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

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  #1  
Old 2013-04-29, 8:16am
RottenSpine RottenSpine is offline
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Default Yet Another Setup Question, OxyCons and Kilns

I am aware that there might be similar questions/posts throughout these forums but I have been unsuccsseful in finding the answer:

I am about a week away from purchasing a Bethlehem Bravo. I started learning lampworking from a bead maker, but my interests are more inclined toward sculptural boro work (and dare I say it? pipes). I don't know anything about oxygen concentrators and will not be buying one right away but I would like to know what a good OxyCon setup would be for working medium-large boro sculptures on the Bravo.

Additionally, I also don't know too much about Kilns and was wondering if anyone could recommend a decent starter kiln for boro sculpture and pipes that wouldn't be outgrown right away.

Any advice/help/suggestions/whathaveyou would be really appreciated!

Thanks!
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  #2  
Old 2013-04-29, 8:36am
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Some things you may not have considered, power wise.

Kilns REQUIRE 15 to 20 amp dedicated 120V circuits, depending on the kiln may be higher (240V) for larger kilns, read the specs very carefully. Oxycons need about 5 amps for each one, so max of 3 on any given circuit.
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  #3  
Old 2013-04-29, 8:48am
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Hey Rotten,
I've had my Bravo for about 6 months and I love it! I use a M15 and an M20 oxycon from unlimitedoxygen.com The M15 is $350 and the M20 is $500. They are perfect for the work you want to do. As far a kilns go, check out theglasshive.com. They have a wide range of kilns. I bought the Regular Guy kiln, $830 shipped. They also have an economy kiln for under $500. I've had the kiln for over 2 years with no problems at all. They also have a lay-a-way plan if you need it. When you order your Bravo, make sure you buy the Y connecter package you will need to set up your torch.
Have fun,
Dave
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Old 2013-04-29, 9:02am
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Thanks a lot! I'm PRETTY sure (but not 100% positive) that I have the power to run these kilns and concentrators, Dragonharper, but I'm glad you pointed that out because I had NO CLUE that that was even a consideration.

And dlando1, I appreciate the kiln/oxycon recommendation. So far I've only used a minor, because I learned soft glass beadwork (as per my original post) but as soon as I started seeing some boro sculpture I knew that it was all over for me and that was what I wanted to do. Hence, the bravo. As I have never used the bravo (I'm only getting it based off of a TON of online research), I'm curious as to what you work with it and if you have any specific pros or cons to mention?
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  #5  
Old 2013-04-29, 9:16am
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Also, to be considered. If kiln says that it needs 120V/20 amps the plug will be a 30A plug, one blade is turned sideways so that it CANNOT be plugged into a regular 15A outlet. If you are going to do pipe work you may want a bigger torch, the Bravo is only rated for 38mm thick wall tubing.
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  #6  
Old 2013-04-29, 9:35am
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I do mostly pendants. Like any new equipment, there is a learning curve. I had a National 8M, with a 7 hole head, so pipes were out of the question. I would think that you could make a pretty good pipe w/ 38mm tubing. The Bravo is basically a lynx, w/ an outer burner. It will work great for pendants and small to medium sculpture. I would differ to Roy on the pipe issue.
Dave
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  #7  
Old 2013-04-29, 9:37am
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Another good resource is http://www.talkglass.com However, this recommendation comes with a warning: That board tends to be a bit on the rough side, they do not lightly suffer fools, you will need a thick skin. There are some good discussions and information on torches, and pipe techniques. Use the search! Don't ask for trade secrets, you may not even know you are asking for one. Lurk, a lot.
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  #8  
Old 2013-04-29, 10:09am
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I just registered for talkglass about 2 hours ago, based on a post I saw somewhere else. I'm definitely going to be checking it out in depth, but I'd heard similar things so I tried here first and will definitely tread lightly until I have a solid foundation.

As to the bravo, I know that the official listed specs are for 38mm tubing but I've seen so many people saying that it can handle 50mm tubing (maybe not as quickly but that it definitely can). Also, I was told it's more akin to the GTT with the same price tag (the one that's one level up from the lynx).

