If you want to do some coldworking, but just can’t spring for that 24” flat lap grinder right now, (it took Paul three years of saving everything he made at every art show he attended to finally get the cash together to buy his!) you can always get some silicon carbide in a few different grits, a sheet of 6mm or ¼ inch plate glass, and some water and you have your very own cold working station.
Here is a kit we put together that has all of the grits you need to get your coldworking station set up with this method. This kit is a steal, and it really works great!
And here is a link to a great video that shows the process for setting up and using a simple grit based cold working station from the super helpful folks at Bullseye Glass.
If you have a little bit more to spend, you can get a versatile machine to do the work for you. Covington has two great models of wet belt sanders to get the job done.
The #466 Mounted Wet Belt Sander has 6 inches of workspace and a 1/3 hp motor. It is perfect for working on smaller pieces such as items for jewelry. It doesn’t really have the power for bigger plates and bowls, but it handles small work under 6” really well.
If you have larger projects to work on, the #761 Deluxe Commercial Wet Belt Sander has a more powerful ½ hp motor. This extra power and torque will handle larger jobs. The 761 also has a 13-inch high back plate allowing you to work vertically, and it can be ordered in either 120v or 240v configuration. This is a great machine and has a lot of power to handle just about anything.
Covington Deluxe Wet Belt Sander #761
For bigger projects, Covington Engineering has Flat Lap Grinders starting at 12 inches of work surface and on up to 24 inches. The 12-inch model is a great way to get introduced to the world of beveling and polishing. It can be configured with a center water feed and a variable speed motor.
Gail recommends the Variable speed model, which is good for polishing the lips of bowls. Even through it comes at a higher cost, it’s worth the extra money. It allows you to work alone safely. Although you can polish with a single speed model, it is definitely more challenging to hold on to your project as you change the abrasive discs and they have finer grit, things get a little more slippery! This is when you need a studio buddy to help keep you safe and turn the machine on and off. You don’t want your piece flying across the room. Remember, safety first!
I Can't Wait Much Longer!
We have been getting a lot of calls in the last few weeks from people who are stuck at home, just like we are, and can’t get to their work studio, community center, or wherever it is where they normally create their art. A lot of them are deciding to finally get a kiln or other piece of equipment to use at their home. The biggest dilemma is that it usually takes 4 to 6 weeks to get something built even during normal times and let’s face it, these just aren’t normal times! Many people don’t realize that we have a great selection of kilns that are in our Ready-to-Ship Program that usually go out in 5-to-7 business days. They are already built and at the factory waiting to go to a new home. If you are at that point where you want to get something to use at the house, you can check them out here. There is a nice variety of kilns here from small to large; for glass, pottery and heat treating.
So, whether it’s a Flat Lap Grinder, a Wet Belt Sander, or just some silicon carbide grit and a sheet of plate glass that you need to get that professional edge to your work, or a kiln to call your very own we’ve got you covered.
These times are difficult for everyone, and if you are like us, you get a lot of pleasure and maybe even a bit of calm from creating something with your own hands. We thought it would be fun to help you show that off a little. Send us a jpeg of something you have created with one of our products and we will post it up on our Facebook or Instagram. Send your pic to our email address, firstname.lastname@example.org Attn: Paul and we will get your creation a little extra love! We want to see you blades, your glass, you gorgeous clay creations! And if you’re one of our University, Lab or Industrial Shop customers, share your workplace love too! We’d love to see what you’re up to also! There’s a lot of creative energy going on out there in industry too!
As always, we are here for you. Keep creating and keep yourselves and your loved ones safe.
**A note about our manufacturers: Most of our manufacturers are considered essential manufacturers, allowing them to remain open, still building and shipping. They are running smaller production crews, and are doing everything possible to ensure the safety and health of their employees. It is our goal to continue to support their businesses by continuing to market their products. They stay in business with our support, and your support. Some of our manufacturers have been forced to temporarily close. Please see our website for their status.**