Rev. 2002-11-06, 2003-01-19, 03-07, 05-28, -09-24, -11-22
2007-01-21 (wood), -01-31, -02-04, -11-24, 2008-04-13, 2009-05-04, 2010-02-24, -09-03, -10-24
[Search on date pattern to find latest changes, more than one may be found.]
Return to Sitemap
In manipulating hot glass, many of the tools are made of
metal, now usually stainless steel, iron in the past, but many
are made of wood and paper. There is a kind of jack that uses
rolls of paper or wood dowels for the ends and blocks of wood are
used to make, well, blocks as well as molds. Almost always, these
flammable materials are soaked in water before use and the layer
of steam from the water helps preserve the material.
Taking the ends of the shape, fold at about the 1/3 points (C) further bending the narrower end (D) to fit it inside the other end and tucking it in and patting it flat. After forming the pad, cut the corners off (E) which allows much more flexibility in shaping the wet pad to the shape of the hand. Soak in water and keep wet by putting a handful of water from the block bucket or by squirting from a handy water bottle.
The pad is used by shaping it to the hand and cupping it around the glass. Normally, once shaped, it is laid on the bench face up and water is added as mentioned above.
The New York Times is legendary for being the best newspaper for working glass. "Bad" paper turns to pulp when wet, while "good" paper retains its shape and layers.
Paper V-Block - Wet newspaper is placed in a V made of two boards nailed edge to edge with a triangle of board filling one end. The paper is molded to shape and used wet to blow cylinders with the pipe and glass aligned to the length of the V. "Like having 6-8 hands to block with newspaper." (CraftWeb) 2007-11-24
Paper Marver - Wet paper, 10-15 sheets, is laid on a flat surface to roll
glass in place, primarily cylinders. Lasts a month or so. Reasonably damp, not
I have made a few blocks from pear wood from an old hard pear tree taken from my backyard. Mine are without handles.
The following woods are listed as safe on this site
http://www.chincare.com/Pages/SafetyandSuppliers.htm Just because they
are safe doesn't mean they are good for tools - bois d'arc withstands weather
for a long time and I would expect that to mean it is water resistant.
MOLDS -These three cutters are home made and have been used
to cut hemispheres and a trough to support long work (picture
coming). The one on the left is a spade bit, heated to red heat
and slowly cooled, then ground to a radius, reheated and cooled
quickly in oil. Using a grinding wheel in a drill, it was shaped.
> Hello Mike-
I would save every piece of the tree larger than your thumb that you can
store. If you expect to work some pieces of the wood green, then you should
probably put the results in water as soon as you have worked it.
|These wood molds were made by Walter Evans, the man in the yellow shirt below, and are used to shape the glass for further forming. These are turning molds, having no design impressed in the glass and the glass is turned inside the mold to shape it. These pictures were taken at a class in using them at Corning in 1999. 2007-01-21|
|Mold with Hot Glass inside, note steam|
|Mold with Glass Coming out|
|Long view of blow mold use, glass coming out.|
|Note the use of wood bar clamps for handles on the square outside. Without these handles, more molds can be stored in one bucket and easier to transport in plastic bags. For several more pictures of wood mold at GAS 2003 Conference in Seattle with piece made in it, click link below pictures||
a number of wood tools and the making of a goblet with a cut off of rim.
The images below, from the video, show the shape of the parison going in and the over-inflation to give the rim shape 2010-09-03
|Atelier Glass Works, 30 King St. East, Millbrook, ON Canada, LGA 1G0, 705-932-4527 email@example.com|
PADDLES [Image at right from Littleton's book]
RODS or DOWELS
There is no reason not to use plain wooden dowels or rods, soaked in water, to shape glass. In the past these were often used to form the glass, as steam sticks. I bought cherry dowels in several sizes from a woodworking supply firm and soaked them. Two wood dowels fit in a handle (Pacioffis) that can also hold paper or graphite. Image
I had bought a thicker flat piece of cherry some time ago and during the video tape made at Vitro Art Glass in Grapevine shown at the DMA 100th Anniversary saw them use a board on the floor to support a vase that had a very soft punty. I have used a steel plate on the ground for some time, blowing a flat bulging bottom shape, but when I started thinking about the wood, I realized I could make an indentation to blow an edged bottom.
I bought a 3/8" cove router bit, (about $20) which comes with a ball-bearing guide for edge work. When I took the bearing off, I found it was mounted on stud which I had to cut and grind off. Because of the shallowness of the cut and the size of the bit, I chose to use a 1/4" plywood template to edge guide the router base rather than a collar around the bit. I cut a hole and two rings 1/2" wide from outside of the hole. Screwing the ply to the cherry (a bit off center for the first hole, you see.) I first used a straight 1/2" plunge bit to cut out the center of the holes to the correct depth. I then replaced the bit with the much larger diameter (1-1/4") 3/8" cove bit, which will not cut straight down, and set the depth to the same and moved around the edges, to make a fillet edge at the bottom of the hole (you can see how a slight mis-adjustment results in the non-cutting center of the bit to burn the wood as it spins.) The second hole was more carefully centered on the board and one of the 1/2" rings was added to reduce the size of the hole. This board has been placed in the block bucket to begin soaking and was taken out to photograph before the bucket was refilled with water.
These two pieces were glued up for specific purposes. The wood attached to the aluminum is a dowel and cup to help form a neck of a bottle. The dowel is screwed in place while the cup is only glued with Gorilla Glue
The steam stick is built up of three pieces. It is used to inflate pieces by both sealing the mouth and carrying water to convert to steam inside the hot piece. It has to be turned with the piece to maintain the seal. 2003-09-24
Contact Mike Firth