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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've seen the glass guy do it.. he just scratches the glass with some tool, then apply a pressure and the glass breaks exactly where he scratched it!
my gf makes some stained glass arts and she has a similar tool
can I buy a large piece of glass and make the cuts myself?
the glass guy wants to sell me 10x7 inches pieces of 5mm glass for 7$.. this looks expensive.

i guess i could also scavenge some scrap pieces? I am getting pretty good at drilling holes, so if I can also cut them myself, that would be awesome
 

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$7 is a bit higher then I paid but in the end it was worth it.
Im pretty handy and it took me a while to get the glass cutting right. I cut all the doors and lowers for my tanks. I averaged about 1:1 ratio of good cuts to bad cuts ( i trashed 2 pieces by bad breaks). Make sure you clean the glass well, oil the glass cutter and apply one firm cut.
I have got to say that I will never cut my own glass again. Go to Lowes or find a mirror/glass store and have them do it.
The guy who cuts my glass makes it look easy. Make sure you have spare glass.
Oh also, the guy who cuts my glass, softens the edges of the cuts. I ended up having to use my diamond file on the edges of the pieces I cut myself. PITA!!

one last thing. I made all my own vert conversions (glass doors, lowers, and vent screens) and it would of been cheaper to of bought them from a vendor on Dendroboard. Unless you make a lot of them, the cost of supplies, tools and gas for driving, get expensive. Not to mention the headaches of finding everything you need in one place.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
yeah let's say I am continusouly building 3-4-5 build at a time, selling them, scrapping them, rebuilding.. it is just a passion for me so that is why I would like to be able to do it all by myself if possible.
Like I said, my gf already have tools for working with stained glass! She has that kindo knife to scratch the glass where you want to make the cut, then she also has that kindo grinder table to soften edges.

I am thinking about scavenging small scraps of glass, and cutting them myself, then if I need larger pieces, I guess I can buy larger sheet.

I guess one of my question is, is the cutting expensive if made by the glass guy? I know drilling holes is expensive, that is why I am now making my own holes with very high sucess. Should I do my own cuttings too? Do I have the right tools?

Thanks
 

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Cutting glass is cheep and ease! I cut glass using a glass cutter from the locale hardware store that cost $4.00, when it starts to get hard too cut just get a new one. When cutting triangles out of the side ( or on some other cuts) I use a drimel or a hi speed drill with a small diamond bit ( less than $10.00) and drill a hole too stop the crack from the score, then lightly tap the score with the ball on the end of the cutter so the glass cracks on the score line( practice on some scrap). You can score arches and just pop them out easily. The most important part is a good stout table that backs the glass nice and a nice yard stick for a guide, AND SAFTY GLASSES!!!!!!! I buy my glass at the hardware store, I got a piece of 10"X20" scrap for $3.00. Scrap glass from old windows and storm doors is good, but watch out that it's not tempered or it will explode! Use a diamond file or knife sharpener too soften the edges, it's about $15.00 or less. Were are some cases I made. :D







 

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i've been cutting my own glass for a while, and we have half of our workshop dedicated for stained glass (my parents do that in the winter)

Here are a few tips
*make sure the glass is as clean as possible
*buy a good glass cutter that has a handle you fill with glass cutting oil. if you don't have one, make sure you dip your glass cutter in glass cutting oil.
* start at one end, and score the glass with the cutter all the way across the glass. Make sure you don't stop at the end, just drop off the edge of the glass
*cut the glass on something like wood or something not super hard, so when the cutter drops off the edge of the glass, it doesn't dent the cutting wheel
*use CONSISTENT pressure on the glass. Don't push down hard for one part, and light on the rest, as this will mess up the break. Use a little more pressure than what you would when writing with a pen or something. You will hear the cutting wheel score the glass.
*use CONSISTENT speed while cutting. Don't go too fast, because you will probably get off center, and end up with a piece that doesn't fit. Don't go too slow either, because the cutting will be "jerky" and inconsistent. A nice steady speed is what you are aiming for.
*NEVER go back over a score! you have one chance and one chance only to get it right. One score with a nice steady speed and pressure, all the way through from edge to edge will give you the best results.
*if you are cutting a straight line, break the glass down the score by putting the score on the edge of a table or something similar, and apply downward pressure until it snaps. Make sure the score is facing up, and you push down!
*use a straight edge for straight cuts. it will save you a lot of pain!
*practice on scrap pieces before you cut your real piece! Remember, you only have one chance, so don't mess up!


do these things, and you will get a much higher ratio of good cuts to bad cuts. Hope that helps some!

Ryan.
 

