Cold Working Equipment
for the Kiln-Worker
Here's a list of the basic equipment
for cold working glass, with an emphasis on how the equipment is
used with kiln-formed glass. In this context, the term "cold
working" refers to finishing the glass outside the kiln. The
emphasis is also on powered tools and equipment, rather than on hand
pads and related non-powered tools.
1. Stained glass grinder -- the most
basic piece of cold working equipment. Can be used for
edge-grinding (but a wet belt sander is faster). (Price:
2. Wet belt sander -- this tool is
primarily an edge grinding tool. It consists of a motor that
drives a belt; the glass is held so that the edge comes into contact
with the belt. The normal process is to start with a belt with
a coarse grit and finish with a belt with a finer grit.
(Price: around $700 US for a table top model or $1500 and up for a
full size model.)
3. Flat lap (or
flat bed grinder) --
used for grinding a flat surface on glass or on the edge of a
slumped bowl. Similar in concept to a record turntable.
(Price: around $750US for a small 8" version to $1500 and up
to as much as $4000 for
a full size 20"+ lap)
4. Handheld water-fed grinder.
Either air or electrically powered, these are used to grind or
polish the surface of the glass. Unlike most of the other
tools on this page, with the handheld grinder you bring the tool
to the glass, rather than the glass to the tool. (Price:
about $200 to $400 US)
There are many other power tools, from
simple die grinders to elaborate glass lathes, but these are the
most frequently used. These tool
will be covered in more detail in future Warm Tips installments,
which will also have information on both powered and non-powered
cold working equipment.
Copyright 2005 Brad Walker.
All rights reserved.
This tip adapted from
posts on the Warm Glass board, especially a good summary of basic
equipment by Jackie Beckman.