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How to Build a Work Board for Assembling Stained Glass

Updated April 17, 2017

A flat surface with a support ledge is useful when assembling stained glass projects. Building a work surface that can be moved around is also a good alternative to building a stationary workbench, especially if you have limited space and will need to move the stained glass project out of the way. A basic work board can be easily assembled using materials from the local hardware store or scraps from a woodworking shop as long as they are straight and flat when checked with a level.

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  1. Determine the size of plywood board required for the stained glass projects that will be constructed on the work surface. The board needs to be at least a few inches larger on each side than the largest stained glass project. Take into account the size of the straight wood strips. If they are one inch wide by 1/2-inch high, include an extra inch on the bottom and side of the board to install these strips. Plywood with a smooth surface is best so that both glass and wood slivers are not a problem. You may also want to leave extra room on one end as a space to cut glass next to where the design is assembled.

  2. Calculate the size of the straight wood strips required to support the glass. For example, if the plywood board is two-feet high by three-feet wide, the wooden strips would be twenty-four inches by one inch and thirty-five inches by one inch. Only two strips are really needed to give you a corner to build the stained glass project against.

  3. Fasten one strip along the bottom edge of the plywood board either with nails or screws. Use the level and squaring tool to make sure it is straight.

  4. Form a right angle with the other wooden strip along one side of the plywood board using the squaring tool to line the two strips up correctly and fasten the second strip to the board as well.

  5. Tip

    Homasote board is another popular work surface for stained glass projects.

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Things You'll Need

  • Level
  • Squaring tool or right angle measuring tool
  • Smooth-sided plywood
  • Straight wood strips
  • Hammer and nails OR
  • Drill, screwdriver and screws

About the Author

Heather Lindsay is a stained glass artist who holds a master's degree in library science, a bachelor's degree in anthropology with a minor in art, and has enjoyed working in special libraries with photograph collections.

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