Stained Glass Studio Spaces and Cheap Tool Ideas

Stained glass studio spaces are our little piece of heaven. We obsess over them… how best to store stained glass sheets, how to organise work areas and how high the cutting bench should be…

…and that’s before we get on to ingenious stained glass tools to fill them with. You know – the ones that you’ve made cheaply or adapted from something else. It’s such a thrill to make or find stained glass tools that work for you.

Tip 1. Make Your Own Stained Glass Storage Rack
Tip 2. Make Your Own Layout Bars
Tip 3. Make Your Own Grinder Splash Guard
Tip 4. Removing Water from Grinders
Tip 5. Shelving Your Studio
Tip 6. Storing tools

This article contains some affiliate links – look for the *. Just so’s you know, if you click and buy through the link within 24 hrs I get a small % from Amazon, (not you!). Thanks in advance but no worries if you have a local store – I’d always support them first ๐Ÿ™‚

Get ideas for your stained glass studio spaces

Stained Glass Studio Spaces – Ideas

Ever wished you could see a whole load of stained glass artists’ studios to see how they organise their spaces?

Well now you can. Delphi Glass have put together this fascinating slide show of stained glass studio spaces entered for their “Most Organised Studio” competition. Hit the pause button if you want to have a good look at anything in particular.

Which one do you envy the most? You’re welcome to add other ideas of your own below.

Stained Glass Tools – Cheap Ones!

Tip 1. Make Your Own Stained Glass Storage Rack

These shelves will give you a lovely tidy mind which will spill over into your pleasure when you make stained glass.

The board was about $10, and the dowels cost about $17. If you don’t have the time to make you own you can always *buy ready made ones from Amazon here.(affiliate)

stained glass storage rack for your studio

Thanks to Gail Koebke for sending in the photos and idea:

  1. you need:ย 4′ x 12″ x 1″ board/s and a quantity of 1/4″ dowels, drill, 1/4″ drill bit, wood glue, hammer
  2. drill 1/4″ holes all the way through the board 2″ apart
  3. cut the dowels into 7″ lengths
  4. put a dab of wood glue on the end of each 7″ dowel and tap into the holes with the hammer
  5. leave overnight for the glue to set
  6. that’s it! You now have tidy stained glass sheets ๐Ÿ™‚

I think you’ll agree they’re a MUST HAVE for all stained glass studio spaces. Gail says the rack is very strong and that “the dowels barely flex when several sheets of glass lean against them.” Thanks so much for sharing!

make your own stained glass storage rack

home made glass rack using dowel to store stained glass

Kris Karl shared a clever use of Ikea shelves in the image below. ย They found 2 IKEA entertainment units on Facebook marketplace, turned them on end, added the dowels and created a great storage area.

Everything Stained Glass follower Janusz N has added a simple idea for racking. He uses a plate rack from IKEA for small pieces of glass and says “it is portable and works well“. I think we can see that below! Thanks Janusz.

Plus Kathleen says:

I made my own glass storage system using file folder racks and pencil grips. I just cut the pencil grips in half lengthwise, filled each halfway with hot glue and pressed one onto each rack section. It was simple to make, works well and cost a lot less than the ones they sell at glass shops. It holds my small pieces as well as 12″ squares and circles. Here’s a picture. I got the supplies on Amazon but I am sure any office supply store will have these items.

glass storage rack

Ron has this clever idea for glass storage: “I use an old wire shoe shelf rack at 48″ x 12″, with the outside rod cut off. The wire tines are 1″ apart so this gives 48 slots at 1″ x 12″. It is mounted 8″(can be more or less depending on your median glass size) above a 48″ x 12″ x 5/8″ shelf with 3 strips of weather-stripping to grip the glass pieces. Works like a charm. The only hassle is cutting off the outside rod with a wire cutter, Dremel or metal saw. It takes a little time and effort but the result is a 48-slot frame to hold any size of glass.”

More storage cleverness from Ron using coat hangers – thanks Ron

Paula sent this great idea to share:

Here’s a different idea for storing glass: a Baker’s rack. They are light (made of aluminium), sturdy, ready to move around, and you can adjust the shelves. Look for used ones on Facebook.I used pieces of 2×4 for the shelves and pipe insulation to protect the glass from unused shelves.

Beverly kindly sent this idea using magazine racks.”You may be familiar with these organizers for magazines that I just found on Amazon but they are perfect for storing those odd shaped smaller pieces of glass that sometimes get lost on the shelf. This magazine holder has a handle on the back which is a cut out itโ€™s also ribbed on the bottom so it feels safe.ย  So I can take the holder out of my glass closet safely to see what pieces of glass I have. *On Amazon the 3 inch comes in a four pack or an eight pack (affiliate) . I especially like that it has a โ€œhandle โ€œ

Trudy Brown uses old dishwasher racks. She keeps her larger pieces of glass stored in the racks under my table. When I want to check out some glass she just rolls out the rack and start sorting. When done the rack is rolled back under the table. What a great idea! They make great glass storage units.

storage idea fr stained glass using dishwasher racks

Tip 2. Make Your Own Layout Bars


Here’s a top idea for making Layout Bars instead of buying them. Simple and effective. If you don’t have the time (or the will!) to make your own then you can buy * affiliate –ย Morton Layout Bars here on Amazon

.

