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  #31  
Old 2006-02-23, 4:22pm
Peg Medill Peg Medill is offline
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Default Wow! what a mess this post has become!

Every year some one comes up with another torch and all of a sudden it becomes the "it" torch to buy. When I first started I got a 8M (still love it) and it got hacked cause the body got hot etc. and then the company changed the body and the heat problem got solved, but the negatives post put a black eye on the 8 M for awhile. Then the Lynx was the hot torch and I drooled over it till a kind person gave it to me for a Christmas gift. Now all these torches out are adding so much confusion as what is superior over another. My answer is "none are superior to another it is just how you learn to use your torch and what your needs are." Be thankful you have one and can make glass beads, sculpture or whatever. Let us all learn to love the torch we have and try and learn all we can about it and then when we have more funds or a desire to try different torches go purchase another torch. It may or may not fit the stage of glass working you are in, so get another torch and another torch, and another till you are happy if that is possible as we are such creative people, always trying something new. One may be enough to meet your needs forever (look at the Hothead owners that make as beautiful beads as any out there) or six torches would to you would be better. Glass bead making is always in some form of an experimental stage and that is why it keeps my interest up. Peg M

Last edited by Peg Medill; 2006-02-23 at 4:35pm.
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  #32  
Old 2006-02-23, 9:05pm
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Mr. Smiley Mr. Smiley is offline
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Hey hey hey... did you miss this thread? It's new and improved and ready for you to make it awesome! Have fun!
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  #33  
Old 2006-02-23, 10:20pm
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moondanse moondanse is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Smiley
Hey hey hey... did you miss this thread? It's new and improved and ready for you to make it awesome! Have fun!

And quite sanitized....that works, right? It's good not to have to eat that unbearable black bird the next day.

AWESOME!!! LOVE!!!
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  #34  
Old 2006-02-23, 11:06pm
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DesertDreamer DesertDreamer is offline
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The only time I've had trouble with a small flame is when I'm using a hush tip on the premix part of my Midrange. What I did to help me 'behave' is to set up a small mirror at the far end of my bench so I could see my torch face. (I actually started doing this to spot early carbon build-up, but now that I've switched to NG that's not a problem anymore.) With a mirror you can see if your torch face is heating up. If none of the metal is glowing (even dull red) you're good to go. It takes a LOT of unbalanced heat to make most torch faces glow. My hush tip is brass so it's a lot quicker/easier. I fried my very first tip this way, but replaced it and paid attention thereafter. Just upgraded the hush tip and, after some "getting to know you" time I'm fine again. Mirrors are a VERY good thing!

Mirror mirror
on the wall
is my torch flame
way too small?

Flame on!
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  #35  
Old 2006-02-24, 4:51am
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Awesome tip Karen and it will work with all the wonderful surface mix troches as well as the premix ones. Plus, you can see yourself make silly "I'm concentrating really hard" faces.
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  #36  
Old 2006-02-25, 10:53pm
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I have always had a mirror at the back of my bench. You cant see how far the glass is expanding when blowing and turning at the same time. ( looking down the blow pipe). I also use it to watch torch face for problems every once in a while. Never thought to mention it in this thread.
Thats the great thing about putting all these heads together on a problem!!!
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  #37  
Old 2006-06-25, 2:51am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by firefreak
When turned down to a low flame the combustion can take place right on the face itself. on very low flame it can take place in the port tubes. Propane oxy mixture burns at 3900 deg F. mild steel melts at 1600 deg F. Stainless and alloys are higher, but below 3900. So the danger is that if the torch was run on to low of a flame for a extended period ( the larger the torch , the shorter to time) the metal the face is made of would begin to melt. This is why its important to size the torch to the work you plan to do. Running a large torch on low settings is just asking for problems.
THIS is the reason I like having this guy around when I'm at my torch. It's the reason why I'm still intact & why my torch hasn't suffered meltdown. If I have a problem...he rescues me. He chose my torch, set everything up and showed me how to use and care for it. It's also handy to have my resident fireman around while I'm playing with fire...one never knows...
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  #38  
Old 2006-06-25, 3:27am
Starrr Starrr is offline
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The only torch I've ever used is a minor with 2 oxy concentrators, and I use my knobs all the time, I tend to work very hot. Even on one bead, I go from medium to melt, full boat propane to reduce, to a fine pinpoint just a slight 1/2 inch from the torch head for detail. If I see carbon building up on a port, I just flick it off with my knife and keep working. I clean my ports a few times a week but found the most important thing is to not ever let your propane tank get so low that it runs out. I swap out when I'm about 2/3 down, that way I'm not getting any gunk on my beads from the additives in the propane. The first time I see my glass get an air bubble, new tank.

I've been thinking of adding a Cudda, but I love the small pinpoint flame I get with my minor that I'm not sure I could adjust to a new torch if I couldn't get so up and personal with the flame.
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  #39  
Old 2006-06-25, 8:57am
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kbinkster kbinkster is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by firefreak
When turned down to a low flame the combustion can take place right on the face itself. on very low flame it can take place in the port tubes. Propane oxy mixture burns at 3900 deg F. mild steel melts at 1600 deg F. Stainless and alloys are higher, but below 3900. So the danger is that if the torch was run on to low of a flame for a extended period ( the larger the torch , the shorter to time) the metal the face is made of would begin to melt. This is why its important to size the torch to the work you plan to do. Running a large torch on low settings is just asking for problems.
One thing I will add is that running a large torch on low settings is problematic if you are running the whole torch. If it is a large torch with a centerfire, then just running the centerfire of that large torch will not be a problem. But, yes, if you are running the whole thing on low settings, then it can cause problems.

