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newbie tyler 2013-01-25 4:46pm

getting started on boro
Hey, i am fresh to lampworking as a whole and was looking to start off by jumping into boro. At first I was looking for classes to get started but there seems to be no studios offering any classes near the Huntington Beach area so ive decided to invest in equipment to start up. As I said I am completely new to all of this so any knowledge is helpful. I am leaning towards getting the redmax with the premix minor, is this a good selection for someone new or should I go with something else?

Dragonharper 2013-01-25 5:22pm

Personally, I'd recommend the Bethlehem Alpha, or if you have the cash the Bravo, you'll be happier in the long run. I started on a Nortel Red Rocket and went to the Bravo. I'd also recommend starting with COE 104, and then go to boro. The techniques you learn with soda lime will transfer to boro readily, and you don't need to get it as hot as boro. I spent my first year and a half just making soft glass marbles. Don't expect to be a master in just 3 or 4 years, this is a life long learning skill. Welcome to the obsession.

Mary K 2013-01-25 5:53pm

I would reccomend keeping an eye on the Garage Sale threads, I sold a Lynx last week for cheap. It will depend on who you talk to on torches but I started with a minor burner, worked soft glass for a year then got the lynx and went on to boro. Do you have ready access to bottled oxy? Are you thinking of concentrators? I started with tanks, but that got really expensive and when I went to a concentrator my torch was not designed to run on a concentrator. It also depends on how much you are able to "invest". The very, very, very FIRST thing you should think about is VENTILATION. Without proper ventilation you can really damage your self. The noxious fume that lampwork creates is nothing to mess around with, IMHO. Are you going to build a studio? Work in the garage?
This is a very involved hobby, and you also need eye protection, and for boro you need more than a pair of diddies. Just keep reading here on LE, that's where I learned most of what I know, or got information that I needed.

orion 2013-01-26 1:16am

You might check out CBS dichroic's website. I've taken a few classes with Josh Mazet there. I learned a lot from his vortex marble class.

carld 2013-01-26 4:45am

Myself I would go with the Bethlehem Bravo. This is a great and versatile torch. As far as what coe glass to start with: 104 - cost's less, but more prone to thermal shocking
33 - cost's more, but less prone to thermal shocking
My first teacher was Lewis Wilson (Crystal Myths) on VHS tapes (now on DVD) These are very good for the beginner from shop setup,safety,suppliers, and techniques. Above all have good ventilation!

Torched Art 2013-01-26 9:09am

I'm located in San Diego, Ca. I'm offering Boro classes now. Check out my meetup link.

PennyLane 2013-01-26 9:12am

Hey Carl, good to see your post. He's right about the Bravo and Lewis Wilson.

LarryC 2013-01-26 4:20pm

For beginners I suggest that they buy the best tools that they can afford. Resale is better and any time you put in now is not wasted by upgrading later. I like the Lynx as a starter torch and it is great for working boro. Assuming you are going to jump in with both feet and go with tanked oxygen. I am not a fan of suggesting boro beginners go with concentrators. Working as a beginner even a little oxygen deprived adds complexity that most do not need when they are just learning.

toothpayne 2013-01-26 5:06pm

Welcome to Boro!

zen-mom 2013-01-26 9:07pm

If you just want a few lessons on making some boro beads and maybe some tips on doing off mandrel hearts and stuff I think I can help you.

It would be one on one. Lemme know. My contact info is in my link.

The Mandrel is about 45 minutes from HB.

But I also have to put in another good recommendation for Josh Mazet.

newbie tyler 2013-01-27 11:23am

Thank you all for the great info and help. Ive been trying to school myself on the torches and it seems the more I dig the more indecisive i get! lol. But I would love to start with the bravo but the price might be a bit much (sense I have to get tanks, all the other supplies, and in the process of building a workshop in the backyard) I might not have that little extra $$$ to spare for the bravo. would the gtt cheetah suit me well for boro? or should I wait to have more $$$ for the bravo? (and real quick where do you like to shop for your supplies?)

Bunyip 2013-01-28 9:05am

The GTT Cheetah is a great torch.

What it boils down to is what you plan to do long-term. If you're going to be working marbles and pendants and beads and mostly solid forms, the Cheetah will definitely be well-suited to your needs.

If you're more interested in working hollow forms (vessels, goblets, functional) then perhaps a Bravo might be a better choice. I don't have personal experience with the Bravo, but I rock a Bethlehem Barracuda & a GTT Lynx in my studio and there are dramatic differences in the way the two torches interact with the glass. The Bethlehem flame is softer and more even, while the GTT flame is more aggressive and 'penetrating'. You may find the Bravo easier to learn hollow forms on as a result.

I definitely recommend that you use tanked oxygen to learn on, particularly with the GTT torches.

caliglassguy 2013-01-28 12:38pm

Supplies can be found at many places . I use , arrow springs glass , dichroic imagery, mountain art glass, graceful customs has some great tools, so does Jim Moore glass tools ...many others ...welcome to the addiction :)

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