How to properly cut a mirror with a glass cutter
Wonderful mirror surfaces, all kinds of shapes and sizes, are firmly rooted in the design of modern homes. This stunning material, capable of magically expanding space, has become a real source of inspiration for creative people. Unfortunately, because of the fragility and peculiar way of cutting, creative work with mirrors is inaccessible for many. In this article, we will try to help novice designers and show that cutting a mirror with an ordinary glass cutter is possible for everyone.
Safety is considered one of the most important factors in any type of work, and cutting glass is no exception. This material, in its raw form, has sharp edges, and its brittle structure can contribute to the formation of small splinters. When working with glass or a mirror, to avoid injuries, it is strongly recommended to protect your hands and eyes. The following things can be used for this purpose:
Construction gloves (preferably rubber gloves). Any other glasses may be used, as long as they do not slip on the glass surface. To be safer, you can wrap your fingers with adhesive tape over the gloves.
Safety glasses. It is not necessary to use special building glasses. You can wear regular reading glasses, or sunglasses. As long as they do not obstruct visibility.
Once you’re done with the safety measures, you can move on to describing the process of how to cut a mirror with a glass cutter. For this simple task we will need the following things.
The most effective method
It is more correct and efficient to carry out the cutting with an ordinary glass cutter. It can be indispensable if you decide to make a dressing table yourself. Or to do the restoration of old mirrors to decorate the interior of your own house.
The advantages of special tools is that with their help you can easily cut out even quite complex elements, process a thick mirror and set the desired shape of the cloth.
When buying a glass cutter, be sure to pay attention to its type. The tool can be roller or diamond. The first is more budget-friendly, but has less accuracy, quality and speed of cutting. Diamond glass cutters are expensive, but with frequent use the investment is well worth it.
It does not take much time to learn how to properly handle such a device. By following certain rules, you will be able to achieve the desired result:
- The cutter must be held at a right angle, but a slight deviation is allowed;
- by pressing down with the index finger, the tool is held firmly in place with the middle finger and thumb;
- By driving on the blade, you can not change the position of the cutter;
- it is extremely important to make the cut with a quick and steady movement;
- It is not advisable to make a second cut on the same line;
- A strictly uniform force is applied, but except for the edges;
- when approaching the edge approx. 5 mm before the edge it is necessary to reduce the load on the glass cutter;
- the cut is carried out from the farthest point to itself;
- A high-quality cut is obtained dark color in the case of the roller tool;
- Diamond cutters always leave behind a light, thin stripe;
- to deepen unsuccessfully made cuts is not recommended, and it is better to step back a little and make a new.
As you can see, there are many nuances. But they can cause some difficulties only when you first try to cut the mirror cloth yourself. With a little practice, everything will start to turn out quickly and well.
Consistency of procedure
Some people cut the old, previously glued mirror, while others use new cloths. But regardless of this, cutting requires mandatory prior preparation, as well as the correct execution of the procedure. It is already then you will choose the method of fixing mirrors. Or choose to fix it with a suitable adhesive for the mirror.
If you consider the process step by step, it involves the following steps:
- First, prepare a flat surface of proper size. This is often done simply on the floor, but better on a table. The canvas is placed upside down;
- Be sure to place a soft pad under the mirror, so as not to damage it when pressed;
- The surface is cleaned with a solution of soda, and then with alcohol;
- All irregularities on the back side should also be removed and leveled;
- The next step is to mark the surface. Using a ruler to control the straight course of the cut, the trimmer line should be 2 mm farther than the future cut, because finishing is still to be done;
- Using a ruler to control the straightness of the cut is used glass cutter;
- After the cut is made, the mirror is moved to the edge of the table and hung up slightly. The cut off part is neatly separated;
- Remove the excess after the cut can be done with gloved hands, a rubber mallet, or a pair of pliers with plastic (rubber) pads;
- Using a fine-grained emery, process the cuts.
That’s it, you have managed to cut the required element. What to do next with it depends on the specific goals and objectives.
As you can see, it is not so easy to use the glass cutter, but it is the most effective and useful tool in such matters.
Cutting with scissors in water
This method is used when a small piece of glass must be shaped other than rectangular. It is not suitable for sheets thicker than 4 mm and melted glass.
Place a container and fill it with water. The liquid will act as a lubricant and create external pressure, preventing cracking. Scissors should be strong, tailor’s scissors will do well. Hold the glass by hand and immerse it in water, the deeper it is, the better. Then you use the scissors to break off a small piece from the edge of the sheet, then another one, and so on. д., until the desired shape is obtained. When cutting out complex shapes, on either side of the glass glue a pre-made template made of thick cardboard.
