Cutting glass at home: with glass cutter and simple scissors
Products made of glass at all times have enjoyed enormous popularity: murals, stained glass, dishes, and many other things created from scraps of this material, always struck people with its elegance and smoothness of lines. Looking at this magnificence, it seems that for his creation to be a real professional who has extensive experience working with glass and a lot of necessary tools, but simple “mortal” in no way learn this difficult science. In fact, not everything is as sad as it seems at first glance, and to gain knowledge of how to cut glass in domestic conditions, everyone can.
From this stage depends very much, and the process of preparation depends on what kind of glass you decided to use for cutting. New glass, bought specifically for the purpose, simply wipe, and it is better to use an old newspaper (this will avoid streaks and settling of small lint). Used material, on the other hand, requires a lot more work and a lot more effort. Firstly it should be thoroughly cleaned using a glass cleaner. Secondly, degrease with a cloth soaked in kerosene, for example, and finally dry it in a closed room to avoid dust on the surface.
In addition, the preparation of glass involves its cutting. As you know, a completely waste-free production when working with glass you are unlikely to achieve, especially if you have conceived to get the product is not quite correct geometric shape. However, an accurate calculation will reduce possible waste to a minimum. At this stage, a more rational solution would be to align the longer side of the glass with the long side of the workpiece. Keep in mind that the resulting scraps should not be thrown away, they can be used in the future to create new products.
What tool to choose?
Glass is a molten quartz sand with the addition of elements such as calcium oxides and alkali metals.
In essence, glass is a fluid substance at high temperatures and has no distinct crystalline lattice. This is why glass is transparent.
To cut a glass sheet, it is enough to make a groove on it with a cutter that exceeds the hardness of the cut material itself. After that, a network of deep cracks is formed, which allows you to separate the two pieces along the cut line. The following types of hand-held mechanical glass cutters are used for this operation:
The first tool uses diamond as a cutter, soldered into the metal head with a special soldering material. Handle is made of wood or plastic. There are glass cutters with natural diamonds. These were made in the former USSR and cost a lot even back then. Glass cutters are now equipped exclusively with artificial diamonds. On easier devices there are minerals with curved cutting edge. expensive glass cutters have four-sided diamonds tilted 20 degrees to the cutting axis. The cut is more accurate and deeper, but requires a good skill.
Roller glass cutters are the simplest and most common. Their trump card is their low price, so you can buy them for one-time work. Working cutter is a roller made of hard metal alloy. Most of these devices for cutting glass sheets are equipped with several rollers, three or six. When one roller is blunted, the circle on which they are attached is turned around its axis, and the next cutter is extended into the end of the device. The rollers are made of tungsten carbide, bobedite, carborundum and other alloys harder than quartz on the Mohs scale.
The oil glass cutter is structurally similar to the roller glass cutter. The difference is that during operation the end roller is lubricated with a special oil. This makes it easier to cut, greatly reduces cutter wear, and improves glass breaking along the planned line. modern oil devices consist of a roller and a special reservoir filled with oil. it lubricates the roller by capillary action, and does not leak when not in use. Oil glass cutters are quite advanced and can be used to cut curves with a rotating head.
Everyone chooses for himself, which tool is better for him. the roller, the diamond or the oil tool.
Correct glass selection
The answer to the question of how to properly cut with a glass cutter is not the only thing that may be of interest to future glass cutters. In order not to encounter possible problems, it is necessary to know what points are paid attention to when choosing the material.
- A sign of high-quality products is a greenish or blue tint to the ends.
- Scratched sheets are a reason to refuse to buy or use such glass for any purpose.
- If during production the technology was violated (rolling, cooling), then the products may show streaks with noncontrasting borders, micro-irregularities, etc. д. It is better not to use such sheets as window panes as they will distort the image.
There is a direct dependence between the glass thickness and the size of the frame in which it will be inserted. If it is less than 600 mm (height, width), the optimum material is 2-2.5 mm. When one of the parameters exceeds this value, it is necessary to take thicker glass. from 3.5 to 4 mm.
How to cut with a glass cutter?
This work has no details, so all stages require extreme attention.
What will be needed for work?
Glass and glass cutters are not the only things that need to be prepared. That’s why it’s better to “read the whole list” first. It includes:
- A work table with a perfectly flat surface;
- a ruler (a straightedge), a tape measure, and an angle;
- Sandpaper (file, stone);
- Threads, cloth, and solvent;
- A rubber mallet.