Last edited by RottenSpine; 2013-04-29 at 12:10pm. Reason: Misspelled a word
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  #9  
Old 2013-04-29, 10:18am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dlando1 View Post
I do mostly pendants. Like any new equipment, there is a learning curve. I had a National 8M, with a 7 hole head, so pipes were out of the question. I would think that you could make a pretty good pipe w/ 38mm tubing. The Bravo is basically a lynx, w/ an outer burner. It will work great for pendants and small to medium sculpture. I would differ to Roy on the pipe issue.
Dave
The Bravo is definitely NOT a Lynx with an outer fire. I just received mine last week and have it hooked to 10lpms & holding tank on the center fire and tanked on the outer. Although the center fire gets pretty hot, it's not as hot as my Lynx on the exact same setup, which is why I said the Bravo is not a Lynx with an outer fire. It's slightly hotter than my Cricket, so it's probably more comparable to a Bobcat with an outer fire.

For the money, it's an okay torch, but for working on strictly oxycons, I think the GTT Scorpion or Sidewinder are a better choices. They just work better on oxycons. I spoke with Kate from Bethlehem for quite a while last week and for good sized flame, you need at least 20lpms. For what you want to do, you'll need more; 10lpm for the center and 15-20lpm on the outer. (or tanked.)
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  #10  
Old 2013-04-29, 10:27am
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a friend just got a kiln and found this one on sale. it would be a great kiln the two down sides are 4 inch hight but as you can kiln on side you could medium sculptures or pipes and it run at 15 amp, so you need it on a 20 amp breaker with 12 gauge wire.
I know guy that do production spoons with this kiln and love it.

$690 for the blue bird xl. I don't know what kind of sale it is it look like it more till you go to put it in you cart and then this page and price pops up.
http://www.dichroicimagery.com/produ...ducts_id=95462

these smaller size draw lower amps so if the wireing is a limiter you just lose space.

http://www.dichroicimagery.com/produ...ducts_id=95461
http://www.dichroicimagery.com/produ...ducts_id=95658
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  #11  
Old 2013-04-29, 11:19am
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I find it so interesting how many people will say so many different things about different torches. I was originally interested in getting the lynx, and all of that information was confirmed, until I started hearing more and more people saying that the lynx would have been underpowered for what I wanted to do. It would be so lovely if there were some sort of ultimate authority that could just say definitively which torch is best for which work.

But, as an artist, I understand that some people swear by different tools even if they're making the same thing.
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  #12  
Old 2013-04-29, 11:46am
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picking a torch is hard that is true.
so my 2 cents the lynx would have all the power as far as heat that you will ever need but its the flame width that i think they were talking about.
when your doing some work with tube you need to evenly heat a 1-2 inch section of tubing and that is harder to do with a half inch wide flame.
so the wider flame has the advantage. and the wider the flame the higher the cost and the more oxygen pressure and volume it uses, so cost more to run.
It all come down to the Benjamen's
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Old 2013-04-29, 12:11pm
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In that case, how does the actual heat of the Lynx stack up against the heat of a Bravo?
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  #14  
Old 2013-04-29, 12:32pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mightymike View Post
picking a torch is hard that is true.
so my 2 cents the lynx would have all the power as far as heat that you will ever need but its the flame width that i think they were talking about.
when your doing some work with tube you need to evenly heat a 1-2 inch section of tubing and that is harder to do with a half inch wide flame.
so the wider flame has the advantage. and the wider the flame the higher the cost and the more oxygen pressure and volume it uses, so cost more to run.
It all come down to the Benjamen's
^^This. I've had a Bravo, Lynx, Phantom, Cheetah, Barracuda, Cricket, Bobcat and MiniCC as my personal torches and worked on a Victor, CC & CC+ at work. You can work fairly large on a Lynx. You don't need a behemoth to get things done; you just have to learn how to work with your torch.

