Hot Head Torch Question.

Q: I am new to lampworking and have just had to change my 'Mapp' gas tank for the first time. The torch worked fine before, but now I can only get a tiny flame... when I turn up the gas the torch goes out. Does anyone know why this would happen? One theory I have is that the torch head is dirty, but I don't know how to clean it...

A: I have seen this problem with HOT HEADS, and I used to own one... One thing - are you using the disposable canisters, or bulk? Yf BULK, and you are having this problem - take the tank back... it is either moisture or an accumulation of too much of the "smelly" stuff they put in the gas. Also, if a tank - make sure your regulator is working properly, allowing straight line pressure through the head - which, of course blows the flame out. If you are using a small disposable tank - I had that happen on occassion also - I suspect the PRESSURE was too high in the tanks - try lighting the torch and just let it burn for ten minutes or so - and then try turning it up slowly. Dirty head - only if you have used the torch a LONG time - not after your first tank... very unlikely. I did have to clean mine once - after using it for nearly a year. With torch NOT ATTACHED to tank (and cool - of course!), unscrew the very top front brass "barrel", exposing the innards of the torch. Use soft chenille pipe cleaners, and hot soapy water - swab up and down and in and out of every hole and orifice you can find (including the large openings at the bottom - go side-to-side through those). Repeat with clear water to rinse - then dry with dry stems. Reassemble the front barrel... ready to go. I 'm using disposable. 'Hot Head Glass' is going to replace it. I tried lighting it and letting it sit for awhile to release some tank pressure, but that didn't work... oh well... the new one is coming on Wednesday, AND I ordered a Major Burner today! Kinda scary, but exciting!!