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Beads of Courage


 
  #1  
Old 2013-08-03, 2:01pm
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1knitchick 1knitchick is offline
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Default Torch Questions for You

Hi there,

I'm new to lampwork, bead making specifically, soft glass, and I need your opinion regarding torches... (I was going to put this in the studio area but thought it might be better suited here? If not, please let me know or mods if you want to move my thread that's a-ok with me. )

My teacher has me on a Nortel Minor Bench Burner and she swears by them. From what I have read lots of people like them as well, though I completely understand that others might prefer another brand.

I'm in the very early stages of setting up my work space. I have an option to buy a used a Nortel Minor from my teacher including the hoses for around $150.00. I also have an option of buying one brand new and have notice that around $170 is the going rate, before hoses and the such. I should mention that I am going to use an oxygen concentrator / propane source.

My quandary is that while I was at the glass store today the guy working behind the counted said that for about $20 extra dollars I should go with the Nortel Major Minor Burner, in case I start to explore boro glass. I have no interest right now in doing boro but do I pay the extra money just in case?

What are your thoughts? Do I spend the extra $$ on the torch or do you think it would prudent to hold off for now? I'm not sure how many people switch torches throughout their bead making life.
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  #2  
Old 2013-08-03, 2:22pm
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echeveria echeveria is offline
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I think it is a very individual choice, but I think a used minor with hoses is great for starting out. If you want to upgrade later, you can always sell the minor, assuming you don't abuse it. Used minors seem to go for $100-$125 on this board, but you would also need to pay shipping.

I don't see the point in spending for an uncertain future on something as portable as a torch. There are also MANY to choose from as your skills and wants evolve, so it seems short sighted to lock yourself into something you may not really ultimately want at this stage. You can keep adding another $20 to $50 to the next phase up until whoops! I could make a 6" marble if I only knew how.
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  #3  
Old 2013-08-03, 2:29pm
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artsyuno artsyuno is offline
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I'd go with the minor. If you decide to upgrade down the road, you're probably just as likely to go to a different torch than a major minor. If you get bitten by the boro bug, you can start working boro on a minor and then, when you want to go larger, decide what torch you want. Minors are work horses. If a used torch is in good shape and you can get it for a good price, I'd go that route for now.
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  #4  
Old 2013-08-04, 7:20am
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I'm guessing that the guy said/meant Mega Minor, as the Major Minor is a larger, more expensive torch.

The Mega Minor was designed to work with concentrators, but really, I have found that both it and the Minor do just fine.

On 5 LPM, on either torch, you will be able to make soft glass beads up to about 1" and some small boro. On 10 LPM, you will be able to get much more out of either torch.
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  #5  
Old 2013-08-04, 1:00pm
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1knitchick 1knitchick is offline
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Hi Kbinkster! Yep, that's what he meant, a Mega Minor (so many torches!) I think I'm going to stick with the used torch I can get from my teacher - I just need to find out now how used they actually are. It sounds like Nortel makes a product that can go on and on and since I'm a beginner I think starting there is my best option (money is something that I do have to consider).

Kbinster, I actually sent an e-mail to you last night with a couple of questions. i think I will be getting my concentrator through you and in fact, I was thinking the restored 5 LPM's you offer. Should be good for a beginner and if I end up needing more "umph" I can always add another machine. What do you tthink?
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  #6  
Old 2013-08-05, 7:06am
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Starting off with a 5 LPM machine and adding a second one on down the road is fine and is something a lot of people do.

It depends on the size work you are doing and the size work you are planning to be able to do in the next couple of years as to what might work best for you:

If you are already making beads that are 1" and larger, or think that you soon will be, it might be better to start with a larger machine - and then you won't have to worry about keeping up with two of them.

If you make small beads, and just love them and don't see yourself going larger than 1", then you might get a 5 LPM machine and find that's all you'll ever need.
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