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help me start blowing glass

Discussion in 'Bongs, Bubblers, Water Pipes' started by flynt169, Feb 6, 2011.

  1. whats the cheapest i can get in on this gig for? what materials do i need to start blowing ashtrays, bowls, pipes, waterbongs, and eventually replacing ground glass joints? and/or what do you recommend i buy, preferably $200-500, everything included.
  2. I think it's gonna cost you a little more than that to get started.
  3. Lessons and stuff, if you juest tried to teach yourself it would be a mess and waste of money.. I remember seeing something about a "420 glass blowing set", and it was 420$
    I forget about it, just search it, I think it had alot in it. But youll need more money, and alot of space, like a workshop.

  4. You're going to need a couple grand to get a glass furnace. Plus a room to set it up in, and energy to run it isn't cheap either. It's not really something you can do as a hobby unless you have a ton of money you are willing to throw into it.
  5. i am not worried about lessons, i will teach myself through online videos.
    and, thousands on glass kiln??? maybe for a huge one, im talkin to get started, like the small $200 kilns ive seen online that you could start off doin small pipes in.
  6. Sounds like a pretty half-baked idea to me if you can only throw $500 at it.
  7. you can rent equipment or shop time
  8. Dude you don't need a glass furnace. Pipes and shit are made with lampworking, torches, not giant furnaces. Don't listen to that fool, he has no idea what hes talking about.

    Its going to cost you between $1000-3000 for the equiment, depending how you want to go. I priced shit out, because i too am looking into getting into it, and it was around $1500 for the stuff i wanted to get me started. Glass, kiln, torch, everything. I could probably go with a cheaper kiln, and cheaper torch, but I don't want to regret not spending the bit extra to not have to upgrade as soon. Keep in mind you'll also need oxygen/propane tanks regulators blah blah blah. Work that into your pricing if you're serious. Check out talkglass.com, search around, and you'll be able to find a full list of stuff that you'll need to start off. Don't just post, search.

    My suggestion for you with that budget, is rent studio time. Theres a studio near me that is $15/hour to rent, and i think that even includes tools. Minimum time of 2 hours, the only other thing you need to pay for is glass. And lessons if you want those, but you could always just teach yourself.
  9. i wish, i live in birmingham, al and there is no studios anymore closer than atlanta. if you know of any please let me know.
  10. youtube glass bong blowing, the guy uses a tortch flame to heat the glass and it dosent look exspensive
  11. #12 aad453, Feb 6, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 6, 2011
    I have been lampworking for about 9 months i started with one of those plumbers soldering torches that i already had, you can work with soft glass and make beads at first to make sure this is what you want to do. you dont need a kiln for at least the first 6 months since your teaching yourself, and most of what you make at first wont be super nice or sellable (probably). I went quite a while without a kiln and you can make basicly all the same stuff, just not crazy sectioned pieces and stuff, but some of it will crack while cooling (which doesnt really matter because your just practicing at this point). I had a crock pot full of vermiculite that i turn on when i start working then i burry everything i make in it and when im done i turn it off and a while later take out the pieces, it helps cool everything evenly. Just dont worry about a kiln for now you will figure all that out later...

    At first if your strapped for cash you can buy chineese glass (i no shame on me lol) for your clear, its much cheaper, and again its just for practice so quality isnt a huge concern. its literally $2.50 for a 59" long piece of 25mm heavy wall tubing vs. like $15 for good quality simax or corning tubing of the same dimentions. For color i use northstar and mamkas glass, some websites have a section for "seconds" or "odds" which are not quite the right shade or pieces that are too short to sell as full length rods, and once again its for practice so it really doesnt matter, and its alot cheaper.

    To start melting glass you need a lampworking torch, which will run on oxygen and propane. For the propane you use a standard bbq style propane tank, a full tank of propane $20 lasts a very very long time (like 3-4 months)! For the oxygen you will need a welding style oxygen tank, look on craigslist for a used one (when you refill it you just trade for a new one so its not really a problem what it looks like) just meet the seller at your local gas-supply and have one of the employees make sure you will be able to fill it there. the other option is to rent or buy a tank from the gas-supplyer, renting usually requires a $50 down payment+$5 or so a month. The oxygen itself is the most expensive part of all this, I pay $26.13 to swap a 300 cubic foot tank, I refill myne once a week, but im on the torch alot lol. the time the tank lasts varies greatly depending on the torch and flame setting, I run a nortel redmax with a minor top-fire for 10-12 hours on my tank (I mostly use the minor, the redmax is a gas-guzzler, I only use it to melt big ammounts of glass fast). You will also need regulators for each tank, they are availiable where you get your oxy tank filled.