Thanks to Maggie Winters for sharing this. She suggests:

  • buying strips ofย  3/4″ aluminium angle stock at Home Depot. She recommendsย  the 1/16″ thickness
  • drilling evenly spaced 1/16″ holes along it
  • cutting them to your desired length
  • and voila! You have all the layout bars you need

Here are the layout bars in action (photo courtesy of Hubbit Terry B)

Tip 3. Make Your Own Grinder Splash Guard

Here’s the second Cheap Stained Glass Tool Tip for you. This one was kindly shared by follower Diane Ritter. If you have any more ideas for tools, feel free to add them below. Thanks, we need to fill ourย stained glass studio spaces with them ๐Ÿ™‚

Sparkling stained glass studio – no more mucky splashing when grinding
  • Instead of buying a splash guard box, Diane suggests the following:
  • Buy a cheap a plastic storage box.
  • Set the grinder in the box with the opening facing you. Having the top and bottom catches a lot of water and stops it going everywhere.
  • Cut a small hole in the back for the cord to pass through.
  • If you need to put the grinder away, turn the box back to the normal top up position and reposition the grinder in the box. Put on the lid and you’re ready to go.

Diane says she needs a lot of light, so she bought a light strip and put it around “top” of the box (i.e. top when in use.)

The splash guard works perfectly and costs less than any of the 3-sided items seen online. Thanks to Diane for sharing.

Floyd T. Hopkins has kindly shared his idea for a splash guard too. Floyd uses a 20 gallon aquarium on its side.ย  He says: “It’s clear and the lip works great for holding water” and suggests putting a LED light with a magnifying glass on top. Ingenious. Thanks Floyd!

Ron has shared images below of his 12″x 8″ x 18″ tote box that he keeps the grinder in. One side is cut away for access. The box keeps water and glass residue from splashing all over the place.

Tip 4. Removing Water from Grinders


Oh yes, we’ve all been there… dirty murky water in your stained glass grinder and a mile to wobble your way to the sink to dispose of it… No longer!

Thanks to Mitzi Mallon’s inspired idea you’ll be sucking up water from your grinder without making MORE mess in the process.

She uses this rather grandly named *affiliate ‘Hydro Pressure Plunger‘, borrowed from the plumbing industry.

  • Simply screw on the cup
  • Slowly pull up the pump handle
  • Voilรก! All your dirty grinder water is sucked into the pump reservoir.
Terri in Virginia, USA uses popsicle sticks to clean out her glass grinder. They nicely scrape out the glass remains after the water is poured off. She wipes them on a paper towel and tosses the towel into the trash! Easy clean up ๐Ÿ™‚

Any more ideas for stained glass studio spaces or cheap/adapted tools? Feel free to add them in the comments below.

Another useful tip for cleaning your grinder from reader Cynthia Cappello. Use a 1 1/2 inch joint knife like the one pictured below ( as used with dry wall) which fits perfectly behind the grinder to clean out the base of the grinder.

Tip 5. Shelving Your Studio

cheap stained glass storage ideas

These are good old IKEA toy boxes in follower Gillian Millman’s workshop.ย ย The toy box is on it’s side with some legs screwed on. Have a look at your local IKEA catalogue and with a view to glass storage… you’ll be amazed and go rushing out to your nearest outlet immediately.

P.S. Paul Lloyd-Jones uses the storage trolleys on wheels from Hobbycraft when they’re on offer ๐Ÿ™‚

Thanks to Tom from Philadelphia for this idea using an Ikea unit:

Stained Glass Tool Storage Ideas

Vaughan very kindly sent this idea to me:

This page gathers ideas about stained glass studio spaces and cheap tools in one kid-in-a-sweet-shop-place. If you think it might be useful to others, feel free to Pin on Pinterest and Share on Facebook. Thanks.

