Stained glass work may be done on any flat surface similar to a work bench. In our classrooms we use Homasote fiberboard on our tables. You can usually find Homasote at one of those mega-size hardware stores, although sometimes the staff doesn't know it by that name. If they look at you blankly, try calling it fiberboard or soundproofing board.
Homasote can be easily cut to a manageable and portable size, like 18" x 24", which is big enough to work on stained glass suncatchers and small panels. Homasote accepts metal pushpins
easily, which I use to hold my glass in place while you solder it. Some people use ceiling tiles instead of Homasote. They are lighter and cheaper, but less robust.
Morton Glass Works offers a honeycomb surface that collects the "droppings" (glass shards), making it possible for you to work on the kitchen table, suitably protected with newspapers. See Morton Glass Working Systems
for a description of these glass-cutting surfaces and all the amazing accessories that go with them. A Morton surface is an especially good investment if you plan to to do lots of repeated cuts, because the accessories allow you to set up jigs for straight lines and neat arcs. (Note: Morton surfaces are currently unavailable, but we will offer them the moment they become available again.)
A well-lighted basement workbench is probably ideal, and would require no special concern about glass chips and other leftovers. If you have no workbench, then by all means buy a Morton surface.
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