Building My Studio

Building the "Shedio"
I want to start by saying that it took me a little over 9 months to complete this project. I've never tackled something where I did most of the sawing, hammering, gluing, tiling and pipe installation. Needless to say my confidence has grown right along with my knowledge in construction and the art of melting glass.
I wanted to find a place to post my step by step pictures, adding information and updates along the way.  I hope my journey helps someone else as they begin theirs.
Just wanted to say thanks to (LE), specifically Dale M. NMLinda, theglasszone(De), juther(Julie) and oldschooltofu plus several other wonderful people who answered my questions with patience and compassion.

Let's get started:

This was my plan and my studio came out almost exact. Please remember these are MY choices/decisions and do not represent those of EVERYone else but do represent many. grin*

The Shedio: (Shed+Studio..get it?)
I elected to have a shed built. I chose a local builder that I found on Craigslist. I exchanged approximately 40 emails with him before the building was even started...whew*

His crew arrived at 9:30 a.m. and built a 10X12 shell in less than 6 hours. Installing my pre-purchased door and windows plus building a workbench along one side, at 42 inches high, were included in the price. The walls are 8 ft high. 

With my work bench at 42 inches from the floor I can either stand or sit. How did I come up with 42 inches? I had purchased bar stools, I sat in one, measured from the floor and rounded up. Nothing too technical there. LOL!

I purchased this door from a family who lost their home during Hurricane Ike, again, from Craigslist. I purchased my windows from Lowe's because it was cheaper to buy them and have the crew put them in. This may not be the case for anyone else. I have the two on the front and one other on the left wall (looking at shed).

I painted,then had some one come and wire the Shed. I added my motion detector lights and as you can see, a little decoration just over the door. 

I placed insulation down the walls and ceiling and chose paneling over sheetrock/drywall ONLY because it was easier for me to handle the sheets of paneling.

I was lucky to score FREE cabinets. I built a frame on the floor to lift the cabinets to, almost, the same height as my work bench again so that I can stand as well as sit. I didn't think this would be that big of a deal, standing vs. sitting, but I've found that I do about half and half.

** You'll see in the following pics where I've tiled the floor and workbench.
The Electricity:
I have 50 amps set aside for my Shedio. There are a total of 8 outlets, 2 outlets are dedicated, one for my kiln and one for my A/C. The other six outlets: 3 at bench height, 1 at standard height(for my mini refrigerator..heehee), 1 placed at top of wall for Inline fan and 1 on ceiling for florescent light.

The Torch Area/Ventilation:
The torch area took a lot of thought and after talking to several people on LE there was really no question about which wall to place my Mini CC. INFO from LE: "You do not need to push the make up air you just need an open vent whose source is 10' away from your outlet vent. (DaleM) With that said, I opted to place my torch on the right side instead of along the back wall. 

***Side note:
I also added a Carbon Monoxide detector which sits on one of the small shelves until I can mount it. Along with the CM, I added a Smoke Detector.
The Magnetic strip (Ikea) attached to the front of hood for tools
Notice the outlet placed high on wall for Inline fan (need to do something with all the cordage..ugh*)

My Inline Fan:
I installed it outside due to several people mentioning sound issues with theirs being on the inside.

I also purchased a Duct Fan Speed Adjuster. By the way, I haven't adjusted the fan speed yet.

Mounting the fan outside.....Whoa!!!!
This was probably the hardest job of all. Mainly because I was doing this by myself with my daughter pitching in when she could. I built the housing around my inline fan and then mounted it to the side of my building...whew* the tip top of the ladder is a scary place at night. That tree limb was a great brace..UGH!
I added a front wall with a 6x8 inch hole cut out. I placed a screen over the hole so that the exhaust could escape but Texas size insects might be deterred.....those who aren't have a great home..sigh*

Ventilation test:
Let me remind you here that this is NOT a true test of a good ventilation system. This was a test for me to see if anything I had done in the past few weeks was EVEN going to work. 

I turned on the fan and it actually sucked the smoke from the incense, up into the duct work. I turned off the over head lights and was able to use the lower lighting above my ventilation. This allowed me to see if the smoke was billowing around the room. As you can see the fan did draw the smoke from the incense up through the duct work. I showed no signs of smoke coming out and into the room. When testing your ventilation, you should really use something that gives off more smoke than incense and.....
Info from LE: "Just a thought in order for the smoke test to work your torch needs to be running while you burn the incense."
Update: Finally tested ventilation for the 3rd time. I didn't want to use incense and it wasn't because I felt that my ventilation wasn't working it's just I wanted to be very sure. I wadded up some packing paper tightly. I lit the tip of the paper and let it burn for a few seconds, blew it out and I had smoke!!! Torch was lit and I held this smoking bundle in several different places all around my torching area. I was extremely happy to see the smoke being drawn steadily into the hood vent.
****side note: I believe some people use smoke bombs to get a proper amount of smoke.

