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Boro Room -- For Boro-related tips, techniques, and questions.

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  #1  
Old 2012-11-16, 11:44pm
misterchristr misterchristr is offline
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Smile Nortel Redmax help

Hi!
I recently received my redmax w/ premix top and have been working with boro tubing both import and pyrex for about a week. I am able to do small tube implosions and vessels, however it takes quite awhile even working with 25mm tubing. My 125lb O2 tank lasts less than a week with little results to show for it. Can anyone give me some basic pointers on the redmax please? I searched for videos of artists using the redmax but its too difficult to really gauge what the flame truely looks like or the size of the candles. I am saving up to take a couple classes so I won't be so naive but until then any help, advice, suggestions, are greatly appreciated!!! Thanks again!

P.S. I found an actual Don Mckinney Toolbox kiln at a pawnshop for only $150-great score huh?!?- so that gives you an idea of the size objects I can create.
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  #2  
Old 2012-11-17, 7:13am
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Your speed seems about right for a beginner, particularly if you're working heavy wall tubing. What are you basing your time comparisons on? Experience working with other torches or are you comparing with soft glass or are you just feeling it's taking a long time? Typical working speed for me is 2-5 pendants, marbles or other small pieces per hour. Larger or more intricate pieces may take longer, particularly marbles in the 1.75-2" range which tend to take me an hour or even more depending on how much detail (or if things go badly!!). Generally I just figure on spending about 20 minutes per piece, though I feel I could improve my speed. Please give us a better idea how long it's taking you to make each piece?

If your speeds are extremely and significantly longer than what I quoted above, you may be spending a lot of time being finicky with the pieces, or possibly you're still learning basics which take a while to get down. Unfortunately speed at the torch is a direct function of experience and torch time, though taking lessons can certainly accelerate the gathering of experience

Additionally, what tank size are you using? 125 cubic feet? A week seems like a long time for that size. Typically I get about 8-12 hours from a 220 cubic-foot "K" tank, depending on how hard I rage the flame. Sometimes even less time if I'm working big - so 2-4 torch sessions usually kills the tank. Which is why I keep 3 around

This brings to mind a third possibility, if your smaller tank is lasting significantly longer than my K tank, maybe you're not working hot enough.
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  #3  
Old 2012-11-17, 7:17am
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How many hours a day are you torching? Are you using the premix only or are you using the bottom surface mix a well? How often do you use the bottom fire?

If you are in the 2-3 hour range you are probably in the ball park on oxygen usage. a 125 Cu Ft tanks lasted me about 12 hours on my Red Rocked. I get about 20 with my Bravo but only if keep the usage of the outer fire to an absolute minimum. If kick that on for most of my session I'm back in the 8-12 hour range. You oxy consumption will also vary depending on the size of the tip you have on your premix.
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  #4  
Old 2012-11-17, 7:20am
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Chris,
If you are getting 12 hours from a K tank you must be raging that 'Cuda. Maybe I do work on the cool side.
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  #5  
Old 2012-11-17, 10:31am
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Don't want to crash someone else's thread, but I also have a new-to-me redmax and am interested in any tips on how to best use it. Also, I have noticed that every time I start it up, I get a loud pop when adding the oxygen. It happens when I'm about halfway to having the amount of O2 I want, no matter how slowly I try to add it. Is this normal for a redmax or something that needs checked out?

I don't think i'm going through the O2 as fast as the original poster, though I too feel like it takes me longer to melt things than it "should" even when I think I have it really raging. But my previous experience with big torches is mostly a Mirage, so perhaps I am expecting too much?
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Lynx with OGSI-15 and big holding tank, Redmax on tanked, and National 3b that swings both ways...
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  #6  
Old 2012-11-17, 10:32am
misterchristr misterchristr is offline
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Thanks very much for all the help!!! I definately understand that I can't just buy a torch and 10 minutes later have a masterpiece. I use a BBQ propane tank and a 125 cu ft Oxy. I'm on my third Oxy tank but the propane has barely depleted. Thats what caused me to wonder if I am running the torch incorrectly. I only crank up the bottom flame to melt color or cane into the tubing. Is this proper? Let's say I was only working 25mm extra heavy wall tubing.... How long should the candles on the premix be to lay stringers? Pull points? When should the bottom flame be used? What size candles on the bottom flame?

