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Vapor Curves Vapor Swings Vapor Skillets Lovin'

Discussion in 'Concentrates' started by syrupy, Jul 9, 2014.

  1. syrupy

    syrupy Don't turn around, uh oh. Der Kommissar's in town.

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    After a recent journey into quartz nails, boro flathead nails, short cup nails, domeless., GR2 TI.... it was nice to pull out the vapor curve. We used to call them skillets but I see that used for other things also.

    Cool looking and ingenious device. Here's an HMK.

    [​IMG]

    Am I the only vaporist who still has and uses one of these? I try to get friends into it, but most often I hear it's hard to get the dabber between the dome and the ti pad without hanging the dab up on the glass. It does take some dexterity, but it's like riding a bike. Learn once, dab many.

    What I noticed in my journey through nails, is the biggest problem is oil runoff. On a flathead nail, oil can jump down the shaft. The domeless ones get oil down the honey hole. On a cupped nail it's easy to get oil jumping over the wall. Oil can run up the dabber on any of these.

    Why is this happening? We were having a discussion on the persei thread, and @THC SCIENTIFIC posted something like oil tries to avoid the heat. So on a nail, the oil jumps down the nail shaft to flow away from the heat source, or jumps up the unheated dabber.

    The only solution that's worked for me all the time is dong the low-temp carb cap dabs, because the nail doesn't get hot enough to push the oil away much.

    The other problem I've had with nails is keeping them heated evenly. It seems they lose heat fairly quickly. If the nail cools down too quickly, we know the leftover oil will have to be burned off (waste).

    The vapor curve addresses both of these issues for me.

    The skillet has a large surface area, so oil that tries to run away ends up being vaporized on the neighboring section of the skillet, instead of finding cooler ground. Makes sense.

    The skillet is also flat, and heats very quickly. The entire surface can get red hot in a much shorter time than my HE nail, and it glows evenly.

    Curves, swings, skillets. Whatever you may call them, they deserve some love.
    smokum, HugieLewis and FlyingLow like this.
  2. FlyingLow

    FlyingLow Team NO SLEEP!

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    Glad to see your comments, I have been itching to try one of these since I got into concentrates.

    Are there any specific features one should be looking for when buying a Curve/Swing/Skillet?
    HugieLewis likes this.
  3. THC SCIENTIFIC

    THC SCIENTIFIC Black Gold Manufacturer

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    As cools as these are I would rather get a deep bowl Ti nail.
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  4. syrupy

    syrupy Don't turn around, uh oh. Der Kommissar's in town.

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    I only have two, and the Van Tran one kicks total ass but he doesn't seem to do them anymore.

    Here's what I look for:

    TI pad. Should be decent sized. Those tiny ones I see ALT sell defeat the purpose. It's nice if the skilet has a slight dimple in the middle but not necessary if it's got good diameter.

    Wrapped pad. Some of the earlier ones had the pad welded to the swing arm, and that weld would break over time. Most of the new ones I see are all wrapped.

    A cut-out window on the side for access. This is the most important consideration I think, and why I don't like the HMK style that covers the whole pad. On the HMK ones, it's not hard to get the dabber hung up between the pad and dome. A cutout gives the clearance you need. Plus I lever the dabber against the upper edge of the cutout, tilting the dabber tip down into the pad which helps with oil running up the dabber.

    Besides that, a nicely worked trumpet. I like the actual curve to be clear because it's a great view of vapor density. Clear domes are cool because they show the vapor swirling around.

    Why do you say that? Those big TI nails take me forever to heat up.


    Off to hit some indica shatter... on the curve of course. :love:
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2014
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  5. THC SCIENTIFIC

    THC SCIENTIFIC Black Gold Manufacturer

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    they did have some side loading skillets back in the day, i say a few but i skipped the skillets, paddles and went from flower to vapes. Still use a ti every now and then but mostly prototypes atm. Yet ill still heat up a nail for nostalgic reasons.
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  6. syrupy

    syrupy Don't turn around, uh oh. Der Kommissar's in town.

