How to cut glass properly with a glass cutter

For 2 centuries, glass is an integral part of any home. This material is used in the manufacture of windows, mirrors, photo frames and many other interior elements. Hard, but incredibly fragile glass has certain features of processing, fundamentally different from concrete, plastic or brick. Cutting this material is a very fine and precise process, requiring special tools and certain knowledge. In this article, we will try to convey the essence of the process of cutting glass in maximum detail, as well as tell you about several important nuances that will be useful in the work.

If you are going to cut glass, remember that safety rules must be obeyed when working with this material and they should not be neglected. When untreated, glass has sharp edges that can easily cut into the skin and cause infection. Protect your hands with gloves and wear clothing with sleeves to avoid cuts. As glass tends to break into small, sharp splinters, we strongly recommend wearing glasses.

The place where you cut the glass must be level and steady. It is strongly not recommended to do this operation on a knee, a loose stool and other doubtful surfaces. Keeping this rule in mind will minimize the risk of glass falling to the floor, as well as make it more comfortable and improve the quality of the cut.

If you have not previously had experience with glass, and do not yet know how to cut with a glass cutter, we do not recommend neglecting the above recommendations. Some experienced craftsmen may be able to do this work with their eyes closed on their knees, but for beginners it usually does not go so smoothly. You can make many mistakes if you are inexperienced, such as catching a sharp edge, dropping the glass on your foot, or jamming the cut and splintering your eye. If this is your first time working with glass and you haven’t experienced the process yet, it’s best to be prepared.

What tool to choose?

Glass is a molten quartz sand with calcium and alkali metal oxides added.

In essence, glass is a fluid, high-temperature substance that lacks a clear crystalline lattice. This is why glass is transparent.

To cut a sheet of glass, it is sufficient to make a groove in it with a cutter that exceeds the hardness of the material itself. After that, a network of deep cracks is formed, which allows you to separate the two pieces along the cutting line. The following types of manual mechanical glass cutters are used for this operation:

The first tool uses diamond as a cutter, soldered into the metal head with a special solder. The handle is made of wood or plastic. There are glass cutters with natural diamonds. They were made in the former Soviet Union and cost a lot even at that time. Glass cutters are now equipped exclusively with artificial diamonds. Minerals with curvilinear cutting edge are used for simpler devices. expensive glass cutters have four-sided diamonds tilted 20 degrees to the cutting axis. Cutting is more accurate and deeper, but requires a good skill.

Roller glass cutters are the simplest and most common. Their trump card is low price that allows to buy them for single work. The working cutter is a roller made of a hard metal alloy. Most of these cutting devices are equipped with several rollers, three or six. When one roller becomes blunt, the circle on which they are fixed turns around its axis, and the next cutter extends into the end of the device. Roller material. tungsten carbide, beater, carborundum and other alloys harder than quartz on the Mohs scale.

The oil glass cutter is structurally similar to the roller cutter. The difference is that the end roller is lubricated with a special kind of oil during operation. This makes it easier to cut, greatly reduces cutter wear, and improves glass breaking along the intended line. Modern oil devices consist of a roller and a special reservoir filled with oil. It lubricates the roller by capillary action as it rotates, and when it is not running, it does not flow out. Oil glass cutters are quite advanced and can be used to cut curved lines with a rotating head.

Everyone chooses for himself which tool is better for him. roller, diamond or oil.

How to cut glass without a glass cutter

Before we begin to describe the glass cutting techniques in detail, we want to remind you of safety. Always wear work gloves and safety glasses to prevent cuts or shards from getting into your eyes. Be careful not to put too much pressure on the glass.

With a burning thread

A very common method, used mostly for cutting glass bottles. Straight glass can also be cut with this method, but with minor nuances. All you need to make a clean cut is a piece of wool, flammable liquids (alcohol, kerosene, etc.), and a soft cloth.д.) and a container of cold water.

We soak the thread in flammable liquid and fix it on the glass along the cutting line. Light it, wait until it burns through, and then immediately place it in cold water or pour it over the place where it is heated. The main thing is to make sure that the glass cools down as quickly as possible and bursts from the temperature difference. A characteristic click will signal the success of the work done. If the glass is not cracked, you can try to repeat the operation.