A metal ruler is ideal. It is better to look for a fairly thick tool, suitable for the glass cutter stop: its minimum thickness is 8 mm. Specialists use rulers with suction cups. Since there are usually no such tools in the household, an alternative was invented long ago. This is a metal ruler with a glued strip of thin rubber.
Do not do without a marker, and a pencil can perform the role of a stand, necessary for breaking a small glass sheet on the cutting line.
Preparing the work area
Because of the fragility of the material, there are strict requirements for the working surface.
- It must be absolutely flat, because during the cutting the glass is subjected to serious pressure. If the base will be with irregularities, the likelihood that the glass will crack in the wrong place, great. The consequence is the inability to use the glass blank, and this promises additional costs and new work.
- An absolutely clean glass surface is a must. So first it is washed with a soapy solution (glass cleaner), then wiped with newspaper or paper towels. The final step is degreasing with a solvent. It can be acetone, kerosene or mineral spirits.
The best surface is a piece of plywood or hardwood board. To prevent scratches, it is recommended to put some cloth, a large piece of rubber, oilcloth, or thick film under the glass. Such a reliable “gasket” will protect the surface and provide better adhesion.
Any opening requires slowness, care, and accuracy. This is also true for dangerous glass.
- First it is marked out. To draw a line use a long metal or wooden ruler, a tape measure or a completely straight line. The second tool you need is a glass marker (felt tip pen), which leaves the thinnest possible line for the trimmer.
- Then small notches-marks are made at both ends of the drawn line. The ruler is placed against the glass, the glass cutter is taken and a trimmer line is drawn, applying a small amount of force. The pressure to the edge of the glass should be a little slack to prevent the material from chipping and ruining the tool.
- The diamond glass cutter is held in the same way as a pencil or a fountain pen, with a slight tilt. Roller and oil. perpendicular to the surface. In the first case, on the glass should remain barely visible trace. colorless thin line for trimmer, in the second it should turn white, and the work must be accompanied by a characteristic crackle. The line for the trimmer is held only once. Do not make a second cut at the same place.
- Place a straight bar or small block under the cut glass to break it along the cut line. Previously it is tapped on the handle of glass cutter from the back side to deepen a little crack, thereby facilitating the upcoming operation. The prepared glass is gently broken. As a rule, this does not require undue effort.
When it is necessary to break off a thin strip, either use pliers, or a glass cutter, which has special grooves designed for this purpose.
It is necessary to stop at this stage, because there is a different technology for each type of workpiece.
- Figures made of thin glass. up to 5 mm. In this case, the material is broken by hand. Gloves are required.
- Thicker pieces. more than 5 mm. To “extract” the part, it is recommended to use pliers or pliers, the jaws of which have tubes of rubber or plastic on them.
- Thick material and narrow strips. To simplify the work, under the line for the cut trimmer put a thin and long non-metallic object (such as a pencil, matches), then the material is pressed on the palms of their hands on opposite sides.
Large and thick pieces require a different method. The sheet is placed on the table so that the line for the trimmer of the cut was located 30-50 mm from its edge. Half, lying on the furniture, held with one hand, and the other sharply pressed on the one that “hangs in the air. To prevent the piece from accidentally falling off, it is better to work with an assistant.
Very thick material (over 10 mm) is the reason for a different approach. The operation is also performed on the table, but the risk is done on both sides of the glass. Before starting to break, the cutting trimmer line (from the beginning to the end) is tapped with a rubber mallet (or the handle of a glass cutter) until a crack is formed.
The last step in any operation is careful handling of the cut line. For it is suitable sandpaper, file (nadfil) with a velvet notch or a sharpening stone.
Cutting with the glass cutter by a professional
For such “surgical” operation requires another tool. a ruler, it is better to find a thick plate with which the glass cutter will be more difficult to jump off. Mark the material with a felt-tip pen or a special pencil. the glassblower, it is used for painting glass surfaces.
Having made the marks, the points are connected by the line of the future cut, the ruler is left on it. Only one cut is made and must not be repeated as this could cause cracks in the glass. First at the top from the edge with the glass cutter draw a short line for the trimmer, its length. up to 5 mm. Then continue to the end of the piece.
A uniform cutting force over the whole length is a must. Correctly drawn line for the trimmer should be translucent, uniform. The sheet is broken. If the operation is not successful on the first try, the trimmer line is tapped out with the handle of the glass cutter, and then the process of breaking is repeated.
