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View Poll Results: How long did it take you to outgrow your Hot Head torch?
<1 year (10 - 15 hrs a week) 38 24.84%
1-3 years (10 - 15 hrs a week) 19 12.42%
3-5 years (10 - 15 hrs a week) 2 1.31%
Still using it! 94 61.44%
Voters: 153. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 05-09-2003, 10:37 AM
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MirabilusBeads MirabilusBeads is offline
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Question Hot Head Torch maintanence?

Hi all ... fairly new to the forum and hoping someone can help me.

I have a hothead torch and have been told by my local instructor that it is fine for all the beading I want to do right now (we'll see ... ) but I have noticed that the flame doesn't seem to melt the glass the same way it used to. I just changed tanks, so there is lots of fuel, but it seems to take longer to get the glass hot enough. Am I imagining it? Am I just getting more impatient as I learn more I can do with the glass? Or is their some maintanance on my HotHead I should be doing... I thought I heard someone talk about changing a filter? Anyhow ... for all of us poor peons who are still on a HotHead ... help would be appreciated!!

Corinne
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Old 05-09-2003, 01:05 PM
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If you do a search for HH you will find some with Melinda's postings. She has some awesome pics. to help you take apart your torch and clean it.
As far as heat goes, mine is much hotter since I switched to the bulk tank. When using the 1 lb. canisters, it wouldn't get good and hot until I was almost out of gas. I work in the natural temps. (no central heat and air ) so I notice dramatic differences in how the glass melts. This time of year is awesome for me. It runs hot, hot, hot! A lot of it could be impatience. I'm guilty of it too. I have learned lots of control of different things and how to do techniques that I probably wouldn't have been able to do as fast on an oxy/ propane set-up because it is so hot. The HH gives me time to work and learn how to do things. I love my torch. I do plan on upgrading to a Bobcat soon but I believe I will keep my HH set up also. Emotional attachments maybe. We've learned a lot together!

Tracey
I forgot to mention that I put in about 25 to 30 hours a week on my torch and it is a trooper!
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Old 05-09-2003, 03:19 PM
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I've been using a HH since I started torching 6 months ago. I haven't outgrown it yet. I plan to upgrade sometime in the future, but have no immediate plans to do it. You would be surprised what you can do on a HH, especially if you use the bulk tank as Josie mentioned.

I recently got a Fireworks torch, and I like it better than the HH, as it is more economical and the flame is more focused, so the glass melts faster. But the Fireworks is still a fuel-air torch much like the HH. I actually think of it as a HH.

Anyhow, I am still learning on the HH and will continue to do so for a while. It is slower than an oxy-propane torch, but I can do just about anything on it that one can do on a "grown-up" torch, albeit more slowly. Actually, I like the slowness of it sometimes, especially when I am learning a new technique as it gives me the time to think about what I am doing.
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Old 05-09-2003, 03:42 PM
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I started lampworking last fall and I'm still using a Hot Head. I did upgrade to a bulk tank of Chemtane and LOVE it! The savings are incredible and you don't have to worry about running out of gas like you do with the 1-pound tanks.

About a month ago I was having problems with my clear encasing looking dirty & streaky. I tried to take apart my hot head using tips from archived threads, but it wouldn't budge - more than one person tried! So instead I just cleaned the head with some alcohol and the problem disappeared.

How often does everyone take their Hot Head apart to clean it?Does anyone else have a difficult time disassembling their Hot Head?

-Ellen
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Old 05-09-2003, 03:52 PM
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Ellen,

We don't disassemble the HH. Barry just takes it off the hose and dunks it into scalding hot water with plenty of Dawn detergent. Works great, though you need to make sure that it is dry before you use it again.
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Old 05-09-2003, 11:24 PM
loydb loydb is offline
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If you insert a mandrel through the air ports, you can get enough leverage to remove a stuck head on the HH. The mandrel is pretty useless afterwards, so keep it for the next time

I take mine apart every 2 weeks and clean in denatured alcohol.

loyd
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Old 05-10-2003, 12:04 AM
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Also, if you are using a bulk tank, be sure to burn off the fuel in the hose - helps keep the hose clean. Propane has an oil in it that can settle in the hose, the bottom of your tank, and in the parts of you torch. Propylene probably has it too. That's just one more possible cause of slow heating and black gunk in your glass. If you hang the hose vertically overnight you might get some of the gunk to drip out. I periodically hang mine from the top of the fence in the backyard. Be sure that you put a paper towel under the hose - that oil is yucky!
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Old 05-10-2003, 04:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by loydb
I take mine apart every 2 weeks and clean in denatured alcohol.

loyd

How does one take it apart? My torch head is currently unsafe to work with, and I'm hoping that cleaning it will fix my problems....
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Old 05-10-2003, 05:30 PM
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oh yeah... and how long till it dries, safely?
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Old 05-10-2003, 06:48 PM
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I just let mine dry overnight, standing on a paper towel so all the water drains out.
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Old 05-10-2003, 09:30 PM
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Briatha Briatha is offline
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Here are a couple of WC forum links with help for cleaning your HH.
HH cleaning link #1
HH cleaning link #2
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Old 05-12-2003, 12:16 AM
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Never cleaned mine, but Chemtane's great

Mine still works well after 3+ years of use with no cleaning at all (using it at least 10-15 hours per week). There are times I still use it, especially portable with 1 lb MAPP for demos. At home we use Chemtane in bulk and always burn off at the end of a session.

The one time I got stuck on the phone (last week) when the outdoor temperature was higher than our air-conditioned studio without burning off the line, we got nasty gunk built up in the line. I had to clean all the glass on my workstation as well as the underlying surface --- like Alex said, New Dawn 2 works wonders.

Lorinda
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Old 08-05-2005, 07:19 AM
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Re: Hot Head Torch maintanence?

I had a lengthy discussion with Sarah from www.hothead.com when I was having problems with it.

I would mail my HH in to the company for cleaning. I would be afraid that the orifice was not put back in correctly if I did it myself. I was thinking of buying another one as a backup so I am never without a torch.
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Old 08-05-2005, 11:48 PM
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Re: Hot Head Torch maintanence?

I've had a HH since I started lampworking over a year ago. I have recently had problems with my torch, only to find that it was my bulk fuel line and not my HH! If ever anyone has problems with your HH just email Sarah at hotheadsource.com , I emailed her with my problems and she help out wonderfully, lots of info and advice!

I love my HH and wouldn't change for a bigger, hotter torch. I like the amount of control with my glass that I have learned using my HH. Sure, things take a bit longer, but I'm just fine with that. Hot Heads Rule!

Julie
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Old 11-14-2005, 12:51 AM
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Re: Hot Head Torch maintanence?

I votes < 1 year BUT I still use my Hot Head when I drive to visit my son up north. Of course I don't make the beads I usually spend 30 min to make but I just love making spacer beads with the HH and it gives me time to talk to my son while I am working. He usually watches and asks all kinds of questions but I won't let him touch the torch at all. He is 22 now but has the mind of an 8 year old - love him to death but have to stay safe too.
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