Glass Finishing: Cold Working Notes
by Joshua Dopp


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There are as many if not more topics on cold working then there are for hot working. This is the work done to the glass before and after it is melted, slumped or otherwise altered with heat.

Cutting - Grinding - Polishing

My air-conditioned cold working shed fits on my trailer.


Cold Working Workshop Notes


These are the three major areas of cold working. There are suppliers who service only the glass artist, but beware their prices can sometimes be higher. Your tools are largely dependant on the size and scale of the glass you are working with. When looking for large scale equipment for glass specific tasks consider Masonry suppliers. There tools are very similar. One difference to be careful of is saw blades. Stone cutters can use serrated blades where as glass cutting should be done with continuous rim tools. As for polishing they may use resin bonded carbon silicate disks. These can be problematic too, if your glass has bubbles. The resin can become stuck in the wholes. I find using Diamond pads from 80 grit up to the 400 range and then switching to silica carbide sanding disks works best followed by a pumis or cerium oxide slurry used with a felt pad.  
  For much of the small scale work such as chasing or de burring or even carving into the glass various rotary tool bits can be used in a flex shaft tool. Again these can be found at glass specific suppliers but you might find better prices from other industry suppliers. Other industries, which use similar tools for small-scale work, include jewelers and dentists.  
water goes into bucket and flows over to other bucket.

Past Projects:

Amber vase chip removal

SSilverBrown Project

David Thai project

  Safety. Glass dust is nothing to trifle with. I can feel it in the back of my throat whenever I am around elevated amounts. When doing any type of glass grinding a watery environment is very helpful. The water does two things; it keeps glass dust down by making the dust heavy and keeps your tools and glass cool during working. Always use water. That being said, you still need to wear a good dust mask along with proper ventilation. Although the glass dust combines with the water it is still dangerous and can be inhaled. Yours eyes should be protected from the possibilities of flying chips of glass. Ear protection can also be crucial due to the loud high pitch sounds of the machines.

For more information about glass studio safety please see here.

I will go over a lot of things in the class. Here are some cold-working specific links.


local suppliers

Lincoln Glass Local supplier of stained and some casting glass.

Lonnies sells jewelry tools. They have diamond tools and grits for cold working.

Gran Quarts Industrial quality cold working tools

Harbor Freight Tools A little of everything but tends to be low quality especially machine tools. Certain things are excellent and priced really well.

J-Street they sell various types of glass and kilns. They also have workshops.

Kent's Tools Jewelry supplier in Tucson. Lots of tools

Abrasives Unlimited Inc. Best prices in town for silica carbide grit. Supplier for sand blasting media


out-of-town suppliers

Amplex abrasives. various diamond tools

Abrasive Technology, Inc. diamond tools

Contenti jewelers tools

Kingsley North, Inc. masonry and jewelry

Denver Glass equipment supplier

His Glass many tools for glass specific. A little pricey though.






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