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    Mine has a nice big side load. You're right, it looks like they don't do that style too much because people follow Hashmasta Kut's style of swing. Too bad. ALT still carries sideloading curves. Otherwise I'd look for a curve that had decent clearance between the ti and bell. A lot have the pad wired almost touching the dome, which is a pain to deal with. It's also unnecessary. Once the draw begins, the vapor doesn't really spill out the sides anyway.



    [​IMG]
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  7. THC SCIENTIFIC

    THC SCIENTIFIC Black Gold Manufacturer

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    HMK is good glass blower but nothing new is being done. We asked for him to work with us a few months ago, im glad he did not take the offer.
    063_XOBX likes this.
  8. 215z

    215z Well-Known Member

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    Wow this thread brings back memories, I had ardently followed his work for years on IC. At the time, I thought the swing was brilliant, and I could not even imagine that there would be a Better Way some day. Stoners are wicked clever though, and it is nice to see how far things have come. That sideload window is a HUGE improvement over his design.

    The swing has its place in history, there were no nails back then. We were dabbing on smokeless coals using curved bells. HMK retrofitted an old school curved bell with a wire swingarm and a glass paddle, later a titanium pad. History. There have been so many improvements to that design that passed HMK by. I would not buy one today with the nail options available now, except perhaps pride of ownership.

    Pride and memories, its all I have left now that the pad-shaped burn scars have healed.
  9. HugieLewis

    HugieLewis I'm not an expert but I have a strong opinion

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    Interesting to see peoples opinions on these. I have always wanted to try one out myself but have never seen one in the wild.
  10. pigfoot

    pigfoot Dabs are vaping too!

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    473
  11. syrupy

    syrupy Don't turn around, uh oh. Der Kommissar's in town.

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    I was going through some stuff and found a pad and curve I got from ALT. I bought the pieces separately, got some steel spokes like they used, and tried to wrap that sucker up. If you're interested in wrapping your own swing, let me tell you. Don't. Wrapping the wire tight enough without snapping the neck of the curve requires some kind of magical trickery I don't understand.

    Since pulling out the curve, it's taken over. The taste is great, but what I like best is it the large surface area of the skillet vaporizes every bit of oil. Sometimes on a nail with a big dab, it's difficult to get it all done before the nail cools too much. A tiny dab stands no chance when left alone in the middle of a hot skillet. There's nowhere to hide, but in my lungs.

    GET IN MY LUNGS, DAB!
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  12. pigfoot

    pigfoot Dabs are vaping too!

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    473
    In the videos I've seen with curves, there's a fair amount of loss around the bell. Is that the case with yours?
    FlyingLow likes this.
  13. FlyingLow

    FlyingLow Team NO SLEEP!

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    Lets see some vids:D
  14. pigfoot

    pigfoot Dabs are vaping too!

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    473
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  15. syrupy

    syrupy Don't turn around, uh oh. Der Kommissar's in town.

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    If you mean vapor escaping between the bell and curve, mine doesn't do that at all. I think the HMK's have this problem with its design that causes this. Because there's no cutout on the HMK, the pad has to be a bit far from the bell so there's room for the dabber to get in there. With mine, maybe it shows in the photo, but because there's a cutout, the pad can be very close to the bell, so no vapor escapes. I think ALT still sells curves with a cutout. I'm tempted to see if I can get Van Tran to make me another curve, because he totally nailed the function. My other curve, an HMK style, does get vapor escaping unless I draw very strongly and quickly. That can be fun, but not for daily use.

    The other things that can cause that loss is folks smearing the dabber all over the pad, which can produce more vapor than one can inhale. Hitting it while too hot can do that too.

    I counted and within 12 seconds, the ENTIRE surface of the pad is glowing brightly. A little cooldown till the glow subsides, and BAM!

    I'll see if I can make time for a vid, maybe with both curves so you can see the difference. I love watching the swirling vortex inside the bell being sucked along the curve.

    Edit: Just checked and I purchased the Van Tran for less than $50 when added to his rig. But that was in 2010. My how time flies.
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2014
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  16. syrupy

    syrupy Don't turn around, uh oh. Der Kommissar's in town.

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    Thought I'd show some of the different designs and look at their function.

