Friday, March 13, 2009

New Torch - Woohoo!

Yes - it's true. After spending that day at Nortel playing with a bigger torch - I found I couldn't go back. So I just stepped up to the Midrange!

The Nortel Midrange is the next torch up in their series from the Mega (for the record, it's
  1. Minor Burner (Smallest)
  2. Mega Minor
  3. Midrange
  4. Red Max
  5. Rocket (Most extreme)
not sure where the Major falls in that hierarchy.) The version that I got has a second torch mounted on top, in this case, a Mega. This is so you can work smaller and more detailed if you want.

The torch face is significantly larger - making for a flame that is just a heck of a lot bigger across - maybe 4 x the size - twice the width, twice the height. This really changes the way the glass heats - allowing you to heat a lot more glass at once. My first few attempts had me dripping glass all over the table. So naturally, I dragged out some Luna and Khaos - to see if heating the snot out of it was easier! And - it was. Whether I burned the snot out of it - remains to be seen on the morrow!

I have it hooked up to three concentrators - 1 ten litre, and 2 five litre oxygen concentrators. I did some math with the assistance of my significant other to determine that I was ok to run all three on one circuit. The total is about 1800 watts - and so far - nothing else seems to have blown up. I certainly seemed to have oodles of oxygen - although I didn't try turning it up to the biggest possible flame. Not yet, anyway!

The first thing I noticed was that I had to change my working position - raising the chair - so that I could see over the top of the torch - it is a physically larger, taller torch. The candles too, seem so much shorter after the long, rangey candles of the mega - these are short and tight to the torch face.

I did wonder if I was going to be turning the Mega on at all - but went to reduce a bead and realized that I could just turn on the Mega (gas only) to reduce - w/o adjusting the big flame.

To light the top torch when the bottom torch is running, you turn it on and "huff" at the flame - this blows the gas from the top torch down to the bottom, already-lit flame, and ignites the top flame. Also works to light the bottom flame from the top. I don't think I would have figured this out if I hadn't seen it done - but I've watched all the boro workers move back and forth from torch to torch like that. It scores high coolness points.

Hooking it up was simple enough. I had them change the fittings at Nortel to match the smaller, barb fittings that I have on the Mega - so it was just pull the hoses off the Mega and plug them onto the Mid-range.

So now, it's wait until tomorrow to see what comes out of the kiln. Will it be dreck or magic? Or somewhere in between? I can hardly wait!


  1. pictures? where are the pictures of this new torch & set up?

  2. Exactly.
    Pictures, or it isn't true :) :)