narrow flame isn't as limiting as I had imagined, and when I'm using my Phantom (or other torch), I miss the Mini CC for a lot of reasons - that gentle small flame being one of them.

Another advantage of the Mini CC is that the edge of the flame is soft. There's kind of a heat gradient going from full-blast to barely-hot-enough-to-melt-a-stringer as you move away from the flame. All torches have it, but it's exaggerated on the Mini. It's a blessing and a curse.

The things that make the Mini CC great for beginners, in my opinion, are the gentleness of the flame and the ease of setting a true neutral flame. On my Phantom, it's hard to know when a flame is truly neutral. I didn't know that until I used the Mini CC for a while - didn't realize that it was possible to consistently, quickly, and easily get a very precise mixture that had just enough oxygen to burn all of the fuel and not a bit more. The extra knob on the Phantom really complicates things, and I can set a reducing or an oxidizing flame just fine, but true neutral is still basically just a guess.

It's really hard to pick just one torch. I like most of the torches I've used. I wouldn't recommend a Mini CC (or any other torch) for an only-torch-ever. I've got a lot of torches, and still haven't found the perfect one. Most torches are best for something (I usually use a Phantom, but often get out my Hellcat, Mini CC, or National premix). If you came to my shop and didn't have a preference, though, I'd definitely recommend the Mini CC for something to learn on. If I'd tried the Alpha or Bobcat, I might recommend one of those instead - hard to say.

Last edited by dusty; 2017-03-07 at 5:49am.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 2017-03-07, 8:11am
popo popo is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 13, 2014
Posts: 1
Default

I do all my work on a beth bravo, 90% of the time I'm using my center fire which is the alpha. I started on a minor torch and a 10lpm oxy con. Great torch, I hooked up my oxycon to the center fire and hooked up a tank to my outer fire and had a great setup. I have a progression thread on TMP if you want to see the work I made using both torches

Sent from my VS987 using Tapatalk
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 2017-03-07, 4:41pm
Larboro43 Larboro43 is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 03, 2017
Posts: 8
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by dusty View Post
The Mini only has one stage, so it's either center-fire or nothing. When you're running a short neutral flame, it's not particularly narrow and not particularly hot. I actually zip-tied a Smith Little Torch to the back of mine so that I could have a sharp/hot needle flame - it wasn't too often I felt the need to use it, but every now and then it came in handy. Not having a narrow flame isn't as limiting as I had imagined, and when I'm using my Phantom (or other torch), I miss the Mini CC for a lot of reasons - that gentle small flame being one of them.

Another advantage of the Mini CC is that the edge of the flame is soft. There's kind of a heat gradient going from full-blast to barely-hot-enough-to-melt-a-stringer as you move away from the flame. All torches have it, but it's exaggerated on the Mini. It's a blessing and a curse.

The things that make the Mini CC great for beginners, in my opinion, are the gentleness of the flame and the ease of setting a true neutral flame. On my Phantom, it's hard to know when a flame is truly neutral. I didn't know that until I used the Mini CC for a while - didn't realize that it was possible to consistently, quickly, and easily get a very precise mixture that had just enough oxygen to burn all of the fuel and not a bit more. The extra knob on the Phantom really complicates things, and I can set a reducing or an oxidizing flame just fine, but true neutral is still basically just a guess.

It's really hard to pick just one torch. I like most of the torches I've used. I wouldn't recommend a Mini CC (or any other torch) for an only-torch-ever. I've got a lot of torches, and still haven't found the perfect one. Most torches are best for something (I usually use a Phantom, but often get out my Hellcat, Mini CC, or National premix). If you came to my shop and didn't have a preference, though, I'd definitely recommend the Mini CC for something to learn on. If I'd tried the Alpha or Bobcat, I might recommend one of those instead - hard to say.
they had carlisles were i used to work so i learned alittle on those. i ideally would want to get to a torch like those but you gottah start somewhere.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 2017-03-07, 4:57pm
Larboro43 Larboro43 is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 03, 2017
Posts: 8
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by popo View Post
I do all my work on a beth bravo, 90% of the time I'm using my center fire which is the alpha. I started on a minor torch and a 10lpm oxy con. Great torch, I hooked up my oxycon to the center fire and hooked up a tank to my outer fire and had a great setup. I have a progression thread on TMP if you want to see the work I made using both torches

