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  #1  
Old 2013-12-03, 9:11am
jcrawford jcrawford is offline
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Default Foot Pedals?

Hello Everyone,

I have been reading and looking at torch setups and it appears some have a foot pedal and others do not. Can all of the surface mix (propane/oxygen) be connected to a foot pedal or are certain torches required for that?

I have been looking at the Nortel Midrange or the Bethlehem Bravo for my torch.

I would assume that most could handle it? I believe the benefits would be that I could hit the pedal and the torch flame would change based on pressure on the pedal? I'm sure I still have some reading to do on this

is a pedal advised for a setup?
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  #2  
Old 2013-12-03, 9:20am
jcrawford jcrawford is offline
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Appears the Bethlehem was just knocked out of the running, I was not aware that was only for concentrated oxy. I would rather use the gas oxy to start out with lol
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  #3  
Old 2013-12-03, 9:24am
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not true...the bravo will kick ass on tanked....you just need to be cafeful and not run too high a pressure (like 11psi max according to Beth, iirc) on oxy or it will leak.

if you want to use a pedal, it's better to use a 2 stage torch like the bravo as opposed to a top/bottom fire like the midrange. the midrange (or any top/bottom) can be used with a pedal but it takes some tinkering.
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  #4  
Old 2013-12-03, 9:28am
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To use a foot pedal, the torch must have 2 "fires" (inner/outer) and be a four stud (meaning that there are separate studs to which you attach hoses for inner oxy, outer oxy, inner gas, outer gas). The pedal runs the outer fire.

I don't understand what you're saying about the Bethlehem or gas oxy. Gas and oxy are two separate things. You can use tanked or a concentrator for your oxy and propane or natural gas as your gas source with a Bravo.

I'm not aware of the Midrange being made as a 4-stud, but if there is such a version, I assume you could use a pedal to run the larger fire.

There are also many other options if you want a torch that will work with a pedal (4 stud GTT Phantom or Carlisle Hellcat or CC, for example).
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Last edited by artsyuno; 2013-12-03 at 9:30am.
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  #5  
Old 2013-12-03, 9:29am
jcrawford jcrawford is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by istandalone24/7 View Post
not true...the bravo will kick ass on tanked....you just need to be cafeful and not run too high a pressure (like 11psi max according to Beth, iirc) on oxy or it will leak.

if you want to use a pedal, it's better to use a 2 stage torch like the bravo as opposed to a top/bottom fire like the midrange. the midrange (or any top/bottom) can be used with a pedal but it takes some tinkering.
Thanks for the clarification on the Bravo, I was watching their video on youtube and they mentioned the concentrated so I assumed it wouldn't work with tanked oxy.

I think before I decide on a torch I need to determine the usefulness of a pedal and then determine if I will want one or not. I would not want to create a setup where if in the future I deem a pedal necessary that I would have to tinker a whole hell of a lot
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  #6  
Old 2013-12-03, 9:30am
jcrawford jcrawford is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by artsyuno View Post
There are also many other options if you want a torch that will work with a pedal.
Time to read up on how useful a pedal is I guess. I can't make a proper decision before that
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  #7  
Old 2013-12-03, 9:35am
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Once you use a pedal, you'll never want to be without it, unless you're only using the smaller inner fire. It's totally worth getting a 4-stud torch if you're going to work boro or even large soft glass beads. You can Y your hoses together so that it'll run as a 2-stud until you're ready to add the pedal. Much easier than getting a 2-stud and then later deciding you want to be able to use a pedal. You'd have to either buy a new torch or find a way to get the torch converted.
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  #8  
Old 2013-12-03, 9:39am
jcrawford jcrawford is offline
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Originally Posted by artsyuno View Post
Once you use a pedal, you'll never want to be without it, unless you're only using the smaller inner fire. It's totally worth getting a 4-stud torch if you're going to work boro or even large soft glass beads. You can Y your hoses together so that it'll run as a 2-stud until you're ready to add the pedal. Much easier than getting a 2-stud and then later deciding you want to be able to use a pedal. You'd have to either buy a new torch or find a way to get the torch converted.
Thanks for that information. Yea I am seeing that the pedal is solely to control the outer fire of the flame (unless you have a 3 stage torch). I think this is something that I would eventually want so I think I will go with a 4 stud torch.