Make your own lightbox – Click Here

There are more Stained Glass Tools and Materials on this page if you need more advice

Everything Stained Glass Home Page

Just so’s you know, if you click and buy through the *links within 24 hrs I get a small % from Amazon, (not you!). Thanks in advance but no worries if you have a local store – I’d always support them first ๐Ÿ™‚

187 thoughts on “Stained Glass Studio Spaces and Cheap Tool Ideas”

  1. Hello Milly and friends,
    To store my glass, especially the 12 x 12 pieces, I bought about 10 of the white shelves from, it was either Hobby Lobby or Micheals. They were the cheapest for me because I bought them as I expanded my glass inventory. They were about $29.00 on sale. They had four shelves usually. I turned them on their sides and they made lovely storage vertical shelves and space for glass. They are pretty and can take probably about 5 pieces of 12 x 12 glass and I put thin cardboard or any kind of paper between the glass when on their sides to keep each piece from scratching other pieces next to them. It looks really cool too and clean with the white shiny finish. My husband put some together but I also did a few. Negative things: The shelves are quite heavy. You have to put them together (not hard) but use glue with the dowels. My husband also put together some metal rugged 3-tier cabinets for the white shelves to sit on. I put plastic 12 x 2-inch flat things from Micheals on those three selves for smaller pieces of glass and other supplies. It works really well for me. I think we stained-glass artists get pretty darn creative when it comes to storage. I didn’t have hundreds of dollars for glass so how could I possibly spend easily another $1,000 to store it in! lol I loved looking at others creative works for storage. I wasn’t sure how to post a picture on medium. If you want, I can take a picture of my studio and you can post or tell me how to do here. Thanks! Best regards! Deb from Maine

    Reply
  2. Milly,
    I use a lot of inexpensive stacking bins to organize my area. The bins are sized for shoes, so are big enough to hold a fair amount of stuff, but are not so large that everything falls to the bottom. This is not an entirely new concept, but with about 36 bins, they look a lot alike. My tip is to use an adhesive labeler to label both front and back sides. Two labels allows me to put them back in either direction. I can change the contents simply by replacing the label when I want to re-purpose the bin.

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  3. Milly, I use various sizes or little suction cups to pick a peice glass out of the frame when in the grind or foil phase of my projects. It’s easier than prying the glass out or removing half the other pieces to get at one!

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  4. Cost effective way to remove Grinder Gunk.

    To remove the grinder water and gunk, I use a Turkey Baster. They are cheap, you don’t have to touch the glassy bit water and they do a fabulous job. Just another idea especially for the newbies out there who might be looking for ideas. Thank you for all the ideas. You can teach an old dog new tricks!!!

    Reply
    • Thanks Dee! I have such a difficult time cleaning out my grinder! Duh. I never thought of using a turkey baster. Probably because I hate to cook but I love to make glass! lol I use to love to cook but since making glass, my husband usually has to call me down to eat from my studio. My sisters, when they call, always say when I answer, “Are you in your studio?” I always say yes because I am! I find it so much fun and get so excited when I think of designing something new. Right now I have about 7 pieces all finished except for foiling and soldering. I usually have about five going at once. This is the most I have out. Do you or others do this? It is a horrible habit to get into. Help! lol Deb

      Reply
      • Interrupting here – I love that you have multiple projects on the go at the same time. It can really help with not getting stuck… as long as you don’t get overwhelmed. I love your enthusiasm ๐Ÿ™‚

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  5. I don’t use a light box very often, and really don’t have room for one. When the need is there, I go into my husbands wood shop, and collect two 6″x6″ short pieces of lumber, a piece of Plexiglas, that I did purchase for this project, and husband’s shop light. All goes back when I am done, and out of my shop.

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  6. I am working on my space and am wondering what material is good for the table top. I am hoping for something that is not too slippery when cutting glass but is easy to clean up.

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  7. Great ideas, thank you all. I place the smaller savable scraps of glass in zip top freezer bags and then store the bags in a clear shoe box. This keeps the different shades of the same color separate and easy to find when I need just the right color or texture. It saves on storage as I can use one box for multiple shades of the same color. The bags also keep me from getting cut when I’m searching through the box.

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  8. Years ago before vinyl LPs (‘records’) became popular again, I found an old metal LP rack where folks used to stand up their records in the record cover, at a thrift shop. This rack is about 18″ long and would have held many records. Turns out the width of a record in its cover is about the width of glass! It works perfectly to hold all the glass I’m currently working with on a project – I think it was $3! My daughter is now into collecting LPs and wanted my LP rack – no way!

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  9. Hello Milly from Western Australiia and thanks for sharing all the wonderful tips and ideas, love the studio space section. I am just new to this journey and have orders coming from all over the world as decided to do my own start up kit. Not as many sources in AU Compared to the US\UK and very expensive so I got most supplies from the good old USA although postage is a bummer SOOOO expensive. Found a couple of local glass stockists locally with reasonable pricing. I’m Learning as I go so your tutorials are invaluable to me.
    Thanks Milly please keep up your great work it really makes a big difference to newbys like me.

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  10. Thanks Milly for sharing…just waiting on my husband to get my “she shed” so I have a dedicated space to work from. These tips are giving me some great ideas in getting set up.

