Science
How-To: Glasswork torch holder from spare parts

torch_holdersean.jpg

Sean Ragan writes:

I’ve recently developed an interest in scientific glassblowing and have been in the process of cobbling together the necessary equipment for about a month now. Besides an oxy-fuel torch, serious glass-blowing requires a torch holder to keep the torch flame stationary relative to the bench while both hands are used to manipulate the work. Commercial torch-holders sell for $70 and up, but it seemed like such a simple device that I decided to try junking one together. And this is the result. It’s based around a marble trophy base I nicked from my High School band hall when I was, like 17, and have been carrying around ever since. That’s a pack rat for you.

2 thoughts on “How-To: Glasswork torch holder from spare parts

  1. For people who don’t happen to have a high school band trophy base lying around… :)

    Most stone fabrication workshops (the guys who make the granite and marble countertops) have a discards dumpster that they may let you poke in for free or for $20. Just ask nicely and explain that you are looking for a small piece (show with your hands).

    In addition to granite and marble, many stone shops also fabricate out of soapstone and slate, both of which are MUCH softer (and easier to work with) than granite and marble: if you have some old wood drill bits, you may be able to drill holes with these.

    Stone slabs typically come in 2cm and 3cm thicknesses (~3/4″ and ~1 1/4″).

    If you want to do some nice finishing of the edges, you can polish them, up to a point, with regular sanding paper (granite being the exception). If you have a power sander, you can even do a nice bit of shaping! Be sure to wear a respirator though to prevent silica dust entering your lungs.

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Becky Stern is a Content Creator at Autodesk/Instructables, and part time faculty at New York’s School of Visual Arts Products of Design grad program. Making and sharing are her two biggest passions, and she's created hundreds of free online DIY tutorials and videos, mostly about technology and its intersection with crafts. Find her @bekathwia on YouTube/Twitter/Instagram.

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