Benches, Etc.

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2005-03-17 Rev. 2006-09-08, 2009-05-04, 2010-02-25, 2011-01-01

Drawing of standard glassblowing benchA glass worker's bench is most commonly a steel framed long armed chair with a wooden seat that extends beyond the arms on both sides. Below the arms are metal shields to protect the legs of the worker from the heat of the glass. The pipe or punty is placed on the arms and rolled out and back to keep the glass in a smooth round shape while working it. On the extended seat [or on a small table the same height, in picture below right] are placed metal tools, which may also hang on nails driven in the edge, and behind the seat are often buckets of water holding blocks and wooden tools.  Since sliding tools must be waxed (jacks ) and gripping tools must not (tweezers, shears), the waxed tools are placed tips to one edge, the unwaxed to the other. 2004-07-26

Bench and buckets at Texas Hot GlassA bench is a personal choice and may be built from wood with steel rails or may be built with sloping arms.  A bench in a teaching situation should probably be adjustable as to height.

The minimum practical requirements seem to be a steel top surface with stops at the end to keep the pipe from rolling off.  For the seated version, the rails need only come back to tummy location and be out to arms reach for the tallest user when seated leaning forward a bit.

Outdoor work bench with third arm and pipe holderHaving a bad back, I stand all the time rather than getting up and down, so I use one that I stand before with the arms at waist level and the tools underneath the arms I also find it easier to get around the end of pieces and place the punty. More on my bench

Some workers omit the bench and its arms and work glass on ball bearing rollers like a yoke or threading stand.


Standup marver and rail, Diderot Encyc.Dederot's Encyclopedia shows several different working methods, including a goblet maker at a bench much like the one up top.  Bottle makers work standing, using a mold shape in the floor.  This image shows the gaffer necking the bottle on the back edge of the marver plate which is used in the next plate during inflation and later during finishing.  The pipe to the right is used to support the blow pipe during cooling with water in the tub.  The other is used during inflation rather than rolling the pipe on the sharp edge of the marver plate. 2010-02-25 (click to enlarge for more detail)
Diderot image of gaffers bench making goblets

Neat looking utilitarian bench  This is a perfectly utilitarian bench, level arms, seat for a right handed person, leveling feet underneath, shield, that is absolutely sexy and neat.



Marty Johnson working left handed with hot tools to left.Marty Johnson prefers a bench with a higher and angled seat so she can get on and off it quickly, her heels do not touch the floor when she is seated.  She is also ambidextrous and works wet on the right end and dry on the left.  2003-11-14



Karen puts final touches on eagle with oxy-propane torch for reheating
This picture shows a bench with shield for the leg and rollers out on the end of the arms which permit turning the pipe or punty in place while applying color or otherwise working on it in a fixed location.

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