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-   -   Small flame damages torch?? (http://www.lampworketc.com/forums/showthread.php?t=13879)

SuzFromOz 2006-02-10 8:13pm

Small flame damages torch??
 
Hi guys,
I just got a pirahna set up this week, upgrading from a HH. I was talking with a friend about stringer control, and I said I expected it to be harder, but that I had just turned the flame down to a thin flame and it was ok. Anyway, she said that she had heard that shortens the torch life. Does anyone know if that is so, and if so, why?

Thanks


ooh, one more question. I ordered some didyium glasses with the torch, from Mike and sometimes the glass is producing a white flare, which is so bright it is almost painful - should my glasses be dark enough to block that? It is only when a small bit of glass gets hot, like a small dot or lump of frit, but......

thanks in advance for any answers....

JavaGirlBT 2006-02-10 8:24pm

That bright white light means you are boiling your glass. If you look at it after it makes that light, you'll probably see bubbles on the end of the rod. Pick off the end at that point and start with a clean end. My AUR-92s don't block that light, btw. It's only momentary, so I just try to avoid boiling the glass.

Oh, and I should say that I'm assuming you're using soft glass and not boro.

And I've heard that thing about turning down your torch, but I have no idea if it's true or not.

Jude Rose 2006-02-10 8:33pm

Hi Suz-

I have witnesses to back me up that I blast ridiculous amounts of pressure through my torch. My torch has been used extensively for 7 years, so I personally say it's fine. Now, I have a Minor and they are more, shall we say, chunky hunky kinds of torches. I know the Pirahna is made with a little more finesse and makes it's thin flame at probably less force than mine does. Regardless, I'm voting that it makes no difference. Maybe, and that's a BIG maybe, if you turned a tank up to 20lbs, you may create too much force, but honestly, I think people are a bit more careful than they need to be with the tempered steel that our torches are.

On to your glasses question. I don't have good news about that. I have a pair of didys and now know they were a total waste of money. Many people in the glass world now acknowledge didys don't do enough to protect the eyes and one ought to have more like AUR92's or thereabouts. When I started working on the torch for more hours I got searing eye and headaches until I finally switched. Personally, I think it's outrageous that folks still sell them and I am willing to be flamed for saying so.

My AUR92's (from auralens.com) cost only $74.00 and I would have paid double if that;s what it took to keep my eyes safe.

Jude Rose 2006-02-10 8:35pm

I just read Ellen's response. I do have to admit, when I'm blasting the hell out of my raku pieces, I sometimes squint because it's so bright even with my AUR92's. But that is full-blast oxy and very high propane. For regular use throughout an eight hour workday, they do just great.

JCHerrellGlass 2006-02-10 8:45pm

But what do you mean by a thick flame? A puffy neutral or a big fat ripping flame with tons of O2? I'm not really following that. You shouldn't be running a super long candle or anything for extended periods - on any torch really, just cuz of carbon build up and stuff. As for stringer control, I find that a pinpoint does the job. I heat on the beads right in front of where I'm going to lay the stinger. A thick flame, as I'm thinking of it, would make stringer control really hard for me.

xiola blue 2006-02-10 9:08pm

small flames
 
Suz, I do recall reading that a small flame is not good for the torch, but I don't remember why. That doesn't mean not to work with the needlepoint flame for stringers. It was suggested that the flame should be good sized and properly balanced. I think it has something to do with corrosion...like my mind, which can't remember important details like these! This information came with my mini cc. You can't melt glass very well with a small flame anyway. It takes forever. Maybe someone will better recall what I am talking about. xiola

alexm 2006-02-10 10:15pm

Yes, I've read that too. I turn my flame way down all the time to do stringer work, and in 3 years it hasn't made any difference that I can tell, and I am a full time lampworker. The way I look at it is this: I only use a small flame a small percentage of the time. The torch is a tool that I need to make my living. Tools wear out. I don't expect my torch to last a lifetime. If it wears out I'll just get another one. I don't worrry about it. 3 years is a long time to use a torch and I don't seem to have caused any damage yet, so it'll probably last a lot longer before it keels.

SuzFromOz 2006-02-10 11:22pm

Thanks folks...its a little hard to be cleare about the flame, because I am stil trying to work out what size a normal good neutral flame is, ...maybe I will post some pics in afew days. But I agree alex, if its just for stringer, and I am only ahobbyist, I cant see it making an appreciable difference for a very long time.

firefreak 2006-02-11 12:02am

The reason "they" always say not to run a small flame for long period of time

The combustion of the fuel gas mixture actually takes place a few thousands of an inch past the face of the torch. When the torch is designed "they" take normal flow volume into account when figuring heat issues. With a higher volume of flow, the fuel mixture cools the torch head as it flows through the ports. It also pushes radiant feedback away from torch face. ( ever wonder how you can melt metal so fast in the flame, but not melt down the torch face? thats how!)

