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Beads of Courage


 
  #1  
Old 2005-06-17, 1:35pm
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Frostfire Frostfire is offline
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Default Talkin' about torches....

(Disclaimer: newbie question here, but I've never heard it asked exactly this way so I'm asking...)

I'm on a HotHead and I have a love/hate relationship with it. Love it because I have it to play with, hate it because I want mo' betta mo' hotta fire to play with. So I'm want to move up to an oxy/propane torch (with full safety precautions!) in a minute or two, and have been doing my research.

I see plenty of info about torches. I have yet to find anywhere a true comparison of entry-level torches (e.g. Minor, Carlisle mini-CC, GTT Bobcat, Beth Piranha, Knight Little Dragon, etc.) listing highlights (and lowlights, so to speak) of each -- something other than "this is what I use and it's THE BEST" (WHY is it the best???). New folks like me don't know as much as we will if/when we get ready to upgrade, so we need the help at the entry point.

Kristian Turley's posting in various places, where he rated the torches one star to four stars, helps, but it doesn't give pros and cons of the torches. That's what I'm looking for, so I can see what will work best for ME .

Can anyone contribute to un-doing my state of confusion? TIA!
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  #2  
Old 2005-06-17, 3:06pm
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alexm alexm is offline
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I am currently working mostly on my GTT Lynx, but I have worked on the HH, Nortel Minor and the GTT Bobcat. I have to admit, I still set up my HH on occassion because there are things I can do on it that I can't seem to be able to do on my GTT torches.

The Minor is a great beginner torch, though I preferred the Bobcat to the Minor. The Minor has a narrow flame, not a bushy flame, though it is impossible to focus the flame to a very small pinpoint, when I turned the torch down to a very small flame, it became very soft and unfocused. It is a good torch for soft glass, though Boro is very slow on it. It is easy to do reduction on it.

The Bobcat burns hotter than the Minor. I could easily do boro beads on it. It is also great for soft glass. I could focus the flame to almost a pinpoint. The flame is narrow and not bushy. Reduction was harder on the Bobcat than on the Minor, though it is adequate for most reduction applications. All in all, it was my favority small oxy-propane torch.

I now work on a Lynx, which is basically a souped up Bobcat. It does burn hotter than the the Bobcat and I can focus the flame to a tiny pinpoint. I can easily work with boro or soft glass on it.

Hope this helps.
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BHB/PANDORA EXCHANGE IN THE PATIO
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  #3  
Old 2005-06-18, 6:36pm
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Yes, thank you very much, Alex, it does help! I don't see me doing anything but small stuff with soft glass for a while, but there's always a chance I'll want to try boro.

I'm almost certain I'll end up running off of an oxygen concentrator instead of tanked gas, so that's something else I need to take into consideration.

One thing I really want to know is what, if anything really, makes the Piranha worth $50 (roughly) more than the other torches .
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  #4  
Old 2005-06-18, 7:30pm
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Dale M. Dale M. is offline
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Here is a evaluation of many torches...

I know it has appeared on several sites, but this is where I found it most recently...

http://www.thegldg.com/forum/showthread.php?t=93

Dale
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  #5  
Old 2005-06-19, 4:02am
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Mr. Smiley Mr. Smiley is offline
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The pirranah is a great little torch. It's capable of getting much much hotter than a minor and still runs on a lot less oxy than a GTT. If you were doing boro only (and not on a concentrator), I'd say go for GTT (I friggin love mine!), but if you are wanting something to possibly do both, I would suggest the pirranah. It will do it all. I will be setting up those for my teaching studio... I have really fallen for them in the past year.

I really don't like the minors... They aren't very hot in comparison and the flame isn't all that adjustable.

I hope this helps...
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  #6  
Old 2005-06-19, 7:25am
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starlia starlia is offline
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Here is my advice only. I had our local glass store set up several torches that they offer for me to try out. I also worked on other torches in the area and got a little exposure to what else was out there. I chose the torch that worked well for me. I knew I wanted to work on boro and I didn't like a bushy flame. I wanted pinpoint accuracy but didn't want to spend a ton of money. I decided to go with a Bobcat.

You may have needs you don't know yet and that's why I would suggest trying out torches before you purchase them. Asking folks why they like their torch is wonderful. However, you are seeing it from their viewpoint and thier needs. What is you want to do and what do you want to do in the future? Keep those things in mind when you are selecting your torch.
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  #7  
Old 2005-06-19, 9:56am
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Starlia, that's great advice, and that's exactly what I did when I was shopping for my last torch. I went to Arrow Springs and asked them to set up a bunch of torches so I could play with them.

I just wanted to add that I run my torches with 2 or 3 oxygen concentrators, I don't use tanked oxygen.
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BHB/PANDORA EXCHANGE IN THE PATIO
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  #8  
Old 2005-06-21, 4:05pm
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Starlia, I wish I could find a place locally where I could try out a number of different torches! I only know of two places in Atlanta that even sell oxy/propane torches -- both carry Minors, the one further away (an hour-plus) also has the Beth Piranha and Barracuda. I used a Minor in my introductory class and it was fine (though for my brain the arrangement of the controls was a little wonky); I just know there are other options, and I don't want to end up with another torch that I'll outgrow too quickly.

Dale, that's the review that I started with, but thanks anyway.

I think I've 'bout decided to squeeze out the extra bucks and go with the Piranha. I do like the fact that I can get it semi-locally, from someone who I'll be doing business with on a regular basis. Now to track down a used oxygen concentrator....

Ooooh, and my kiln is scheduled to arrive tomorrow !
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  #9  
Old 2005-06-21, 4:42pm
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Toozygoot Toozygoot is offline
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I love my Beth Bead Burner and Piranha since I can get a very hot flame with just one oxycon. I've melted a little boro and they have done a pretty good job. And you can get that pin point flame if you need it. I had a minor but love these much better. Plus I think I am getting better colors out of my reduction frits which I believe has something to do with better oxy delivery on the Piranha.

Good luck to you!

pat
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