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Glass Blowing Kits - What You Need Print

What should be included in a glass blowing kit? What tools and equipment do you really need to blow glass and what can you do without? This depends on what you want to make and what techniques you would like to use. But there are also other factors involved, including how much space you have, what your budget is, and what you might already own.

Fusion Glassblowing is a big proponent of finding new ways to do things, especially when it decreases the expense or other boundaries that might otherwise keep you from making what you want to make. Sometimes different glassblowing techniques allow you to get around expensive and high maintenance equipment, tools, and materials.

Below we list what we consider to be the basic necessities for a well-rounded glassblowing kit. These items are chosen to allow the greatest number of possibilities with the lowest barriers to getting set up.

  • Glory Hole.  Glass reheating furnace.
  • Yoke.  Holds the blow pipe and punty while reheating the glass.
  • Heat Sheild.  Protects the glass blower from lengthy exposure to heat.
  • Blow Pipes and Punties. The blow pipe inflates glass, while the similar punty is a solid metal rod for holding glass that doesn’t require inflation.
  • Safety Glasses. Eye protection needs to cover two bases: protection from objects and protection from the damaging light put off by furnaces and hot glass.
  • Shears. There are several types of shears for glassblowing. The two basic types you'll need are diamond shears and straight shears.
  • Gloves. Gloves are necessary for various situations, and offer different levels of heat protection, usually with a trade-off in finger dexterity.
  • Bench. The main purpose of a bench is to lay the pipe or punty across while shaping the glass with various tools.
  • Marver. Glass is rolled over marver plate or table for shaping and cooling the surface of the glass.
  • Tweezers, Pliers, and Tongs. Long and short grabbing tools are useful for numerous applications.
  • Jacks. Jacks are used to shape and narrow the glass.
  • Wood and Graphite Blocks. Used to round, center, shape, cool, and smooth the glass, graphite is easier to maintain than wood and will not burn away, but cools the glass more quickly.
  • Wood Paddles. Used to flatten and square the glass.
  • Annealing Kiln. Necessary to cool the glass at a controlled rate to relieve internal stresses in the glass.
  • Small Torch/Hothead Torch. Used to heat specific areas of the glass, to preheat small glass parts, to light burners, and several other functions. A Hothead torch can also be used for lampworking.
  • Glass Blank Molds. These allow the glass blower to fuse glass blanks which can be picked up and blown.
For a small benchtop starter kit see our Murphy Fire Bucket glassblowing kit . Looking for Torchworking Kits? Coming soon...