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.

Nat 2006-02-11 1:06am

Thanks Bryan for the information. I am the one that told Suzanne that it is not good to have pinpoint flame all the time and I couldn't tell her why. I only read it somewhere (I have a feeling it was something about Corina's Bobcat)! I am sure Piranha is not a large torch, does Lynx belong to the large torch category?

Natalie

Firelilly 2006-02-11 4:00am

Information I would probably otherwise never find out if I didn't have these boards to come to and folks here willing to share. Good to know, Bryan! Thanks so much!

Lil

SuzFromOz 2006-02-11 6:57am

The funny thing about all this is...that the size flame that i was refferring to nat as 'small' for my stringer work, seems to be turning into the working size...so im not sure how small everyone means when they say pinpoint flame. I just keep turning the damn thing down and still boiling the glass. grrrr
also, does anyone know why this would be happening.... when I turn the oxy on (so flame is already lit) sometimes the oxy kind of blows the flame out and away from the torch...so its still burning, but not in contact with the torch head, there is a gap. Then it goes out. I have managed to get it to burn properly after a couple of tries, but im not sure exactly what im doing to fix it. Ive tried turning the propane up before adding oxygen, and I add the oxy slow, so I wont blow it out, but it could also just be the concentrator running better after a few sec's, im just not sure. any hints??

e. mort 2006-02-11 7:19am

I think it all depends on your torch type, and how much oxy pressure you have. On the DVD that came with my GTT torch, they show setting up and running a flames that is not much longer or bigger around than a match stick.

That is also why some people recommend having a mirror set up some where to the front of your torch, so that you can keep an eye on your ports. If they start to glow at all, then you need to adjust your flame. It also makes sure that you notice if one of your ports is getting blocked and needs to be cleaned.

Eric

kandice 2006-02-11 3:23pm

I have used a small flame on my minor consistently for the last 3 years or more. My torch is totally fine. If it breaks down as a result in the future, I'll just get a new one. It's a minor, though, so it might be able to handle the stress more than what you have. Using a small flame is imperative for what I do, though. :)

Jude Rose 2006-02-11 4:33pm

Those specs were really interesting. I'm like Kandice, using the small flame a lot. But the Minor is 'small' torch, so perhaps Bryan's info explains why there have been no problems.

The thing that really strikes me is that with my way of working, I may want to really think long and hard before I get a bigger torch!

Nat 2006-02-11 4:48pm

Suzanne, I get that 'gap' problem, if I turn the propane knob really high and add oxygen. See if it is any help by having a smaller propane flame to start with and add the oxygen gradually.

I don't know how small the flame you are working with - you have to show me! :) Anyway, it should not boil the glass.. unless you are working too close to the port or there is too much oxygen?

Nat

SuzFromOz 2006-02-11 7:10pm

I am working way above the port, and I dont think I have too much oxygen....just before it starts to hiss. Anyway, I had to add more because my clear was getting sooty. Yep, you will have to come and have a look for me Nat,

Thanks everyone!

firefreak 2006-02-13 11:28pm

Sorry it took a while to get back ( 30 hrs of hell at work)
I don't think a lynx would be considered a "large" torch in this case. The expert I talked to stated it is more a problem with 20 port and over surface mix and all premix torches. It can happen with smaller torches, but most of them can dissipate the heat fast enough to avoid damage in a short period of time. He told me you can still burn out smaller torch heads. It just takes a long time.

firefreak 2006-02-13 11:42pm

Forgot gap problem!

The tubes (ports) that make up the torch head will only flow a maximum amount of gases and still be able to get combustion to occur. if the pressure is too high, the fuel and oxygen are not able to mix and burn fast enough. So it blows out the flame. Or if the fuel mix is to rich (to much propane) or to lean ( to little propane) the mixture goes out of flammability range.

My guess would be that your pumping to much oxy pressure through the ports. Ive done it on all my torches before while trying to get larger and larger flames. You will reach a point where the torch just cant handle any more flow and the flame blows out.

SuzFromOz 2006-02-14 4:10am

Thanks Bryan, but the wierd thing is I am trying to keep flame small, and since this has been happening I have been adding the oxy REALLy slowly...so I dont see how it could be to much pressure, unles the concentrator is actually blowing it out too hard.....

R4GlassStudio 2006-02-14 5:39am

There haven't been any Piranhas with a burned out face. Really on a small torch, it doesn't take much flow to keep everything fine. These are designed for a range of flame types including the lazer like fine flame. The only torches I have heard of having this problem was triple mixes and the Nortel Major.

