Cynthia’s Glass Studio ~ Part 2

I know, it has been a while since I posted a new entry. We have had a lot of afternoon rain that has shortened the work day. Our routine is to work as long as we can, then take a siesta while the rain pours down. The rain can be very conducive to a good nap especially if you are warm and dry. Here’s Cyn all wrapped up in a reflective bubble wrap, ready for a long winter’s nap:

The last time I posted, I had completed most of the exterior walls of Cynthia’s Glass Bead Making Studio. Now, I move inside to put up the interior walls, ceiling, install electrical, and build a bench and shelf.

We put sheets of the reflective bubble wrap under the sheet metal on the ceiling and the west wall. Although thin, this insulation packs a radiant punch, reflecting the heat back into space. Here I have the door wall installed, the interior metal up, and the bench framed. I welded the corners of the carriolas for the bench:

In the next photo, I am making the form work for the concrete workbench. Cynthia requested concrete because she will be working with a torch and hot glass and doesn’t want to burn down the farm. I supported scraps of metal roofing in the lips of the carriolas and cut rebar to stiffen the concrete:

To hold the metal carriola to the concrete wall, I shot nails through the carriola with the Remington powder-actuated nailer. The nailer uses a .22 caliber blank cartridge to fire a nail through the metal and into the concrete. You can see the little orange dots in the carriolas. At the corrugated metal walls, I pop riveted the carriolas to the walls. 

Next, I poured concrete in the form work and built a shelf. For the shelf, I used 1-1/2″ angle iron, then cut pieces of Plycem (cement board) and dropped them into the angle iron framework. I’ll run a bead of caulk around the edges of the Plycem. Also, you can see that I still need some metal trim at the ceiling line. (Spoiler alert: I sure wish I had a metal bending brake to make this trim…) The bench is 100% level, but looks crooked in the photo because of camera optic delusion:

A few days after pouring the concrete, I polished it by working my way through 6 different grits of diamond pads mounted on the wet angle grinder, then sealed the concrete with a clear polymer. Now the bench is really smooth. The polymer retards the drying of the concrete, thereby making it stronger. Until the sealed concrete cures, it is acting like one of those ceramic crock pots that you keep wet to make a rudimentary refrigerator, so condensation forms on the top of the bench.

Left on the to-do list is the window, door, and ventilation system to remove the toxic gases from the torch and the silver fumes from the glass. Stay tuned.

In the meantime, Cynthia took some of the sunny moments and finished painting the front gate. We chose gloss black, which will be the same for the security bars on the house. We think the gate stands out nicely:

In other news, we have a lot of little flying black elbow-biters, no-see-ums that bite and leave a very itchy red dot. I found a video on YouTube on how to make a mosquito trap. Cynthia has made a bunch of these and they work just swell. They give off carbon dioxide, which attracts the bugs, and it smells like bread baking. It is all somewhat gruesome, but we have caused the demise of thousands of these little buggers, and now it is a lot nicer to hang out in chairs under the carport roof. Here’s a picture of one of the traps:

To make the trap, cut the top few inches off of a 2-liter soda or water bottle. Put a third of a cup of sugar and a tablespoon of yeast in the bottle. Pour about two cups of water over the sugar/yeast. Mix it a bit. Take the cutoff bottle top, invert it, and stuff it into the bottle. Done. The traps last about three weeks to a month. After that, wash them out and start again. Now we take perverse pleasure as the bugs enter the bottle and can’t get out. Sorry Universe, but this is what we have to do.

That’s all for now. Thanks for stopping by.