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-   -   Bravo vs Mega vs Minor vs Bobcat vs other? (http://www.lampworketc.com/forums/showthread.php?t=278455)

awatkins 2015-05-20 3:10pm

Bravo vs Mega vs Minor vs Bobcat vs other?
 
Hey guys, I know theres a few posts already on here but none with the answers Im looking for. Im on the market for a smaller torch to work boro with. I've heard great things about the torches in the title and would like to hear your guys opinions, or other suggestions. My main concerns are ability to produce heat(obviously), product quality and OXYGEN CONSUMPTION. The last is a big one as i will be using tanked oxy. I will eventually be upgrading to a larger torch (probably a Phantom) and for that reason i really don't want a Lynx. Also possibly considering temporarily bolting a hand torch to my bench. Any help is appreciated. Thanks!

LarryC 2015-05-20 6:36pm

I would still suggest the Lynx for all of the reasons you have stated as well as holding its value very well. I would start with the Lynx and graduate to the mirage. Skip the phantom. What are you gonna make?

awatkins 2015-05-20 9:38pm

Quote:

Originally Posted by LarryC (Post 4752988)
I would still suggest the Lynx for all of the reasons you have stated as well as holding its value very well. I would start with the Lynx and graduate to the mirage. Skip the phantom. What are you gonna make?

I will be making marbles, beads and boro water pipes, I'm avoiding the larger GTT torches because i need to conserve oxy. The Phantom is as big as i will go for that reason.

Talonst 2015-05-21 5:10am

There are certainly lots of variables to consider.

Turns out that in practice oxy consumption is more a function of what you make and how efficient you are at making it vs. the efficiency of the torch. To me all of the small torches (lynx, minor, mega minor, alpha, national etc.) are roughly the same in terms of oxy consumption making similar things. There are major differences between them from other points of view - like that the lynx can make a laser sharp flame where a mega minor can't, or that the the national is premix vs. surface mix and that will change the way you work with colors.

Generally, small items like pendants small marbles etc. can be made on anything. Larger torches are needed for larger hollow or solid work.

As you become more practiced you work faster and hotter, so then speed offsets oxy consumption.

Thick hollow glass, especially items that have complex color prep and so just take heat and time. By the time you have the skills to make those types of pieces you should have a market for your work that pays for it.

Up front the big money goes into your studio setup (ventilation, kiln, tools, torch) and then glass - most of which ends up in the water annealer. Only later is oxy the significant cost driver.

Bottom line - get the torch you can afford and start melting, you can always trade up or out. A national 3B gets you melting for almost nothing - it's hot and you can add other tips later - start with a 3 or 5 and earplugs (they're loud vs. surface mix). Once you know you're in it for the long haul it becomes your hand torch and you'll likely have a 2 stage torch for your bench torch.

Of the torches you listed I would choose a Bravo - It's the torch I use most.

snoopdog6502 2015-05-21 6:02am

Conserving Oxygen just sucks you will not get much done doing that.

Get a concentrator, it will pay for itself in no time and you can torch all day and night.

Now I just ordered a homefill to go with it so a big torch is no trouble.

The concentrator running a bobcat saved me enough money to buy a new GTT Cheetah and the homefil. I can then fill the 3 big tanks I own.

If you only run tanked oxygen you will limit you practice time, and will not be able to take your time and learn without a big cost.

It does not take many tank fills to equal the price of a concentrator.

LarryC 2015-05-21 1:33pm

Quote:

Originally Posted by awatkins (Post 4753039)
I will be making marbles, beads and boro water pipes, I'm avoiding the larger GTT torches because i need to conserve oxy. The Phantom is as big as i will go for that reason.

Well. Again based on what you want to make, I would start with a Lynx and I am fairly certain eventually you will want something that has the heat capacity of the mirage. I used to make 2" Boro marbles on my Lynx using compressed Ts for oxygen. You can work a very long time on the Lynx with one T sized tank. I then switched to a Mirage and a liquid dewer and my gas costs per marble are now way down. The triple mixes from GTT are quite a bit more oxygen efficient then most and where cost is concerned efficiency is more important than volume. In my opinion the Phantom is kinda middle of the road and not optimum in any way. The Mirage is the workhorse of their line. Sounds like you know where you want to go.

jhamilton117 2015-05-23 4:30am

If you know you want a triple mix in the future, then save yourself the headache and buy a lynx or cheetah now. The lynx is the center fire for all multi stage triple mix torches. There is a huge learning curve to that extra knob but its well worth it. You'd be surprised how big you can work on a lynx as well!

awatkins 2015-05-24 12:19am

Quote:

Originally Posted by LarryC (Post 4753204)
Well. Again based on what you want to make, I would start with a Lynx and I am fairly certain eventually you will want something that has the heat capacity of the mirage. I used to make 2" Boro marbles on my Lynx using compressed Ts for oxygen. You can work a very long time on the Lynx with one T sized tank. I then switched to a Mirage and a liquid dewer and my gas costs per marble are now way down. The triple mixes from GTT are quite a bit more oxygen efficient then most and where cost is concerned efficiency is more important than volume. In my opinion the Phantom is kinda middle of the road and not optimum in any way. The Mirage is the workhorse of their line. Sounds like you know where you want to go.

Considering I'll be making oil rigs and in the dab world the motto is "smaller ir better" when it comes to functional water pipes, I'm just not sure i could justify the extra consumption of a Mirage.

snoopdog6502 2015-05-24 7:02am

Quote:

Originally Posted by awatkins (Post 4753942)
Considering I'll be making oil rigs and in the dab world the motto is "smaller ir better" when it comes to functional water pipes, I'm just not sure i could justify the extra consumption of a Mirage.


