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