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  11. Hey Milly,
    I absolutely LOVE the rapid resizer program!!!! For those folks out there who create their own designs or want to resize a pattern from a book this is the program for you.
    The price is very reasonable for a year’s subscription.
    I’ve already uploaded a dragonfly pattern and printed it out. You can even choose colors and add numbering.
    Check it out. And a big thanks to you , Milly

    Reply
  12. When I moved from NJ to TN, I got a bunch of thick styrofoam boxes with lids from my vet. Medications came in them and she had ones that were big enough for 12″ x 12″ glass. I put thin sheets of foam between the glass (you can buy a roll at Home Depot or other hardware stores, in the moving department.) It allowed me to move my glass safely. Now those boxes are stacked on shelves. I do need to organize the glass sheets by color. Smaller boxes contain scraps. I bought a pair of craft gloves that allow me to handle glass safely without cutting myself.

    When I set up my studio, I purchased a marvelous work bench from Home Depot. It has two drawers and you can adjust the height with a handle that you turn. I love it because I am short!

    Reply
    • What a great idea to have an adjustable work bench. I too am short so know how you feel. I’ll look that up. Thanks for telling us about it.
      And your glass storage idea is something that hasn’t been shared before, thanks for that ๐Ÿ™‚

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  13. I made the glass storage design using the wood and dowels. It is great! I plan to make another one. It’s easy and inexpensive. I can also make them different sizes to fit in my small work space. Thank you for the idea!

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  14. I use medium sized clear bins to sort all my remnants. They go on the shelf of a bookcase and each one holds 2 or 3 colours. I label
    The sides and itโ€™s very handy to sort and I go along and keep organized. Thanks Milly love the tips.

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  15. I use my old wet vac to clean out my grinder. Rajesh 30 secs and
    Goes into all the corners with the right attachment. Thanks for all the tips.

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    • Fantastic idea Jacquie, thanks. They can cope with some of the ‘gunk’ too I’m guessing, as they’re workshop friendly ๐Ÿ™‚

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  16. Hello. Thanks for the guidance. I have been interested in organizing a stained glass work room for a long time. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to get what you sent me so far.
    The images are very eloquent and very helpful. In this pandemic, making stained glass can help me bear and overcome restrictions more easily. Be full of life!

    Reply
    • Stained glass is so good for the mind and heart isn’t it Ilie? Thanks for your comments and good luck with your studio set up.

      Reply
  17. Does anyone have any ideas forf the best way to store and identify all the sizes and backing of copper foil?
    I need an easy way to identify all the sizes and color backings without picking up each one.
    Any suggestions?

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    • Great question Steve, it IS annoying trying to find out which foil is which. I’m going to ask my students and get back to you. Any ideas anyone?

      Reply
    • Zip lock storage bag… write all the info on the outside, plus it seals it against the air and you could hang it on a wall board or what other storage idea you have

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      • I save those little things they put in vitamin bottles to keep the pills dry. I keep those in the bags, in hopes of keeping moisture out.
        A vacuum seal canister also works.

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      • You can then put the plastic bags in a 3 ring binder, or a shoe box w dividers made from old file folders, cardboard from cereal boxes, etc. labelled with the foil size.

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    • I have 2 foil dispensers…. the black on is for black backed, the orange one for copper backed.
      Then I write the size of each foil in 2 places on the inside of its spool. I can usually see the size without having to take the spool out of the rack.

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    • I use kitchen vacuum seal bags to keep them from oxidizing. I label the edge with a sharpie and prop them up in a box in some semblance of an order.

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      • Thanks for your useful tip Laci, much appreciated. ‘Some semblance of an order’ is a lovely phrase to aspire to, I’m going to try it! ๐Ÿ™‚

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    • Hi! I run a glue stick, radiating out from center plastic outward to edge, I think the commenter’s CDs is a genius idea. I just realized that maybe I’ve been “fighting gravity, maybe a vertical approach? (Please be kind, I’m new here. I worked at a stained glass studio for 5years, bout thirty years ago) I didnt work with copper foil much, cept doin repairs. Thank yall for such wonderful tips & tricks! It takes a LOT of genuine kindness to share knowledge with others. Yall pat ourselves on the backs!

      Reply
      • I love your accent, even in print ๐Ÿ™‚ Glad you’re finding the tips helpful, there are so many stained glassers willing to share, it really helps us all!

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  18. I found a very cheap ready made way to stack my glass sheets, also from a well known Swedish store. In the market place they sell plate racks, with movable prongs.

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  19. I use a small metal putty knife to gently scrape up the glass sediment Iโ€™m my grinder after letting it settle and before I clean out the water. I just wipe the sediment in a paper towel.

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  20. Milly,
    Thank you for having thus site and sharing your expertise. I have started to do some stain glass again after about a 8 or 10 yr rest! I just showed my 12 yr and grandson how to cut glass. Grind and foil.
    I wanted to add a tip for cleaning the grinder out after water is poured out. I use a wide putty knife /spatula.