    For baseline I'm using the Van Tran curve that's a few posts above. It shows excellent design. The pad is relatively large with a slight concavity. It's also very tight and fairly even with the bottom of the bell. Not much room for vapor loss. Cutout is nice and large, and the shape of the bell is generous to generate lots of swirling vapor. The photo doesn't show it well, but the wire wrapping on the swing arm is extremely tight and the wire coils are wrapped evenly. Some curves that aren't wrapped quite right start to come loose, which is the death-knell unless you can wrap a coil nice and tight.

    So let's look at ALT. They have two styles. Let's look at the classic HMK a little closer.

    [​IMG]
    The bells have many worked options, but the bell shape is all wrong. Its far too small, and it's pyramid shape creates a vapor bottleneck at the top of the bell. It's possible this contributes to vapor leakage. The bell has no side window, so the pad has to be unnaturally far from the bell to create enough clearance. The indent on the pad is good. The pad is nice and big, which is usually good. But with this bell size and shape, there's going to be vapor drawn around the bell instead of inside it. The pad should have been smaller for this bell. The wirewrap looks OK but not particularly well done. I'd give it a grade of C.

    The other curve Aqualab offers is its in-house ALT brand curve. Let's take a look.

    [​IMG]

    The bell on this is very well done. Generous bell volume, thick glass. The cutout is decent-sized and looks functional. The TI on the swing arm and the pad are reportedly high-quality TI. So this one's a winner? Not so fast. The pad is a little too small, leaving the bell overhanging (vapor loss). Also, the cool concentric circles on the pad do little to hold the dab. On a pad that small, having a well in the middle is critical. I own this curve, and the dab does want to slip off the pad. If it doesn't slip, it's a good hit. The wrap is very well done. I say 'B' grade, but it they would stop with the tiny hexagonal pad, it would be an A.

    Here's a couple that are horrible.

    [​IMG]
    What's the point of having a cutout on a barely-there bell? TI pad looks on the thick side and can potentially generate lots of vapor, that the crappy bell will fail to catch.

    [​IMG]
    OK, so we went from small bell to no bell. Look at that pad gap? And the entire length of the curve is worked, I assume so the user doesn't see how poor vapor production is. Both of these crummy curves are more expensive than any of the others posted so far. :puke:

    I hope the conversation continues, and I'll swing back by (get it?) and post some other curves we can take look at.

    Edit: A little history lesson. Back in the day, before everything was TI, we used to get a TI pad and head to the bike shop for SS spokes. I forget but there was some brand of spoke that everyone thought was best. The guys at the bike shop couldn't figure out why all these dudes without bikes were buying up spokes. We knew one guy who worked at a head shop that could actually wrap a curve halfway decently. He was quite popular.
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2014
  17. syrupy

    syrupy Don't turn around, uh oh. Der Kommissar's in town.

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    1,272
    This one has got to take the Non-functional Award. Nice clearance. You could drive a truck through the gap. This must have been designed by an evil extract person who wanted people to waste their concentrates. Save your $70.

    [​IMG]

    What I found interesting is how few of these I could locate. Guess they are old-fashioned?
    Kind of makes me want to get another curve, lol.
    farscaper and DieHard like this.
  18. DieHard

    DieHard Vertical transportation specialist.

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    Location:
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    Great thread and very informative. I think don't think this tek ever really made it here in the land of "street weed". So I have never tried this method. The closest to that was hash, a hot knife and a ridiculously large beer mug. :lmao: But then, until recently, I had not been in a LHS in quite a few years. I went into this LHS and almost fell over. (From variety and sticker shock!)
    http://www.shop.carbonglasstech.com/main.sc
    Here was everything on their website in person. And surprisingly, a vast majority of oil related products compared to flower. :shrug:
    syrupy and farscaper like this.
  19. farscaper

    farscaper

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    if I were going to get a curve again id get a drop top or top loader like so...
    http://www.thedablab.com/dillinger-worked-drop-top-curve-14mm-male-joint-chaos/
    [​IMG]

    buy I think that curves have just evolved... much like the bicycle, motorcycle and automobile. the diffrence is that concentrate accessories like these seem to move in a more functional as opposed to technologically motivated move.

    actually its more of a divergence... either driving toward low tech utilitarian tools or high tech high fashion tools much like enails and such.... but technology has limitations where as low tech torch driven tools tend to be faaaaar more diverse...

    but even our choices in tools adheres to a certain natural selection of eradication... either they are too difficult to fine tune... or remain to expensive to become mainstream...

    with curves... I think they just go pushed out by far more functional and universal tools and now with the incorperation of carb capping... I see the death of the curve... like the big front wheel bicycle it has gotten replaced by easier to drive vehicles and tools.

