Tag Archive | "glass cutting tools"

How to Properly Cut Glass For Stained Glass Projects

The most important step in making a stained glass piece is the actual cutting of the glass. This is important for many obvious reasons, but many people find the concept of cutting glass to be an insurmountable barrier to starting a career or hobby in stained glass.

This is understandable, considering that we are all raised to understand the dangers of broken glass, but the proper cutting of glass using the right tools and a few tips is safe and easily accomplished. I'd like to share with you a few of the tips I have admitted that make glass cutting easy and safe. But before we get to the tips, a few safety precautions should be discussed. Always WEAR SAFETY GLASSES. You only have two eyes and there are some pretty cool looking safety glasses out there that will not make you look dorky. Make sure you have a decent FIRST AID KIT available at all times when working with glass.

Now some tips:
1. Make sure you are using a surface to cut on that is either specifically designed for the job, like a Morton Surface or one that is firm but not to hard so that you do not abuse your glass cutting wheel, such as Homasote.

2. Learn to hold your glass cutter in as comfortable a position as possible during the cutting process so you do not fatigue. If you are uncomfortable, or your hand gets tired, you will not create a good clean score in the glass, so take a few moments between scoring pieces to shake out your hands. When adjusting your grip, make sure the cutter wheel is completely perpendicular and is turning freely and then adjust the angle between your arm and hand while you are scoring.

3. Make sure that your cutting tool is properly lubricated with a good quality cutting oil. There are many cutters that have oil wells built in to them. This is a great way to save time, but the trade-off is a heavier cutting tool. You may wish to experiment between cutters with oil wells and ones without to see if the trade-off is worth it.

4. You may not need a grinder for every piece. A simple carburundum stone is cheap and can often clean up smaller pieces faster and easier then an electric grinder, which can be expensive and intimidating.

5. When you make your score, be sure the wheel is completely perpendicular to the glass and is turning freely. Also, make sure the cutting wheel is still sharp. If the glass does not score easily without having to really put pressure on the glass, it might be time to purchase a new cutter.

6. For difficult glass like drapery glass, first make your score, then hold the piece in one hand and tap the bottom of the glass under the score line with either the back of the cutter or some other tool a few times to encourage the glass to break. Remember to score difficult glass on whichever side has the smoother surface for easier cutting.

7. The easiest way to get over the intimidation of cutting glass is to practice. Get some cheap glass to practice on, and spend some time cutting it, you will quickly get up to speed.

Source by Marc B. Harris

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Getting Started in Stained Glass – Step 1

If you're interested in getting started with stained glass. The first thing you need to do is to turn what the budget is that you want to spend. A good cutting tool should be your top priority. A good cutting tool is essential for any stained glass project. You can cut some costs if someone can donate their old cutters to you, but even if you need to go out and purchase some stained glass cutters they are usually a pretty reasonable price. I would start by getting a glass cutter instead of using a big industrial glass cutter. Start out with the old tried and true glass cutter with an oil reservoir. This great tool will be a cheap alternative to the big and expensive cutters on the market. Ok, besides the cutter and oil reservoir, you'll also need grozing pliers, breaking pliers cutting oil, and possibly some stained glass to test out your cutting. This can all be picked up at a arts and crafts store either online or offline. It is very cruel that you wear safety goggles when cutting glass. You may think its overkill, its always better to be safe when cutting glass.

Glass cutters do not work by actually cutting surface, they make a very fine score that begins the break. Getting a good score is key to getting a very clean break. I think the basic cutter with a straight shaft and oil reservoir is a good option. One example would be the models that are made by Fletcher. The oil keeps the wheel turning smoothly and ensures a clean cut .. This is essential to getting a good cut. Always ensure your cutting oil is right next to you so you can keep your cutter in pristine shape.

An important tip when scoring your stained glass is to keep the same glass cutter perpendicular to the glass. Tilting it back and forth will generally not make for clean of a score. When you push the cutter for make sure the apply a decent amount of force. In case you're wondering, you can move the cutter forward or back when scoring, that is all preference. Its very vital that you only score each spot once, do not score twice. This can cause problems to your wheel and the cutter, and you definitely do not want to damage a tool that you just spent good money on .. When you are all done scoring. The break the glass, grip the side you will throw away with the breaking pliers and grip onto the opposite side with the grozing pliers. Do not try to bend the stained glass into breaking, but more you want to try to pull the glass away from each other.

This first step is essential to you becoming a great stained glass artist. Just remember to keep practicing and it will get easier and easier. Make sure you keep the band-aid's close by!