I think where most people run into problems is when they want a broader flame for say long beads. They don't need a lot of heat, they just want it to be spread out so they can keep their long bead warm (there are other methods of keeping long beads warm, btw). So, they get a torch that has a wide face and then just run it low. Perhaps a better thing to do would be to adjust the flame and work farther out. There are a couple of ways to do this. One is to add more oxygen to the flame and work where it feathers out. Another method is to add air to the propane to thin it out and weaken the flame. Yet another way to get around running a low flame on a big torch to keep a long bead (or other object) warm is to learn how to move the glass in the flame and balance the heat.

When I bought my Phantom, it was because I was starting to make bigger things. I thought that I needed the wider face/broader flame to keep the bigger things warm. Well, now that I have some more experience under my belt, I find that I use the centerfire (the Lynx) for the some of the same things I originally bought my Phantom to do. I do not use the outer fire to keep bigger things warm. I move the glass and balance the heat. The outer fire comes in handy when melting huge gathers quickly and working murrini (haven't made one in a while - will have to do some soon). But really, I use the centerfire so much more than the outer fire for the stuff that I'm doing now (soft glass).

So, when moving up to a bigger torch, I suggest looking at all your needs and weighing them carefully. If you just want a big torch, that's one thing - go for it, it's fun. But, if you think you need one because all you need is a way to keep long beads from cracking, and otherwise, you're happy, then take a look at how you're working - maybe a few modifications can make all the difference you need. Does that make sense?

PS I wanted to add that I am still happy I bought my Phantom because I did need it for some of the things that I was doing and things that I still plan to do (like more marbles, paperweights and some bigger boro sculpture). But, if all I needed was to keep long beads warm, then it would have been unnecessary.

Last edited by kbinkster; 2006-06-25 at 9:02am.
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  #40  
Old 2006-06-25, 9:21am
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kbinkster kbinkster is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Starrr
The only torch I've ever used is a minor with 2 oxy concentrators, and I use my knobs all the time, I tend to work very hot. Even on one bead, I go from medium to melt, full boat propane to reduce, to a fine pinpoint just a slight 1/2 inch from the torch head for detail. If I see carbon building up on a port, I just flick it off with my knife and keep working. I clean my ports a few times a week but found the most important thing is to not ever let your propane tank get so low that it runs out. I swap out when I'm about 2/3 down, that way I'm not getting any gunk on my beads from the additives in the propane. The first time I see my glass get an air bubble, new tank.

I've been thinking of adding a Cudda, but I love the small pinpoint flame I get with my minor that I'm not sure I could adjust to a new torch if I couldn't get so up and personal with the flame.
About your propane... I think you're wasting a lot of propane. EDIT: You're wasting it if you're swapping out tanks. If you're just getting the same tank refilled, you only pay for what they put in. EDIT, AGAIN: I just got my propane tanks refilled and learned that when you pay for a fill, you pay for a fill - regardless of what is left in the tank. So... As long as you keep your tank upright, you should not have any problem with the additives affecting your glass. The torch operates on the fumes that come up off the liquid - so, there is nothing that really gets onto your glass at lower tank levels that could not get onto your glass otherwise. If you tip the tank, though, that junk can come up through your lines and shoot out fireballs from your torch or make a flame that makes your torch look like a flame thrower.

If you are getting stuff on your glass, it could be that you are not burning the propane enough or that you are running your flame too low and overheating your torch, causing carbon buildup. If your torch is carboning up, carbon from that can get onto your glass. How you run your flame directly affects what happens to your torch and your glass. What length candles are you running? What do they look like?

Air bubbles are not indicative of impurities in your propane. Scumming (lots of tiny air bubles) can be caused by working too hot (boiling your glass). There are lots of other reasons for air bubbles, but "additives in your propane" is not among them.

I read that you have not used any torch other than the Minor. I think you would be surprised at the small flames some other torches can get. If you run just the centerfire of the 'cuda, you will be a ble to get a small flame. If you run a triple mix torch, you will be able to get an even smaller flame.

Last edited by kbinkster; 2006-06-28 at 3:49pm. Reason: clarification
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  #41  
Old 2006-06-25, 10:00am
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bhhco bhhco is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kbinkster
If you tip the tank, though, that junk can come up through your lines and shoot out fireballs from your torch or make a flame that makes your torch look like a flame thrower.
Will that occur with the 20# "BBQ tank" with a OPD and regulator?
Maybe that's what's causing some problems for folks with one-gas torches.
Bill
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  #42  
Old 2006-06-25, 11:47am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bhhco
Will that occur with the 20# "BBQ tank" with a OPD and regulator?
Maybe that's what's causing some problems for folks with one-gas torches.
Bill
Yes, that can still occur on a BBQ tank with OPD and a regulator, but I think that having the regulator in-line probably cuts down on the occurance.

Willy did a show once where someone was running the Python (tank was about twice the size of a regular BBQ tank - 40#/10 gallon with an OPD and a regulator) and someone else (I won't mention his name ) said that he heard that you get more out of a propane tank if you turn it over on its side. Well, the next thing you know, the torch is shooting out a gigantic yellow flame. Willy looked over and saw that the propane tank was on its side and ran over and turned it back upright. Problem solved.

I have read a lot about people hanging their bulk propane lines for their HotHeads to get out all the gunk, but have never heard anyone do that for an oxy/propane torch set-up. I really think that a regulator plays a role in at least blocking some of the liquid stuff that gets sloshed up to the top of the tank when it is tipped/moved/whatever. Maybe it's a function of pressure, too.
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  #43  
Old 2006-06-25, 12:01pm
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bhhco bhhco is offline
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Thank you Kimberly.

I guess "no name" was right.
He did get more out of it on it's side!
Just not what he expected

Bill
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