I know these are kind of generic questions but hopefully it will give me a better idea of whether I am using this beautiful torch properly. Thanks again everyone for all the help!!!!
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  #7  
Old 2012-11-17, 10:43am
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If you will post in the "Your Own Backyard" forum and let people know where you live and that you could use some help, if anyone is in your area I am sure they will offer to help you.
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  #8  
Old 2012-11-17, 10:57am
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My settings
Propane at 8, oxygen at 35. 220 cf tank last me about 6 to 7 hours. Pre mix top torch has HTC0 tip. I run the bottom torch 90% of the time.
Candle size is 1/4 of an inch to 1 inch long and everywhere in between. Most common flame for me is 1/2 inch long candles oxidized to neutral. I work tubing mostly,16 to 50mm. Solids from 12 to 30mm.
The time it takes to make a piece depends on what you want the glass to do. some of my simple hollow pieces take 6 or 7 min to make. Small tube, small amount of color, no more than 15 moves. (each move is heat- stretch, heat-gather, heat-blow etc). Some of the big hollows can take an hour or more with 60 or 70 moves. Each move takes more time when your working with more glass. The thicker the glass, the longer it takes to get the spot you are working on up to temp so you can make the move. Some colors and dicro need a oxidized flame ( cooler and gentler) that slows down the glass reaching working temp. The thickness of any given piece has more to do with time to make same than any other factor. Small simple hollows, and thin simple solids can be turned out quick. Large complex hollows and thick solids not so much.
To me it is all about the number of moves you need to make to get the glass to go where you want. And how long it takes to get the glass to the right temp to make each move.
Speed comes when you learn how to make less moves, combine moves or eliminate unnecessary moves and still get the same finished piece.
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  #9  
Old 2012-11-17, 11:12am
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Following this trend, great potential for learning....
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  #10  
Old 2012-11-17, 11:15am
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20# propane tank lasts me about 30 hrs.
I use the large flame for everything but detail work. (small area of work=small flame)
I run the flame as hot as I can and not hurt the color. If the glass is boiling, your working too hot.Speed means nothing if the color comes out looking like crap.
Most of the time the bottom flame is 1/2 to 3/4 inch long. Top is 1/2 to 3/8 inch long cones.I pull points, melt in color, heat up gathers in the bottom flame. loops, welds and small area work in the top.
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  #11  
Old 2012-11-17, 12:14pm
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The ratio of oxy to propane is approximately 5 oxy to 1 propane, when the gasses are at the same temperature and pressure. There are alot of cubic feet of propane in a BBQ tank as it is in it's LIQUID state. The oxy tank is still gas even though it's at 2000 PSI. I don't do large hollow work, mostly small solid stuff like marbles, pendants and icicles. A BBQ tank will last me months and months.
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  #12  
Old 2012-11-17, 12:40pm
misterchristr misterchristr is offline
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Everyone has been a tremendous help!! Thanks soo much! I will be sure to post piks as soon as I make something respectable lol All comments/suggestions still welcomed! Thanks Chris
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  #13  
Old 2012-11-17, 2:37pm
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I'm not shy about turning up the flame since Milon yelled at me to work hotter in class Remember a 'cuda is less efficient than the Bravo... and I believe you get more than 12 hours just running the center fire on the 'cuda. But who wants to do that?!