How to cut glass without a glass cutter
Using a flammable thread
A very common method, used mainly for cutting glass bottles. Straight glasses also can be cut by this method, but with small nuances. All that is required for evenly chipped glass is a piece of woolen thread, a flammable liquid (spirit, kerosene, etc.), a thin layer of glass.д.) and a container of cold water.
Soak the thread in flammable liquid and fix it on the glass along the cut line. Light it, wait until it burns through, and then put it in cold water or pour it on the heated area. The main thing is to make sure that the glass cools down as quickly as possible and bursts from the temperature difference. A “click” indicates the success of the operation. If the glass is not cracked, you can try again.
This method cuts off bottles rather precisely, but does not always work with large glass sizes. It is also very fire dangerous and requires a fire extinguisher on hand or a reservoir of water, which is a must.
With the soldering iron
This is a very interesting but very slow way to cut glass thermally. suitable for carving shapes, but will also make an ordinary straight line for the trimmer with no problem. This operation will require a file and a heating element (soldering iron or a machine for burning).
Having marked a line on the glass for the trimmer of the future cut, we take a file and make with it a small groove at the very edge. With 1-2 mm distance from it, heat the place with the soldering iron until a micro-crack is formed between it and the groove. Then we step back from the crack itself by the same distance and gradually move to the finish point. It takes a long time to cut glass this way, but you can get any shape. To speed things up a bit, you can let the glass cool down periodically by putting a wet cloth over it.
Scissors in water
A simple method of directional cutting. Makes it easy to cut round shapes but not suitable for making straight lines. For this cutting you will need ordinary scissors and a container of water, which will serve as a kind of lubricant. The maximum thickness of the glass should not exceed 4 mm.
The process of cutting with this method is very simple. Take a piece of glass to be cut, immerse it in water, and use scissors to cut off small pieces from the edges. The water will not cause the glass to crack, allowing you to make a controlled chip. This way you can make oval and circular shapes.
With a diamond disk
This is not the safest way to cut glass, and it requires great accuracy and obeying the safety rules. Can easily chip the glass and launch the shard in any direction. Otherwise, the method is quite effective and can cope with the task. For cutting you will need a special tool (angle grinder, drill or drill) with a diamond disc with a thickness of 0.1 mm.
The cutting process itself is quite simple, but requires a certain amount of skill and a steady hand to guide the tool cleanly along the line. Lay the piece of glass to be cut on the flat place, then take the cutter and move the trimmer blade on the glass surface. The main thing is not to plunge deep into the glass, but only to touch it lightly, so that a small ravine is formed, similar to the wide line for a trimmer from the glass cutter. Then just break the glass in the necessary place.
To reduce the risk of glass breakage and to reduce the amount of glass dust, you can periodically sprinkle the place of the cut with water.
One more way how to cut glass at home without a glass cutter and expensive power tools. You need a file and some experience with glass. Note that a file must have corners, so a round one will not do.
To cut glass all you need to do is make a few notches on the surface with the angle of a file. You need to press the file a little harder than average to create a clean groove that resembles a glass cutter. When the place of the bevel is marked, simply break the glass against the edge of the table or put a match under the place of the cut.
This method requires a certain skill, and if you are cutting glass for the first time, we strongly recommend that you practice on small, unnecessary splinters before moving on to the main material.
Victory drill bit
If you know what glass cutting is all about, here is another way to cut glass without using a glass cutter. If you have some experience, one drill bit with a pobedite tip may be enough for this operation. The main thing is that the drill should be more or less new, with sharp angles on the head.
The actual process of cutting glass with a glass cutter is much the same as with a regular roller cutter. Of the differences we can highlight the higher force of pressure, but otherwise all actions are standard. We lay the glass on a flat surface, mark the line for the trimmer of the cut, attach the bar, and along it lead the line for the trimmer from top to bottom. Before cutting, turn the handpiece so that the sharpest corner makes contact with the glass. Having obtained a clear line for the trimmer, break the glass along the cutting line.
Safety at Work
It is important not only to cut the right piece of mirror correctly, but also to protect yourself while working at home.
Before you start cutting the mirror, you should become familiar with safety precautions.
This will help to avoid injuries and damage to the material during the work:
- The workplace should be tidy. There is no place on the table for unnecessary objects. The scrap boxes, work tools and the mirror should be placed in a comfortable position;
- It is necessary to check the serviceability of all devices before starting work (glass cutter, pliers);
- Rubber tips should be placed on the lips of the pliers;
- Do not worry or make any sudden movements while working with the mirror;
- Do not touch the line for the trimmer cut mirror with your bare fingers;
- It is forbidden to cut the mirror on surfaces that are not suitable for this purpose;
- If you are working at a height, do not throw scraps down. All debris must be taken away with you;
- If a lot of scraps accumulate during cutting, they should be moved from the boxes to the garbage can;
- The pieces of mirror should be taken out carefully. If they are cracked, only one piece at a time may be taken;
- It is forbidden to cut on your knees;
- If an electric glass cutter is used during the work, it must be handled with utmost care;
- If the mirror was brought from a cold room, you should give it time to warm up;
- Do not blow off glass dust. If you need to sweep the floor and clean workbenches, a special brush is used;
- If you use a glass conditioning suit, shake it thoroughly before removing it.