Source by David Roth

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Cutting and Drilling Holes in Glass

How to Cut Holes

Different type of glass cutters are used to cut the pane of a glass. If you are willing to cut a large circle in a pane of glass, you may need a beam compass cutter or a beam circle cutter. A beam compass cutters contains a pivot with a rubber suction pad, a cutter on the end of the beam and an adjustable beam.

1- Scoring is the first step to cut any glass piece. So, for cutting a hole in a pane of glass, you need to score the glass. Adjust the radius of the cutter and hold the pivot with its sucker in one hand and use the other hand to make smooth score with one continuous stroke. Now you have to score a second circle inside the first larger circle. Score some straight lines with this relatively smaller circle right to the edge. Then you need to score some radial lines to the outer circle. What you need to do now is to tap the glass gently at the center of the circle on the back. This will help you drop the pieces of glass from the hole. Take breaker rack and remove the left over pieces of the glass. Take a line glass paper wrapped around the handle of the screwdriver to smooth the edges.

2- If you are going to cut a hole near the edge of the pane of glass, it is better to cut the circle before cutting the size of a pane of glass.

3- It is also convenient to use circular glass cutters for cutting the discs. While using these circular glass cutters, you need to score tangential lines onto the second circle. These scored lines will help to break the pieces off from the glass. Don’t forget to smooth the edges of the disc. Properly smoothed edges will give a good finish to that disc.

How to Drill Holes

A spear like special glass bit is used to drill holes in a glass. Masonry drill should not be used in any case as it shatters the glass immediately.

1- First settle on the position of the hole on the glass. Place it on the flat surface with a good generous amount of old newspapers. Take putty or plasticine and put it around the space chosen for a hole. Fill this with white spirit, lubricant water or paraffin.

2- You will have to be very careful in starting drilling the hole at exact point. It is better to mount the drill in drill stand and start drilling slowly. Don’t exert too much pressure; proceed with slight pressure with slow speed to prevent the drill bit from overheating. When you reach at the end of the hole lessen the pressure.

3- If you are working on mirror, it is important to drill a pinhole from the back. This will protect the silvering on the front of the mirror. After drilling a hole, you can resume your drilling task from the front.

4- For bottles, fill it with sand and rest it on the sand bed for proper support. Keep lubricating the hole and the drill bit in between.

If you ever feel like, you will not be able to do this task, do not hesitate to contact glass merchant. He will do this task for you in quite a reasonable cost.

Source by Tauqeer Ul Hassan

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10 Things to Avoid When Cutting Art Glass for Fusing – Part 1

How to Make Your Glass Cutting Experience More Effective and Fun
Some people have learned glass cutting as part of an introductory stained glass or glass fusing class or workshop. Others have only learned the very rudimentary skills in a trial-and-error fashion, or by a friend giving them a few points and maybe (if you are lucky) a demonstration.

This guide is meant to give you some basic rules and guidelines to make your experience a lot more pleasant and successful. I am writing this based on my 25+ years of experience in working with art glass, both stained (copper foil and lead came techniques) and fused glass. I have come to love cutting glass. In fact, it is my favorite part of the process.

So, here is what NOT to do when cutting any glass , especially art glass:

  • 1. Avoid pressing too hard when you make the score in the glass. You will know you are pressing too hard because the score line will be a VERY visible "scratch" and you may even see tiny shards of glass flying away from the score line as you move your cutter wheel across the glass surface. Sometimes you can still break along such a score line, but the results are not very predictable. This is especially important when cutting some of the thin dichroic or other fusing glass.
  • 2. Also, avoid pressing too lightly when making the score. This will be evident in several ways. You will not be able to hear the score being made and / or the score line will be very faint, if visible at all. In thicker glass especially it will be very difficult to break along such a score or the break will not follow the score line and may veer off in a direction you do not want.
A good score will be visible, consistent, and will break easily. It will be made with a medium but firm, consistent pressure. I have found this easier to do using a pistol-grip glass cutter which is more ergonomic to hold. Also, by leaving my body weight into my score, rather than justing only on pressure from the wrist, I have had better success. Standing while scoring is recommended rather than sitting down, I have found.

