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Topic: Advice needed: lampworking, torch setup  (Read 4715 times)
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dealupa
« on: July 22, 2009 10:03:07 AM »

So, the short version of the story is, the place I used to use my torch (hothead torch with mapp gas, small container--1 lb) is no longer available to me and I need somewhere else to work. 

I rent a teeny apartment with my partner (less than 500 square feet) in a former farmhouse--lots of old, dry wood and probably horsehair or newspaper for insulation.  No room for a permanent setup in the apartment.  Previously I was using a stripped down ironing board (all metal, cloth & padding gone) to clamp my torch on.  I could fold it up when I was done and tuck it in a closet.  Is it safe to work in a space like that?  Does anyone else work directly inside a living space (i.e. not in a dedicated craft/glass/work room?)  Any suggestions for safety?  What to move out of the way, what to have on hand, etc?

If not, my budget is too tight to allow me to rent time/space anywhere, so that's out.  Any other suggestions?  The weather/climate wouldn't allow work outside.  I don't have access to the garage, can't construct a structure (temporary or not) and the basement has a furnace or water heater in nearly every corner and is damp and full of spiders (stupid phobias) to boot. 

The lampworking bug has bitten me many times over the past few years but now worse than ever.  I want to play with glass again!
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stereoette
« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2009 11:02:39 PM »

it just doesnt sound like a very safe setup to me. when lampworking hot glass pops all over the place and dry old wood sounds like it would just go up in bushy flames. Also, the basement sounds like a very bad idea as well, considering that ventilation is very very important. You can get carbon monoxide poisoning while lampworking if you do not have VERY strong ventilation.

You can look up more safety information on the message boards at www.lampworketc.com

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news. I'm struggling with similar problems. I want to lampwork, but I do not want to hurt myself or my neighbors... but I miss the torch!
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ozarkcat
« Reply #2 on: July 26, 2009 07:38:10 PM »

My current setup is our patio table outside - don't know if that helps or not, but it's what seems to work for me - good ventilation, cement patio, somewhat out of the way of the cats & 4-year-old DD.

As another possibility, have you looked at your kitchen or bathroom? Just because those areas often have hard/tile/non-burnable flooring and ventilation - in the form of the oven hood vent in the kitchen or the bath vent. Open up a window, and that should refresh your air often enough. I think you could probably get a hose long enough for your hothead to be able to run it through the window with the canister outside, if you wanted to go bulk gas.

Hope that helps!

Cat (who has usually hung out on the swap, fiber, knitting and sewing boards, but has been bitten by the lampworking bug since coming back from a cool class at a reenactment war Wink )
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Cathi

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dealupa
« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2009 05:04:11 AM »

Thanks for the input!  That's pretty  much what I feared . . . . 

Unfortunately my bathroom is the size of a postage stamp and my kitchen has the same hardwood floors as the rest of the apartment. 

Guess I'm out of luck Sad
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Mfupi
« Reply #4 on: August 07, 2009 12:21:28 PM »

I'm feeling the same situation where I don't have any place that I would be able to do any amount of lampwork. I'm thinking about asking a friend for a space to do a set up in her basement in exchange for me teaching her how to do it, some beads or something. Maybe a crafty friend you know also has space?
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ozarkcat
« Reply #5 on: August 11, 2009 11:00:56 AM »

Thanks for the input!  That's pretty  much what I feared . . . . 

Unfortunately my bathroom is the size of a postage stamp and my kitchen has the same hardwood floors as the rest of the apartment. 

Guess I'm out of luck Sad

Could you put a piece of plywood or some ceramic tiles over the hardwood so that you don't have to worry about marring it? I've (accidentally) put a hot rod down on the wood table I'm working on, and it scorched it a tiny bit, but it wouldn't make it flat start burining . . . . Hope that helps!
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Cathi

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Zooziis
« Reply #6 on: June 20, 2010 05:48:24 PM »

So, the short version of the story is, the place I used to use my torch (hothead torch with mapp gas, small container--1 lb) is no longer available to me and I need somewhere else to work. 

I rent a teeny apartment with my partner (less than 500 square feet) in a former farmhouse--lots of old, dry wood and probably horsehair or newspaper for insulation.  No room for a permanent setup in the apartment.  Previously I was using a stripped down ironing board (all metal, cloth & padding gone) to clamp my torch on.  I could fold it up when I was done and tuck it in a closet.  Is it safe to work in a space like that?  Does anyone else work directly inside a living space (i.e. not in a dedicated craft/glass/work room?)  Any suggestions for safety?  What to move out of the way, what to have on hand, etc?

If not, my budget is too tight to allow me to rent time/space anywhere, so that's out.  Any other suggestions?  The weather/climate wouldn't allow work outside.  I don't have access to the garage, can't construct a structure (temporary or not) and the basement has a furnace or water heater in nearly every corner and is damp and full of spiders (stupid phobias) to boot. 

The lampworking bug has bitten me many times over the past few years but now worse than ever.  I want to play with glass again!

There are "products of combustion", like gasses created when the glass melts.  You want to be sure to have good ventilation when working with a torch, especially in a small space.  Seems the option would be to stand at the stove, and use the stove vent...unless you have a gas stove.  You would want a fire extinguisher on hand, anyone that is torching should.  Someone suggested plywood or tile on the floor.  I would suggest getting some cement board.  It's heavy, certainly on par with plywood, but it is flame resistant.  I used it to protect the wall where I torched once.

You really need good ventilation, and that is the biggest obstacle from what I can see.

The suggestion to find a friend who will let you set up in their dry, spider free space, seems like the best one, but I feel for you.

I did torch in my dining room for about a year, back when I first started.  I used a box fan in the window facing out, I set up at my table, in front of the window.  We had laminate flooring.  It wasn't ideal, and i wouldn't recommend it, knowing what I know now.  I had just started.  It's a great hobby, but unfortunately it's not something that can be done just anywhere.

I hope you find a friend who will help you out!
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« Reply #7 on: March 14, 2012 01:04:20 PM »

It can be a seasonal thing.. do it outside on a table. I would also look into lampworkers near you. see if one of them would want to let you torch with them, or if someone has the space. Maybe trade for labor or grunt studio work (like fusing shorts together lol) Even trade for knowledge and beads... I moved into a friends studio it is the best thing i have ever done for my glass! She is also very happy having me around. Check out Lampwork etc for more lampworkers and to maybe find someone near you!

(Hi miss zoozii's!!!its jaci from LE)
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