Making fused glass jewellery is a pleasure in many ways, but it also requires care, effort and elbow grease to finish our pieces well.
Not all of us have a professionally equipped studio in which to work with access to power tools such as the water-cooled pillar drill shown here. So here at the The Jewellery Boat Blog, we are looking at our alternative options for low-tech cold working.
Here are my top 3 ideas to help you achieve a better finish:
1> A Dremel rotary hand drill with a diamond tipped drill bit: to make small holes in glass. I have a Dremel 3000 model rotary drill, which when used at the slowest speed drills clean holes right through glass cabochons. There are various guides on the technique, (including important health and safety!) One of the best is on the Eternal Tools website, suppliers of diamond tipped drill bits. See their helpsheet information here: How to drill holes in glass and sea glass.
2> A diamond impregnated hand block: to file off rough edges and smooth sharp corners. These are widely available on-line coming in a variety of diamond grit grades (similar to sand paper, the higher the number the finer the grit). Colours vary and are not necessarily indicative of the same grade of grit across different suppliers. Check prices as you may find these cheaper on internet auction sites such as EBay (as well as via Warm Glass or Creative Glass .) Shop around before you buy - I recently bought some at £8 - £9 each.
3> A flat bed grinder: Although not completely low tech this piece of equipment is a MUST for any glass maker and is hugely useful for grinding off the edges of glass or to shape or grind away sharp little points (especially if your dichroic glass has just missed being capped and has given you prickly edges!) Again available from Creative Glass, Warm Glass but worth searching for more widely on the internet for best prices!
I hope you have found this technical blog useful, please add your email via the "subscribe" form if you would like to join my mailing list to receive notifications of future blog posts and to follow our fused glass antics and my jewellery blog.
Happy Glass Making! Check out the Rainbow Glass Studios or Jewellery Boat websites for details of forthcoming courses in a wide variety of glass making techniques! We'd love to see you there!