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Jelveh Designs - Glass Beads Torched One-by-One

Beads of Courage


 
  #1  
Old 2008-01-21, 11:10am
glass pixie glass pixie is offline
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Default starter setup, and National 8M

ok, so i'm pretty much entirely new to glass work (unless you count my college chemistry lab, which included a good bit of soda-lime tubing and making small fixtures) and i've decided that i want to make this my next hobby. i've done a good bit of jewelery (fabrication and casting), and as mentioned, a bit of glass work. basically at this point, i want to be able to try just about everything, and see what really appeals to me. i have a pretty good theoretical understanding of how glass works, but little practical expirence. currently i'm going to be using bottled propane and oxy to run my setup.

so now, here's the question. currently i'm considering getting a National 8M mainly because of flexibility. like i said, i want to be able to try everything. now i know i'm not going to be doing anything huge simply because of space concerns, but the 8M looks to be about the best starter setup i can find. i'm currently considering getting it with two tips. my question is, which two. i've been looking around, and from what i can tell, the SM-7 on the national should be comparable with a nortel minor or similar, the SM-21 seems to be a good comparison for some of the larger torches, and the premix adapter sounds like it's the best bet for clear boro, and maybe the colors too. so now, if i go with the SM-7 and the HTC-1, i would have a nice minor type flame for doing softer stuff, and the premix for doing the boro work, but i would be limited to small pieces due to size of flame. if i go with the SM-7 and SM-21, i could work with both smaller and larger pieces, but only surface mix, and it sounds like premix is better for boro. if i go for the SM-21 and the HTC-1, i can do the big stuff in softer glass no problem, and small stuff in the boro, but bigger stuff in boro might not go so well.

with all that said, is there anyone who could tell me the following things? ideally someone who's used an 8M...

how does the SM-7/SM-21 work with boro?
is the advantage of a premix tip worth being stuck with a smaller flame size?
how important is overall flame diameter to size of work?

or, maybe i've got it all wrong, is there another torch i should be using? i'd like to be able to work bead/marble, scientific/tubing, sculpture(tube and rod), maybe some small glassware like flasks bottles or glasses...
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  #2  
Old 2008-01-21, 11:12pm
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Tobias Tobias is offline
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The HTC1 works really well from my experience...I made some decent sized boro items with this tip and actually never used the other 3 I had after using the htc1. I think the nationals are good torches for thier size....of course i'm sure most everyone will suggest a gtt lynx or something and I can't argue for the national in that comparison...good luck!
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  #3  
Old 2008-01-21, 11:53pm
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glasshouse glasshouse is offline
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I recently borrowed my friend's National 8M to see if I wanted to buy it. I really like the flame- I'm sold! Although she had 2 tips for it I've just used the larger one which has 29 ports. Not sure which it is, but it's surface mix. I played with a little boro on it, it seemed to melt pretty fast. I've not tried it with heavy wall tubing though. I really like the fact that I can make larger beads without worrying that one end will get too cold. I am sure the flame probably changes depending on your pressure settings, but mine is a nice radiantly hot bushy flame. It can get very focused with an oxidizing flame, but the flame is cooler then. I prefer bushier flames anyway. It's quite a torch for the $$!

Hope this helps.
Kelly
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  #4  
Old 2008-01-21, 11:58pm
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glasshouse glasshouse is offline
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Okay I just looked up the tip I'm using and it's the SM21. I really really like it.

Kelly
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  #5  
Old 2008-01-22, 9:22am
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ArtcoInc ArtcoInc is offline
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To a lot of people, the National 8M seems expensive. When you add up the cost of the torch and the first tip, it is often more expensive than a comparable single function torch. But, when you add in the cost of just one more tip, and now compare that with the cost of the two comparable torches, the 8M wins out.

The 8M is a very versatile torch, offering both pre-mix and surface-mix functionality. Plus, add the additional 8R Rider torch, and the functionality almost doubles.

I have heard that some people don't like the flame of the 8M, especially with the larger SM-21 tip, claiming the flame to be too turbulent. For these people, perhaps a single function torch might be better. But, for the average person, the 8M is a very cost effective and versatile setup.

And yes, I do carry them.
http://www.artcoinc.com/national.php

Malcolm
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  #6  
Old 2008-01-22, 12:06pm
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Norskiglass Norskiglass is offline
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I used one during instruction for a few years to give students a low cost alternative to working a variety of glass both solid as well as tubing. The set up I had is with the center fire hand torch mounted on the back (top).

I found it to be a great deal for those who wanted to interchange tips and students took to it with relative ease,however those tips all can generate a great deal of noise as well as flashback causing the torch to *POP* off and need to be re-lit.

There are a few different mid-range torches from Nortel such as the major/minor that is cost equivalent as well as quiet for working a variety of different sized tubing,etc..

Enjoy!

~W~
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50mm & 40mm Herbert Arnold Zenit Burners,Carlisle cc/cc+/mini,Liquid O2.
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  #7  
Old 2008-01-22, 12:42pm
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glasshouse glasshouse is offline
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The National I'm using is very quiet, and the flame is very steady and fairly gentle. The knobs are finicky, a little accidental bump and the flame changes. However, after about 15 minutes I had gotten the feel for it, it reminds me of driving cars...Some cars have loose steering and require a larger arc to turn, some have really tight steering and just need a little nudge. The National needs just a little nudge. I did have the POP! occur at first when lighting the torch because I was adding the oxy too fast. That hasn't happened since I became accustomed to the torch. It only happened when lighting...never while I was working.

With all that being said, I also like the Nortel torches quite a bit. I got the opportunity to try the Red Rocket this weekend. Nice HOT torch! I think it's overkill for soft glass, but if you're mostly doing boro it would be awesome. I also like the Mid-range and the RedMax. The smaller torch on top is a feature that a lot of boro peeps like, if you get a premix top, you have a built in cutting flame without having to adjust your working flame below.

