On in-line fans…

In the past, I’ve been an outspoken critic of in-line fans for a lot of reasons, many of them annotated elsewhere in this blog. Lately, I’ve heard of a company that manufactures in-line fans that are far beyond anything else available in this style of fan.

The company in question is Fantech. http://www.fantech.net/index.htm They are located in Sarasota Florida and provide a variety of fans that can easily be used by glassworkers almost anywhere. Continue reading

Kiln power cord too short?

DON’T use an extension cord, ever.

There’s a reason that power cords on kilns are short, and that’s because they use large amounts of energy, usually 13-14 amps at a minimum.

Adding an extension cord adds two additional sets of contacts, not to mention the possibility of a smaller wire diameter.

One well-known kiln retailer (who happens to live and work in Canada) even states

You can run house wiring 100 ft from the service panel so there’s no reason you can’t use a 100 ft extension cord. Continue reading

Revisiting Student Rights…

The very unscientific poll over on LE has resulted in 86+% of respondents thinking these rights are a good idea.

Here’s the breakdown:

56+% think they are “lofty goals” but wonder who will enforce them/how they will be enforced.

29+% think it is “about time”.

As I said, it was an unscientific poll, but these numbers are fairly representative of other comments I’ve received on the topic through e-mails and private messages. Continue reading

Not through the roof!!!

I’ve seen a lot of suggestions, some from folks who should know better, but obviously don’t.

Venting through a roof should only be an option on new construction, and then only if you plan on staying in the house forever.

Roof systems protect your house from the weather. They are composed of shingles, underlayment, sometimes rubber sheeting and gravel, etc. Cutting a hole in a roof is not something that the homeowner should ever consider doing him/herself. Always call a roofing expert to do the work for you — they will install the proper ducting materials for you and ensure that the work is finished so that your roof is once more leak free. Continue reading

No room for vents??

From a post on LE:

We have lived in the same mid century (as in 1963) home for many years. My studio is not original to the house – but claimed from the overhang of the sorta second story when we enclosed the space. Two sides of the room are sliding glass doors. The opposite walls are sheet rock (my supplies) and a brick wall 2/3rds up to a window, where my workbench is located. The problem is (and I’m sure there are many more to come) is that the ceiling is is only about 7 feet. It makes for a very small space to box up all those fumes – even if I have both sets of doors open.

All the “experts” totally blew the answer to this one, mostly I think by not reading the post. Continue reading

International Relations

Our art/craft of glassworking has its roots far outside the political boundaries of the United States, but by-and-large a lot of the products, techniques, tools and information comes from the U.S. We are a varied group of artisans and crafters who for the most part freely share information with our “cousins” overseas.

But, there is a problem, and it relates to safety. I see many posts, for the most part from our “cousins” overseas describing techniques and installations that here in the U.S. are clearly unsafe and by U.S. law are illegal. One of the most prominent of these is the storage and use of propane indoors. The U.S. law is that you can have no more than two (2) one-pound cylinders of propane inside a residential/commercial/industrial building at any one time. That’s not true in Canada, in Europe or in Australia. But that does not mean that U.S. glassworkers should follow the laws of other countries.

I think for the most part, glassworkers here in the U.S. are wise enough to know that the U.S. laws are different, but the process breaks down when there are “newbies” involved in the discussion. One prominent Canadian retailer who frequents a lot of the glassworking forums is quite outspoken about his “interpretation” of the U.S. fire code and thinks that it is perfectly OK for U.S. glassworkers to have a 20# propane tank sitting next to them at their work bench, and frequently voices this opinion, but, interestingly enough, never in any of the safety forums, where he is sure to have his ass handed to him.