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  #1  
Old 2011-03-21, 12:01am
LiaH LiaH is offline
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Default Hothead Help

I am new to lampworking. I just got my hothead set up and it is connected to bulk propane. My first beads came out black. They should have been blue and green. What am I doing wrong? My ones I made at class using mapp gas turned out fine.

Is my flame adjusted wrong? How do I know if my flame is set right? My Passing the Flame book by Corina doesn't have a hothead flame example.

Should my propane tank be opened all the way?

Am I working too close to the torch?

If anyone could help I would be very appreciative!

Thanks in advance
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  #2  
Old 2011-03-21, 10:48am
kk5336 kk5336 is offline
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Hi LiaH...

I would start with working further out in the flame...seems to me you are getting too much propane and if they still are turning black or gray, then you need to lower your flame a bit.

Another great book is Making Glass Beads by Cindy Jenkins.

I hope this helps...
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  #3  
Old 2011-03-21, 6:14pm
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Dale M. Dale M. is offline
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Also if flame is big and bushier, turn it down some till you have central cone a sharp pinpoint... You may have to much unburned fuel in flame ... Also moving out in flame may help... When you changed fuels the flame "chemistry" changed, there for the "sweet spot: inflame moved....

Dale
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  #4  
Old 2011-03-21, 8:50pm
LiaH LiaH is offline
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Dale & Kathie thank you both for replying. I am going to go try your suggestions. I am hoping for better success! My kids both thought my first beads were rocks. Not quite the look I was going for.
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  #5  
Old 2011-03-21, 9:02pm
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Further in the flame and turn the flame down. I have written (not as many images) tutorials on my site from when I taught on a HH, I've been told they're helpful. The link is in my signature.

Have fun, be safe!
Nikki
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  #6  
Old 2011-03-24, 12:25pm
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misspiggy misspiggy is offline
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I just got my bulk tank few weeks back and had the same problem. My clear was gray and couldn't even see through at all..
I had to move out further in the flame for sure, at least an inch out from the blue pointy part.
Also, don't turn the propane tank all the way open. I also don't open hot head all the way either but that might not matter.. Like Dale had mentioned, too much gas, not enough oxygen kinda scenario...
Don't give up and good Luck!
Christy
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  #7  
Old 2011-04-12, 9:20pm
LiaH LiaH is offline
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Thank you all for all of your suggestions and help. My beads have moved from black rocks to colored beads . I was working to close to the flame and I had my flame turned up too far. I am now heading in the right direction. Thanks again so much

Lia
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  #8  
Old 2011-04-13, 6:55pm
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ellabeads ellabeads is offline
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Sounds like you've already figured out what the problem was but figured I'd chime in anyways since I work on a HH as well. I have my bulk tank turned on all the way but my torch is low. Once I've lit my torch I turn the knob so my flame almost goes out and then I gently open it up a bit further. This has worked well for me. As well as working further away from the blue cone than what most of the books say. I agree with Christy in that you have to be at least an inch out from the tip of the cone. Anyways, glad to read your making colourful beads now. Happy torching!!
Gaby
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  #9  
Old 2011-08-31, 5:52pm
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OK All my beads came out scummy today . I am using propane #1 lb. tank I tried all the suggestions here and still scum , would switching to mapp work better ?? Less scum/soot? it is so disappointing
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  #10  
Old 2011-09-01, 11:10pm
LarryC LarryC is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jazarra View Post
OK All my beads came out scummy today . I am using propane #1 lb. tank I tried all the suggestions here and still scum , would switching to mapp work better ?? Less scum/soot? it is so disappointing
Sounds like the torch is reducing. Unfortunately you really cant control the flame chemistry on a hothead.
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  #11  
Old 2011-09-01, 11:45pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jazarra View Post
OK All my beads came out scummy today . I am using propane #1 lb. tank I tried all the suggestions here and still scum , would switching to mapp work better ?? Less scum/soot? it is so disappointing
Working on a hot head I used Chemtane and I feel like it burned much cleaner. It was still slow going but cleaner.
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  #12  
Old 2011-09-02, 7:36am
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Chemtane? I haven't heard of that where would I find this ?
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  #13  
Old 2011-09-02, 8:46am
LarryC LarryC is offline
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Time for a BIG GRL torch?
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  #14  
Old 2011-09-02, 9:04am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LiaH View Post
Thank you all for all of your suggestions and help. My beads have moved from black rocks to colored beads . I was working to close to the flame and I had my flame turned up too far. I am now heading in the right direction. Thanks again so much