    I would highly recoment the redmax for a versitile low price torch, however from what your saying, I would go with a Nortel mega-minor or even just a minor, it is less than $200 ($500 for the redmax) and is plenty hot to make inside-out pipes, fumed pieces, ashtrays and all that, bubblers (you need a kiln to make a bubbler tho) like I said i use my minor 95% of the time and could still make all the same stuff with the minor alone the redmax is just convenience for me at this point. it mainly is there so i cant blame the torch for things i cant do lol, theoreticly anything can be made on a redmax with the right skills.

    Okay so enough blabbering, Here is a list...

    Nortel Mega minor $200 delivered
    Oxygen tank shop around but i paid 250 for ownership of myne from welding store
    Propane tank usually around $40 at a gas station to own
    welding hose $25
    Oxygen regulator $60
    Propane regulator $60 (u can also use acetylene regulator for propane)
    At this point you have a running torch!
    Various colored and clear borosilicate glass $100 (can be more or less depending on what you get) just make sure to get main colors (red, yellow, blue, oarnge, green, black, white)

    You will need a work area, myne is in my bedroom (I live with the rents still) but a garage is much easier because all you need for ventilation is to open the garage door, but I have a fan mounted blowing out my window (not just for glass lol) and my propane tank is outside with the hose going through my window (storing propane inside is very dangerous!). My oxy tank is inside my room which is only slightly sketchy lol, but im not very worried because oxygen on its own isnt flamable, but you need to make sure the tank is secured to a wall because if it falls over and the valve hits something it will take off like a rocket and smash through your, and all of your neighbors houses untill it runs out of gas!

    For the minor torch it is surface mix, meaning the gasses dont mix until they leave the torch for you (and me) this is good because you wont need to buy flashback arrestors, if you get a pre-mix torch (Idont like them) you NEED flashback arrestors or you might die from an explosion (and your house would be gone)

    Your workbench should be fire/heat proof ex: metal, tile, shingles, fiberglass. Myne is a desk i used to use for homework wit a plywood mounted to the top (mostly just to make it bigger) with a pice of sheet metal glued to it. I also have a pegboard to hang tools for glass and regular tools but its not necisary...

    As far as glass tools you really dont need any at first, you will accumulate them over time as you learn techniques. I like to try to buy a tool every time i buy glass because usually they can just throw it in the box for no extra shipping charges... I also made about half of my tools, i buy wooden handles (I think theyre for files) and attach whatever I made so it seems store bought.

    And as far as learning yourself you should be fine, ive never actually seen someone else working glass in person at all Ive been on my own all the way! Your stoner friends will cream every time they come over because all the stuff you make is so cool (even if to you its really shitty people are just amazed by glass work)

    Oh yea and i wouldent buy those "kits" they have alot of stuff that you wont end up using, or will replace with something bigger and better, my advice is just start buyin shit one thing at a time within 6 months you will have everything you need (mabe not a kiln but everything else). and dont just set your mind to pipes right away, it really helped me to learn reversals, implosions, fuming on small beads then you can apply those techniques to pipes or whatever.
  12. Holy shit that was long! Hopefully you will get some good info, i wish someone could have told me all that when i started, but yea if you have ANY questions just ask cause im glad to help someone get into glass, its freakin cool man (or woman)!
  13. oh yea and talkglass.com is the shizz its got EVERYTHING you need to know, I hate to advertize it on GC but its a totally different thing so i think its okay, but yea its the bible...
  14. Aad, you make pipes currently? Because Id love to see stuff you made. and if your going to post, make sure to edit your first post, so the thread doesnt get cluttered, thank you.
  15. my bad about the multiple posts... i dont have alot of pipes i made on hand i usually give them out to my smokin buddies for smoke outs n stuff... but heres some pics. the chillum is my first pipe i ever made! i made the dome for my friend the other day so i got a pic of that, some pendants, im goin to work but a couple ppl there have pipes i made that are decent ill try n get pics...

    Attached Files:

  16. Dude, you don't use a kiln to blow the actual glass. You need a torch. The cheapest one I could find on the internet was a nortel minor bench burner for $188.00 which would be okay I guess. If it's something you really want to get into, you'll also want fuel and oxygen regulators which will run you roughly a hundred bucks each. Depending on your setup, you'll also want some gas splitter quick connects, hosing, and flashback arrestors for oxygen and propane. All of that is for the torch only. Not including the cost of the glass you're blowing with or the gas you're burning.

    A shitty bench burner - $188
    Fuel regulator - $104
    Oxygen regulator - $104
    Gas splitter quick connects - $49/$50
    Hosing - Depends. $40/$60
    Set of two arrestors - $49

    So if you want a shitty starter setup, you'll be spending about $534 on your torch alone.
    Get some more money, or find another more rewarding hobby to invest in.

  17. In my opinion glassblowing is a more rewarding with that amount of money(financially and psychologically) I believe this would be a great hobby to go into every night .
  18. Good luck.

  19. I live in near birmingham.

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