Funtionals can be done well on a Lynx or cheetah, for $115 more the cheetah is almost twice the torch.

LarryC 2015-05-24 5:31pm

Quote:

Originally Posted by awatkins (Post 4753942)
Considering I'll be making oil rigs and in the dab world the motto is "smaller ir better" when it comes to functional water pipes, I'm just not sure i could justify the extra consumption of a Mirage.

Why are you so sure that the overall consumption would be greater? Too small and you will spend more time getting an even heat. I spend much less time heating up mass on my mirage then I did on my Lynx. Therefore it is possible that my overall consumption of gases is lower today. Buy the right tool for the job and the best you can afford. Only thing you can be sure of in the pipe and bong scene is that todays trends will change tomorrow. Its an industry dominated by kids selling to kids and its guaranteed to change completely as soon as its regulated which is already starting to happen. Good luck.

awatkins 2015-05-24 10:38pm

Quote:

Originally Posted by LarryC (Post 4754113)
Why are you so sure that the overall consumption would be greater? Too small and you will spend more time getting an even heat. I spend much less time heating up mass on my mirage then I did on my Lynx. Therefore it is possible that my overall consumption of gases is lower today. Buy the right tool for the job and the best you can afford. Only thing you can be sure of in the pipe and bong scene is that todays trends will change tomorrow. Its an industry dominated by kids selling to kids and its guaranteed to change completely as soon as its regulated which is already starting to happen. Good luck.

Not that i know my shit as far as torches go (obviously) but I'd like to say the "smaller is better" moto is not a trend. Increase in vapor travel results in loss of usable product. So its safe to say that the "trend" is here to stay. Still you have very valid point regarding heat up time and I'll definitely consider it. Really want to get some time on at least on of these torches before I make my decision. At least then I'll have somewhere to go from. Haha and "kids selling to kids" could not be more accurate =D>

awatkins 2015-05-24 10:42pm

On that note^ has anyone seen a direct flame size comparison of the Mirage to the Phantom?? That would be swell and may be key in my decision.

jhamilton117 2015-05-25 5:51am

Phantom is about half the size or the mirage almost, you can do a ton on a phantom, but if you ever want to do marbles or Millie or your own custom tube or sculpture, then the mirage would be your best friend. I was planning on getting a phantom myself and had a chance for a mirage and jumped on it and don't regret it! I use a foot pedal for the outer fire to save on oxy. The difference between the two is I can work just as small with the lynx center fire, but twice as big and faster with the mirage outer fire!

jhamilton117 2015-05-25 5:56am

Oh and for the record, I WISH WISH WISH I could have had a lynx or cheetah before my mirage, triple mix is a tricky bitch but well worth the added effort it takes to learn! Seriously save some hassle and scoop one of those before you buy a big torch, you may not still be doing this in a year or two. Or you might be better than me! Lol just don't make the mistake that you can jump right in and start making mad money. I'm 3 years in, with well over $5,000 invested, and I think I've sold maybe $10-20 worth of finished glass ever(not really trying to sell yet either tho)

snoopdog6502 2015-05-25 6:40am

Buying a torch is a big deal. 48 hours later you will wish you had a bigger torch if you start too small.

If I had it to do over again I would have saved more and got a bigger torch to start with.

Redmax 33 jets
Bravo 18 jets
Phantom 22 jets
Mirage 40 jets

Hell yes the Mirage is the coveted torch. You get a big chunk of glass and it will laugh at lesser torches.

I will say it again, the reason GTT torches cost more is because they are worth it. Plain and simple. :)

awatkins 2015-05-25 9:59pm

How big do I have to go to justify a Mirage? My kiln is an F200 and I'll be doing almost all pieces made of multiple smaller parts. I know if my question was Mirage or Delta everyone would say Delta. And if i said Delta or Kobuki everyone would say Kobuki. I know the the idea is buy the biggest torch you can. But I can't really "afford" any of these anyways. So my point is, will the Mirage be significantly better than the Phantom for what I'M doing.

snoopdog6502 2015-05-25 11:39pm

A national 3A-B can be had for $107

awatkins 2015-05-26 9:30pm

Quote:

Originally Posted by snoopdog6502 (Post 4754572)
A national 3A-B can be had for $107

I'll probably snag one of those as well. To be used as a hand torch.

jhamilton117 2015-05-27 3:30am

If you can afford it and find it, then a phantom to start, otherwise just get a lynx for now! :)

hyperT 2015-05-27 5:22am

Quote:

Originally Posted by snoopdog6502 (Post 4754572)
A national 3A-B can be had for $107

Thank you! I've been using mine for about 50 yrs or more.

LarryC 2015-05-27 5:55pm

Quote:

Originally Posted by snoopdog6502 (Post 4754572)
A national 3A-B can be had for $107

Yup. A hothead only runs $25 as well.

awatkins 2015-05-27 9:04pm

Quote:

Originally Posted by LarryC (Post 4755344)
Yup. A hothead only runs $25 as well.

I have two hothead style torches already. looking to upgrade.

awatkins 2015-05-27 9:06pm

Quote:

Originally Posted by jhamilton117 (Post 4754993)
If you can afford it and find it, then a phantom to start, otherwise just get a lynx for now! :)

I think I will probably start with the Lynx to get a grasp on the whole triple mix situation. Then see how I feel and judge how MUCH more heat I want/need.

jhamilton117 2015-05-27 10:36pm

A lynx is a good buy, and when your ready to upgrade you will be able to sell it for pretty much retail too :)


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