I have yet to start with glass but I have a feeling once I hit the flame all bets will be off and I will become a hermit haha.

I really like the idea of the Bravo being completely stainless so that the torch remains cool even when in operation. I am a careful person but I could so see getting burned by the torch a few times lol. I'm not afraid of burns or glass slivers, etc so I won't be that guy who says i love glass.. OMG i just cut myself forget about this lol
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  #9  
Old 2013-12-03, 9:43am
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not entirely true, hence my statement that a bottom/topfire (like the midrange/premix) can be made to run on a pedal....you just need to add some plumbing.




Quote:
Originally Posted by artsyuno View Post
To use a foot pedal, the torch must have 2 "fires" (inner/outer) and be a four stud (meaning that there are separate studs to which you attach hoses for inner oxy, outer oxy, inner gas, outer gas). The pedal runs the outer fire.

I don't understand what you're saying about the Bethlehem or gas oxy. Gas and oxy are two separate things. You can use tanked or a concentrator for your oxy and propane or natural gas as your gas source with a Bravo.

I'm not aware of the Midrange being made as a 4-stud, but if there is such a version, I assume you could use a pedal to run the larger fire.

There are also many other options if you want a torch that will work with a pedal (4 stud GTT Phantom or Carlisle Hellcat or CC, for example).
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  #10  
Old 2013-12-03, 9:47am
jcrawford jcrawford is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by artsyuno View Post
I don't understand what you're saying about the Bethlehem or gas oxy. Gas and oxy are two separate things. You can use tanked or a concentrator for your oxy and propane or natural gas as your gas source with a Bravo.
My apologies and I can see how that could be confusing. What I meant was I would prefer a gas / tanked oxy rather than gas / concentrated oxy.

I am not yet sure of the differences between the two nor am I sure how accessible either would be in my area. I know that tanked is available but I am not sure about concentrated. I think to start off with though I would rather take the tanked oxy route as I still need to learn a lot about this practice
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  #11  
Old 2013-12-03, 9:55am
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You can run any torch on tanked oxy. The reverse is less true. Some torches need so much oxy that it's hard to find a concentrator set-up that would allow the torch to run full out. Then again, there are things like homefills that allow you to fill your own tank, so even that's changing.

Concentrators vs tanked. Concentrators allow you to suck air from the environment and concentrate it into a sufficiently pure oxy to be able to run a torch. Tanked = you get a tank full instead of making your own. You can get a hotter, more pure flame with tanked. Many (myself included) are willing to sacrifice that and use concentrators, because you don't have to haul tanks (tanks need to be transported with the lids on and chained to a solid surface in the studio, because they can become missiles if knocked over and damaged just right), you never run out of oxy with concentrators and it may save money in the long run. It's a trade-off. If tanked is easily accessible for you, not cost prohibitive and you can handle hauling the tanks for fills or have a service that will deliver, you can't go wrong with tanked.
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Last edited by artsyuno; 2013-12-03 at 10:05am.
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  #12  
Old 2013-12-03, 9:56am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by istandalone24/7 View Post
not entirely true, hence my statement that a bottom/topfire (like the midrange/premix) can be made to run on a pedal....you just need to add some plumbing.
That doesn't surprise me. I had a 2-stud barracuda and PJ made a quad manifold for me to convert it to a 4-stud (I made a foot pedal to use with it). Seems like you could tinker with a bottom/top to do the same. What I meant is that I'm not aware of being able to buy a midrange and use it as is with a pedal. While I can see doing that if I owned a midrange, if I knew I wanted to use a pedal it's not the torch I'd buy.
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Last edited by artsyuno; 2013-12-03 at 11:14am.
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  #13  
Old 2013-12-03, 11:55am
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jcrawford,

A little info on oxygen for torching.
Tanked oxy is aprox. 96% - 98% plus pure; only liquid is purer but still not 100% Tanks come in many sizes from a few cubic feet to hundreds of cubic feet. Generally, the cost of the oxygen is cheaper with larger tanks and they last longer between fills but are harder/heavier to move. All tanks should be securely anchored to prevent damage. As Felicia said they become missiles if the valve breaks off.

Concentrators and Oxygen generators.
These are different names for the same thing. They work via the pressure absorbtion principal. There is no specific size breaking point but generally if the unit is small enough to move around it is called a concentrator and if it is large enough that it is a permanent/semi-permanent installation then it is called a generator. Both take environmental air and pass it through a seive bed where an absorbtion material captures the nitrogen while the oxygen is allowed to pass through then the cycle is switched to a second bank and the nitrogen from the first half cycle is expelled.