Different strokes...

Malcolm, I'm curious about the National with torch on top...Can they be added after the fact? Is the flame size similar to a Minor?

Kelly
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  #8  
Old 2008-01-22, 1:57pm
glass pixie glass pixie is offline
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Default starter setup, and National 8M

actually, the rider attachment is one of the reasons i'm considering this torch so heavily. right now i think i'm going to go with the national 8M with the SM-7 and SM-21 tips, and if i like it a lot, i'll add the rider with the HTC-1, and maybe a few others later on, for doing the boro work. if i don't like it as much as i'm hoping, i'll move over to a GTT. i like the idea behind their triple mix setup, which from a combustion standpoint is much more efficient, but if i'm going to get one to start with, i'm going to want something that's very widely adjustable since i don't know where i want to go with glass yet, and i just can't stomach spending 1200 for a phantom until i'm a little more sure what i want to do. the other torch i'm considering is the Nortel MidRange with the premix top burner, but i still ike the idea of being able to run a smaller flame in either surface or premix. i don't know. i'm still a bit confused, but for right now, i'm still leaning hard toward the national. if there weren't such a big jump to the Lynx, or it had a wider range of capability, i'd definately go for that.
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  #9  
Old 2008-01-22, 2:22pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glasshouse View Post
With all that being said, I also like the Nortel torches quite a bit. I got the opportunity to try the Red Rocket this weekend. Nice HOT torch! I think it's overkill for soft glass, but if you're mostly doing boro it would be awesome. I also like the Mid-range and the RedMax. The smaller torch on top is a feature that a lot of boro peeps like, if you get a premix top, you have a built in cutting flame without having to adjust your working flame below.
I really like the Nationals too. Both the Mid-Range Plus and the RedMax are great torches. Both come with the smaller torch on top. Usually, people get either the Minor (surface mix) *or* the pre-mix torch as the smaller torch on top. But, I have seen someone who mounted one of each on their RedMax! Talk about the best of all worlds.

Quote:
Originally Posted by glasshouse View Post
Malcolm, I'm curious about the National with torch on top...Can they be added after the fact? Is the flame size similar to a Minor?
I'm sure that the Nationals can have the top torch added later. But, I'm not sure how to order just the top torch. I'm sure that there's a specific part number for it; I just don't know what it is.

And yes, the surface mix top torch is identical to the Minor Burner.

I've seen someone replace the Minor Burner on their RedMax with the new Mega Minor. Sweet !!!!

Malcolm
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Last edited by ArtcoInc; 2008-01-22 at 2:29pm.
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  #10  
Old 2008-01-22, 3:01pm
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Paul Ewing Paul Ewing is offline
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I am in the process of re-piping one of my Major/Minors to be a four stud torch so I can have the minor hooked up to concentrators and the major hooked to a tank. I have the Ys disconnected and I just need to find the correct hose barb fittings to use.
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  #11  
Old 2008-01-23, 5:43am
jdrag13 jdrag13 is offline
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Default national 9m

I have an 8m that has the 7 hole surface mix and the pre mix adapter w the 36 hole tip. the 7 is good for soft glass the pre mix is the best tip in my opinion any way i will sell it all for 175.00 great condition. the 21 hole tip you mention just gives u some width but no more heat and u can purchase a piggy back torch for the pin flame from anyone who sells national

Last edited by jdrag13; 2008-01-23 at 5:46am.
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  #12  
Old 2008-01-23, 8:10am
glass pixie glass pixie is offline
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sounds like a good deal to me, send me a message and i may just take you up on it. mind if i ask why you're getting rid of it? i've read a few accounts of people who thought it just wasn't the greatest torch, but mostly what i'm looking for now is to see how far that torch can take me, and where i'll need to go from there.

i'd also like to take a second to say thanks to everyone who's contributed to this, it's certianly helping with making up my mind about what to get and how to go about it.
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  #13  
Old 2008-01-26, 4:37pm
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cherie cherie is offline
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Does anyone know how well the national works with an oxycon w/ a sm7 tip??? Are two oxycons reccommended or would an M15 cut it w/ a national?
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  #14  
Old 2008-01-26, 5:05pm
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shari shari is offline
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I have mine on an oxycon with house pressure LP and run the oxycon about 4LPM with the house pressure and get good result for soft glass.
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8M w/ SM7 tip, 1 oxycon, house pressure propane wo0t.
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  #15  
Old 2008-01-27, 8:23am
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I have a National with the sm7 tip on one oxyxon and works fine. Although it would do better with more oxygen. I went from tanked oxy to an oxycon and the flame is much different (softer) but it gets plenty hot to do soft glass. From what I've read it uses more oxygen than other torches but my experience is only with them National 8m and have never used any other torches. I think it's a good torch for the price and I also bought it for all the reasons listed above. Just starting into lampworking and not sure how large or small I want to go.
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  #16  
Old 2008-02-19, 10:14am
Bryon Bryon is offline
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Default M8

I like mine alot, I have been using it for 3 years. My setup is SM21 @ 40 PSI, & a rider with #2 premix tip on top. I do wish I could get a bigger tip that a SM21. But you can do 1" HW all day with it.

Check out the vids on my page, see the SM21 run:
www.myspace.com/riversideartglass

Bryon
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  #17  
Old 2008-02-19, 6:55pm
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I'm using a SM-7 tip. I find it to be a bit wider than a Minor tip. I have two 5 lpm concentrators, and with that I can do large soft glass marbles or boro pendants or small sculptures. I'm really happy with it. If I had tanked oxy, I'd be doing a lot more boro tubing work with it.
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Satake glass in stock and ready for you!
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