Thursday, October 04, 2012

Torch Test: Bethlehem Alpha: Second Impression

I wanted to see how the Alpha would perform with a single oxygen concentrator.  Not everyone has two of them under the table!

This is the Alpha on a single, 5 litre oxy con. While it does melt glass and make beads - I would find it frustrating to work this small.

  And here - the bead has struck - it's Rubino.

You can get a wicked sharp flame - so if 10 mm x 6 mm beads are your thang - there you go. Personally - I would be gnawing a leg off with frustration.


These were both done on the Alpha using just the 9 litre oxygen concentrator. There was easily enough heat for this small sculptural bird skull, and also enough to make the 4 rather lumpy - deliberately lumpy - spacers. My intention is to sand-blast these for an even more bone-like look.

I thought I would see how it does with boro too. For this, I turned the second concentrator on - so this is a 9 litre plus a 5 litre. I'm not sure how much difference the 2nd concentrator actually made. Anyhoo - this is a boro icicle. It's not very large - see second picture for scale - and it's not particularly wonderful, because - well - it's Boro - and I don't do boro - so what the heck do I know. But it did seem to be melting it adequately.

Overall - the Alpha pumps out a lot of heat - concentrated into a small area. The reversed controls from the Nortel torches that I am used to are annoying to me - I have to think very deliberately before turning the torch off - but that's just because of what I am used to. It has the capacity to make a very focused, tight flame, without it getting turbulent. I think this is a good choice for those interested in detail work. It really does want the bigger concentrator, though.

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