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  • Attention new lampworkers -- READ FIRST --

    1) Kilns - Yes everything needs to be annealed. Don't ask again. Buy an oven. I don't care if you're just practicing now. If you don't work in a shop with somebody else who has an oven, you will need to buy one. There are plenty of threads on the subject of which one you should buy first but i'll sum it up here. A bench top kiln like a Paragon F120 or F130 OR AIM 99 will last you a long time... bigger is better. Make sure your electrical situation can handle the oven you choose. Use this link to learn more:

    2) Ventilation - YOU WILL POISON YOURSELF WITH OUT IT. A window with a $10 box fan is not going to cut it. The rule is that it should clear the volume of the work area's air in less than 5 min. Hoods are great because hot air rises. There are other methods of venting please see this link:

    3) Torches - What torch should i buy? This question has been asked so many times i swear it comes up at least once a week. This question will get you no where fast. Buy the biggest one you can afford. The big company names are Nortel, Bethlehem, Carlisle, GTT, and Herbert Arnold. I listed them in least to most expensive order. Each of them has a great product. They all melt glass. They are all perfect for doing anything you see posted on this site. All these companies have intro level torches. If you ask anybody who is serious about blowing glass they will tell you they have either a Bethlehem PM2D, Carlisle CC, GTT Mirage, or a Herber Arnold 40mm (or bigger from any of the companies listed). These torches start at $1,200 and go upward of $2,500. A better intro torch would be a GTT Lynx, Nortel Red Max, or Bethlehem bravo (again listed from cheapest to most expensive).

    4) Eye protection - You only have one set of eyes... if you are trying to work Boro and didn't spend at least $70 on your glasses you're going to burn your eyes out and give yourself headaches daily. Shade 3 is perfect in a well lit room. Get a split lens if you think you'd like it to be sometimes brighter. Poor eye protection is right up there for #1 causes of glass blowing headaches right after poor ventilation and dehydration.

    5) What tools should i buy as a beginner i just want to make XXXXXX - Here is the list of tools i recommend anybody who is starting out that thinks they want to make pipes or sculptures (not beads).

    • 6x6 Graphite Pad $22.00
    • 8" Tweezers $3.50
    • 1/2" Graphite Rod $5.95
    • 3/4" Graphite Rod $9.26
    • 6 in 1 Marble Mold $40.00
    • Octagon Graphite Reamer $26.00
    • 3x4" Graphite Paddle $30.00
    • Economy Claw Grabbers w/ Set Screw $30.00

    Total: $169.71 + shipping

    Total cheapskate economy list:

    • 8" Tweezers $3.50
    • 1/2" Graphite Rod $5.95
    • Multi hole marble mold with solid back (for paddle use AND graphite pad use) $30
    • 3/16 Graphite Rod $2.50 (for reaming purposes)
    • Hot dog tongs $1.50 (the poor - and hungry - man's grabbers)

    Total: $43.45 + shipping

    Honestly all the glass supply companies sell a starter kit. buy the biggest one you can afford. Here's a link to the Mountain Glass page that has them:

    Do yourself the favor and don't buy the cheapest one... the one that comes with the Nortel Minor is the smallest one i would buy

    That's all i got, good luck.

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