Construction / Molds
Scoring / Breaking Glass
Fitting The Glass
Solder / Soldering
Releasing a Shade
Ring and Rim
Tools, Aids etc.
Health & Safety Concerns
Selling Your Artwork
Lynne Salcetti: We’ve had a workshop in a bay of our garage for
about 20 years - this is a great option to having to working within the
house. We remodeled one bay by taking off the garage door and replacing
it with a slider. We covered the concrete floor with indoor/outdoor carpeting,
added a combination air-heater and walled the workshop off from the remainder
of the garage.
Ernie Downey: When I remodeled my work area, I built in a metal dryer
pipe to the ceiling and added a vented overhead hood to take care of solder
fumes. I wired an outlet to a wall switch near the work bench so I could
easily activate the venting. I also built in plenty of outlets and added
a huge double fiberglass sink.
Jennifer Buckner: My husband built me an 8’x4’ workbench -
the top of which is supported on each side by storage cabinets. It has
slots for glass under the center of the workbench between the cabinets.
All around the perimeter of the studio and up against the walls are more
work surfaces - the same size as the workbench. Under these surfaces are
roll-out drawers - 4’ deep and 3.5’ wide, of different configurations.
Some drawers have shelves and others have lengthwise slots. One is arranged
as a file cabinet and some have deep drawers. I bought a small microwave
stand that has shelves under it. I can roll this stand around my workshop.
To make cutting easier on my back, the workbench is higher than a standard
counter and we added a pad of very dense 2” thick rubber matting
to the area that I stand on while I work.
If your glass is propped up against walls, laying on the floor, or stacked
in piles, here are some storage ideas for you to try out!
Brian Hitchock: The glass storage racks I’ve built over the years
are made of plywood sheets and strips of wood to space the vertical pieces.
If you want to go all-out, you can cut grooves in the top/bottom pieces
of (spacer) wood. I also use plastic bins that I purchased from either
WalMart or Target to hold smaller pieces of glass I want to keep.
Nancy Pimental: We like to put formica on the bottoms of our glass racks
so the glass will slide easily. We’ve had the same racks in our
studio for over 18 years and the formica holds up very well.
Jennifer Buckner: If you can find one of those old printer covers they
used to use in offices when printers were really noisy, you’ll find
that it works well as the basis for a sandblasting cabinet. After I salvaged
such a cover, my husband modified it for me. He put the cabinet up on
a one foot base, cut two holes in the front wall, attached sand- 90 blast
gloves (rather like a newborn incubator) and added a rigid clear plastic
sheet inside the lift-up plastic hood to protect it from blow-back etching.
He also installed a small lamp under the “roof” and cut another
hole in the side for hoses and nozzle. He cut another hole to which he
attached a vacuum hose (running to a Shop-Vac) to remove the air-borne
dust. It worked out well.
Brad Berglund: I have two grinders...the smaller one has only the smallest
bit on it that never is changed and next to it is the large grinder. I
use grids ‘under’ and two connected splash shields. What really
helps is the worktable that I built to fit my height so that little bending
is necessary. The station has an overhead light and a clip-on spot light
for the grinders. I stand on an anti-fatigue mat that has holes in it
for glass chips to fall through, so my walk surface is clear.
Joyce Mattson: I use an old 10 gallon fish tank - turned on its side -
to hold my grinder. This works great, so no more mess all over everything
and I don’t have to worry so much about getting hit by flying glass.
Nancy Pimental: To save on repairs and/or having to replace a grinder,
remember that a grinder head moves when you push too hard on it. Sooner
or later, this will bend the shaft. Pushing too hard also slows the wheel,
so you aren’t actually grinding more off the glass when you apply
more pressure to the wheel.
Jennifer Buckner: I always stand when I’m grinding, and that’s
hard on the back and knees after an hour or so. A few years ago, I bought
a piece of very dense rubber matting (made from old tires) that is used
in horse barns. It’s about 1 1/2” thick and gives me a bit
of cushioning. It came in a 4’x6’ sheet, so I cut it in half.
I also have a small block of wood, about 4” high on which I can
alternately rest each foot. This block gives me even more relief from
the pressure of standing still for a long period of time.
Joan Bengtson: The stand for my grinder is made of sheet aluminum and
has a tilted top so that the grinder can sit on it at the right ergonomic
height for me. Since it is on an angle, it didn’t hold water to
the grinding head, so my husband drilled a hole at the front edge of the
reservoir and siliconed a short length of aquarium tubing to drain into
a gallon size tub underneath. I keep the tub about 3/4 full of water,
placed an aquarium pump in it (piped with an adjustable flow valve) that
returns water to the grinding head. Because of this large quantity of
water, it doesn’t need to be cleaned out very often. I also clamped
a spot light with a flexible arm to this setup. When I step on a foot
switch the grinder starts, the pump starts, and the light turns on!
Nichole O’Neill: I decided to make my grinding station more convenient
by drilling a hole in my old Wizard grinder and putting a drain in it.
Then I added a foot switch that allows me to tap the grinder on and off.
So that I no longer have to bend over it, I’ve raised the height
of my grinder so that it is at my standing level. A lamp is clamped to
the bench now, and directed right over the grinder. Positioned on four
sides of the grinder are plexiglass shields that are open at two corners
for my arms to fit through. The shields protect me from getting splashed
with ground glass.”
Joni Tornwall: My grinder has a smaller work surface, so my husband found
an old work surface and used a Dremel tool to make the bit hole a little
larger. Now I can use a 1” bit if I want to.I worried that it might
stress the motor, but found out it wasn’t the case.
Joyce Mattson: My workroom is finally cleaned and organized. I went to
WalMart and looked through their housewares and paint departments for
things that might 91
make life easier. I found some plastic things that are usually attached
to the inside of your undersink door to hold cleansers, etc. and attached
some to the back side of the backboard of my workbench. This gets the
clutter of patina bottles etc. off my work space but still they are handy.
Then I found some long narrow paint trays that have slots to mount on
nails and hung them on the front. That way I can sweep glass chips into
them as I cut and empty them later. (I had always envied Walt his hole
in his workbench with the wastebasket underneath.) I hung broom, dust
pan and metal square, etc. on nails on the side of the bench and bought
some large stackable plastic boxes with lids and labeled them "Bevels",
"Mosaic Supplies", "Kaleidoscope Parts", "Small
Projects", etc. and have them under and to the sides of the bench.
Small shoebox sized plastic boxes with lids hold an assortment of tools
and other supplies.
A silverware tray holds my groziers and most used tools. I put the patterns
and books in folders by subject in a two drawer file cabinet. Lampshade
molds are stacked inside each other upside down and are also under the
bench. Wooden frames are now in the closet and lamp bases are on the window
ledge. Large pieces of glass are in two wooden crates rescued from my
glass shop’s back alley. Medium sized squares are upright in heavy
cardboard boxes. Alas, the smaller pieces are still overflowing the cardboard
flats on shelves, but at least they are organized by color. My computer
chair swivels from the card table cutting surface - to the grinder - to
the light table and to the saw. All flat surfaces are freshly lined with
ceiling tile. For one small instant in time last night, it was beautiful.
Then I started cutting the leaves for the small rose shade. Sigh. Oh well,
change is the only constant, right?