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Old 2016-02-04, 8:56am
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Chocake Chocake is offline
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Join Date: Oct 27, 2014
Location: North of Nowhere
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Default Torch discussion

What torch do you use? Why did you choose that model?
What do you love about it?
Is there something you don't like about it?

I have a hothead. It got it as part of a beginners kit. I love that it's cheap and easy to use. Given time to experiment and practice I find that it is really quite versatile. I'd like to have more control over flame chemistry and intensity. I haven't had any experience with duel fuel torches so I 'd love to get more feedback from folks that use them (especially people who've made the move from a Hothead. ).
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Old 2016-02-04, 9:13am
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Speedslug Speedslug is offline
Join Date: Mar 21, 2009
Location: Winnebago, MN
Posts: 2,089

I got a Cricket because they are supposed to be great with natural gas at the low pressures available in most homes and I wasn't ready to park a propane tank out side and plumb it through the wall 8 years ago when I already had NG pipes in the house.

It has been great but I never had ambitions for any large work and although I'm told the Cricket will do boro I do have any ambitions for that either (yet).
Perpetually Pessimistic So I am Always Pleasantly Surprised.
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Old 2016-02-04, 9:35am
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Mina Mina is offline
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Join Date: Apr 13, 2014
Location: Washington USA
Posts: 2,345

I have a mini CC. I chose this torch because it gave me the option of doing small boro pieces and I like the type of flame it produces. It is a good middle-of-the-road kind of torch. I've concidered getting a regular CC because I want to use more boro. The mini cc works but it's a little slow going.
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Old 2016-02-04, 9:44am
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bepnewt bepnewt is offline
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Join Date: Apr 16, 2012
Location: Broken Arrow, OK
Posts: 802

What torch do you use?
Bethlehem Bravo

Why did you choose that model?
I'm a beginner, so I was looking for a torch that:
- I could afford
- Will do anything I will need to do now and in the near future
- Will run the inner-fire on NG and OxyCon
- Didn't have features I don't need right now or will need in the near future

What do you love about it?
- There is nothing I want to do that it can't do
- Bethlehem has very good product support
- It looks awesome

Is there something you don't like about it?
- The newer Bravos have a better system for adjusting the angle of the torch
Brian E. Parker aka BEPNewt
Lifelong glass lover, now getting to work with it. Using a Bravo on an M20 & Natural Gas ( inner ), Tanked O2 & Propane ( outer ).
Grew up near
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Old 2016-02-04, 1:27pm
LarryC LarryC is offline
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Join Date: Mar 07, 2011
Location: Northern California
Posts: 1,979

GTT Mirage for large solid work and an HA Zenit for blown work. First thing is none of these burn two fuels. Propane is the fuel, oxygen is an oxidizer. This is a very important distinction if your gonna learn how to use one. My primary torch is the mirage and I love it. All of the GTT triple mixes are extremely versatile and they hold their value really well. I could sell this two year old torch for just about retail and at that price they are in high demand. Looking for a smaller torch? Try the GTT Lynx. Just as nice but smaller and much cheaper.
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Old 2016-02-05, 4:58pm
Vicki Gough Vicki Gough is offline
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Join Date: Nov 20, 2013
Location: Central Kansas
Posts: 122

GTT Bobcat, was recommended by my teacher. I love it, but don't have experience with anything else. I make soft glass beads on the smallish side, but it has plenty of power available when I do make big beads.
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Old 2016-02-05, 8:33pm
snoopdog6502 snoopdog6502 is offline
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Join Date: Sep 27, 2014
Location: Walla Walla, Washington
Posts: 289

I stared about 16 months ago on a Hothead, then got a GTT Bobcat, and a GTT Cheetah, now on a GTT Phantom.

I chose the phantom as its not so big, I can run it with a pedal on 3 oxygen concentrators and is a comfortable size from tiny flames to a pretty nice bushy flame. That and I was able to get it and a pedal for under $1,600.00 so the price was right. I bid on a Mirage on E bay but gave up after bidding $2,000 and not getting it.

What I dont like about it is it needs one or two more ring of flames to be a big torch. Next torch will be a Kabuki,Ninja or a Samurai. I need a build a steel building so I have a proper home for a torch of that caliber.
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Old 2016-02-16, 8:51pm
caliglassguy caliglassguy is offline
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Join Date: Oct 09, 2011
Location: East Bay San Francisco (Vallejo CA)
Posts: 185

I started out on a Carlisle CC mini which is a good starter torch ( I loved the cc mini) I was doing soft glass 104 coe and did manage to do some Boro on it but slower going trying to melt the glass. I've had a Bethlehem pm2d non water cooled I got used and made home made water cooler system to cool the torch but it was a beast on oxygen consumption.
I currently run a Bethlehem Champion and love the torch and I have a Bethlehem Bravo as well which I also love. I did notice that my Bethlehems don't fume silver or gold as well as other torches but that may just be me not getting the technique down. I've also owned a Red Max torch which was a good torch and melted Boro also it fumed silver or gold very good.
My dream torches are to eventually get a GTT Mirage and or a GTT Kobuki torch for larger solid boro work.
"Don' t just dream about it, get off the couch and do it!"

John aka "BIG JOHN"
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Old 2016-04-09, 7:41pm
snoopdog6502 snoopdog6502 is offline
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Join Date: Sep 27, 2014
Location: Walla Walla, Washington
Posts: 289

Here is my new baby, kind of a drag that I cant run it all the time and have to run the Phantom do to oxygen consumption.

My new GTT Snub nose Mirage, I named her Miss Piggy. She sucks down an oxygen bottle nice and quick.
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Old 2016-04-10, 5:28pm
flowman flowman is offline
Join Date: May 06, 2013
Location: Northeast Georgia, USA
Posts: 58

I have a GTT Bobcat, and love it for what I do (beads, but getting into sculptural, all soft glass), but my next will be a triple mix (Phantom). A couple of thoughts:
1) O2 source makes all the difference, at least with this torch--I never had the capacity with a 5lpm oxycon that I have now with my 10lpm, or tanked O2 the one time I tried it.
2) With sufficient O2 I can crank it up (or turn down propane) and get a tight flame with a steep heat gradient (areas not in the flame stay relatively cool). That works for the sculptural work I'm getting into, and the Lynx/Phantom are even better.
3) That being said, I've seen others say that they don't like these torches because they don't have a broad flame profile, with lots of radiant heat outside of the flame. They have trouble keeping beads from cracking because the flame isn't broad and soft enough to keep the bead warm.

So it depends what you want to do. I'm getting into sculpture like the attached, and the bobcat works for me. In every class I've had with Minors and MegaMinors I've found them very useful for bead making, and if that's what I was doing (instead of sculpture), I'd happily buy a Minor.

Steve Hilliard, sghilliard glass studio

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Last edited by flowman; 2016-04-10 at 5:37pm.
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