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Purple Cobwebs

Lampwork project in MJ 25 - a few things to be aware of if you fancy trying!

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As a lampworker myself, I was a bit concerned when I read the project on page 49 of issue 25. There are several very important safety issues that were not covered in the article, so I thought I'd highlight them here.


1) Always wear proper protective safety glasses when using a torch to melt glass. An economy pair can be purchased for around £40.


2) Ensure that your workspace is adequately ventilated. An extractor fan is recomended to prevent build up of gases.


3) Ensure that you have a fire extinguisher and fire blanket to hand. You are working with a powerful gas flame and accidents do happen!


4) Ensure that you hae a CO2 detector in your work area.


5) When removing the bead from the mandrel, do it under water. Dry bead release powder is highly dangerous if inhaled.


I would also say that although you can get a basic set up quite cheaply, you will soon outgrow it, and if you want to be sure that your beads will last, you will need to invest in a kiln, These start around £500. A dual fuel torch with oxycon and cable is around £500.


I certainly don't want to put anyone off as it is an amazing hobby, but I'd strongly advise anyone considering taking it up, to go on an introductory course to try it out and to be taught the basics and the safety aspects, before investing in all the kit. At least that way, you'll know if it is for you.


Hope this helps people, and prevents any unneccessary accidents!!!

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