Preparation: Professional glass cutters wear protective wrist bands, since a splinter of glass could cause serious injury. It is advisable, then, either to wear wrist bands or to wrap your wrists with household bandages or something of that sort.
You will need a large, flat working surface to lay the glass on, such as a bench, kitchen or dining table. Place a blanket on the table to protect it and the surface of the glass from being scratched.
Where odd shapes must be cut, always make a template first from stiff card, carefully checking its accuracy. Make this about 3mm smaller all round than the actual measurements, to allow for the distance between the edge of the cutter and the cutting wheel.
Before cutting, clean the surface of the glass by wiping it with a proprietary glass cleaner or with methylated spirits. Mark the cutting line on the surface and re-check dimensions before cutting.
Lubricate the glass cutter before use by wiping it on the felt in the tin container. Hold the cutter so that the handle rests between the first and second fingers and the bottom of the hand remains clear of the glass.
With the straight edge held 3mm from the marking line, to allow for the thickness of the wheel, score the surface of the glass along the line with the cutter, using a firm, smooth stroke. Draw your arm back while keeping the rest of the body stiff. Never back-track, as the glass may break at a point other than where you want.
Scoring should be completed as one operation. This is so as to score the glass evenly, enabling the piece to be snapped apart easily. Once the score mark is made, lift the glass and tap it gently from underneath along the length of the mark. Then position the edge of a small batten, about 50mm wide, directly under the cutting line or use the cutter as a fulcrum.
Place your hands on either side of the glass surface of the line and as close to it as possible, and press down slowly and firmly with your fingertips until you get a clean break along the cutting line.
Where it is necessary to remove small strips or pieces of glass, score the line as before and then, using the jaws of a pair of pliers, break off the waste pieces in small bits.
Curves and angles can also be cut by scoring the glass to the shape required by means of card templates. Once the glass has been scored to shape, tap it carefully from the underside and then, gripping the piece firmly on each side of the score marks, snap evenly downwards to break the glass.
Removing rough edges
After completion of cutting, rough edges can be smoothed away by using a carborundum stone. You will need two-a 121 fine and a 122 medium. You will also need a natural pumice stone, some pumice powder and a wood block. Both the carborundum and pumice should be kept wet at all times when being used.
The first stage is called arrising and is to remove the sharp edge. Use the medium stone at an angle of 45° and rub downwards in one direction. Once the edges have been arrised, the flat part of the edge can be ground with the face of the medium stone.
Rub it up and down, keeping it in contact with the glass at all times. Follow with the fine stone to produce a sheen.
Basic polishing can now be done with the pumice stone, but to get a really fine finish, use a wood block dressed with pumice powder.
10. November 2011 by admin
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