Sent from my VS987 using Tapatalk
ive had my eyes on those beth torches, did you hear that theyre coming out with a new torch?..im still not to used to these thread sites but ill definitely check it out as soon as i get situated.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 2017-03-12, 9:29pm
larryh larryh is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 03, 2013
Posts: 1
Default

I have a minor torch and other equipment for sell if you are interested. Have not used it much and would like to sell it if you are interested?
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 2017-03-13, 11:34am
Hayley's Avatar
Hayley Hayley is offline
da General
 
Join Date: Oct 05, 2006
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 12,999
Default

Our of the four you have listed – and reading that you would like a torch that can dial down into a pin-point flame as needed – I'd definitely go with the Bethlehem Alpha.
The Mini cc doesn't yield the pin-point flame as the Alpha. The Nortel Minor isn't as hot as the Alpha. The GTT Cheetah also doesn't dial down to the pin-point flame as the Alpha AND being a 13-jet torch (compared to the Alpha's 6 jets), it's great for boro but a little too much (imho) for soft glass if you want to do detailed work. I'd recommend a two-stage torch with inner and outer flames instead of a large 13-jet Cheetah.
__________________
Hayley


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
|
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
|
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
|
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
|
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 2017-03-23, 10:04am
AVTrout's Avatar
AVTrout AVTrout is offline
Bohemian Bead Peddler
 
Join Date: Feb 12, 2007
Location: Lancaster, PA
Posts: 1,193
Default

I still say the Mini CC. It's cheaper than most and is a great torch to learn on. You don't know what you'll really want to do until you melt some glass for a few months, and the Mini CC will let you do beads, focals, cabs and 1" marbles.
__________________
Alexis
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 2017-10-23, 3:44pm
Alan Alan is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 17, 2017
Posts: 9
Default

I work with boro on an Alpha doing beads, pendants, marbles and small figurines, works well on a 10lpm industrial oxy con.
1" marbles take a bit but can be done.
The pinpoint flame is great for detailed work on small beads.
Like you say you need to start some were.
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 2017-10-23, 5:15pm
EmeryLawson EmeryLawson is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 26, 2016
Location: Denton Texas
Posts: 64
Default

I am going to put my two-cents worth in for folks who look at this in the future. I have worked on a minor off-and-on for 10+ years, but would go with the mega-minor if it was available when I started. That said, it is a good torch to learn on, but will not work with boro COE 33 so I plan to upgrade in the near future.
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 2017-10-24, 6:22am
kansassky kansassky is offline
Dix Harrison
 
Join Date: Mar 31, 2009
Location: KCKS - But my heart is in Scotland
Posts: 492
Default

The Alpha. Hands down.

I have used and owned all of the torches you listed. (And others, too.)

The Alpha is versatile, reliable, and simply the best.
It will easily handle 104 or 33.
You will love this torch.
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 2017-10-24, 6:40am
Eileen's Avatar
Eileen Eileen is offline
Loving learning
 
Join Date: Oct 11, 2010
Location: Florida
Posts: 11,111
Default

I find it really hard to vote, not having tried all the torches.

I have a minor and mega minor, and have used a mini cc and a bobcat at classes. I got used to the mini and it worked fine. The bobcat gave me a few problems because I am used to a wider flame that helps me keep things warm I guess, but nobody else seemed to have a problem with it.
__________________
My current "hot" fantasy involves a senior discount on glass & tools!
Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
torches


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump




All times are GMT -7. The time now is 12:55am.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Your IP: 54.80.188.87