Saturday, 11 July 2009

New Torch

Most beadmakers begin beadmaking on a Hot Head, which is a fairly basic single fuel torch. The design of the torch means it can be used on propane, without the need for a sparate oxygen supply. The only thing with this is that Hot Heads don't run as hot as dual fuel torches. My usual impatience meant that I opted for a dual fuel torch straightaway. These torches need a separate supply of oxygen, either tanked or supplied by an oxygen concentrator.

There are so many different torches available now, and I opted for a Minnow, made by Bethlehem Burners. It has been a fabulous torch for me, and has a narrow flame which is great for pinpoint heating. However, I tend to work fairly large, and for a while I've been wanting a torch with a slightly wider and bushier flame. After much deliberation, and I mean MUCH deliberation, I chose a Carlisle Mini CC burner.

I lit it for the first time today and it is superb. It runs hotter than my Minnow and the flame is bushier and wider, so it ticks all the boxes. I'd heard a couple of reports of the Carlisle needing two oxycoms, but I'm running it on one and it's absolutely perfect.

Even the marver that fits it is pretty special. I chose a Crowley Marver, and this fits with a ball joint, which means that the angle of the torch can be adjusted independently of the marver, and the angle of the marver can be adjusted independently of the torch. The torch uses a ball joint too, so the entire set up is extremely versatile.

Strangely, despite the flame being wider, I've found that this has actually helped my stringer control. The greater area of ambient heat around the flame means that the "sweet spot" is easy to find.

But the biggest difference is the fact that the propane and oxygen valves are on the opposite side of the torch compared to the Minnow. Argh! I have to re-learn my POOP routine all over again! For those of you who are scratching your heads wondering what on earth a POOP routine is, it's the order the propane and oxygen are turned on/off when lighting/extinguishing the torch.

So the beads that I have to show you are the very last beads that I made on my Minnow. Enjoy!

I made focals.....

and I made sets....

Hope you like!