The Propane and Oxygen:
I'm so visual and I read a lot of info on setting this up but it wasn't until I read, and viewed, De's (theglasszone) tutorial on "Piping Tanked Propane Into your Studio" did any of it make any sense to me. (Dale showed me a few diagrams and that helped immensely as well.)    (link to De's tutorial) 
Not only is the tutorial informative but she gives you pics of the actual items and item numbers. I printed it off and was able to find exactly what I needed when I reached Lowe's. Here is my attempt and it's working great. Let's start with my plan.

***Side Note:

Flashback arrestors are placed at torch but they are more "under" my workbench than shown in this drawing.(see pic below)

The following pictures are my attempt to duplicate what De showed in her tutorial. I have to say another difficult task was getting my pipes tight. I tested for leaks with a ready made solution. Round 1: had several leaks at the joints and at tank. Ran out and bought a pipe wrench and had another go at it. Round 2: no more leaks. Remember to test ALL joints, inside and out.
***Side Note:I purchased the leak solution at Lowes. I believe you can make it out of soapy water but you are never to use any type of oily substance.

Pipe coming in from outside

I've moved my Oxycon under my cabinet. Love having all that room.

I've also built an enclosure for my propane tank outside. Vents placed along the bottom in case of a leak. Propane is heavier than oxygen, therefore, if there were a leak the propane would settle at the bottom and flow outward. I've also placed it on cement blocks. It's not sitting on the ground anymore.

I wanted to make sure I had enough room for a second tank if I ever felt I needed or wanted two. I left the back off so that I would have airflow.

"...... Safety is serious........ Either you want to be safe or not... This is not a flowers and wine and cheese thing on patio topic. This is your safety... IF you want flowers and sweet things go to the "family room".

So come join us, get dirty and help others, swing that hammer, build ventilations and get
propane tanks outside ...

Do not be offended here, because we only tell it like it is...

Be safe!"

I wanted to add this quote on my blog because DaleM is telling it like it is. It's serious business and I respect that.

**Proper ventilation is a must. Please take the opportunity to read all you can in the "Safety" and "Studio" sections of LE before spending money on a box fan and hoping for the best.

Let me show you around the inside:
Walking in the front door you are going to see my mini fridge filled with Coke Zero....a girl has to have sustenance.hahaha*
 On a serious note, you will notice a fire extinguisher next to the front door. Dale told me something that I probably would have never thought of. You want your extinguisher next to an exit. Make sense huh? If there is a fire you want to, not only, be walking towards the extinguisher but towards an exit at the same time. Also, I use my little blue brush and dust pan almost daily. Perfect for sweeping up the tidbits of frit or broken glass.
****side note: I read just the other day that it's a good idea to lightly spray water on broken glass chips so that the particles are not drifting into the air and into your lungs. Another piece of good safety advice from LE.

Next you see my torch area.

Close up pic of torch area. Not sure why I think you would want to see but I know I always wanted to see what "stuff" was laying around. I'm so new.... I have NO stuff.......yet. LOL!!

You see I have the Bead Maker's Bibles laying very very close. The more experienced bead makers have theirs nicely set up on a shelf which they pull for quick reference. grin*

This is another "station", not for lampworking but for stained glass, jewelry making or whatever happens to come to mind.

Ahhh, my dipping area. I love standing here dipping  my mandrels... right in front of the A/C. It's gets really hot here on the bay. 
***Side note: Above the A/C is a vent to the outside. It's approx.7x12in.

I'm officially "glass gathering". If I have any extra money, at this point, I'm usually trying to find a good deal in the Garage Sale area of LE. teehee* Top section is Bullseye (90COE). I read that this was THE glass for the beginner due to it being a bit more stiff. Second section is all things 104.This area is now full!!

Yeah, we all know that Frit Happens and it's happened to me multiple times, can you tell? It's even more full since this picture...woot!

About the time I've got a hold of myself with the frit...stringeritis sets in. I  made this stringer holder because I decided I wasn't so in love with the ice tube trays. Easy to make and cheap cheap. 

and.... my kiln. I was very lucky to meet Julie (juther) on LE. I purchased her kiln and found out we only live an hour away from each other. Julie is no longer making beautiful beads due to health related issues. I purchased several tools, some glass and the stringers you see above. She has been a consultant and a wonderful new friend. Thanks Julie!!

So, there ya go. I'm sure I'll be updating as things come to mind but if you have any questions just ask. The members of LE are very helpful and without them I would have never been able to complete this huge project. Also, my daughter Hailey was sooo much help. She held my ladder when I was ready to fall off (meaning she did a lot of things). So a big thanks to Hailey for all your manual labor and support. Thanks to my youngest daughter Kendel for finding those perfect(and free) cabinets and for the birthday present....tile! Thanks to my middle daughter and her husband, Briana and Toby for the gift cards that allowed me to continue to frequent Lowe's and Home Depot! Thanks to Dale M, NMLinda, De, from the glass zone and sooo many others who gave me their words of wisdom which supported all my attempts from turning on my torch to drilling a hole in my tile !!!!yikes!!!! I hope all of you know how much it meant to me.


**** The information was last updated/edited(8.4.2010)again on 1/24/2014


Popular posts from this blog

Instead of Writing a Book...