If you have the ability to get with other artists in your area, see if you can try out the torches that they use. The only limiting factor is your patience. If you have a smaller torch, it's going to take a lot longer to make larger items. If your oxygen supply is weak, it will take longer, as well. What you need really to figure out is what kind of oxygen supply will you have and how much money you have to spend. I am personally partial to GTT just from my experience from working on them and other brands. If you have the $$, GTT is definitely the way to go. I've found that I have an easier time making larger items on my Lynx than I did with my Barracuda. Hopefully, the Bravo will indeed be a step up. It definitely is as far as flame width goes, but flame width isn't the end all be all when it comes to working with glass.
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  #15  
Old 2013-04-29, 12:36pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RottenSpine View Post
In that case, how does the actual heat of the Lynx stack up against the heat of a Bravo?
As I mentioned in my previous post, on my rinky-dink oxycon / holding tank setup, the inner fire of the Bravo is not as hot as my Lynx. I'm running the outer on tanked, so I can't really compare that. If you're going to be running tanks, the Bravo is hotter & wider than the Lynx. If you're going to run oxycons, the Lynx is hotter on MY setup. If you get a more powerful setup, the Bravo would probably be hotter.
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  #16  
Old 2013-04-29, 12:42pm
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If you're going to be running tanks, the Bravo is hotter & wider than the Lynx. If you're going to run oxycons, the Lynx is hotter on MY setup. If you get a more powerful setup, the Bravo would probably be hotter.
I'm definitely going to be running both inner and outer fire off of tanked oxy for a while, because I basically saved up in order to get everything I need to start working but not everything I'm going to eventually want to use. I'm not even going to be purchasing the kiln immediately (someone will be letting me use theirs), so oxycons are way down on my list of priorities. Eventually, though, I hope to be running maybe 2 M20's on the Bravo based on the info I've seen around the forums.

The truth is, this is currently a hobby for me, but if/when I reach a point where I'm making legitimate money off of it then I assume I'll eventually be upgrading to a higher tier torch anyway.
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  #17  
Old 2013-04-29, 1:41pm
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I'm definitely going to be running both inner and outer fire off of tanked oxy for a while, because I basically saved up in order to get everything I need to start working but not everything I'm going to eventually want to use. I'm not even going to be purchasing the kiln immediately (someone will be letting me use theirs), so oxycons are way down on my list of priorities. Eventually, though, I hope to be running maybe 2 M20's on the Bravo based on the info I've seen around the forums.

The truth is, this is currently a hobby for me, but if/when I reach a point where I'm making legitimate money off of it then I assume I'll eventually be upgrading to a higher tier torch anyway.
If you plan on switching to oxycons at some point in the future, go with the GTT Scorpion or the GTT Sidewinder. the Scorpion is the same size as the bravo but uses oxygen much more efficiently. The Sidewinder is about the size of a Phantom. (I LOVED my Phantom! I would have married it if it were legal!)
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Old 2013-04-29, 1:51pm
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Originally Posted by RottenSpine View Post
I find it so interesting how many people will say so many different things about different torches. I was originally interested in getting the lynx, and all of that information was confirmed, until I started hearing more and more people saying that the lynx would have been underpowered for what I wanted to do. It would be so lovely if there were some sort of ultimate authority that could just say definitively which torch is best for which work.

But, as an artist, I understand that some people swear by different tools even if they're making the same thing.
This is what I'm talking about. Now that I think I've landed on the right torch, I'm getting so much info saying a different one would be better. Gaahhhh!
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Old 2013-04-29, 2:47pm
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This is what I'm talking about. Now that I think I've landed on the right torch, I'm getting so much info saying a different one would be better. Gaahhhh!
If the Bravo is what you think is right for you, then get it. You're working off tanks so it will be fine. I said get the Scorpion, or better yet, the Sidewinder because you said you planned to move to oxycons. The Bravo isn't the best choice for that scenario.
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Old 2013-04-29, 2:48pm
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just get a GTT Kobuki and 40mm Herbert Arnold set up one on one side of the kiln and one on the other with liquid oxygen and your set.
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