Setting Up a Workshop

Recently on Facebook, I saw someone asking about the floor in her workshop she was setting up. Her husband wanted to put down carpet since the workshop was in the cellar and the carpet would make the floors feel warmer. Of course, she got an emphatic, “no” because of burns and glass shards.

Stained Glass News puts out a publication called “The Beginner’s Guide to Stained Glass.” In that publication, there is an article called “Helpful Ideas for Setting up your Own Stained Glass Workshop.” Most of this info comes from that article.

  1. Proper ventilation. That can be a ventilation system or a fan blowing the fumes away from you or a fume trap. A good option would be the Weller Fume Trap Smoke Absorber.

Weller Fume Trap Smoke Absorber.2. Plenty of light. When we set up our first retail store, at one point, we doubled the lighting. We just could not get enough light. Make sure you have a well-lit work area. Light boxes are also very handy.

3. Storage for glass. There are plenty of options available for easy glass storage. If you buy full sheets, ask your glass dealer for empty cases. Set them on end, and you have a great storage area. The Morton glass caddy is great for cut sheets.

Morton Glass Caddy.4. Grounded electrical connections.  Do not use extension cords. The power strips that extend horizontally or vertically work well. Buy more than you would expect to use because you just won’t believe how many you will actually need. You’ll need power for your soldering iron, ventilation, your music source, saw, grinder and lightbox, just for starters. Have them in easy reach, not under a counter so you won’t have to crawl around to plug something in.

5. Disposal of glass and junk. Set up your room with a place to put the glass you want to keep. As a safety precaution, use a metal trash can for glass shards or working with hot glass. Cleaning rags should go in covered metal storage containers.

Clear storage bins are a great way to store your scrap glass.6. Easy-to-clean flooring. Do not use carpet. Make sure your flooring is something that is not going to break your heart if you drop hot solder on it and burn it.

7. Pay attention to the height of your work area. Do you like to work sitting or standing? Have your working surface at a comfortable height based on this preference.

8. Access to water is important. Using your kitchen sink is not recommended for this activity.

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