Many people think that all we need to create our beautiful glassworks is glass and a kiln . But, those represent only half (if that much) of our arsenal of tools.
Once glass is fired - or even before - it often needs "cold working." This is the process of refining the piece so it has a polished look. It's called cold working because no heat is involved. Our cold working tool bench includes the following amazing tools:
Tile Saw - We use this to cut glass into shapes or to cut bottles before firing. After firing we use it to cut strips or shapes for future use. This is a very messy tool and sprays water all over us. Good thing we wear shop aprons, eye protection, and ear protection with ALL of our tools
Grinder - Once we cut our glass we turn to the grinder to smooth the edges and get rid of unwanted points, shards, or bumps, or to shape the glass into the ideal design. We do this before firing. After the first firing we use it to remove sharp pieces. The grinder also uses water and sprays, but not as much.
Wet Belt Sander - We use this to create shiny smooth edges after cutting glass or to polish pieces that need a boost after firing. It has multiple, interchangeable belts that go from very rough to smooth and a cork belt for a luxurious polish. And, yes, it also uses water!
Diamond Hand Pads - The only power these hand pads use is muscle power! We use these in the same way we use the wet belt sander, but on smaller pieces. It's much slower, but great for the arm muscles.
Dremel - We use several dremels including one with a stand to drill holes into glass and ceramics using diamond bits. Water is required to keep the glass or ceramics from breaking due to the heat caused by friction.
- Table Saw - This is the newest addition to our cold working station. We use this to cut stands, frames, and other wood or plastic. We keep this away from water and use it outside as the sawdust goes everywhere!
Hand Sander (electric) - After using the table saw, we polish our wooden stands and other pieces with this tool.
While this covers our cold working tools, it is just a glimpse into the wide range of tools we use in our studio.