Lampwork Etc.

Lampwork Etc. (
-   Torch Questions (
-   -   Recommended Torch suggestions? (

BurningScentsations 2020-07-23 12:17pm

Recommended Torch suggestions?
This is my first post in a very long time regarding lamp working issues. It is good to be back and setting up my glass studio again.

I'm looking for suggestions on a torch.

I've looked at both GTT and Bethlehem torches. In the past I used a Carlisle mini CC, but am looking to upgrade a bit but the next Carlisle up is way too much for my needs.

Kind of leaning toward Bethlehem Alpha as solid return to the flame torch. I'm making beads and boro pendants, but soft glass initially.

I will be running on an oxygen concentrator, so I'm ruling out 4 valve systems (unless someone has an awesome suggestion to get around having 4 values). Eventually I might upgrade to a more robust torch, but for now I think alpha or something like it will work.

On the GTT side I've looked at Lynx, Bobcat and Cheetah, but really am unsure on these.

What are you suggestions?

bshelle 2020-07-23 12:21pm

What kind of oxycon will you have?

echeveria 2020-07-23 2:24pm

With a concentrator, I think Bobcat, Cricket, Alpha, Minor. I am not sure any of those are really a step up from a mini cc though. If you are running 1 5lpm concentrator, you will not see much different on any torch from the mini. Maybe consider adding another concentrator, or jumping up to a 10 or 15? I do not love my Lynx on a concentrator, and I run it on my M15. I think it needs tanked to really get the most out of it.

BurningScentsations 2020-07-23 2:33pm

Hi Shelley,

I do not yet know. Looking for Refurb 15 ML if I can or maybe 2 Refurb 10's. I used two 5's on my mini CC and it worked pretty well.

Any suggestions on a good vendor for concentrators?


BurningScentsations 2020-07-23 2:34pm


I'm definitely not comfortable or equipped to work with tanked oxygen. Definitely need a concentrator or two which I used before and worked well.

Good info on the Lynx though. Thank you,


echeveria 2020-07-23 4:15pm

I think you would like an Alpha or a Bobcat on that setup.

Speedslug 2020-07-23 6:56pm

My thought is to hunt up your oxycon(s) first and see what you can get.

If you get a torch and don't have the oxycons to feed it well you will feel frustrated at being -this close- to getting what you want out of it.

But if you get the oxycon(s) first then you can get the most torch that your oxycons can feed without over spending on your torch.

Happy hunting.

Oh and you could hunt up a "homefil" system and some of the small used medical tanks. It wouldn't give you the purity of the commercial oxy tanks or the volume but you could do some "carefully planned raging of the torch" for a while by dumping some tanked oxy con into the torch when you want.

BurningScentsations 2020-07-23 7:13pm


That is a really great suggestion. I will do a bit. Ore research on the oxy’s and see where I end up.

I want to be happy with setup as much as possible.

Thank you so much,


BurningScentsations 2020-07-23 8:19pm

Kathy, thanks again for your help.

I think so too! Cannot wait to get started again!


Speedslug 2020-07-23 8:20pm

I picked up a 10 lpm in 2008 for $200 and I run my GTT Cricket on that and house hold natural gas.

I later got a 5 lpm along with a homefil and 5 knee high med tanks for $600 sometime around 2014 from someone whose father used them until he passed.

Got them both from Craigs List.

Some times you have to point out to sellers that they can't be used as medical equipment again unless they get recertified and then they have to be prescribed by a doctor to be worth the couple of grand the insurance companies paid for them new.
So unless the seller has a use for them with home welding work they really only take up space in storage and remind people of the loved one that used to depend on them.

Hence the $200 to $600 second hand price for them.

Of course you could save your pennies and get some of the (OMG) 15 and 20 lpm new units that are being made for us lamp workers.
( I droll just thinking about the hole I could burn in the back wall of my torch bench if I had one of those but then I would have to get the house piped up for one of those 500 gallon propane tanks and that would probably just melt my Cricket, which I bought on purpose to keep me from spending the grand kids college funds on torches and double Helix glass and such.)

"Good evening. My name is Phill and I am a lampworking silver glass addict."
I will have to open a chapter of "Glass Addicts Anonymous" one of these days.