After the most responsible stage has been completed successfully, the edges of the chipping are mended with fine-grained sandpaper, replacing it with a bar.
it is more convenient to work with because of its habitual shape: the handle of a diamond glass cutter is very similar to a pencil, so it is held in the same way. However, there are some peculiarities even in working with such a comfortable tool:
- it is placed at an angle to the work surface: the position of the glass cutter is similar to the “pose” of a pencil when writing or drawing;
- Excessive force in this case is contraindicated, it will lead to irregularities or chips in the line of sawing;
- Repeated drawing over the “drawn” areas is taboo, an indentation of at least several millimeters is necessary;
- the work requires accuracy and speed: it takes about 2 seconds to scratch a line on a meter-long piece of glass.
the cut trimmer line is aligned with the edge of the working surface so that the unnecessary part of it is in the weight. The cut is tapped from the underside until a small crack is formed. During this operation, “superfluous” glass fragments are usually separated from the sheet by themselves, without requiring the efforts of the master. Sometimes a hanging piece is broken off gently.
A roller, oiled glass cutter
Along the entire cutting line (either with gaps or only from one edge) under the sheet are placed matches and / or toothpicks. Then the sheet is gently pressed on both sides. If these manipulations do not help, then, again aligning the line for the trimmer with the edge of the working surface, try to press on the glass by hand, but without fanaticism. Unsuccessful material is a good reason to try to make another line for the cut trimmer.
Actions with an oil tool are not one bit different from working with a conventional roller, the only difference is that the process is easier because of the lubrication of the surface.
If you need a circular hole
For beginners in this case it is better to get a glass cutter-cirk somewhere, as there is no need to independently assemble the tool, which may not be needed anymore. In this case, the suction cup end is fixed in the center of the future circle, then set the desired radius. The circle is outlined accurately, smoothly, but quickly. Further work on its removal is similar to the previous work.
Non-standard shape cutting
The process of this cutting is somewhat more complicated, but also not very demanding, even for novice masters of glasswork. To guarantee accuracy, they first make a workpiece-template. The template is cut out of chipboard, the recommended thickness is 5 mm. The roller to it will not be able to fit tightly, so an indentation of 2-3 mm is necessary. Strips of masking tape are glued to the bottom of the cut out template, they will not let it “wiggle” on the glass. Ready pattern is placed on the canvas, draw a continuous line for the trimmer. Then tap on the underside.
Cutting by a “professional”. glass cutter
For such “surgical” operation you need another tool. a ruler, it is better to find a thick plate, from which the glass cutter will be more difficult to bounce. Mark the material with a felt-tip pen or a special pencil. glassblower, it is used for painting glass surfaces.
Having made the marks, the points are connected by a line of the future cut, the ruler is left on it. Only one cut is made and it must not be repeated, otherwise the glass may crack. First at the top of the edge of the glass cutter spend a short fishing line for a trimmer, its length. up to 5 mm. Then it is continued to the end of the piece.
Uniform force along the entire length is a must. A correctly drawn line for the trimmer should be translucent, uniform. The sheet is broken. If the operation is not successful at the first attempt, the line for the trimmer is tapped out with the handle of the glass cutter, and then the process of breaking is repeated.
After the most critical step has been completed successfully, the edges of the chip are cleaned with fine sandpaper, replaced by a block.
It is more convenient to work with because of its familiar shape: the handle of a diamond glass cutter is very similar to a pencil, so you hold it in the same way. However, there are some peculiarities even in working with such a comfortable tool:
- it is placed at an angle to the surface to be treated: the position of the glass cutter is similar to the “pose” of a pencil when writing or drawing;
- Excessive efforts in this case are contraindicated, they will lead to irregularities or chips in the sawing line;
- Repeated drawing on the “traced” areas is taboo, an indentation of at least a few millimeters is necessary;
- the work requires accuracy and speed: the operation of scratching a line on a meter-long sheet of glass takes about 2 seconds.
the trimmer line of the cut is aligned with the edge of the working surface so that the unnecessary part of it is in the weight. The cut is tapped from the underside until a small crack is formed. During this operation, “surplus” glass fragments usually separate from the sheet on their own, without requiring any effort from the craftsman. Sometimes a hanging piece is accurately broken off.
Roller, oil glass cutter
In this case a strictly vertical positioning of the tool is obligatory, pressing efforts when cutting are also necessary. Glass breaking is always begun with the most delicate method. with light knocking from the underside. If the glass does not give in, more serious steps are taken.
Along the entire cutting line (either with gaps or only at one edge) under the sheet put matches and/or toothpicks. Then the blade is gently pressed on both sides. If these manipulations do not help, then, again aligning the line for the trimmer with the edge of the working surface, try to press on the glass by hand, but without fanaticism. Unsupported material is a good reason to try to make another line for the trimmer cut.