  • 3. NEVER re-score over a line you have already scored. This is a definite No-No! When you do this, you not only ruin your cutter very quickly if you do it repeatedly, but you also run the risk of your glass not breaking well. By scoring more than once at the same place, the molecules became very "confused" (my term!) And do not follow the rules of breaking. Beside, a good glass cutter is expensive, so why make its useful life so short?
  • 4. Do not run your glass cutter right off the edge of the glass and make it go "clunk" as your cutter hits the table. It may sound kind of interesting, but it also will shorten the life of your cutter, and it is really not necessary. That brings me to the next point.
  • 5. Do not forget to start your score near one edge of the glass piece and end at another edge of the glass . This may seem obvious to the seasoned glass cutter, yet it is very important. Here is a clue about how close to the edge you need to start and finish your score. It does not have to be exactly at the corner of both edges. In fact, starting and ending your score on the top surface of the glass near the edge (within about a sixteenth to an eighth of an inch from the actual edge) is sufficient.
Thanks for reading this little guide. Happy cutting! For the rest of this guide (Tips 6 – 10), see "10 Things to Avoid When Cutting Glass – Part 2".

Source by Arlene Holtz

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Bottle Cutter Secrets – Bottle Cutting Glass Art

Bottle cutting has become one of the ways we can become more environmentally correct and live a green lifestyle. Life becomes richer when we are able to incorporate our hobbies into the way we live and when we can use our hobbies as tools to promote our environmental status. Part of being socially responsible is to focus on the aspects of recycling, reusing, consumer products while reducing the consumption of new products. Bottle cutting is a great tool that can help with all three of those environmental goals.


Recycling is the philosophy of reusing natural resources such as metals rather than simply throwing them into the trash. Bottle cutting fits nicely into recycling because that is really what the art of bottle cutting is all about. It takes existing products and turns them into resources that can then be used to create art. Projects that are created using bottle cutters are primarily made from glass, but the creative artist will find ways to incorporate other natural resources into projects.


When we take a bottle or a jar, and we craft something that extends the useful life of that bottle or jar then we are reusing those products rather than throwing them away or recycling them. This is valuable to the environment because we are not only extending the useful life of resources we are creating a product from used material, which means that new resources are not created. This is a green jackpot.


Reducing is about reducing consumption and using what we have. The art of bottle cutting is very much about reducing. Not only are we reducing wastes, we are creating products that are made entirely of used items and that means that we are not consuming new products that require new resources.

An example:

If we use to bottles to create a wind chime, then we have taken the energy that was used to make the bottles, and we have put in into a product that has a longer shelf life. A beer bottle is recycled or thrown out as soon as the beer is consumed, but in this case we have extended that life for potentially decades. That is green. We have also used recycled items to create the wind chime and so we did not add to the environmental burden by demanding new resources. Because the wind chime, that we created, is created from used bottles, we are not adding to the consumerism that demands new products. Overall, this is a very green and environmentally friendly product that was created by a single glass cutting kit.

Glass Cutting Kits:

There are two kits that should be considered. Those are the G2, and the Ephrem Bottle Cutter.

The G2 is made from recycled aluminum and is able to cut bottles and jars that are up to five gallons in volume. The cutting tool can also be washed and used to create straight-line cuts. This makes the G2 a well rounded tool that can be utilized to create bottle art or even used to make stained glass pieces. The cutting tool is easily replaced if it should dull.

The Ephrem Bottle Cutter is a flat, table like device that has an adjustable support to accommodate larger longer bottles. There are two versions of this kit. The original kit has a standard glass cutter, and the deluxe kit has an adjustable cutter. Like the G2 replacement cutting heads can be ordered.

Either kit is worthy of producing art. There are no limits to bottle art. Your imagination is free to create unique works of art. There are a lot of projects that are just waiting to be created. We have already discussed making a wind chime. There are unique vases that can be easily created. Larger jars and bottles can be used to create floating vase for flowers or for votive candles. Bottles and jars can also be used to create pillar candle platforms, votive holders, or even holders for tapers. These are just basic designs that are fun to create. There are some wonderful examples of hanging pendulum lights that are made from beautiful bottles. There are designs that can be used to create keep-safes, simply by adding a hinge to a cut bottle. Again, your imagination is the only obstacle, and there is nothing like inspiration to light up an imagination.

Not only is bottle art a part of green living, it is an enjoyable hobby that promotes the creative and imaginative. Some people use this as a hobby while others create products that they can sell at craft fairs, bazaars, and boutiques.

© 2013 Aldax Enterprises Pty Ltd

Source by Stan Alderson

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Fun Hobbies That Use A Laser Cutter

Laser cutters are used to engrave products and cut materials like wood, plastic, and fabric. Different sizes and models of laser cutter machines are available to meet the needs of a business or individual. Some manufacturers of these machines boast a client base that spans multiple industries. There are various enjoyable hobbies that any of us can get involved in that make use of these devices. With a little education, some protective equipment, and some patience, we can master this art.

