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stafford.glassworks 2019-06-29 1:50pm

Garage Studio Safety/Practicality Questions
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Hi everyone!

I'm totally new to all this. I posted a question in the "ventilation" forum but I want to make sure I've covered all my safety/electricity concerns etc... I want to apologize if any of these questions have already been asked!

So I'll be setting up in my garage. I'm going to be working with boro: pendants, jars, shot glasses and maybe some pipes... I've got a table and a torch (national 8m). It's right by a window but I'm thinking a fan probably won't be adequate ventilation (unless maybe i mount it right onto the window?) i'll probably have to install some kind of hood/duct system going out the window? any ideas from the pics i've posted of how i can accomplish this?

Second, there's a water heater in the garage and I believe it runs of propane. I'll be keeping the tanks separate and chained to the opposite wall. Any issues there?

Also, this house was built in the '50's and the electricity has never been re-wired. It runs on 120 volts. The kiln I'm getting is a Jen-Ken Analog 11 X 11 X 9 Kiln With 4in Flip Door. It runs on 120 Volts. Will running this along with a high CFM fan be a problem? Do I have to worry about fumes from the kiln?

*Takes deep breath.... One more question. It gets cold in the winter. Will I have to take the glass inside to store it? Can I work in 20 degree weather? Will adding a space heater to the mix be too much for the electrical system to handle.

I think that about covers it! Hope I wasn't too long-winded. TY! glad to be part of the forum!

KJohn 2019-06-29 5:23pm

I'm certainly no expert, but a couple of things. First, you would have to worry about your propane tank and other equipment at 20F! The glass can always be pre-warmed in the kiln, but do expect a lot more cracking at any temp under 50F or so - at least for soft glass, not sure for boro.

Also I would hesitate to keep your propane inside the garage. Are you going to use tanked oxygen?

A space heater would be great but it might overwhelm your electric....I run a kiln on a dedicated circuit, and I couldn't even turn on a lamp without it all crashing. Ugh. I would advise that you just have the kiln on its own breaker.

You want more ventilation/make up air than the window you are venting out of, but there are others who can give advice on that. Search also in the archives, lots of info there. I work outside to avoid the whole issue. LOL. Good luck

dragonart glass 2019-06-30 9:40am

Working boro you definitely need good ventilation. Warnings about cadmium colors are serious. Your kiln needs to be on a dedicated circuit like a refrigerator. I will work when it’s as cold as 40 outside but after that I am too cold. I don’t think the glass cares much (I store a lot of glass outside) but you will have cracking issues depending on what ya u are making. Good ventilation will suck out the heat overall but a space heater (on different circuit) under the table tends to work well. Like Kristin says, scour these forums. Lots of good safety info on ventilation here.

yonil 2019-06-30 1:01pm

I don't think I have much new to add, but I'm in a similar garage set-up. I set up a hood, which vents out the window. An electrician added two circuits for me--one just for the kiln, and one for whatever other power I might want, next to the torch.

Ventilation can cause negative pressure, impacting your water heater, so you will want to be extra vigilant about having plenty of make-up air coming in. Regardless of season, I end up keeping the garage door open, so make-up air can passively enter the room.

Fire department mandated that my propane be stored outside.

I torched in the garage last winter, and I got a heated vest online which helps keep me pretty warm. Still plenty of breaks to thaw out, though. The glass definitely is sensitive to the cold and more temperamental. Also, I think the base temperature that my kiln (Paragon Bluebird XL) needs to run properly is something like 30 or 32F, so a few times I had to run a space heater just long enough to bring that area to that temp. Then I could turn on the kiln, and once it got cranking that area would be warm enough to not have an issue or need the space heater anymore.

Speedslug 2019-06-30 3:31pm

I will add that infrared lamps can do wonders for your hands and face when working in a seriously cold garage.

You need to make sure your make up air inlet is at least 10 feet from the torch fume ventilation outlet.

Shaper 2019-06-30 6:34pm

Boro glass is affected less by heat and cold than any of the soft glasses. That said, you can take the glass you plan on working with and put it on top of your kiln when you turn it on and it will warm it as the kiln heats up. That way you can pick it up and put it in the flame to work without having to start it out at the end of the flame to warm it before working. I do that when it gets cold here.

stafford.glassworks 2019-07-02 12:01pm

Thanks everyone for the great information! This answers a lot of my questions.I'll definitely do some more digging around in the forums so I'm sure that I've covered everything.

Speedslug 2019-07-05 6:25pm

Often, answering the questions "What's the worst that can happen?" and "Do I know enough about what I'm planning to do to know 'what the worst that can happen' is?" will hold you in good stead.

Just keep thinking things through.

Subduction 2019-07-05 6:58pm

Just to amplify yonil's comment about the water heater: a gas-fired heater or furnace with insufficient draft can produce carbon monoxide. My neighbors nearly died of CO (but not gas fuel related).

kansassky 2019-07-28 5:19pm

You could keep your propane tank outside and run the hose through the window, too.

drewby3396 2019-07-29 2:55pm

I work primarily is boro. A good fan has always helped. Boro can take some thermal shock but "warm" it out before setting it down. "Warm it in" before applying full throttle fire. Sorry about the New Jersey scientific glassblower slang. Also, stay hydrated regardless of the weather.

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