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Tips, Techniques, and Questions -- Technical questions or tips

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  #1  
Old 2020-05-25, 10:34am
brndsnlsn@gmail.com brndsnlsn@gmail.com is offline
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Default Torches, torches, so many to choose from

Hi all... I'm trying to gather info regarding which torch folks feel is a good first step beyond the Hothead. I do soft glass beadmaking. Am self-taught (since all classes in my area were cancelled due to the pandemic). Gotta love YouTube! I have a birthday coming up soon and I'm campaigning for a new torch. Any thoughts/ideas are really appreciated.
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  #2  
Old 2020-05-25, 10:47am
losthelm losthelm is offline
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Nortel minor or similar is the next step up.
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  #3  
Old 2020-05-25, 3:06pm
brndsnlsn@gmail.com brndsnlsn@gmail.com is offline
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Great thank you, I'll check that out.
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  #4  
Old 2020-05-25, 4:52pm
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I'm fond of my GTT Cricket but I purposely chose that to keep me from "Raging" through tons of fuel and oxygen.

I started out with C clamps and an inexpensive welders rig after my hot head experience.
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  #5  
Old 2020-05-25, 5:27pm
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Cricket, Bethlehem Alpha, GTT Bobcat, Carlisle Mini CC, and Nortel Minor are the typical next-step torches if you are making soft glass items, especially beads. I personally prefer the Alpha and the Bobcat.
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  #6  
Old 2020-05-26, 11:07am
brndsnlsn@gmail.com brndsnlsn@gmail.com is offline
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Wow, ok! I thank you all for your feedback. I think I've narrowed it down to the Beth. Alpha, Nortel Minor, or the GTT Bobcat. Thanks again! Brenda
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  #7  
Old 2020-05-26, 11:21am
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Good luck with your choice, it is confusing. They are good torches though, just a bit different in various ways.
And there is a market for used torches
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  #8  
Old 2020-05-27, 7:46am
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I've been on a Nortel Minor for a decade, no complaints. That torch has been through the ringer and is still reliable. I have my eye on a Bethelehem Alpha, though, since I was reading about torches and oxycons and which ones use more/less oxygen. It made me realize I've never even sat behind another kind of torch!

Last edited by yonil; 2020-05-27 at 7:47am. Reason: forgot a word
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  #9  
Old 2020-05-27, 8:06am
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speedingpullet speedingpullet is offline
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I'm a fan of the GTT torches. I started with a Cricket, moved up to a Scorpion and have just rigged up my new Sidewinder, seeing as I'm stuck at home all the time at the moment. I used to work soft glass, but I've transitioned to working only in boro recently - and GTTs are perfect for a small home setup imho.

The thing I really like about GTTs is that they're designed to work with oxycons. And as someone who lives in an extreme fire zone - ie no tanked oxygen - its pretty much the only choice I have.

Not that other torches don't work on oxygen concentrators - my friend has a Bethlehem Bravo she runs on oxycons, but she's a soft glass artist and rarely needs to fire up the outer ring, which she admits isn't as powerful as it could be if she'd used tanked oxygen.

So, GTTs for me all the way.
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  #10  
Old 2020-05-27, 5:30pm
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What's your oxygen set up?

A Cricket is great on an oxycon. A minor too. Would skip the Bobcat in favor of a Cricket depending on your oxy set up.

I had a minor, Lynx, Cricket, and now a Scorpion. For soft glass beads, my 20lpm oxycon and Scorpion is everything I will ever need.
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  #11  
Old 2020-05-28, 9:07am
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Shelley, my Bobcat runs fine on an oxycon. I happily made beads for the first 6-7 years on a Bobcat and a 5lpm concentrator. I use an M15 now. And I think the newer ones are better than my old one. Right now I am using my Alpha most though, since my Bobcat valves need to be tightened.
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  #12  
Old 2020-05-28, 11:49am
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Oh, that's good to know! My experience on a bobcat was not so awesome.

I hear the Alphas are great, too. If I was new in the market I'd look at an Alpha. $200 for a really nice low pressure torch.
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  #13  
Old 2020-05-28, 3:57pm
LarryC LarryC is offline
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GTT LYNX for sure. More torch than most bead makers need but you will not outgrow it and they keep their value amazingly well.
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  #14  
Old 2020-05-29, 7:19am
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Depends on oxy. I had a Lynx with an oxycon and it was way underpowered.
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Old 2020-05-29, 8:20am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bshelle View Post
Depends on oxy. I had a Lynx with an oxycon and it was way underpowered.
Yes, that was my experience also. It works, but was not as good as my Bobcat on the same M15. My Lynx has just been sitting here since I got it. But if you have tanks, it is a great torch.
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  #16  
Old 2020-05-29, 8:40am
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Loved that third knob on top.
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  #17  
Old 2020-05-29, 4:48pm
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I'd suggest choosing your oxygen source and then looking at compatible torches.
I started with a Nortel Minor, then, Bobcat, Cricket, Lynx, Cheetah, Scorpion, and Phantom. The Lynx (center of Phantom) my favorite, is used the most and runs off a 10 lpm Regalia concentrator, with tanked oxygen for the outer flame.
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