Safety precautions at work must not be neglected. If you can not create the right conditions for cutting glass, it is better to postpone this activity to a more suitable moment.
How to cut a mirror if you want it to be round or oval? Cutting curved glass with an ordinary glass cutter is difficult.
Special glass cutters or constructions of several tools are used for such tasks. As a rule, such system consists of a glass cutter, suction cup, and a scale for setting the required degree.
If you cannot get such a tool, you can use a regular roller or diamond glass cutter.
In this case the process is carried out in the same way as when cutting straight lines, but using a template.
The main difficulty is that the shaped cut is very difficult not to damage when breaking, so it is crushed into fragments, which are separated one by one.
This way you can create a unique, beautiful and useful element of decor in the form of an original mirror.
Types of cutting tools
For cutting glass plates you need a special tool. the glass cutter. Today it is available in several variants: roller, diamond, and oil.
Most commonly craftsmen use roller glass cutters. These are devices that have a handle and a swivel disc with up to 6 working elements in the form of a wheel. Sometimes the cutting element can get blunt, but this can easily be corrected. Simply rotate the dial and engage the next click wheel.
One wheel can cut material up to 350 m long. It can easily cut glass up to 4 mm thick. Hold the cutter vertically and press it slightly against the glass pane. When you pass the glass cutter along the entire length of the workpiece, you will see a whitish trimmer line on it, which will serve as your reference point for chipping.
The tool for professionals. In its design, the function of the cutting element is a diamond cube, which can be natural or artificial. The cube is usually pyramidal in shape and makes it possible to make cuts up to 10 kilometers long. After machining, the cut trimmer line is dark and thin.
Sometimes professionals use oil glass cutters. They are devices in the form of a reservoir in the handle, from which oil is supplied to the cutting element by means of a wick. Lubricant reduces friction and prolongs tool life. With such a tool you can cut glass up to 20mm thick. Built-in life for cuts up to 5 km. The heads of oil glass cutters do not have a rigid fixation. they rotate during operation, which allows them to be used for patterned glass cutting.
Before you start cutting glass, always make sure that the glass cutter is in good working order. You can do this by sliding it across a loose piece of glass. If there is nothing wrong with the tool, the cutting line for the trimmer will be continuous and thin. But sometimes there is something that looks like a white scratch or an intermittent trimmer line. This is the case if the cutting edge is blunt or if you use the tool incorrectly.
We advise you first practice on a small sheet of glass to learn how to hold the cutter properly, press it and guide it across the surface. No pressure should be exerted on the glass cutter when using it. The main thing is to “catch” the cut. But the roller cutter is treated a little differently. it must be pressed slightly against the surface of the sheet. There must not be any squeaking noise when using the glass cutter. The sound should be soft and rustling. The line for the trimmer, which is to be guided on the sheet, must end exactly at the marked place near the edge.
Is it possible to cut glass without a glass cutter at home?
Not everyone knows that ordinary glass can be cut with the most familiar scissors. The basic conditions in this case are sharp. sharpening the cutting edge. It is necessary to put all the glass in a big enough container, so that it is covered with water.
Sometimes there is a desire to buy a mirror of any intricate shape.
It is the liquid that prevents the appearance of chips and cracks. Then, accurately begin to cut off small pieces with scissors, achieving the desired shape and size.
Cut out a mirror of any shape.
Pay attention! Such variant of treatment of a mirror is suitable only if its thickness does not exceed the mark of 4 mm and it is necessary to make a shaped cut. It is likely that cutting a straight line for the trimmer in this case will not work.
You can also use another method. For example, take a file that has a rectangular or triangular cutting edge cross-section of teeth.
The cutting element has to be placed strictly on the marked line and perpendicular to the mirror surface.
The procedure in this case is as follows. the edge of the file makes incisions on both sides. Then the main line for the trimmer is scratched and the breakage is carried out. But in order to implement this option, you need skill in working with materials such as glass and mirror.
If you have never worked with a mirror, ask for help.
You can also try using a drill bit for pobedite. Here the holes are made in several places. All of them lie on the cutting line. After that a thin line for a trimmer is scratched between them and by tapping and breaking an unnecessary part is removed.
If everything is done correctly, you can hear the sound of glass being cut, and it is impossible to confuse it.
Important! If work is carried out with a drill bit, it must be turned so that only the sharp corner enters the glass. Otherwise the mirror will crack.
You can cut the mirror yourself.
With all of these features in mind, it’s easy enough to trim or shape cut a mirror at home.