    [​IMG]
    I kinda think of this as the evolution of the curve.

    happy shatterday!

    edit: @syrupy when you tried to wrap your curve what type of wire did you try to use on the curve itself? I will tell you the trick is to use large gauge aluminum wire to wrap the swingarm to the curve... the wrap needs to be tight like its lashed on... so an easier to bend wire is ok... cause it doesnt get hot.

    learned the hard way cause I got medium gauge stainless wire... man what a bitch. researched wrap wire after the fact and was all... doh!
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2014
  20. pigfoot

    pigfoot Dabs are vaping too!

    Messages:
    473
    Seems like the old ways won't die!



    [​IMG]
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  21. farscaper

    farscaper

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    hell yea! thats a NO QUIT attitude right there!

    awesomeness cannot be vaquished! im sure curves will be all the rage 2025... maybe 26.
    syrupy likes this.
  22. syrupy

    syrupy Don't turn around, uh oh. Der Kommissar's in town.

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    There's some OK stuff there. Some of it is ridiculously overpriced. The only curve I saw there was:

    [​IMG]

    I dunno, top look restricted. Pretty sure this is the style without the swing. It usually comes with a 2nd piece of glass that's a separate stand with a nail or pad on top. They would advertise that it was superior because you could heat the TI and then slide it under the piece so the main rig didn't get torch blasted. They looked pretty sweet, but if you needed to adjust height you were screwed. At least on a swing curve, the arm can be adjusted somewhat if one needs the pad closer or farther from the bell.

    THE FIRST DBV, OWNED BY THE BUDDHA HIMSELF.
    [​IMG]

    @farscaper we used SS bike spokes the way Hashmasta Kut did at first I believe. Later it was TI wire, but it was definitely about the bike spokes here in 2009-10. Total hackr culture. I just couldn't wrap the coil straight, and paying someone isn't worth it when a new one is $50-$100.

    I wouldn't dream of using aluminum near anything that gets torched. True the pivot part of the swing doesn't get hot, but what about that wire that's wrapped tight around the glowing pad?
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2014
    farscaper likes this.
  23. farscaper

    farscaper

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    the swingarm should be made of stainless steel or titanium for sure!

    only the wrap is soft wire... I only HAD to re wrap my old curve cause I got a boroworks curve second hand... and the wrap broke a week later. I had the ss wire so it was free... but it was obviously wrapped at the curve with aluminum.

    as for pads... NEVER buy a welded pad.

    typical pad connections ive seen is the old HMK spoke around a hammered ti plate and a number of diffrent cnc cut plates with wrap holes (like the one I had)

    so its really just 2 pieces of wire and a pad. a vice and torch help to wrap the HMK pads cause the heat will soften the swingarm (spoke) like bending a sissy bar:tup:

    have you looked into the quartz swingarms, quartz worms noodles exc? they work alot the same way.
    syrupy likes this.
  24. syrupy

    syrupy Don't turn around, uh oh. Der Kommissar's in town.

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    Thanks that made sense. I thought you were talking about the arm. Yes we used aluminum wrap. I just suck at it. Tried for an hour and gave up before I Hulk smashed the whole rig. :argh:

    Yes, I see lots of odd names....puddles, quartz periscopes. Which leads nicely to...

    The Holy Grail. We worshiped LabWorx. They were doing seasoning vidoes and info about TI for as long as I know. Their Skillet was kind of the gold standard. In fact, I see they are still active and from the little I searched, seem to still have some quality. Help me out guys, do I get the compact TI skillet at $65, or the Quartz paddle for $100. Y'all choose. I'm leaning towards the Slyme quartz. Both are male-jointed because you vape heads won't go DI.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
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