    Reply
  21. Cheap Grinder Splash Guard – The clear plastic box is EXCELLENT especially if you don’t have a face shield. However, a REALLY inexpensive guard can be made with a medium size Amazon box! Collapse the box flat, cut off one side so it looks like a cardboard “U”. Reinforce the inside corners with duct tape and cut out the bottom of the middle of the “U” to accommodate for the electrical wire. Grind to your heart’s content and throw out when you want. BEST OF ALL it store’s flat, costs nothing and you were going to throw out the box anyways!

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    • Ha ha, brilliant Nat, thanks so much for adding your uber thrifty splash guard idea. Very helpful for everyone I’m sure ๐Ÿ™‚

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  22. USING STOP BLOCKS
    WHEN looking for a long “stop block” for a panel similar to the “push pin/aluminum right angle method” – I use a home depot yard stick! The wood is quite light enabling you to screw to the work surface or hold with the pins. Since it is a yard stick – you immediately see if your panel is getting too large if you’re not using a pattern AND it’s great to quickly measure came or anything you need! Lastly, they’re only 98 cents!

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  23. Hi Milly, Thanks for this space. It is great to see what other artisans are using in their workshops etc.) My grinder sits on a plastic waffle grid (The hard plastic tiles (?) you can use to cover long fluorescent lights in ceilings) that I cut to size with wire cutters (that was a bit tedious but worth the effort for keeping control of all the bits of glass etc.) so the little bits and splashes fall through the little squares and out of the way until it is time to clean up. I use fluted polypropylene (old election or business signs) to make my splash guards. They are easy to cut to any size. I just score the first layer of the back into thirds, (just enough so the plastic sheet will fold), then I tape that seam with duct tape so it is flexible and will stand at any angle I want then just set it up around the grinder. It is easy to clean up since it wipes easily and storing is easy too because weighs so little and can be folded down with the flexible duct tape hinges. I hope everyone who is not homebound these days is staying well and safe from the virus. Take care everyone!

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  24. I like Diane’s idea. When finished one could just take the tub outside and wash it out with the hose.
    I took book shelves and laid them on their sides for glass racks.

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  25. I use plastic turkey basters to get the water out of the grinder tray! I like to use two for a quicker job, but not necessary! I have a small bucket to put the water in, unless youโ€™re right by the sink!! Works great! Also, you donโ€™t want all that glass sand down your drains, get a bucket and fasten a clothe baby diaper or thin white kitchen towel over the top. Pour grinder water into the bucket to catch most of the glass particles! Saves your pipes!!

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  26. Hi Milly, to empty my grinder, I use a turkey baster and squirt the water in a plastic container and then dump it down the drain. I got the turkey baster at the Dollar Store.

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  27. I use the racks used to slice the bread made in the bread makers. Not as many people are making the bread now, so I find them at Good Will etc. They are very sturdy.

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  28. Milly, thanks for the email pointer on 1/12/2020. I decided to declutter my studio bench yesterday – it had gotten overrun with pattern bits, tools, glass fragments, etc. I also installed new lighting over the bench. When I started (again) doing stained glass last year I wanted to get get some proper glass storage. I happened on this at Michael’s ‘organizer-cube-four-shelf-by-ashland’ I bought 4, assembled them vertically, labeled the slots, and stacked them up. Thanks for all the tips.

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  29. I use a putty knife to clean out the glass sludge in my grinder.
    I use plastic milk crates that I have zip tied together for glass storage.
    Inexpensive and they donโ€™t tip over.

    Reply
    • Oh my! You just gave me an idea, Helen, thank you!
      For the last four years I’ve been the proud owner of a tower of square black plastic crates I bought from a neighbour who imported thousands of Dutch tulip bulbs for a charity garden project he was doing. He was selling the empty crates for a couple of dollars for the charity and they’re very sturdy – like a milk crate but a little bigger – so use them to create a glass storage unit … Yippee! I just KNEW I’d need these crates for something some day! ๐Ÿ˜€
      Love your site, Milly. Thanks so much for all you do to help enable your fellow glass addicts!

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  30. The rack from an old dishwasher makes a great glass rack that you can slide under a table to pull out easily whenever needed!

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  31. I have three cats and use many boxes of cat sand – the boxes are large and strong – I stand them on their side (not the cats) with top off – stand my glass by color in boxes – works really well and a good way to recycle the boxes. Love all your ideas. I also use a large fish tank for my grinder. Steve Maunder

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  32. To set my grinder in so my work surface stays nice I use the plastic trays that go in the bottom of pet/dog crates. They come in a wide variety of sizes. I found mine at Farm n Home Supply. I placed a smallish throw rug on my washing machine. Then placed the tray on it, then in went my grinder. I did the same thing for on top of my dryer. I placed my cutting board in that one. I used my laundry room as a temp studio while insulating my garage to use.

