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  #1  
Old 2013-06-21, 12:05am
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Question Best torches

I was wondering if I could get some personal opinions as to the best torches out there (and why) for:
1) the best smaller torch to learn on for beginners, not HH please, but preferably still melts boro! I want to upgrade from single fuel and teach classes and want to know what would be the best torch out there for other people to learn on easily would be. I would be purchasing a few of these torches to teach glass classes on.
2)the best larger torch out there for the best price that melts all kinds of glass including boro (I am looking for a surface mix if all all possible!!) and is really good for larger projects as well! I'm not looking for the top of the line, most expensive one out there, but one that can still get the job done!! I would only be purchasing only one (or possibly two) of these torches for personal/possibly for other people to use.

Thanks!!
~Chrystal
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  #2  
Old 2013-06-21, 12:02pm
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IMHO, the best torch for teaching beginners soft glass IS the Hothead.
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  #3  
Old 2013-06-21, 12:09pm
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In just about every studio I've been in, the torch that is the most used is the Nortel Minor, or Mega Minor.
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Old 2013-06-21, 12:10pm
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...
Quote:
Originally Posted by A Dragonfly's Journey View Post

I want to upgrade from single fuel

You should probably work with several torches for awhile and get some experience with them before you decide on what you want to teach with. Like buying a new car, you would test drive first.


and teach classes and want to know what would be the best torch out there for other people to learn on easily would be.
Lampworking tried and true oldies are the Minor and the Mini CC. They are no fuss no muss industry standard work horse torches.

I would be purchasing a few of these torches to teach glass classes on.

Teaching lampworking is a huge responsibility.
You will need to know all about torches, glass chemistry, how colors react but most importantly why. Knowing about the fumes produced by melting glass and using silver, frits etc will help you to explain to students why the need for excellent ventilation not just adequate ventilation.You will need teaching insurance. Don't be mislead when a studio owner says I have insurance you can teach here... If a student burns themselves you may have to prove you gave them instruction on how to properly use a torch if you land in court. The studio you taught at probably covers students but not guest teachers. Get everything in writing, have those contracts as you may need them later.


2)the best larger torch out there for the best price that melts all kinds of glass including boro (I am looking for a surface mix if all all possible!!) and is really good for larger projects as well! I'm not looking for the top of the line, most expensive one out there, but one that can still get the job done!! I would only be purchasing only one (or possibly two) of these torches for personal/possibly for other people to use.

Lots of nice torches that will do what you want. Sometimes the "best torch" is just one that can be ordered in a bright color paint job! GTT for those!!!!
You will have to do research, and maybe go to some studios and try out different torches. You may buy several before you find the one you like. It really is a matter of personal taste. Most all of the info you seek is here on LE.

Sometimes I have spent days and days here researching for answers. I make notes and then put it altogether and make an informed decision. Experience ( lots of it) is going to be your best friend for when you do decide to hang out your shingle for teaching.

Good luck. We do need more great lampwoing teachers.:-


Thanks!!
~Chrystal
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  #5  
Old 2013-06-21, 12:19pm
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Thanks Lisi, but I as I was learning on a HH over time I found it frustrating to use a HH because after a while I found it very limited. I am trying to think long term here for what would be the best equipment to invest in!
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  #6  
Old 2013-06-21, 12:23pm
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Thanks 28676bhe, that is about what I had in mind as well, I just wanted to trying and get other people opinions from more experienced workers!
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  #7  
Old 2013-06-21, 1:05pm
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Thanks Lorraine!!
Lots of great info here, and lots to keep in mind where pursuing this for me-or anyone else interested in teaching!!! I am super big on safety and I don't mess around with anything that's not safe. This is a huge step for me to be taking (and a huge dream of mine as well!!!) and I just want to make sure I do everything 'right' even though I know 'right' is a matter of personal opinion to a certain extent-except for when it comes to safety that is!!! Proper ventilation is a MUST and covering your butt-liability wise and keeping others safe is not only a no-brainer, but is also your sole responsibility as a teacher as well! And passing these safety rules along in instruction on how to create glass art should go hand in hand in with one another, that makes all the difference in the world between a great teacher and an *just* a teacher in this profession/medium!
A lot of this I have already thought about and that is why I was just asking about the torch info here. I was just wonder what everyone else is preferring, I guess I'll just have to try a few of them out first, just seems like a huge investment already to begin with so I figured I'd ask since these torches aren't cheep- it's not like finding out what your favorite coffee is lol! But I'm sure that will be half the fun, right?!
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  #8  
Old 2013-06-21, 1:34pm
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Hi Christal, you will find so many different answers to that question. I looked everywhere on line for a torch that would grow with my needs that did not break the bank. I bought a National m-8 torch that can use either surface mix tips for soft glass or pre mix tips for Boro. Instead of buying a whole new torch you buy a new tip. This torch is not talked about much in the lampwork community and I am not sure why. At this time I cant do boro because my concentrator is to small but when I upgrade it I will get a new pre mix tip. Everyone I have come across who own this torch are happy with it.
Below is a link to Sun Dance glass and you can see all the tips you can get. By the way Artco a member on this board also sell them.