I also tend to run a little oxy heavy, to keep the silver colors happy
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  #14  
Old 2012-11-17, 2:56pm
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A funny thing happened with my Redmax today.
I noticed that my oxy tank was all but empty so I decided I'd just pull some stringers until it ran out. I ended up with a ton of stringers, and TWO implosion pendants made off of a tube. An hour and a half later the regulator reads empty and I still haven't run out of fire!
I have no clue what to tell you about your problems, just thought I'd share what my torch does!
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  #15  
Old 2012-11-17, 3:29pm
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Learned something already - turn up my pressures.
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Lynx with OGSI-15 and big holding tank, Redmax on tanked, and National 3b that swings both ways...
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  #16  
Old 2012-11-17, 6:27pm
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I don't know if he's switched since this video, but this is Bashi using his Red Max, it'll give you some idea of what the flame should look like.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zjyNQgIfqW0

Oh, and the minor on mine seems like it goes forever when the oxy's on zero too.
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  #17  
Old 2012-11-18, 3:36am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by menty666 View Post
...
Oh, and the minor on mine seems like it goes forever when the oxy's on zero too.
Isn't that always the case. Oxy at or almost zero. Hmmm, I think I'll pull stringer and do some prep work. 2 hours later you still have good flame. So you start to melt a 12mm rod, get the vortex cone shaped, striped, and twisted and poof, no oxy. Put the piece into the kiln, swap tanks and keep going. Just hope you are working with boro and not 104...

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  #18  
Old 2012-11-20, 9:06am
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You know you're not supposed to run oxy tanks dry right? It's bad for them, which means they have to be replaced more often, which drives costs up. But you knew that, right?

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  #19  
Old 2012-11-20, 9:30am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bunyip View Post
You know you're not supposed to run oxy tanks dry right? It's bad for them, which means they have to be replaced more often, which drives costs up. But you knew that, right?

My supplier told me to run them dry, "we can't use the left over gas". The only reason I know of for not running the tanks to empty is to avoid flash back when using a premix or welding torch. I can understand not running the acetylene tank totally empty as you risk getting the acetone into your hoses.
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Old 2012-11-20, 2:12pm
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so how is running an oxy tank dry bad for it?
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  #21  
Old 2012-11-24, 8:20pm
misterchristr misterchristr is offline
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Hey everyone!
Again thanks for all the help not only in this thread but the wealth of knowledge I've learned all around this site!! I have come to the conclusion I just wasnt using enough flame. My pieces are coming out somewhat presentable now Although I am not really doing beads anymore, this was the only site I could find for help. I made a matching set of pieces with 25mm pyrex tube, northstar amber purple, import black, and silver fuming. I'll try to attach a video link so check it out if anyone has a minute. Thanks again and as always all comments and suggestions welcomed!!!


http://youtu.be/lsgsV3NOiic

Last edited by misterchristr; 2012-11-25 at 2:24pm.
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  #22  
Old 2012-11-24, 9:22pm
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Not to shabby..
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Old 2012-11-25, 2:43am
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HAHAHAHA Thanks deb tarry!!!
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  #24  
Old 2012-11-28, 7:14am
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I was taught when starting out, and have been consistently informed that the best practice is to leave 25-50 PSI in the tank, rather than running it dry. As for causing damage, my understanding is that tanks are made from steel, oxygen is a very reactive chemical, if you run it dry there can be air exchange allowing humidity etc. to intrude. Particularly if you leave the valve open...

If this is incorrect I'd certainly be interested in learning what the real deal is.
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  #25  
Old 2012-11-28, 8:01am
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just checked my tank and it says i have to leave a minimum of 14.50326 psi.
i am not sure what the rullings are in the USA?
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Old 2012-11-28, 8:19am
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i run a homefill and almost always leave a couple hundred psi in the tank anyway...i really hate running out of o2 mid-project so i usually quit while i'm ahead.

pardon my ignorance, but who would leave the valve open anyway? even if the tank is empty, that's still bad form.
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Old 2012-11-28, 10:47am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by istandalone24/7 View Post
pardon my ignorance, but who would leave the valve open anyway?
The same idiots who made it necessary to put "no diving" signs at the kiddie pool? In all fairness, it's a somewhat easy mistake to make, but doing it intentionally is stupid, yes.
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Old 2012-11-28, 11:57am
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Or if the valve were leaky...it happens.
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