To choose a torch is a very personal thing. If you wish to avoid having to 'upgrade' as you progress you must look realisticly at where you think you will be in 3 to 5 years. Cost usually enters into it to some extent. Premix torches are hotter but lesser used by lampworkers. Surface mix torches are the norm and sizes and costs range from less than $200 to over $3000; and that's just the torch. there are 2 stud, single flame torches, 4 stud dual flame torches and 6 stud triple flame torches and there is the Herbert-Arnold torches that have only one set of connections but have a very wide flame size range via internal arrangements. Many professional lampworkers use a modest Lynx size torch and find it completely adequate for their work. Where are you going will determine what torch type/size/ brand you eventually want or need.

Thanks for the plug re the manifolds Felicia. See you on Sunday?

PJ

ETA - I didn't mention the 'hothead' type fuel/air torch. There are many people who start on a Hothead torch and find it suits their work and working style and they never change to a bigger torch.

Last edited by cheng076; 2013-12-03 at 12:05pm.
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  #14  
Old 2013-12-03, 12:02pm
jcrawford jcrawford is offline
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PJ thank you very much for that explanation. I have been reading that concentrators are much safer than tanked so now I have another decision to make prior to my torch purchase but I think the Bethlehem Bravo is what I will get. I believe it can handle both so determining what type of oxy I will use will come next

In 3-5 years I would like to see myself be capable behind the torch and have more artistic abilities than I have now. As for actually selling my work that is not an end goal for me anytime soon. If it happens great, if not I'm still having fun and learning something I can use down the line to keep from being bored during retirement lol

Eventually after investing so much of my time into this I would want to sell some work but I can't say if that will be 1 year of 10 years into me blowing glass
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Old 2013-12-03, 1:33pm
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Just a note. The cost of a concentrator to run the Bravo is not going to be cheap. Might want to check on that as well.
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  #16  
Old 2013-12-03, 1:35pm
jcrawford jcrawford is offline
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Quote:
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Just a note. The cost of a concentrator to run the Bravo is not going to be cheap. Might want to check on that as well.
Already started to look around but I am not sure what type of concentrator will work. Will the ones used for medical home use work or do I need something larger?

I know they are going to be costly but *how* costly would you estimate? $600-$1000 or $1000-$2000 for the concentrator?
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Old 2013-12-03, 6:48pm
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Quote:
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jcrawford,

Thanks for the plug re the manifolds Felicia. See you on Sunday?
Absolutely! See you Sunday!
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  #18  
Old 2013-12-03, 6:54pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcrawford View Post
Already started to look around but I am not sure what type of concentrator will work. Will the ones used for medical home use work or do I need something larger?

I know they are going to be costly but *how* costly would you estimate? $600-$1000 or $1000-$2000 for the concentrator?
Many people seem to use M-15 or Ex-15 concentrators with Bravos. What I've heard is that 2, wyed together, will work okay, but 3 will work better in terms of being able to use the torch to full or close to full potential. You could probably start with two and then add a 3rd later if you want to start working larger and/or hotter. One problem is that customer service has been pretty dicey from many of the companies selling these concentrators, so do your homework on what to buy and from whom if you decide to go with concentrators. I run my Barracuda with 2 Regalias. They're pricier (I think around $1400 each), but fantastic. There are other machines out there, such as the Psyclone, that may allow you to only need one, but I don't know how they compare in terms of price or LPMs and pressure. I'd suggest starting your research by going to the Bethlehem website. Get the stats on LPMs and pressure requirements to run the torch full on. Then you can look at concentrators/generators to see what best meets those needs. The Bravo is designed to run well on low pressure, but that means it needs more volume to make up for it (compared to the predecessor Barracuda). I can never remember how it works when you connect multiple concentrators. You can almost double either the LPMs or the pressure (I'm guessing LPMs), but I can't remember for sure which for sure. The other doesn't go up by adding more machines.
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  #19  
Old 2013-12-03, 6:59pm
jcrawford jcrawford is offline
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Default Foot Pedals?

