Instructables

glassblower disability device

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZoEAfMAXF1Q&feature=youtu.be
i need help. i can't spin the glass very well and need a device to spin it steadilly for me. the video shows my issue, if you could help it would be very helpfull.

coogrrr2 years ago
I believe this can be the solution. Please contact me so I can explain
coogrrr2 years ago
Has this been solved? If not I would like to offer a design that I think would work and be inexpensive to make and you would be able to lift and still even use your fingers for tactile reasons. Let me know if I should post and I will get to making the design in pictures etc.
What you want it called a glassblower's lathe.

Here's a homemade one

http://pw2.netcom.com/~sjnoll/glasslathe.html

They're used wherever a glassblower needs perfect control of a tube.
Mmjmama (author)  steveastrouk2 years ago
Thanks, we've looked at that and it is not flexible enough for my needs. Besides we call struggles opportunities for therapy!
Why isn't it flexible enough ? What needs to be modified ?
I think you need to approach it from the artist's standpoint. The paradigm is for you to put your soul into the machine and not the machine to churn out a perfectly spun piece of glass. I guess it is the same with why I will not use 123D to design. Sure, it is capable but it lacks the tactile gratification and connect with the piece.
These things aren''t machines for churning out stuff though. The ones I've seen in use are used like two extra, synchronised hands.
This kind of stuff.
http://www.zenithglasswares.com/viscometer-tubes.htm
Artisan glassblowing is pretty cool to watch. I would think a fixed lathe would not allow you to manipulate the glass as a craftsperson would put their entire body movement into it like the one spin to get a fluted edge glass bowl or something.
caitlinsdad2 years ago
I had one of these old black&decker stick electric screwdrivers. If you attach a pipe to hold your glassblowng pipe, it can turn inside of the orange pipe here. A driver wheel could be chucked and move the glass blowing pipe. The screwdriver has that one orange button for forward and reverse direction. The harder you press, the faster it spins. It doesn't get up to drill speeds but it looks like fast enough to turn glass. I think it has enough torque to turn the glass blob when you press it on to the anvil. I guess wheels from inline skates might work. You would need a set of free rollers on the other side of the pipe to keep it inline with the tube as the drive wheel presses against it. You can hack off the back part of an oscillating lawn sprinkler and mate that up to your glass blowing pipe. It is like the tangle-free cord minder on a telephone cord to keep the blowing tube kink free. It would be easy to hack the screwdriver so the onboard batteries are taken out to lighten the weight or add big paddle switches to make it more ergonomic to control. The unit runs on ni-cads so a power cord would be more practical for long run time. Footswitch is also possible if needed.

Any local maker friends willing to fabricate something like this? I hope it helps. Good luck.

glassblower.JPG
Mmjmama (author)  caitlinsdad2 years ago
this is a great idea! This is Mary's husband. I think the drill/spinner is the best idea yet! Mary has a problem with that much weight, but I have a dremel with a long "Flexible Shaft". I think if I use a teflon "Yellow" tube and an overhead pully/neutral weight system i think we can make it work. Great idea! Thanks.
You might want to experiment with the drive system to see what works. I built up that big drive cylinder wheel out of tightly glued cardboard. I wrapped it with some duct tape but it was too smooth. I put some rubber bands to give it some grip. I think you need to wrap the blowing tube with some friction tape (cloth old fashioned electrical tape) to give it some grip too. There are lots of ways to do the neutral weigh suspension thing - kinda like the steadicam body mount or use one of those luxo architect lamp swingarms. Don't want too many obstructions or wires/ropes since you are playing with fire.
You can also hack this (look at the video link there) but you have to take out the cutting head.  I haven't tried one so I don't know if it goes in  reverse.  It is held perpendicular to the work so that may not  be comfortable to use or give you good control of the work.
http://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/product_200408619_200408619?cm_mmc=Google-pla-_-Power%20Tools-_-Cutting%20Shears-_-153489&ci_sku=153489&ci_gpa=pla&ci_kw={keyword}

links are wonky for the above
Mmjmama (author) 2 years ago
Ok, true confession time. My husband is the maker. I'm the general design gal. Aka needy wife! So I've asked him to join in. He uses my username for my stuff so don't get confused.

One concern I have is rpm and torque. I need an rpm range of roughly 60 to 200. Far slower than most off the shelf fixes. While it still needs enough torque to evenly spin a fairly large glob of glass.

I have a general idea of a design, I'll try to sketch it up so you can see.

I checked on both of the devices and they are both too high rpm, but would have been great otherwise. Therein lies the conundrum!
the screwdriver is variable speed from 0-whatever. You control it by pressing harder on the button. You could also gear it down if you calculate what the max rpm you want.
Mmjmama (author)  Mmjmama2 years ago
Ps. Thanks for the comments!
canucksgirl2 years ago
Not sure what the best solution would be as of yet... but I wanted to give your topic a 'bump' for others to see. :-)
Mmjmama (author)  canucksgirl2 years ago
Thank you thank you thank you! I love all help! Thanks!