Common materials that can be cut with laser cutters include acrylic, cardboard, cork, fabric, leather, wood, and rubber. Engraving is made possible on these and many more materials, including painted metals. The result is a project that looks like it was created by a professional, complete with the most intricate details and shading. Depending on the type of machine used, the worker may need to hold down the material being used so it will not move during the engraving or cutting process.

Using a metal laser cutter to engrave a personal design for a metal sign or license plate cover creates a professional look. Acrylic and plastic can be cut into various shapes, including attractive snowflakes that make great holiday displays. Use these machines on brick, marble, ceramic, or granite to create intricate artwork that will serve as a kitchen backsplash or outdoor mural. With the wide assortment of compatible materials and the ability to either cut or engrave on some, there are so many possibilities.

Anyone who likes to sew or do leatherwork will find that laser cutters make their projects much easier. Create adorable shaped pillows and make varsity numbers and letters from scratch. If youngsters in the family have older siblings in the Girl or Boy Scouts that earn merit badges, make the little ones their own special badges for helping with household chores. These look just like the real thing, making any child feel more important for their contributions to the home.

These are just a few of the fun projects that look more professional when a laser cutter is used. Once the individual feels comfortable with the new skill, he or she can try engraving on mirrors and glass to create nice gifts or party favors. People with the most advanced skills can engrave on round surfaces, do 3D engraving, and even create their own models and awards. A tool like this becomes something that hobbyists will wonder how they lived without.

Source by Whitaker Perrets

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How To Make Stained Glass

The basic tools to begin stained glass include a cutter, grinder, groziers, running pliers,
copper foil and soldering iron with temperature controller.

There are basically 10 steps to making stained glass

Step 1: Pick a project

This can be a panel, box, cabinet insert, sun catcher, fireplace screen or anything else you
would like.

Step 2: Find a pattern

There are many stained glass pattern books to choose from, you can go online to find free
patterns, or you can draw your own pattern.

Step 3: Select glass

There are many manufacturers who produce glass. The choices are almost limitless.

Check out your local stained glass retail store to view their selection.

Step 4: Make paper pattern template.

This enables you to make a pattern for each piece in your design.

Step 5: Cut glass

Hold the cutter as you would a pen or pencil. Do not press too hard, this will cause a bad
break. You should hear soft scratching sound as you score the glass. Use breaking pliers
to open the score line. If cutting a straight line, you can snap the glass with your hands.

Using the right tools makes this very easy. Not sure what the proper tools are, or what
supplies you will need?

Step 6: Foil glass

Wrap copper foil around each individual piece. This allows the solder to adhere.

Step: 7 Solder

Solder pieces together. This step will take time and practice. Don.t give up. With time
and practice you will achieve the solder seams you want.

Step 8: Attach zinc frame

This provides stability to your stained glass piece. Measure the width and height, then cut
the zinc to fit your piece. Solder the corners, then solder sealed solder seams to the
zinc frame.

Step 9: Apply patina

Patina is used to draw focus to the glass and design rather than the solder seams.

Step 10: Clean and polish

This last step will give your project the shine and brilliance you are looking for.

Now all you have to do is enjoy your work!

Source by Maureen Summy

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Home Security Tips

Here are a few tips to upgrade your home window security.

Windows, for whatever reason, are often overlooked when it comes to home security, and this boggles my mind. I mean really, a big plate glass picture window at ground level makes the whole smash and grab process pretty easy. Especially if that window is in an out of the way spot, or is not well lit.

So, short of putting bars across your view to the outside world-which by the way is definitely an option that does not have to be butt ugly-what can you do?

Make access to any window that is at ground floor level, or within about six feet feet from the ground, tricky to negotiate. Remember, burglars and vandals want to be in and out as soon as possible, and the less they have to impede them the better for them. And nobody likes to hurt themselves. So how about some cactus? Prefer something prettier? Most people know at a glance what a rose bush is, and they know about the thorns that adorn them as well. So even from a distance, someone scoping out an area for a possible break-in may discount that as an access point right away. Want to be a little more deceptive? I would not know a Hawthorn if I saw one, but apparently, from a home security standpoint, they are a great idea. This bush or hedge grows to about twenty five feet high. But those pretty pink and white flowers could blind a burglar to the danger that lies inside, because they come with thorns that are one to five inches in length. Anyone with half a brain would back away from that after getting too close and getting stabbed.

This gives you an idea of ​​some things you can do from a landscaping perspective for home window security. But what about the window itself? What can you do to make sure it's secure as possible?