Hmm so you need atleast 2 concentrator to run the torch that is very pricey although you would never have an oxy bill. I will probably start with the tanked oxy and if I get into this full time then I would buy the concentrators.

Anyone have any estimate on how many hours a typically sized tank will last? Estimation ofcourse as it will vary from torch to torch
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  #20  
Old 2013-12-03, 9:14pm
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The number of concentrators would depend on the output of the particular one(s) you're using. You may be able to find one that will work, but it's likely to be a pricier machine, so you'd have to see how it compares to multiples of a less expensive machine.
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  #21  
Old 2013-12-03, 10:43pm
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Your best bet would be a concentrators for the center fire and tanked oxy for your foot peddle on the outer fire. Then your only running the tank when you need it most. Check out moreoxy.com for some decent prices.


Oh and you can hook as many machines together as you can afford or have outlets. Adding more machines will raise your lpms, not your psi/pressure.
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Old 2013-12-03, 10:44pm
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Oh and you can run both the center and outer fire off of a single concentrator. Go for a 20lpm machine if you can afford it.
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Old 2013-12-03, 10:45pm
jcrawford jcrawford is offline
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I'm just not liking having to add about another 1400 for 2 concentrators to run the Bravo. I will probably migrate that direction over a few years as I am just starting out lol
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Old 2013-12-03, 10:52pm
jcrawford jcrawford is offline
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Default Foot Pedals?

Even the H-1 listed here for 1250 only puts out under half the scfh that the bravo requires so if I am reading that correctly I would need 2 of those to run at about 98% capacity on the Bravo or am I wrong?

http://www.sundanceglass.com/oxygen-concentrator.htm

Bravo specs here http://www.bethlehemburners.com/torc...o#.Up7CJr69KSM
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Old 2013-12-04, 1:43am
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Before you go this way and spend a lot of money, you might consider working your way up torches - start either with a hothead, or with a torch which you can run with one refurbished 5litre medical oxycon. Honestly, there is so much that you can do with a relatively simple torch and coe 90 or 104 glass, you might find that you don't need to trade up any further. All the peripherals that you will need (kiln etc) will be usable with whatever kit you finally settle on, and if you do decide to trade up, torches have a resale value, so all is not wasted.
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Old 2013-12-04, 2:37am
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Excellent suggestion on starting out small and moving up.

Would suggest one used 5 LPM concentrator with a GTT Cricket. Then add a second 5 LPM concentrator for a bit more heat. (BTU's). The Cricket will work well even into 1/2 inch boro beads.

A used medical 5 LPM machine can often be had for under $200 on Graig's List. If under 10,000 hours you are still at 1/2 of the usable lifetime. But less is better.

Then add a third concentrator and move up to the Scorpion which uses the Cricket as the center fire if that fits you future needs.
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Old 2013-12-04, 8:11am
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Hi, Thought I would chime in here - and sorry for the book!

I originally started with a Nortel Minor and worked my way up to the older model of Bravo. When I started, I used the Nortel and tanked oxy. I went through a lot of oxy so I went out and bought a hurricane for about 2500 dollars. - it took a while to save up for it.
It was pricey at the time but worth the investment as I wasn't running out of oxy every 4 days. Used it for about 3 years then migrated about 5 years ago to the older model Bravo. Loved it!

Then they (Bethlehem) came out with the new Bravo which was more efficient, so I retired the older Bravo, which sits in the cupboard and then bought 2 M-15's to use with it. I then read on one of the forums here last year about adding a tank to the mix so I added a 20 gal holding tank ( which you can buy at Walmart or Kmart) between the concentrators and the torch. I feed the concentrators into the tank and then run the torch off the tank. Start it up about 20 - 30 minutes before actually torching to build up some volume and get purer O2.

Have been using that combo ever since ( about 2 years now).

I recently started doing a lot of boro work - mainly bigger marbles and have been using the outer fire a lot more. I want to get a foot pedal just for ease of use, but they are still a bit pricey for me. I also have just started feeling like I am still a bit underpowered when using the outer fire, so ironically, just this morning have decided to change my setup a bit.

I had sent a PM to a vendor I used in the past about picking up another M-15 but never got any response ( which evidently is the norm for them) so I have decided they get no more of my business or any recommendations, ( not to mention I waited forever and finally sent "snottygrams" to get any response on the last 2), so if I get another concentrator, to retire the Hurricane, it will be from ABR or someone like that.

