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Mosaics and Stained Glass: How is your shop set up?

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SandiTX
McKinney, TX
(Zone 7b)

January 18, 2006
1:58 AM

Post #1984027

Since I've only been doing glass since last January, I've been going to my sisters home to work on my glass projects. I'm in the process of getting my own shop area together in my garage, but it's a slow process. It'd be no big deal, but my sis is 40 miles away (I'm not getting many projects done due to the price of gas) and she's looking to move to the beach (where her hubby is already working).

Anywho...I've claimed a good section my 2 car garage (I have only 1 car, so can easily give up part of the space) for my glass. From brainstorming with the owner of my favorite glass shop, I have built a glass storage unit. It's on casters so it can easily be moved around. But since my house is still fairly new (I had it built in 2001) & it didn't come with any cabinets in the garage like you see in older homes. I'm planning a work surface that will be 5'x3'. I'm going to reuse some cubes from some modular furniture I already had, I'm going to connect them & again, put them on casters and use it for storage (it was one of those cubit computer desks & I upgraded to a nice wood corner computer desk).

I already used four of the cubes (each is 14" square basically) and have plans to put my kiln on it (its a small AIM kiln that can be used for small fusing jobs & annealing beads).

A question for y'all - is it necessary to use homosote for the work surface or is good 'ole plywood okay? My sister looked at me like I was nuts when I mentioned homosote. I'll need something as a surface that will be on top of the MDF, so what would you use?

Oh, here's the glass storage unit I built. The unit is finished & the spaces for glass a 4" apart. There is a larger area in the middle that I'm going to have cut pvc to store stringers & rods in.

This message was edited Jan 17, 2006 9:00 PM

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balvenie
Marysville, WA
(Zone 7a)

January 18, 2006
4:25 AM

Post #1984265

Sandi, my glass shed is 12' X 12' with an 'overflow' addition about 10 X 15 that gets the scrap glass storage. The table is a sheet of plywood about 4' X 6' with a shelf under for storing the stuff that I should have thrown away and some additional specialty glass. The east wall has a bench that holds two grinders, a ring saw and a belt grinder, with shelving for solder and whatever else lands there. The south wall has a small hanging shelf for flux, and related stuff. The east wall is unencumbered and the north wall has the light table, glass storage, drawers, lead vise and more stuff. 12X12 with a table that big makes it pretty crowded, but then I seldom throw anything away and tend to be quite disorganized. Your garage will probably make a very good stained glass area. As for the 'working surface', I have seen people use sheet rock (plasterboard), but most any surface that you can tap a horseshoe nail in will work. The sheet-rock is cheap, easy to cut to size and disposable. The items that get the most use are the various sized plywood boards with raised edges on two sides to keep the 90 corner and anchor the bottom and side edges while you are working. You can also pick them up and set them aside while starting another project.lol
balvenie
Marysville, WA
(Zone 7a)

January 18, 2006
4:28 AM

Post #1984266

The east side of the glass bench/light table.

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balvenie
Marysville, WA
(Zone 7a)

January 18, 2006
4:29 AM

Post #1984267

West side of same bench.

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balvenie
Marysville, WA
(Zone 7a)

January 18, 2006
4:31 AM

Post #1984268

Main work bench in center of the room. Hard to take a good picture with so little room to stand.

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balvenie
Marysville, WA
(Zone 7a)

January 18, 2006
4:35 AM

Post #1984274

The addition is where all the 'scrap glass' is stored, along with boxes of came, paper roll and bevel boxes.

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balvenie
Marysville, WA
(Zone 7a)

January 18, 2006
4:37 AM

Post #1984277

It's a wonderful hobby and the results are beautiful. Keep us posted on your progress.
drdon
Temecula, CA
(Zone 8b)

January 18, 2006
11:30 AM

Post #1984473

hiya balvenie,

Thanks for the tour of your shop! It certainly helps to see how a functioning work area is laid out and that project on your assembly table/ work bench is very interesting indeed.

best to you,
don
BetsyBug
Memphis, TN
(Zone 7b)

January 18, 2006
12:27 PM

Post #1984556

Oh - I can only dream. You guys would laugh me off the site if I showed you my ex-bedroom/sewing/craft/glass/junk room! (which is probably why I don't do much!) Maybe someday...sigh...

balvenie
Marysville, WA
(Zone 7a)