First, the type of window you choose will have an impact on your home security. Despite the remark at the beginning of this article, picture windows are secure, since they do not open and most burglars prefer to be stealthy. So unless they came equipped with a glass cutter, the only way for them to gain entrance is to smash the window. As far as other types of windows go, vertical sliders, whether double or single hung, casement windows and awning windows are all secure, depending on how good the locking mechanism is. Horizontal sliders, those like patio doors, provide the least security, but again, a good lock could upgrade the window's security from poor to fairly good. However, the other types of windows mentioned are still a better bet.

And of course, if you want the maximum security for your windows, you can consider installing window bars. Depending on the application and design, they can actually look quite nice too!

Source by LJ Chadwick

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How to Prepare Surface For Cutting Glass

Covering the Cutting Surface

It is a good idea to cover your workbench with either a commercial or outdoor type of carpeting, a heavy vinyl fabric or a thin padding of newspaper.

For designated areas used for cutting glass, the use of a heavy vinyl fabric works very well. It is easier to sweep off and keep clean.

The vinyl fabric can be purchase at a local fabric store for a minimal amout of money. Measure the size of the table or area you will use as a cutting surface. Then add 4 inched to each side. This will allow enough fabric to wrap around the edges. If you have access to a sewing machine, simple sew the corners of the fabric so it will fit over the table or cutting area. If you do not have a sewing machine or lack sewing skills, simply staple the vinyl to the table or surface.

The use of a vinyl fabric has an additional benefit of protecting your glass cutter. The vinyl provides a lightweight padding that will protect your cutter if you run the cutter off the glass. When cutting on a hard surface, running the cutter off the glass can result in chipping or bending the wheel of your glass cutter. It is a lot cheaper to buy vinyl than to replace a glass cutter.

Cleaning Cutting Surface

Purchase a small dust pan and brush and keep it on your cutting bench. This will make it easier to use the brush and dust pan to keep your surface free of small glass chips.

By having the dust pan and brush handy will make cleaning easier and it will prevent you from being temped to sweep away glass with your hands. Those tiny silvers of glass will cut your hands and could become imbedded causing an infection.

If even a tiny chip of glass is under the glass being cut, the result can be a bad break.

Portable Cutting Surfaces

If you do not have a designated area for cutting, you can use a portable cutting surface. The Morton System as well as other manufacturers sell a plastic grid sheet that comes in various sizes. The glass is cut on the surface and the glass fragments fall into the lower grid cells. This insures that tiny glass fragments do not get under your cutting surface causing bad breaks.

This convenient cutting surface keeps your work space safe and clean by allowing glass slivers to fall into the grid cells below, away from your hands.

Clean up is easy, as all you need to do is to flip the grid over and empty glass fragments into a trash can.

An additional benefit of the grid system is that it can be turned over and used as a tracing surface for pattern pieces.

Source by Maureen Summy

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Glass Tile Backsplashes – This Can Make a Huge Difference in a Kitchen

Glass tile backsplashes have become very popular today. They can now be seen in most showrooms. Glass tiles are used not only as borders in bathrooms, but in kitchens as well. They can look awesome as a full wall in a bathroom or kitchen. Glass tiles are usually more money but if you get the right color combinations and design layout, it can compliment your kitchen and really make it pop.

Glass tiles normally come in sheets of 300mm x 300 mm or 12 inches x 12 inches. These tile sheets have a mesh backing to make it easier to cut to size and install. The homeowner must decide if they want a glass border in the backsplash, or have it all glass tile. You should definitely make sure to see the full sheet of tile before deciding on doing full height tile. As the expression goes "Less is generally more," when it comes to color and detail in a small space.

Glass tiles can be bought from Soho Studio Corp and many other places. You can go online for more information. On their website, you will see all kinds of designs. The longer pieces of glass in the sample give it a little more contemporary look. It is best practice to not have the countertop and backsplash looking busy. When you use glass tiles in a backsplash it is best to have a mostly solid color countertop.

With glass tile backsplashes, while there is more grout, it is usually easy to clean. Try not to use harsh chemicals like bleach when cleaning the backsplash. They may temporarily clean it but over time will dry out the grout, allowing grease and dirt to go deeper. Using bleach / Clorox will strip the granite's shiny seal, so be careful. If the granite looses its shine and seal, it becomes porous and you will see staining which unless you are very lucky is not removable.

Installing glass tile backsplashes yourself is not difficult . This can save time and money, as well as the disruption, of having strangers coming into your home. You could do a dry run first to see if you will need any tile cutters. By this I mean placing the tile in position, without glue, to see if any cuts need to be made. If you need a tile cutter it is possible to rent one. It does not have to be anything fancy and they are very inexpensive to buy. There is information on Do-It-Yourself projects, like this, online to guide you.

Source by Billy Coen

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