Creating and Beautifying with Glass: Ideas for Crafters and Homemakers

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Some Different Methods Of Cutting Glass

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Sometimes, a homeowner undertakes a DIY project that involves working with glass. Part of the process of building, for example, a new shed or outbuilding, is the installation of the windows. Most people tend to think that the only way to cut a section of glass to size – cleanly and reliably – is to use a diamond wheel glass cutter. But there are a few other reliable ways to shape and cut glass.

This article looks at how to use a glass cutting device and what to do when you don't have one:

Glass Cutter

This is probably the most common way to cut glass. A marker pen is used to mark the cut, and a straight edge – such as a ruler – is used to guide the cutter over the glass. The correct technique involves making long, continuous movements with the cutter, ideally from one side to the other in one sweep.

Don't go back over spots that you have missed, make another whole sweep instead. You should be able to grab the glass with two hands, and force it apart to break it. The cut should be clean, but may need a rub down with sandpaper.

Shaping Glass

If you have a large sheet of glass that you need to reduce in size before measuring a window, you can shape and cut glass down by submerging it into cold water, and cutting it while it is under the water. Regular scissors (although a big pair will make the job easier) can be used to roughly cut the glass down to size.

You will need to use a water tray that is fairly large and deep enough to hold the glass under the surface of the water as you work on it. The glass can be cut as soon as you submerge it, and can be safely used as soon as you finish cutting.

Also, this method will leave the cut edge of the glass quite rough; take care when handling it. The science behind this trick is very simple; the water cancels out any vibrations that would normally crack the glass as you cut.

Clean Cut With A Wire

To get a clean cut without a glass cutter, the easiest method is to use a length of thin wire. You will also need a wide and a deep water container, big enough to allow you to plunge the sheet of glass into. Fill the container with cold water. Mark the glass with a pen, and then use a sharp implement to make a score mark along the maker. Make the score mark deep enough so that you can place the wire into it.

Feed the wire into the score mark and remember to leave some excess wire at one end. Next, heat this excess wire, so that the whole of the wire heats up and becomes red hot. After around half a minute, plunge the glass into the water and then use a soft headed mallet to knock the glass. It should break off cleanly.

Always make sure you have eye protection and work gloves on when cutting glass. To learn more, contact a company such as Glass In Paradise for help.