http://www.sundanceglass.com/national8mtr.html
Bob
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  #9  
Old 2013-06-21, 2:45pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A Dragonfly's Journey View Post
Thanks Lorraine!!
Lots of great info here, and lots to keep in mind where pursuing this for me-or anyone else interested in teaching!!! I am super big on safety and I don't mess around with anything that's not safe. This is a huge step for me to be taking (and a huge dream of mine as well!!!) and I just want to make sure I do everything 'right' even though I know 'right' is a matter of personal opinion to a certain extent-except for when it comes to safety that is!!! Proper ventilation is a MUST and covering your butt-liability wise and keeping others safe is not only a no-brainer, but is also your sole responsibility as a teacher as well! And passing these safety rules along in instruction on how to create glass art should go hand in hand in with one another, that makes all the difference in the world between a great teacher and an *just* a teacher in this profession/medium!
A lot of this I have already thought about and that is why I was just asking about the torch info here. I was just wonder what everyone else is preferring, I guess I'll just have to try a few of them out first, just seems like a huge investment already to begin with so I figured I'd ask since these torches aren't cheep- it's not like finding out what your favorite coffee is lol! But I'm sure that will be half the fun, right?!

All so true. You are on the right track and will do very well I think. I really would go with the Minors for student torches. For you personally I would try the Red Max with Mega on top. iT'S ON SALE TOO.
http://www.mountainglass.com/Nortel-...-Top-Fire.html
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  #10  
Old 2013-06-21, 8:29pm
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Okay, this is what I think would be best, but of course, this is just my personal opinion because I have tried several torches. For teaching:

1) The HH for the new people who have never worked with a torch. IMHO, it's the best way to get their feet wet. It melts slower so it is better for them and it is also better for you, the teacher. Once they have learned to make well shaped simple spacer beads, not perfect, but they are gaining control over the glass, then they may ready for something a bit hotter. Or they may decide that the HH is hot enough for the time being.

2) The Minor or the Mini CC for newbies who have some experience with the HH. Also the perfect torches for your intermediate students.

3) The Bobcat or the Lynx for new lampworkers that aren't interested in soft glass and prefer to learn to work with boro. Also for soft glass workers with some experience with the HH or torches like the Minor or Mini CC that want to try boro.

4) The Mini CC is okay for boro if you use 10lpm or higher, but the GTTs are hotter and melt faster. I've owned both the Mini CC and the Bobcat.

5) Oh, I must mention - the Bobcats on the market now are an improved version. They use oxygen more efficiently than the old models, and they come in pretty colors.
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  #11  
Old 2013-06-22, 1:19pm
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I hated the minor. I loved the mini cc. I also adore my cricket. Both will do "small" boro as well as soft glass just fine.
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Old 2013-06-22, 1:37pm
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I also love the mini cc and cricket (i've got both), I use the cricket for fast, bhbs and silver glass and the cc for stringer work and hollows, I can get the same reactions on the cc I got on my old HH, I find the cricket is really hard to get a fuel rich flame without the head carboning up ...
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Old 2013-06-22, 1:51pm
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I learned on a hothead, and it was fine for the class and for the first month or so. Then I switched to a Bobcat. I love my Bobcat, I like the Cricket, Lynx and Nortel midrange. I always feel like I am struggling to get the glass melted on a minor.

I think if you learn on a really hot torch it may be harder to learn the difference between hot and molten. Most people seem to err on the side of working too hot when they start. I know I used to panic a bit when I would see someone keep the bead out of the flame for more than 2 seconds or so.
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Old 2013-06-22, 4:36pm
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Nortel Minors for soft glass. There are good reasons the minor is the torch of choice in so many teaching studios. It's reasonably priced, durable and easy to repair and sort of a mid-range choice in terms of flame characteristics. I frequently hang out (and occasionally teach) at a teaching studio and they've had the same set of minors for years and years. Some of them look a little worse for wear, but they keep on ticking. The studio manager is able to take them apart and fix them herself when needed. (FYI, they a couple of Nortel Major Minors and a larger supply of Red Max torches for the boro classes.) If I were buying a beginner torch for myself, I'd buy a Cricket, because I like its flame characteristics better than the minor and far better than the mini cc or bobcat, but if I were looking for torches that would hold up to beginners for years to come, I'd go with the minor hands down.
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Old 2013-06-25, 7:17pm
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We already have a few HH's so starting out teaching on those will not be an issue! It just seems as though everyone here is suggesting either a Minor or a Cricket (or about the same size) torch. Decisions, decisions!! lol!! THANK YOU all for the suggestions and responses!!!!
~Chrystal
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