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    • I love all these great ideas Betty! Thanks for sharing them with us. I hope you’re happily ensconced and warm in your insulated workshop now ๐Ÿ™‚

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  33. I use a 10 gallon fish tank turned on it’s side as a splash guard for my grinder. The The glass makes for an umimpeded view of your work. I haven’t tried it yet, but I have read about lining your grinder tray with aluminum foil for easy clean up. I plan to try this one!

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  34. I just love all the ideas, tips, and tricks that you post on your website. I also love the courses you offer to teach us the art of making stained glass!!! Being able to belong to the Hub FB group is such a wonderful plus. So much information is shared thanks to your efforts!!!

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  35. Milly, I came across your site while exploring Pinterest for design ideas. Your site has been a great resource. I have just embarked on the stained glass adventure. My daughter enrolled me in a class as a gift. Fast forward to her recent gift of a dozen boxes of glass scrap and a glass grinder. I added an glass area to my workspace. I am using a cubby and plastic storage boxes. Concern about my two young (5 & 7) grandchildren prompted me to purchase an inexpensive mesh fire screen to place in front of it to shield them from sharp edges. They are not allowed in there without supervision, of course, but this gives me a little more peace of mind.

    Reply
    • What a great idea Colleen, you don’t want any anxiety in your stained glass studio! Your grandchildren will be making stained glass soon, you’ll see ๐Ÿ™‚
      I’m happy to hear my site is of help. You’re welcome to sign up for my newsletter here if you’d like more tips and a free Cutting Curves eBook. Good luck with your next project.

      Reply
  36. I just made my storage rack inspired by the drill into a base piece and insert wood dowels method. Ran out of wood dowel so improvised. I had a pile of plastic tubular hangers and just cut them to use the longest straight piece for dowels. Worked perfect and I like the extra height and bit of buffer from the โ€œplastic dowelsโ€. I was lucky enough to use the hubbys radial arm saw for cutting my hangers which took about 30 seconds to get through all of them but I know from past experience itโ€™s not difficult to use a bolt cutter or small hand saw, wire cutters, sand paper or wood files also work if you need to taper one to get a good snug fit in the hole.

    Reply
    • That’s a great extra tip Susan, thanks so much for sharing ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m glad the storage rack worked out for you. Now you can buy more glass, result!

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  37. An aquarium hand operated pump with a bucket could also be used to empty the grinder water. Possibly cheaper and smaller than the one shown.

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  38. I use a set of shallow filing drawers for my glass as they stand neatly in my work area. I also save the powdered glass from the grinder, to hopefully use in my kiln on clear glass to see what effect I get. Waste not want not and I never pour it down the sink as it would build up in the sink trap.

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  39. I have an 8 cubicle IKEA shelving unit I have used for my 12 x 12 glass pieces, but didn’t like how they just leaned against the sides. After reading your idea on building a box with dowels, I found and bought 8 Bamboo Dish Drying Rack Plate Holder Stands on Amazon ($12.99 for 2) that have 5″ dowels and are spaced an inch apart. I plan on gluing them down to the shelves so they don’t move.

    I wish they had larger ones for my full sheets of glass, but I will build something for them from your idea.

    Reply
    • Sounds good Leslie. Just to give credit where it’s due; the dowel idea was offered to me by Gail Koekbe, so it’s Gail that deserves your thanks in this instance.

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  40. Thank you for all these tips, amazing, lots to be thinking about and lots to do/ achieve. Thanks to you all and especially Milly for all the e- mails and tips, keep em coming, all help appreciated very much as I have re started doing stained glass again after retirement

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  41. THANK YOU MILLY AND EVERYONE FOR THE SUGGESTIONS POSTED. TOMORROW IS MONDAY, AND I WILL BE USING THE IDEAS TO REORGANIZE MY “STUDIO” :)! SO LOOKING FORWARD TO THE NEW, ORGANIZED “ME & GLASS” WORK AREA. OH, AND I FORGOT TO MENTION THE SMILE ON MY FACE………AGAIN, THANK YOU FOR ALL THE HINTS. HAPPY STAIN GLASS, PATTERNS, CUTTING, WORKING, SAFETY AND ETC.

    Reply
    • This made me laugh Dianna! I’m happy that you’re getting some helpful tips from the Everything Stained Glass site and all my lovely followers.