January 18, 2006
3:19 PM

Post #1984870

Betsy, We have a friend on our little vacation island who turns out the most beautiful stained glass you can imagine in a part of the 'guest bedroom'. Their glass front door is covered with a Blue Heron scene that takes up the entire glass area. Size isn't the only factor. Go for it ! It sounds like you have many other talents too.
BetsyBug
Memphis, TN
(Zone 7b)

January 19, 2006
2:33 AM

Post #1986005

So many talents - so little time - LOL! I do - but work and life sometimes get in the way - not to mention health (may have sleep apnea - which would explain why I'm exhausted all the time!). But - I do get spurts of ambition...alas - such is life!
2zeus

(Zone 7b)

January 19, 2006
8:31 AM

Post #1986355

Size of workroom has zip to do with what you can turn out - size of heart is all that matters in an artist, yes?
mangomo
Fort Lauderdale, FL

January 21, 2006
1:41 AM

Post #1989949

balvenie, if you have a sec, please tell me about your ring saw. Is it like a band saw? Is it the taurus brand ? How does it work and what actually does it do? I thinking of buying one but would love your feedback on it before I do. I have seen it advertise where you can actually use it on it's base or it becomes hand-held? Also, does it cut any shapes in one piece? BTW, Your studio is to die for, great set-up!
SandiTX
McKinney, TX
(Zone 7b)

January 21, 2006
2:21 AM

Post #1990017

balvenie, I have to ask...how long did it take you to get that organized? Or does it come naturally? I really like how you've taken the time to divide your scrap into like colors. I never even though about it. My sis has hers (or ours, rather) by size, but I can see how by color would be better.
balvenie
Marysville, WA
(Zone 7a)

January 21, 2006
3:03 AM

Post #1990160

Mangomo. It is a Taurus Ring saw. It has a large water storage base with a top like the Morton. The saw is similar to a band-saw but the blade is a round wire impregnated with diamonds, carbide or something and cuts in any direction.Mine is stationary and not hand held. It was sorta pricey but was a birthday-christmas-thanksgiving-halloween present from DW and son. It cuts those hard curves that I waste so much glass messing up very nicely. Don't use it a lot, but when I do its a lifesaver.
Sandi. It just looks organized. The pictures don't show the stuff piled in the corners and under the table.lol The scrap glass started out in coffee cans from a couple hobbyists whose stuff I bought over the years. Couldn't find things so put 'em in white boxes and named 'em. Works well.
Next thing is the Cutter's Mate that 2zeuse uses to make those fantastic Celtic knots and other beautiful pieces. Tried one out yesterday and they are great. (some people are never satisfied)
justmeLisa
Brewers, KY
(Zone 6b)

January 21, 2006
1:21 PM

Post #1990634

I'm very tempted to get a cutter's mate.

I love the sound and feel of glass being scored with a hand held cutter. However, I hate all the wasted glass, you see, I have a crack problem..lol..I can't score glass without cracking 80% of my work. It leads to frustration and not to mention the lost $.

balvenie, I've drooled over your work space many times. I'm glad to see you rate the cutter's mate with good marks.
2zeus

(Zone 7b)

January 21, 2006
6:33 PM

Post #1991367

justmeLisa,
Cutters work best when held at a 90 degree angle from the glass - do you cut while standing or sitting?
Maybe you press too hard - a cutter should just make enough of a "scritching" sound to be heard, and the line should be barely visible to the naked eye.
I years ago made a rule that if I'm trying to cut a piece and I break it 3 times in a row, it's time to quit for the day - it ususally means I'm not in the right headspace to do glass, feeling impatient, so trying to cut deep curves in one cut rather than several smaller cuts, ar just not focussing properly.
What kind of cutter do you use now? do you use cutting oil?

justmeLisa
Brewers, KY
(Zone 6b)

January 28, 2006
1:55 PM

Post #2006143

Hi 2zeus,
Yep, I'm holding it at 90* & standing when I cut. I think I most likely press way too hard. I'm short and seem to try to compensate by pressing down harder than I might need to.

The cutter I am using now is an oil filled Toyo supercutter.