I am going to run the 2 m-15's into the tank and then run that setup to the inner fire connection. I am then going to setup the Hurricane and run it solely to the outer fire. Until I get the foot pedal, I will only kick up the Hurricane when I am using the outer fire. Since it's older but still works great, I figured I would get the longest life out of hooking the hurricane up to the outer fire since I don't use it as often. I have decided to go with this setup to avoid building up too much back pressure in any of the concentrators from the tank or to the torch if I connect all 3 to the tank.

Anyway, I agree with everyone else - don't go out and spend tons of money on a setup that you may not get full potential out of. Like I said, the Nortel worked great for me for the first 3 years because I was doing a lot of small torchwork, but realized a couple of years ago, I wasn't a bead maker since I hate stringing beads LOL, (was more into sculptural stuff) so I then went out and spent the extra cash to fit my needs.

I will say though that doing a lot of beads helped me immensely in figuring out the different ways boro and 104 react when heated and helped my marble skills so I won't say anything bad about beaders - you want great dot placement - look to beaders!!!

Last edited by nevadaglass; 2013-12-04 at 8:28am.
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  #28  
Old 2013-12-04, 9:09am
jcrawford jcrawford is offline
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Thanks for all of the information above. My fear with starting small is that I will be limited in where I take things. I don't want to buy a small torch only to find out that I want a larger one in a year or two and not be able to afford it (you never know the economy and I was just laid off for 7mos).

I don't mind starting out making beads and marbles but where I want to go is into sculpture work and vessels. I am not talking huge sculptures but by far larger than a 1/2" bead

I understand I will *most likely* have to start out with beads and small marbles to learn techniques etc but that is not my passion so I doubt I will remain there for long.

I would love to make marbles, pendants, 1-3 foot tall sculptures/figures etc, so I know a larger torch will be required.

In all seriousness is there a bad descision to be made if I go with a tanked oxy or a concentrator to start?

I want to get a good torch but also do not want to spend 2400-4800 on concentrators although it sounds like that's where I will be in the future, I was also reading about feeding concentrators into a tank last night when researching this. It will just take time to save for the concentrators, I will also not be selling items anytime soon so recouping money from this investment will not be a quick return if at all

There are a ton of things for me to still learn and plenty of decisions for me to make and I appreciate all of the advice, answers, feedback.

I can already feel the bite from the glass and I have yet to actually work with it lol
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  #29  
Old 2013-12-04, 10:18am
nevadaglass nevadaglass is offline
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Going either way will be fine - just plan for both sides - if you go concentrator - you'll spend more up front. If you go tanked, you'll have to account for refills into your work time.

Also going bigger is never bad - you might have under utilized equipment but you have the horsepower when needed. I am pretty sure if you stick with it - this wont be your only torch going forward.

Bottom line - everyone is going to have an opinion on how to start but ultimately, you have to do what's right for you and I completely understand the desire for bigger sculptures - I am there myself- My ultimate goal is to do floral center pieces in the same manner that they make Capodimonte porcelain floral centerpieces only in glass.

Best of luck

Last edited by nevadaglass; 2013-12-04 at 10:20am.
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  #30  
Old 2013-12-04, 1:37pm
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artsyuno artsyuno is offline
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Join Date: May 27, 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcrawford View Post
Thanks for all of the information above. My fear with starting small is that I will be limited in where I take things. I don't want to buy a small torch only to find out that I want a larger one in a year or two
That's exactly what happened to me. I bought a refurbished 5 lpm concentrator and a piranha (the predecessor to the bethlehem alpha). The oxycon didn't run it full out and I very quickly wanted an outerfire. I'm not a proponent of getting a 5 lpm concentrator. There aren't many torches that it'll run all that well. Even a cricket will give you more with a bigger concentrator and some can be had for not all that much more than a 5 lpm machine. If you know your goal is to go bigger and you can afford it, I'd start out with more of a mid-range torch, such as the bravo, instead of with a "beginner torch." You can always start small by using just the center fire, but you can't increase your heat and flame size past a certain point with a single flame torch. Not everyone needs the bigger torch, but if you have plans that will push you in that direction it makes sense to me to consider that at the outset. On the other hand, if you haven't torched at all, it would be a great idea to take a class or two first to make sure you love it and get a better idea of what you like to do. That way you can make an educated decision on equipment.
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