Lia
Glad to hear. I was going to chime in but wanted to read first. I didn't spend long on a hot head, but i have tons of respect for people who use a hot head. Once you learn what you're doing, you can make some BEAUTIFUL things with a hot head that can't be made with a propane/oxy torch.
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  #15  
Old 2011-09-02, 9:41am
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Jazarra Jazarra is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LarryC View Post
Time for a BIG GRL torch?
I have a minor and everything I need I just have to convince my DH that it is safe
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  #16  
Old 2011-09-02, 10:05am
LarryC LarryC is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cornbread View Post
Once you learn what you're doing, you can make some BEAUTIFUL things with a hot head that can't be made with a propane/oxy torch.
Such as?
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  #17  
Old 2011-09-02, 11:25pm
LarryC LarryC is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jazarra View Post
I have a minor and everything I need I just have to convince my DH that it is safe
Anything we can do to help with that?
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  #18  
Old 2011-09-03, 5:19am
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Dragonharper Dragonharper is offline
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A compressed oxygen tank is just as safe as a compressed CO2 tank for a beer or wine tap system. You just need to follow good safety practice, namely when the cover is off of the tank chain it to the wall. Even my beer fridge has a bracket for the CO2 bottle so it can't tip over.
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  #19  
Old 2011-09-06, 1:58pm
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Jazarra Jazarra is offline
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o2queen are we to assume this is your company since you are posting the link on all the threads?Because you don't even sell oxycons ???
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  #20  
Old 2011-09-06, 2:16pm
LarryC LarryC is offline
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Quote:
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o2queen are we to assume this is your company since you are posting the link on all the threads?Because you don't even sell oxycons ???
Smells like SPAM, huh?
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  #21  
Old 2011-09-06, 2:26pm
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Jazarra Jazarra is offline
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Quote:
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Smells like SPAM, huh?
Does to me
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  #22  
Old 2011-09-06, 3:05pm
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essiemessy essiemessy is offline
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Propane is a dirty fuel compared to propylene. Unfortunately.
On my HH, propylene fuel allows me to work much closer to the torch, with far, far, cleaner results, much more quickly. But at $22 a cannister, it's a luxury reserved for special glasses which need a hotter flame, such as silver glasses.
So 99.999999 % of the time, I'm sucking it up like a good girl with propane.
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  #23  
Old 2011-09-07, 12:43pm
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Jazarra- try a 1 lb canister of MapPro. It's basically propylene and I am sure you will like it much better than propane.
Chemtane is basically propane with additives to burn hotter. You can get it in bulk from some propane dealers. I have been using this for a while and really like it.

Di- $22 bucks... holy cow!!! it's gotta be a very very very special glass to use that gas... .00000001% of time?
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  #24  
Old 2011-09-07, 12:55pm
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OK I switched to mappro ... still dirty beads could I be working to close to the torch ? I thought I had to work in the bluer flame closer to the torch ?? Uugh... will I ever find my sweet spot ??
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  #25  
Old 2011-09-07, 12:57pm
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Sweet spot is usually at the tip of the second blue bit. The outer blue cone.
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Old 2011-09-07, 2:14pm
LarryC LarryC is offline
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Quote:
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Di- $22 bucks... holy cow!!! it's gotta be a very very very special glass to use that gas... .00000001% of time?

For a 1lb canister? Wow, that is expensive! Does it make the bead for you too?
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  #27  
Old 2011-09-07, 2:17pm
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Yep, it bloody should!
But, ooooh lucky me - I get them for $20 if I buy a whole case of 'em.

I just don't understand why we can't get this stuff in bulk here. I've done my homework, and come up with zip.
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Old 2011-09-07, 3:27pm
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Essie, do you have a local bulk gas supplier? I just checked with our local Praxair supplier here and they do supply Propylene in refillable bulk tanks.
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  #29  
Old 2011-09-07, 3:29pm
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Thanks, Larry - in Australia it's a whole lot different
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