This method fairly even chips bottles, but does not always work with the large size of glass. It’s also very flammable and requires a fire extinguisher on hand or a reservoir of water, which is already mandatory.

Soldering iron

A very interesting, but rather slow way to thermally cut glass. It’s better for curved cuts, but it can also make a straight line for a trimmer without any problem. This operation will require a file and a heating element (soldering iron or apparatus for burning).

Marked on the glass line trimmer for the future cut, we take a file and make them a small groove at the very edge. With 1-2 mm distance from it, heat the place with a soldering iron until a micro-crack is formed between it and the groove. Then we step back from the crack itself for 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 it cool down periodically by putting a wet cloth over it.

Using scissors in the water

A simple method of directional glass breaking. Makes it easy to cut round shapes, but not perfect for making straight lines. For this cutting you will need usual 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 technique is extremely simple. We 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 allow the glass to crack, allowing you to make a controlled cut. You can obtain round and oval shapes using this method.

Diamond disc

Not the safest way to cut glass, requiring extra care and mandatory safety precautions. Can easily chip glass and launch a shard in any direction. Otherwise, the method is quite effective and can cope with the task. For cutting you need a special tool (angle grinder, drills, or bordering machines) with a diamond disc with a thickness of 0.1 mm.

The process of cutting itself is quite simple, but it requires a certain skill and a steady hand to guide the tool accurately along the line. We put a workable piece of glass on the flat place, then we take the cutter and hold the disk with a line for a trimmer on the glass surface. The main thing is not to plunge deep into it, but only to touch it lightly, so that a small groove is formed, similar to a wide line for a trimmer from a glass cutter. Next, you just break the glass in the right place.

glass, properly, cutter

To reduce the chance of glass breaking and to reduce the amount of glass dust, you can periodically sprinkle water on the place where you cut the glass.

Use the file

Another way to cut glass at home without using expensive power tools. The work will require a file and a little experience in handling glass. Note that a file must have angles, so a round one will not do.

To cut glass simply make several notches on the surface with the angle of the 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 chip 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 some skill, and if this is your first time cutting glass, we highly recommend practicing on small, unnecessary pieces before moving on to the main material.

With a beater drill bit

If you know what glass cutting is all about, here is another way to cut glass without a glass cutter. With some experience, one drill 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 very process of cutting glass with a glass cutter is much the same as with a regular roller glass cutter. Of the differences you can distinguish a higher force of pressure, but otherwise all the actions are standard. We lay the glass on a flat surface, mark the trimmer line of the cut, attach the plank, and guide the trimmer line down along it. Before cutting, turn the tip so that the sharpest corner is in contact with the glass. After obtaining a clear line for the trimmer, break the glass along the cutting line.

Glass cutters and their types

First of all, it is necessary to determine what glass cutter should be used in your specific case. Diamond tools have a great trust among professionals. They use diamond heads that come in two shapes: square and beveled.

The first one is used by experienced craftsmen. Its cutting part is positioned at optimum angles to the axes of the glass cutter. This tool requires a certain amount of skill to use. Improperly tilted tools can produce a defective cut. You can tell by ear and feel how well the tool is positioned when cutting, but it takes some experience. A beveled diamond head is most often used by beginners, because its position is on the same axis with the tool itself, and this greatly simplifies its use.

Diamond heads can be natural or synthetic. It is possible to cut 5 to 10 mm thick glass with natural stone. Synthetic stones are able to cut materials with a thickness of less than 5 mm. They also vary in wear resistance. Thus, natural stones are designed for a distance of up to 10 kilometers, while synthetic stones are designed for a shorter distance.

A roller glass cutter is recommended for home glass cutting. It has a cheaper cost than diamond, but it is easier to use and efficient in meeting domestic needs. It cannot be used for glass that is too thick, but such types of glass are rarely used in the home, so the use of this glass cutter may be quite suitable for home use. Its “run” can be about 350 m, after which it is necessary to sharpen it or change the roller.

Most modern glass cutters are sold with a replaceable nozzle, this allows you to solve the operating problem.

