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Beads of Courage

Old 2017-03-15, 9:01pm
Al Miaco's Avatar
Al Miaco Al Miaco is offline
Join Date: Sep 24, 2016
Posts: 67
Default Tips on tips for my National 8M

At present I am using an SM7 tip. I feel like I want a smaller flame for small and fine work but am not sure which tip would be best.

Also, I am not very happy with the flame I am able to get with the SM7 tip. The flames I see in videos and such seem to have a cleaner edge. I am guessing they are internal mix torches/tips. Is that correct? (I'm a beginner so apologies if this is such a newby q).

Are there any tips that give a better flame than the SM7. I am only using COE104 and have a large tank for oxy.

So I am also thinking about changing up to a slightly better torch. Recommendations from anyone who has already followed the same path would be really nice. I'm thinking I could afford something around $300?

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Old 2017-03-16, 6:15am
notrhydon notrhydon is offline
Join Date: Oct 04, 2016
Posts: 71

Most places that have the National tips will carry the SM5 as well which is more or less like comparing the Nortel MegaMinor (SM7) to the Nortel Minor (SM5). For 104 the premix would just blow glass all over the studio when you're trying to use stringers. Hope that helps.
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Old 2017-03-16, 8:23am
dusty dusty is offline
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Join Date: Jul 18, 2007
Posts: 568

I use an 8m with a premix adapter with 104 coe glass frequently. It's actually really nice, except that I haven't found a tip that's just right - they're all either not broad enough or too broad. You do have to be a little more careful to avoid thermal shock, but it's not that bad. I don't know that it will be a "better" flame, but it'll be better for some things, and it should have a cleaner edge to the flame.

It looks like the 8m premix adapter is about $55, then you'll need a tip to go with it, which should cost about $55 also. I really like the 55-hole Shelbo Whisper tip and the tips that Wale makes (the Whisper Tip is more laser-focused and aggressive, but might be too-much-so) and you might as well get a #5 tip to play around with, since they're only $15 or so and will give you a tiny needlepoint flame that also has its uses. Also, if you don't have flashback arrestors, get some - they're more likely to save your life when you're using a premix torch.

The difference you're seeing could just be photography, too. The pictures of the SM7 tip running I've seen make it look like a laser - Doesn't matter - the premix tips burn hotter and are more laser-like - especially the Whisper Tips.

Last edited by dusty; 2017-03-16 at 8:26am.
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Old 2017-03-16, 8:15pm
Al Miaco's Avatar
Al Miaco Al Miaco is offline
Join Date: Sep 24, 2016
Posts: 67

Thanks for the feedback guys/gals.

good info dusty. I think I will go with your plan.

I know eventually I will want to upgrade my torch but I need to be patient and learn more about my flame and what I want it to do. I'm still working on dots.

I guess what got me to thinking is that I just began to work with clear. It feels like my SM7 tip produces a ragged edge which makes it hard to control the clear while not heating the underlying bead/pattern. Like when I pull some dots into stripes that go all the way to the mandrel.

thanks again though-cheers
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Old 2017-03-16, 8:26pm
Al Miaco's Avatar
Al Miaco Al Miaco is offline
Join Date: Sep 24, 2016
Posts: 67

Oh dusty, thanks for the link. I had been there before when I was first beginning but had not gone back to review. Now I know I definitely work in the 'turned down low' range which may also result in a fluffier flame at the border.

and yes with the flashback arrestor. My wife would kill me if I killed myself.
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