View Full Version : "Torch Song" for the Hot Head!

09-20-2004, 12:43 PM
I started melting glass about two months ago after reading everything I could find on lampworking.

I was very enthusiastic about getting started. I have always loved the sheen and feel of glass and felt like I had finally found the perfect medium to express myself artistically. Unfortunately in my haste I bought the first torch I could find - a little Fireworks number.

While I was able to learn the mechanics of lampworking and was able to produce round beads with the torch, most of my beads came out looking scummy, dull and took forever to make ... regardless of where I held the mandrel in the flame. An all day torch session would produce maybe one acceptable bead and several round but extremely homely beads. The results were disappointing to say the least.

I told DH of my frustrations and we started looking into propane/oxygen set ups but I just didn't feel comfortable investing that kind of money in a hobby I had just started exploring with limited success.

I had read about the Hot Head on this forum and was a bit torn because for some reason I had it in my head that it was just a dressed up version of the Fireworks torch. When another lampworker offered to sell me her used Hot Head because she was upgrading I decided to give it a try.... but feared I might have the same frustrations with the new torch as the old one. Boy, was I wrong!

I set up the torch the day it came in the mail. I had several propane tanks and hoses close at hand since I am a full-time RVer and an avid (some say fanatical) camper. Immediately I noticed the difference! This weekend I had the first session at the torch where I was happy with ALL the beads I made!! Not a single dull or scorched bead in the lot! I was sad when I ran out of mandrels because that meant I had to stop ... just as I was getting the hang of things!

Anyway, for those who are just starting out like I am, I highly recommend the Hot Head. This torch ROCKS! I even got silly with it ... I ran out of Moretti rods and decided to see what would happen if I melted a few of those glass pebbles that folks use in flower arrangements (the Fireworks torch wouldn't even get them glowing) ... my HotHead melted them into some acceptable (but primitive looking) beads.

Big cyber hugs to Kris for making it possible!

Have a bright, shiny day!

P.S. Whoops! I meant to put this in the technical forum!