Also worth noting is the use of oil glass cutters. They work on the same principle as roller cutters, but are more advanced. There is a vessel in the tool holder, which contains an oily liquid. It is necessary to feed the glass and the cutting element when cutting the material. It helps to reduce the friction force and also improves the quality of the cut. This tool can be used to cut glass with a thickness of about 20 mm.

It is worth considering that when working with glass, the thickness of which does not exceed 10 mm, you need to use cutters with an angle of 135 degrees. For thick glass with thickness from 10 to 20 mm cutters with grinding angles starting from 150 degrees are used.

It is especially worth noting another type of glass cutters. circular. It is a kind of suction cup and a rod, on which the scale and oil glass cutter are located. The use of such a device is quite easy. It is necessary to fix a suction cup in the center of the circle to be processed, then set a value with a certain radius on the bar, and then use the cutting element. Thanks to this design it is possible not only to obtain properly cut circles on the glass, but also to get pieces of glass out of the thickness of the sheet without much difficulty.

Prepare the workplace

Before proceeding to cut the glass, it is necessary to prepare the workplace. Usually little attention is paid to this, and in vain. It is important to prepare the material itself for work. If the glass is new, there is no need to wash it. Otherwise there may be small chips, cracks, scratches, or deposits on it. Then the sheet should be well washed with detergents, and then dried by wiping with paper or newspaper. It is better not to use a cloth, as it leaves behind lint and streaks, which is unnecessary. Dry glass must be degreased. To do this you can use a rag soaked in kerosene. After this operation the sheet is dried, but without wiping it dry and in a closed room to avoid dust.

It is not enough to know how to cut glass with a glass cutter, it does not hurt to cut it to minimize unnecessary waste of material. A competent drawing drawn on a sheet of paper will make it possible to achieve practically waste-free home production. It will be especially useful if you need to cut a complex or uneven shape. It is optimal to place the longest side of the workpiece on a similar parameter to the glass. Sheets should be cut on a flat surface, excluding slopes. Plywood or wood-fiber board is suitable as an improvised table. A piece of oilcloth or a soft cloth can be placed on top.

How to cut glass properly

Working with such a fragile material like glass is very specific and fundamentally different from our usual wood, concrete or metal. Cutting here is a jewelry process, based on accurate and quick movements. Working with glass has its own unique features, but allows you to quickly build up a hand in elementary tasks. To understand how to properly cut glass with a glass cutter, it is enough to know a few basic rules.

glass, properly, cutter

The thickness of glass, which can be worked with a roller glass cutter should not exceed 6 mm. For larger sizes use a diamond cutter.

The working surface must be flat and even, and the glass to be cut must be clean and dry. The trimmer line can be marked on the glass itself or on the surface underneath it with a marker. In the second case, it is necessary to make 2 marks on the glass edge and align with the line on the working area.

When all the preparatory work is done, you can start cutting. Always remember that when cutting, the glass cutter should be perpendicular to the glass. Start by making a small notch (1 to 2 mm) from the top edge of the glass. This is to avoid possible chips. After that we spend with the cutter on the line with a medium effort. For convenience, it is possible to put a straight bar to the line, but not close to it, and with an indentation of 3-5 mm, depending on the width of the head of the glass cutter.

After all the manipulation, it remains only to break the glass along the line of the cut. To do this, you can put a match under the cut and press on both sides. If the size is small, you can break it in your hands. If the text description was not enough and you would like to see how to use the glass cutter with a wheel, the video will give you a clear picture.

Observance of safety rules

When cutting glass, it is very important to observe safety precautions, because the material is quite fragile and dangerous. Not only do you cut yourself, but also your eye is injured by the broken shards.

Never cut glass on your lap or on an unreliable object with the glass cutter. Never grasp the edge of the glass because the rough edges can be very sharp. If you want to lift the billet, you should make a girth with your hands around the sides.

Wear protective gloves and glasses before working to avoid cuts. It is also important to wear closed shoes so that the glass will not cut your foot if you accidentally fall. Clothing should be made of thick and dense fabric, which will also help avoid accidental injury.

How to cut thick glass with a glass cutter video

In order to prevent small shards of glass from getting outside the work room, clothes and shoes need to be changed when you finish work.

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