      Reply
  42. If you are soldering brass or lead and want to leave an area unsoldered, go to a plumbing shop and buy “Plumbers black” paint this on your brass or lead where you dont want solder and the solder will never stick, It was the way we made wiped joints look tidy in the old days picture below, copy and paste

    https://chestofbooks.com/home-improvement/construction/plumbing/Manual-Plumbing-Practice/images/Fig-243-Combination-Branch-and-Round-Joint.jpg

    Reply
      • In Jewelry making we use yellow ochre mixed w 3 in one oil. The heat is much higher with a jewelers torch though so this may be complete overkill for stained glass.
        Paint it on with a tiny fine brush and be careful to control because it is an effective flow stop and it will stop the flow of solder. This is as applied to torch fired silver solder.
        I have not had the opportunity to try this as I am the most beginning of beginners in glass. I Havenโ€™t had the chance to try mechanisms yet.

        Reply
  43. I store my sheets of glass in a hanging file folder that sits in a plastic milk crate. Each sheet has its own file folder and if I have a couple like shades I can combine them using a folder w/o the metal clips.The crates are the size the kids used to hold vinyl records. I have at least six of the crates and it is easy to locate the glass I am looking for.

    Reply
  44. 20227 N. 126th Ave.Thanks for all the neat ideas for organizing our shops. I normally keep my leftover cut glass pieces for possible use in future projects. I use plastic bins with covers and label each box with basic colors and/or styles of glass stored in each bin. Makes it easy to find useable pieces without having to buy a new full piece.

    Reply
  45. I wanted to share a couple of ideas that we have used in our class to store glass. One is using plastic shoe boxes for used glass. They are see through and sturdy, as well as stackable, and easy to mark what color of glass the box is holding. Another idea that I have been using for storing a sheet of glass is a dish holder.

    I also wanted to thank you for sharing so much useful information in regards to stained glass. I have shared your link with a few of the girls in my class, and they too have found your tips very useful.

    I hope this ideas are helpful for someone, and i look forward to receiving your emails.

    Reply
  46. HI Milly

    I am sure that I am not the only one who does this, but, will tell you anyway. I used to use the “plastic” trays that come with roasts/steaks for putting my cut projects in, but, at the Dollar Tree they have those rectangular little plastic baskets in all colors, 2 for $1 that are invaluable. Also, I have about 4, wooden crates, some highly decorated that I have bought @ garage sales/thrift stores. My hubby makes my frames for big projects as well as for the “fan lamp” bases & he also makes me the small “pushers” I use when grinding my glass (he is so supportive of my glass)!

    I am sure I am not telling you anything you didn’t know; have a great weekend.

    Sandy Kunkle

    Reply
      • Hi Laura, I use the plastic baskets from the Dollar Tree to hold my “cut” pieces for whatever project I am making. At Christmas time, I can then stack em by the grinder for easy grinding. I keep them stacked under my work bench/light box; when I cut my project then I immediately put ea piece into the “box”, check it off on my numbered sheet, and onto the next piece.

        Reply
  47. I don’t have much space, but I also don’t have a huge inventory of glass. I use pizza-type boxes labelled opaque, cathedral (clear coloured), pattern and clear. Not as elegant as being able to reach in and immediately get what I need, but it works for me.

    Reply
      • Thatโ€™s a great idea!
        Think Iโ€™ll order Pizza ๐Ÿ˜€
        Milly, pardon my ignorance, but my daughter bought me the Glastar Super Star 11 grinder and it has the hole where the water is stored but no plug . Had to use blue tack. Was there supposed to be a plug ?

        Reply
        • If I’m understanding correctly, the hole you’re referring to is near the grinder bit? If so, this needs to be plugged with a bit of sponge that dips into the water below and against the grinder wheel above. It draws water up from below to stop overheating and to reduce airbourne particles.
          I hope that helps and that you enjoyed the pizza ๐Ÿ˜‰

          Reply
  48. My grinder sits in my laundry sink in utility room. Allows for fast & easy clean-up with no mess outside sink. I do have to lift out grinder when sink needed for other uses but this does not occur often. It worked so well I’ve rearranged my laundry room as my “studio”.

    Reply
    • Great idea for those with a spare sink, Pat, thanks for sharing. I’m all for ‘stealing’ other parts of the house for stained glass ๐Ÿ™‚

      Reply
  49. I made a glass cube-like thing with four sides …and I put it down over the grinder. It works really well to keep spatter inside, and is large enough to enclose the grinder but small enough for me to be able to see what I’m doing. I’d show you a picture, but I’ve been unable to do glass for a while and the workshop has become a gathering place for other things so it’s hidden beneath all that stuff. The pictures of tidy workshops are an incentive for me to get back at it! Great ideas!

    Reply
    • That’s a good idea as you can make it the perfect size to fit your own stained glass grinder. Thanks for sharing Carolyn. I hope you’re able to resume glass soon.

      Reply
  50. I use old steel office standup file organizers to sort and keep upright my stained glass pieces. They are heavily anchored on the bottom so it doesn’t tip over. Unfortunately they only make plastic file folder sorting trays now which tip easily. They easily hold a square of glass in place.