BurningScentsations 2020-07-24 8:03am


I've got two concentrators that I haven't used in quite some time. I'm thinking about finding a repair shop and have them evaluated, but so far, no luck.

Haven't tried craigslist yet. I bought one concentrator on-line, but do not remember where. I'm not seeing any $300 concentrators available so far.

Thanks for the tips, though. That is a great idea.

I can only imagine how much a 20 LPM would cost. 15 is what I was shooting for, but that may be too far too.


Speedslug 2020-07-24 10:07am

There are places that fix them but they only do insurance work from what I understand.

And those wind up with medical grade (read $$$$) work.
Us hobbyists are pretty much left to our won devices.

But keep in mind that they really are very simple machines.
There is an air compressor ( with input filters and such), a pair of cans that have a substance in them that gets "sticky" to nitrogen in the air when it is compressed, some switching valves and hoses and a purity monitoring system.

Oh and there is a "bio filter" on the output side just before the oxygen gas gets to the front panel output. That keeps any organisms from getting into the lungs of people that need oxygen to keep living.

Lots of folks forget about that last filter and it is the one most likely to get clogged.

So I always suggest replacing all three filters ( two on the input and the bio on the output) as the first step in troubleshooting the thing.

Oh and the hoses inside are replaced ever two or three years as a normal over haul when they are used as medical equipment so the ones that the machines come with can get brittle and crack after 4 years. You can get replacement hose for hobby use from any hardware store these days.

If the motor doesn't run it could be a bad starter capacitor which an electrical shop can replace for you but most likely it is a circuit breaker tripped inside it or the control board thinks that the purity is so bad it won't allow it to turn on.

There once was a website called "Franks Hospital Equipment Repair" or something like that and it had detailed overhaul and trouble shooting instructions for all kinds of brand names and models.

BurningScentsations 2020-07-24 10:42pm


Sounds like you've been around this block before. You've certainly given me a lot to think about. Wow!

The two I have may or may not work, so maybe I could fix them up. We will see. I'm not really that mechanical, but what have I got to lose, right?


Thanks again,


Speedslug 2020-07-25 1:25am

You're welcome Lloyd.

I had lots of folks teach me stuff over the years so this is just a classic case of what goes around comes around.

We're all in this together one way or another.

BurningScentsations 2020-07-26 4:46pm


Thanks again. I'm looking forward to getting back to where I can help pay it forward as well.

Have a great night,


Fuzzy 2020-07-27 7:40am

I have a GTT Lynx i want to part ways with. I bought it new from Mountain Glass. Less than 200 hrs on it. $420 shipping included. I just needed more fire for melting in color on larger things.

Sent from my SM-A102U using Tapatalk

KJohn 2020-07-27 2:08pm

phil I have two M 20s that need to be repaired. I should pick your brain. I would LOVE to get at least one of these going again

Lloyd, I've tried other torches and I do like the mega minor for the ease of stringer work, the soft flame is delightful and keeps colors clear, even if it takes longer to melt than the alpha. But the alpha is my preference as I need the speed hahaha it's great for silver glass, you can use a 5, but everything is better with more.
They both are low propane friendly so that's ok.
They are both entry level torches, really depends on what you want to make.

BurningScentsations 2020-07-28 7:31am


Good luck on your torch sale. I'm leaning toward to the Alpha and also thinking of running it on natural gas since refilling propane here is definitely problematic.


I've got a line on a 10 LPM which is what I used when doing Boro last time, so I think that sill work for now.

Since I'll be doing smaller pieces, beads, small sculpture, cabochons, etc., I probably don't need a large torch.

Fuzzy 2020-07-28 7:46am

ya tha Alpha is gonna give you a better time on low pressures. Cheers mate

Sent from my SM-A102U using Tapatalk

BurningScentsations 2020-07-28 2:02pm


Originally Posted by Fuzzy (Post 5078603)
ya tha Alpha is gonna give you a better time on low pressures. Cheers mate

Sent from my SM-A102U using Tapatalk

Thanks, Fuzzy! Have a great day!

BurningScentsations 2020-08-19 6:22am

I did indeed pick the Bethlehem Alpha. My Alpha arrived last week. Can't wait to use it. Still waiting on a bunch of other studio tools, but am very excited.


echeveria 2020-08-19 7:11am

Awesome! I have an Alpha and love it.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 1:47am.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.