Welcome to the Glass Shop!

last year

I opened my glassblowing shop in June of 2014. It was quite a process, and took about 3 months to come to fruition. The main task is getting a good ventilation system running before you turn any torches on, which is essential for health and safety. In this post I will show the process of building my shop, list the materials, and equipment required. I will then display where we are today. If you are new to my blogging  or glass in general please feel free to check out my Intro, and the first Giveaway which goes in to great detail about Borosilicate. The @cryptocameo glass blog is full of knowledge and surprises!


In my mind the shop is about 90% complete. The cherry on top for me, was the acquisition of the Oxygen Concentrator, which we use to produce our own Oxygen on site. It saves us quite a bit of money, and it is a lot better for the environment to boot. I put all that I have in to this shop, and though sometimes we neared rock bottom, it was all worth it. When hard work meets opportunity, incredible things can happen. 


When I began blowing glass, I worked in a very abusive environment. The first shop that I worked glass in belonged to another fellow who sadly fell off to drug addiction. He always had a problem with it and tried to hide it with most people. It was very dirty, he owed a lot of people money, and it was even a little bit dangerous to be around there when it all started falling down. Sadly he ended up losing his shop, significant others, respect of peers in the industry, and nearly life itself. He was very well known, and was even on a team that won a nationally recognized glass competition called CHAMPS in 2009. He would steal from others, lie, and scheme. I'm sure many of you have met folks like this. Luckily I was already working along side a couple glassblowers there who are wonderful people, and we had a plan just in case.


My two friends and I, we trained together at the first shop I just mentioned for a couple years. We left this abusive environment very quickly to form our own collective of glass when we began to see the management of the first shop fall to shambles. I am so thankful for my friends and the could not have made the transition without them. They work VERY hard and deserve recognition. I can only hope they come migrate to Steemit as I would really like everyone to see their work. I have encouraged them both to embrace Steemit and the advantages of blockchain technology in general, and I really hope that they do. If they begin to make posts, I will try to feature all of them in my upcoming blogs.


Take note, when you are attempting to try Borosilicate glass work, some of this equipment is mandatory for your health and safety. Also, please consider that if you are wanting to build a smaller setup, you can downsize a lot of this equipment. This is a full size glass production shop and would be overkill for any home setup. Keep in mind that what I have listed below is just my equipment, and not the graphite/metal tools I use to shape hot glass, which will come in a later post. Perhaps my peers shall post their glass, tools, and other equipment soon too. Feel free to ask about anything you see and I will try to answer.


Let's journey through the process together.


MATERIALS AND EQUIPMENT:

Sledgehammer

Clawhammer

Nails

Screws

Stainless Steel Shop Tables

Electric Drill and Drill Bits

26in Ventilation Ducting and Flexible Mylar Ducting

6ft by 3.5ft Stainless Steel Venthood with Chains

Ducting Suspension Straps

Scissor Lift and Ladders

3400CFM Fan-Tech Inline Fan (REQUIRED FOR YOUR SAFETY)

GTT Triple Mix Torches - Phantom, Delta Elite

American Lathes INC. 5100 Lathe

The Blast Shield INC. Torch Stands

Gemini Revolution XT Saw

Portable Ban Saw

Sand Blaster Cabinet

Shop Vac

Air Compressor

HiVolume Oxygen INC. Electric Oxygen Concentrator

T-Grade Welding Hose (Propane + Oxygen Mix)

Skutt Scarab Flameworking Kiln

Griffin Glass Tools - Rock It Foot Pedal

Kevlar Gloves and Padding (REQUIRED FOR HOT EQUIPMENT)


BUILDING PROCESS:


FINISHED:


Thanks for taking the time to check my shop out. Lots of glass to come, especially from the lathe!

Until next time Steemit. For now, I will leave you with another teaser of what's to come.

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Putting your own shop together must have been a real dream come true. I know owning your own business is never easy. You have to love what you do because it's like having another child and your blood, sweat and tears are invested in it. But hopefully you receive joy and a decent income from it. It's what we hope for, isn't it?

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Yes it really is what we hope for. Making your own wages, being your own boss, and making a decent income is a dream come true. Something I hope many others can achieve.

It is possible, do not let others tell you that you cannot be an entrepreneur!

Being your own boss is very hard at times, and being the boss of others (friends) can be even harder.

I like your analogy to my shop being my child! People say the same thing all the time with kids. The blood, sweat, and tears is all worth it :)

wow! congrats :-)

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Thanks for the kind words!

Great pictures @cryptocameo, I can't imagine how long the whole set up took. Hope you have great successes in your new setup. Following you as well.

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It took about 3 months to get to a point where we could all work comfortably. Took another month or two after that to get all the extra equipment needed to make life easier/cheaper. Thanks so much for the kind words, check out the giveaway if you get some time, and check out our "great success" shots of finished products. ;)

  ·  last year

Nice, looks great! Looks like a lot of work went into this. How long did it take to go from empty space to blowing your first products?

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We worked right away, for a few weeks, the space without proper ventilation was very unhealthy. Smelled badly of propane gas. Decided to shut down the shop for couple months to get things proper, for our health's sake. Nearly went broke because of the construction and rent costs during this time, and we could not produce product. Luckily we made enough during the first few weeks to squeak by, used a credit card to get glass raw materials after the vent. was finished, and we are very lucky that we made it out of that. We were in debt, exhausted from the building, and about to lose the company. I am so thankful to my other 2 guys who really helped us pull out of this nose dive. Probably made a few hundred pipes over the first couple months the after the ventilation was finished, that in combination with local shops picking up a lot of glass was the redeeming moment.

in a first shots I had think what you start to build grow room :))

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lol i can see how growers could need a vent. :P

Woah, that is really incredible, beautiful shop! I've never seen those mini tanks before; that's great you've been able to upgrade so much!

Many have been asking for an online storefront that accepts BTC for glass products. Your wish is my command! I am currently working on an OpenBazaar store and it will be full of product very soon.

Please check out my new online storefront!
https://duosear.ch/a1cbdc2260b562fd23cd709db12522df508169e9

Be sure to download OpenBazaar and check it out, long live free trade!