    Reply
  51. My issue with using the storage tubs or fish tanks is that Iโ€™m short and canโ€™t see over the top when grinding. Iโ€™m also short on work space and with 3 grinders I donโ€™t have room for the splash guards. Iโ€™m using โ€œpresentationโ€ board cut down to height needed & cutout for power cords. I wear safety glasses as my shield and yes I do feel debris hitting my face from time-to-time. Iโ€™m open to suggestions.

    Reply
    • That sounds a good solution Bud. Kathy (further down this page) suggested a fish tank that you can see through. I wonder if that might be a useful idea for you?

      Reply
    • Try a full face shield similar to welding shield. Wood workers use them with turning lathe. They are light weight and cover your whole face. You can flip them up when needed. They fit very comfortably. Handy if you wear regular glasses. Your glasses stay clean.

      Reply
    • I use 2 3-ring binders standing up behind the grinder, and the grinder has a piece of clear floatglass protecting your eyes. The grinder and binders sit in a boot tray, the kind used to keep the melting snow from spilling onto the floor. It works for me!

      Reply
    • Hi Bud, great idea, but, for me, I feel like everything that people have said here, limits my movement cause I usually set my pattern/glass pieces on the left next to the grinder. Thank God my shop has a tile counter that I just wipe down.

      Reply
    • My stained glass instructor knows someone who designed CapN Shield. I bought a few. They fit over a baseball cap and are very light weight. They can be rinsed or cleaned so you can always see through them. I have used the same one for quite some time.

      Reply
      • They look ingenious Sheila! It means that you can wear headgear that feels comfortable and be protected too. Hopefully they protect f
        from flying glass but as I’ve never tried I can’t recommend.
        Thanks for sharing that idea.

        Reply
  52. Thanks for the tip about the grinder splash guard Milly and 3 x cheers for Diane. ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿพ ๐Ÿ‘

    Reply
  53. Loved the idea from Diane about putting the grinder inside a cheap storage box and being able to use it as a cover for the grinder when not in use.

    I still have to organise my workspace, but seeing these suggestions is giving me ideas. Thanks

    Reply
    • That’s good to know Barbara. There’s nothing better than an organised studio for making you feel good…one step at a time!

      Reply
  54. Hi! Milly! I use a 5 or 10 gallon fish aquarium for a splash guard. They cost about 5- 10 dollars, are easy to clean and you can see through the top clearly. I have a small Battery LED that sits on top to give me great lighting where I need it. No wires for the light.

    Reply
      • I visited a double glazing shop. They gave me scrap glass and I Copperfoiled a top, sides and back to make a splash protector. The advantage is that it leaves base free for grinder to sit steady. Cost just my time and a bit of readily available materials. The thicker glazing material provides strength and protection.

        Reply
  55. Looks great Milly!! I have just tidied my studio today – after a prolonged period of illness I suddenly feel I must get in there – but it had become a dumping ground! Still a way to go but a tidy studio is a great beginning to getting back into work I am hoping.

    Reply
    • I wish they were my studios but they’re not Penny! Delphi organised a competition a while back and people sent images in. These are the best of them. “Tidy stained glass studio, tidy mind”… adapted quote?! Anyway, it works I think. Glad to hear you’re well again.

      Reply
      • Hello,
        Could you please send me the “top tidy stain glass video”? I can’t open what is on the web page. Thank you so much!

        Reply
        • Maybe you have a local setting on your computer that is stopping you see it Deb. If you go to Delphi Glass FB page and then go to their videos – it’s the one dated 22 August 2012.

          Reply
  56. Millie,

    I have enjoyed and utilized points of interest from your wealth of stained glass knowledge many times! This tidbit about storage made my day, so simple but effective. I have glass stacked in various mixed containers from projects all over my work area, your storage system gives me hope for the order I have dreamed about. I wonder why I never thought of it . . . . . . Thanks for sharing!!!!!

    Reply
    • I wish I could take all credit Judy but I’m just the messenger here… passing on the slideshow of other (tidy!) studios… An inspiration to us all ๐Ÿ™‚

      Reply
  57. Thank you so much Millie, as always. You always have something relevant to say and put it so nicely that I donโ€™t feel a complete twerp for not thinking of it myself!!! With love, thanks and best wishes. Annie

    Reply
    • ‘Twerp’, now there’s a word I haven’t heard in a while ๐Ÿ™‚ Glad you found the slideshow useful Annie – sadly not my studio/s this time but many good ideas to share.

      Reply
  58. Thanks for telling us about your studio environs. I feel so much better as mine is also somewhat in disarray and not heated. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
    • I don’t know why but it always helps to know that someone else is in disarray too! I’ll think of you when I tidy my studio and you think of me – that way we’ll sort it!

      Reply

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