I'm still drooling over the cutters mate. I think I'll start saving my pennies.
2zeus

(Zone 7b)

January 28, 2006
6:11 PM

Post #2006605

Maybe try this - get some scrap clear glass from the local glass shop - if they don't have any, go to a window shop, they should have some - and try cutting while pressing as lightly as you can, just until it barely makes a noise, and you can hardly see the score - retrain youself.

Because the Cutter's Mate has a very heavy head, and if you press too hard with a regular cutter, you'll probably do the same with it.

Good luck.

scooterbug
Tellico Plains, TN
(Zone 7b)

March 24, 2006
2:33 AM

Post #2134860

balvenie ,

Just wondering how tall is the work table ?

I don't have a dedicated space for working glass just a corner of the bedroom.

I sorely need a real work table tho instead of the wall hung shelf-like surface I've been using ...

balvenie
Marysville, WA
(Zone 7a)

March 24, 2006
3:58 AM

Post #2135054

The workbench is 38" high. A bit higher than 'normal' I guess, but bending over a lower table is too hard on the old back.I waited several years till there was a place to do glass, in the meantime it was set-up-take-down. Hope you can get a 'real' workplace for your glass work.
scooterbug
Tellico Plains, TN
(Zone 7b)

March 24, 2006
6:38 PM

Post #2136291

Thanks , I will make a mock up at that height and see how it feels.

I hope to make a nifty glass area here . Already I have converted the nearby closet to storage.



I have a 80 x 100 pole building that was our horse training and breeding barn.

In order to use part of that building I would need to build an enclosed shop within , which is not in my 'hobby budget' ;-(

With the dust and draft conditions it works out OK for garden and cement related stuff but too dirty for glass work.

* going out to the barn to fire up the miter saw ;-)*
scooterbug
Tellico Plains, TN
(Zone 7b)

April 12, 2006
2:47 PM

Post #2184062

Thanks Balvanie, The height you suggested turned out to be just right for me.

I made it to fold up against the wall it is attatched to.

It was all pretty simple but the first time I lowered the work surface one of the legs was too short so a second one was cut.

Scheesh !
I know better and shoulda thought of checking the floor level. Typically hardly anything in this 100 + year old house is exactly square or level ;-)

tkrueger3
San Antonio, TX

April 30, 2007
1:24 PM

Post #3447458

For SandiTX: I want to build a glass storage unit like you've done, but am a little confused as to how yours is put together. Could you explain a little bit about it? Example, I assume the sides and back are plywood, but the cross-members - 2X4 lumber, with 1" slats running front-to-back? I am pretty good with my table saw and compound miter saw, and know which end of a hammer to grab, but design is a little out of my reach. Any help at all will be appreciated.
SandiTX
McKinney, TX
(Zone 7b)

April 30, 2007
2:23 PM

Post #3447643

tkrueger3, my glass storage unit is made of MDF, 2x4s, luan and plexiglas. The sides and shelves are MDF, the bottom & middle (under the MDF) are 2x4s, the top is 2x4. I also used metal bracing. No nails, it's all wood glue and screws that are flush with the MDF. Each slot for glass is 4" wide.

I had my local Lowe's rip the big pieces. Then I cut all the 2x4s to the length I needed for the top, middle & bottom. The short middle pieces were cut later. I put the shell together first, then adding the middle brace/shelf. I then ripped lots of MDF for each of the glass slots (doubled for top/bottom) and glued & screwed them down, counter-sinking all so none of the screws would be higher than the MDF.

The dividers for all of the slots are luan. Be sure to sand the edges to prevent splinters later. The plexi in the back is actually 2 pieces. I was lucky enough that I didn't need it cut.

The only tools I used were my electric saw and drill.

You may want to visit some of the local shops in SA/Austin to see how they have their glass storage put together.
QispiKulur
London
United Kingdom

July 19, 2009
10:20 PM

Post #6838891

Hello everyone! There was a post in this thread with a link to a fantastic page showing pictures of a well organized studio, somehow is not here anymore...I need it desperately, can anybody help, please?! My email is hcipkalo@yahoo.co.uk thank you!

jamibad

jamibad
Flagler Beach, FL
(Zone 9b)

August 3, 2009
4:15 AM

Post #6900317

here is my shed, but I don't have enough pictures to show the inside, and I'm into mosaic art. I love the studio I was looking at, and I'll make it a point to get better pictures tomorrow, Thanks for the guide!!! and this thread is pretty old, but hey, it's great regenerating a thread also.

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