Actions with an oil tool do not differ one bit from the work with an ordinary roller, the only difference is that this process is easier because of the lubrication of the surface.
If a round hole is needed
For beginners in this case, it is better to get a glass cutter-cirk somewhere, as an independent assembly of the tool, which may no longer be needed, is of no use. In this case, the suction cup end is fastened in the center of the future circle, then the desired radius is set. The circle is outlined accurately, smoothly, but quickly. Further work on its removal is similar to the previous work.
Non-standard shaped cutting
The process of this cutting is somewhat more complicated, but also not very demanding, even for novice masters of glass affairs. To ensure accuracy, first make a template blank. The template is cut out of chipboard, the recommended thickness is 5 mm. The roller to it will not be able to adjoin tightly, so an indentation of 2-3 mm is necessary. To the bottom of the cut template glued strips of tape, they will not let it “wiggle” on the glass. The finished template is laid on the canvas, drawing a continuous line for the trimmer. Then the underside is pounded.
Experienced craftsmen recommend using the three main types of glass cutters, with which you can easily cut the glass to the required dimensions, even at home.
Quite a popular model, characterized by its ease of use. Glass cutter roller is very often chosen by beginners, as in the work it is characterized by convenience. In addition, such a tool is cheap because there are no diamond stones in its construction.
Structurally, the glass cutter consists of a roller part and a handle. Special hard alloys are used to manufacture the roller, and the diameter of the element is 5 mm.
But the working life of such a tool is limited. it lasts for three and a half to four hundred meters of glass material. But since it is very reasonably priced, it is possible to buy a new tool at any moment. In addition, the set includes several removable roller elements, so you will not have to change the tool for a long time.
Another common, effective and popular glass cutter is the diamond. This option is great for both professionals and inexperienced glass cutters.
Let’s see how to cut glass with a diamond glass cutter. Let us notice at once that you will spoil more than ten glasses in the process of training, but all your expectations will be justified once you have mastered the technique of using diamond glass cutters.
The tool consists of a handle and a working head with a diamond element, which can be either pyramidal or beveled. All should be aware of this peculiarity, because the shape differences of the heads influence the working principle. For example, cutting glass with a pyramid head is much more difficult. it requires a developed, almost “musical” ear. Let’s see how to cut glass correctly with this glass cutter. During work the diamond moves on the glass surface and makes a sound of a certain frequency. When the sound is “wrong”, it confirms that the movement of the diamond element is not correct, and the glass chip is very likely to be defective. In order to cut out the desired shape correctly, beginners use a glass cutter that has a beveled head.
In such a tool, the stone is either artificial or real, and this difference affects the cost. But there is one more peculiarity: you can cut a centimeter-thick glass with a real diamond, but an artificial diamond is enough only for 5 mm. Also the operation period of such samples is different. a real diamond will cut ten to fifteen kilometers of glass, while an artificial diamond will finish its operation after the fifth kilometer.
This variant of glass cutter is an improvement of tool with roller head. Handle has a small reservoir for added lubricant. In the process of cutting, it is constantly fed to the roller and the glass surface, significantly reducing friction and improving the quality of scratched lines, ensuring long tool life. Eventually the service life of the oil glass cutter, compared to a simple roller, increases fifteen times.
Besides the above models there are also circular glass cutters which can be used to easily cut circular cutouts on glass. This tool is a bit different by design, resembling a compass rather than a handle with a cutting element. In addition to circles, ellipse-shaped holes can also be cut with this glass cutter.
Cutting curved lines
Our needs are not always limited to straight edges. Some projects may require curved or wavy glass shapes. The process of cutting curved glass can be a bit more complicated than straight cutting, but it doesn’t require a lot of experience. There are a few things to consider before you cut curved line glass with a glass cutter.
To make the shape cutting more accurate and convenient, it is recommended to prepare in advance a template of the necessary shape. The template is better to saw from a piece of chipboard, thickness from 5 mm. When marking the future template, take into account that the roller of the glass cutter will not adhere tightly to its walls, but with an indentation of 2-3 mm. To keep the cut guide from riding on the glass when you cut it, you can glue some strips of masking tape to the underside of the guide.
When the template is ready, we put it to the cut out piece of fabric and draw the line for the trimmer with the glass cutter. After that, gently tap the line on the underside of the. If you are cutting a shape inside the glass canvas, for easier removal, you can draw lines from the shape to the borders of the canvas so that you can neatly chip off the edges.
Cutting glass is not always successful the first time. This practically jeweler’s process requires a certain amount of skill. Practice, and soon you will be doing this work easily and well.
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