MikeAurelius 2006-02-14 7:30am

A couple of thoughts --

I agree with Ron - it "can" be a problem on GTT Lynx's and above, and the way to get around it is to increase your oxygen flow with the secondary oxygen valve (blue). Having it cracked slightly open when using a small (short) flame will keep the face of the torch cool and eliminate any possibility of overheating the torch face.

On the bright flare when using didymium or even AUR-92 filters -- yes, this can occur. Remember that the chief reason we use didymium/AUR-92 filters is to remove the yellow sodium flare from the flame and glass. A bright white flare indicates a cross spectrum color flare (all colors), and since the didymium/AUR-92 filters only block part of the spectrum, you will still see certain colors.

As noted above, this is usually an indication that the glass is way too hot, as in frit burning (evaporating) -- remember that frit is very small, and a 3600 degree flame on a piece of glass that measures only about 1 mm is going to superheat it -- it is always recommended that when melting frit in, you should be working way far out in the flame until the frit is at least 50% melted in so that the base bead can act as a heat sink to prevent overheating and burn out.

wildfirelauri 2006-02-15 12:48am

Quote:

Originally Posted by MikeAurelius
A couple of thoughts --

I agree with Ron - it "can" be a problem on GTT Lynx's and above, and the way to get around it is to increase your oxygen flow with the secondary oxygen valve (blue). Having it cracked slightly open when using a small (short) flame will keep the face of the torch cool and eliminate any possibility of overheating the torch face.


I'll second this. If you are using a torch with secondary oxy valves (like a Lynx), be sure to crack it open at least a bit. Check your torch face for changes at the seals. Discoloration is normal, but crusty stuff coming out from the seal near the tip or glowing ports could lead to a meltdown.

kbinkster 2006-02-18 7:01pm

Firefreak, thanks for the excellent explanation. You really know your stuff.

Quote:

There haven't been any Piranhas with a burned out face. Really on a small torch, it doesn't take much flow to keep everything fine. These are designed for a range of flame types including the lazer like fine flame. The only torches I have heard of having this problem was triple mixes and the Nortel Major.
I haven't heard of any burned out Lynx faces. It looks like someone's been feeding you misinformation. In the future, it might be a good idea to check your facts before propagating that misinformation. I'm sure that you wouldn't want to mislead anyone regarding a torch, even if you yourself do not sell it.

Quote:

I agree with Ron - it "can" be a problem on GTT Lynx's and above, and the way to get around it is to increase your oxygen flow with the secondary oxygen valve (blue). Having it cracked slightly open when using a small (short) flame will keep the face of the torch cool and eliminate any possibility of overheating the torch face.
You'd be setting up a bad flame if you try to get a small, tight flame that way, Mike. For a normal working flame, yes, it is a good idea to crack open the blue valve when running the red and green. BUT, this thread is discussing SMALL flames.

If you are looking for a small flame on a Lynx, just use your red and blue valve only (no green). You can run this tiny flame all day long and not do any damage to the torch whatsoever. There's no surface mix torch in the world that can get as small a flame as safely as a GTT Lynx.

Be careful who you get your advice from regarding running certain torches. Some people are grossly misinformed, yet consider themselves experts and others deliberately put out falsehoods (especially if they sell other torches and not GTTs).

kbinkster 2006-02-18 7:15pm

Quote:

Originally Posted by wildfirelauri
I'll second this. If you are using a torch with secondary oxy valves (like a Lynx), be sure to crack it open at least a bit. Check your torch face for changes at the seals. Discoloration is normal, but crusty stuff coming out from the seal near the tip or glowing ports could lead to a meltdown.

Sometimes, people do get the face of their torches hot enough to blister the solder out from the joint where the head meets the barrel. It takes a lot of abuse for this to happen. And even so, the damage to that joint is cosmetic.

Glowing ports means that you aren't running it correctly. The instructions that come with the torch go into that.

Neither of these things (blistered solder or glowing ports) will lead to a melt-down. At worst, you'll carbon up the torch. In fact, I've never heard of a GTT melting down.

If you just run the torch using the instructions that come with it, you should not have any problems. If your jets are glowing orange, and you are carboning the torch up then you are running it wrong.

Now, back to your regularly scheduled discussion regarding running small flames...

IF-Designs 2006-02-22 11:19am

now lets go TIP TOEEEEEE THROUGH THE TTTTTUUUULLLLIIIIIPPPPPPSSSSSSSS

Rhapsody Fire Beads 2006-02-23 3:33pm

Not to interupt this brilliant discussion, but does anyone like my new "Jude" nail polish?

Kaye 2006-02-23 4:18pm

Suzy is barefoot, we dont want her to pick up any germs...now do we?

x_phoenician 2006-02-23 4:18pm

Where's Julz!!!??? She can supervise

Kaye 2006-02-23 4:20pm

Suzy, maybe you should put a sock on "it"


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