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Doug would be the guy to ask.
i've been cutting my own glass for a while, and we have half of our workshop dedicated for stained glass (my parents do that in the winter)

Here are a few tips
*make sure the glass is as clean as possible
*buy a good glass cutter that has a handle you fill with glass cutting oil. if you don't have one, make sure you dip your glass cutter in glass cutting oil.
* start at one end, and score the glass with the cutter all the way across the glass. Make sure you don't stop at the end, just drop off the edge of the glass
*cut the glass on something like wood or something not super hard, so when the cutter drops off the edge of the glass, it doesn't dent the cutting wheel
*use CONSISTENT pressure on the glass. Don't push down hard for one part, and light on the rest, as this will mess up the break. Use a little more pressure than what you would when writing with a pen or something. You will hear the cutting wheel score the glass.
*use CONSISTENT speed while cutting. Don't go too fast, because you will probably get off center, and end up with a piece that doesn't fit. Don't go too slow either, because the cutting will be "jerky" and inconsistent. A nice steady speed is what you are aiming for.
*NEVER go back over a score! you have one chance and one chance only to get it right. One score with a nice steady speed and pressure, all the way through from edge to edge will give you the best results.
*if you are cutting a straight line, break the glass down the score by putting the score on the edge of a table or something similar, and apply downward pressure until it snaps. Make sure the score is facing up, and you push down!
*use a straight edge for straight cuts. it will save you a lot of pain!
*practice on scrap pieces before you cut your real piece! Remember, you only have one chance, so don't mess up!


do these things, and you will get a much higher ratio of good cuts to bad cuts. Hope that helps some!

Ryan.
You taking my job Ryan? jk! Very nice tutorial. The one thing I would suggest is that you really don't need to spend the money on a refillable glass cutter as a hobbyist. Just make sure you get a Fletcher and you are good to go. Don't forget dipping in some lightweight oil first. Lowes and Home Depot carry crap for cutters. A nice brick would be more accurate. Go to Ace Hardware or about any Mom and Pop shop for a real Fletcher. As far as softening the edges, throw your files back in the toolbox and grab your electric sander. Anywhere from 80 to 220 will knock the edge off so you don't get cut. 80 does it faster but 220 will look nicer. It takes mere seconds with an electric sander. I use my belt sander and I spend longer putting a new belt on than I do softening the edges of a viv or three!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
I am really sorry, I have a hard time understanding all those metaphores or expressions...
What do you mean by a nice brick? Lightweight oil? I don't have an electric sander, but I do have a grinder, a dremel and that thing my gf has for stained glass
I get it 80 or 220 is the grain on sand paper?

If I remember correctly, the glass guy was using that exact tool (fletcher) and it looked like a breeze just cutting thru!
I guess I will be buying big sheets of glass now :p

Is this good enough? http://cgi.ebay.ca/Stained-GLASS-Ke...626?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item56332f2302
or should I grab this one? http://cgi.ebay.ca/Stained-GLASS-TI...445?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item5642f1969d
 

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I am really sorry, I have a hard time understanding all those metaphores or expressions...
What do you mean by a nice brick? Lightweight oil? I don't have an electric sander, but I do have a grinder, a dremel and that thing my gf has for stained glass
I get it 80 or 220 is the grain on sand paper?

If I remember correctly, the glass guy was using that exact tool (fletcher) and it looked like a breeze just cutting thru!
I guess I will be buying big sheets of glass now :p

Is this good enough? Stained GLASS Key Cutter Fletcher 02 ForGeneral Purpose | eBay
or should I grab this one? Stained GLASS & TILE Key CUTTER - Fletcher Gold Tip | eBay
A nice Brick. That's a joke. A brick like you build houses with. I'm saying hitting it with a rock would give you a cleaner cut than the cheap cutters they sell at Lowes and Home Depot. Use a Fletcher glass cutter.
Lightweight oil. The weight of an oil is how thick it is. A very thin, runny, oil (like 3-in-1 brand) will work better than a thick, gooey oil.
A grinder or dremel will work, it just takes a little longer. A sander just makes it super quick.
Yes, 80 means there are about 80 bits of sand, per square inch of sandpaper. 220 has 220 bits of sand per square inch. To fit 220 bits, the pieces of sand have to be much smaller to fit. Therefor, 80 is very rough and course, making for a fast grinding paper with a rougher finish. 220 is a much smoother paper, taking longer to grind something down, but leaving a nicer, smoother finish.

Missed your eBay links at first. Either one of those will work just fine. Fletcher puts good, hard, sharp wheels in all of their cutters.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Ok I will be using any light oil then.
I strongly doubt we have those fletcher in hardware shops, for that price! Pretty much everything on ebay is cheaper than local price in Quebec ;(
thanks everyone for all the advices ;) Now I'll just need to practice a bit on scraps!
 

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You taking my job Ryan? jk! Very nice tutorial.
hahaha i'm a 17 year old that works fast food at minimum wage. Wanna trade?? :p thanks though! Just trying to share my experience. Trust me, i'm a cheap person... i pick up old ten gallon aquariums off the side of the road, take em apart, and cut them up into glass tops hahaha. saves me my hard earned cash! lol
 

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I've been cutting glass for years, both personally and professionally. Ryan and Doug did a great job covering the basics. A couple of other little tricks.

  1. When laying out your cuts, a sharpie felt marking pen works well to make the marks on your glass.
  2. Make sure you lay your glass on a very flat surface when you are going to make your score / cut. If there are hollows under the glass you run the risk of cracking the glass as you make your score / cut.
  3. Use a straight edge to guide the cut. A framing square, a drywall T-square, a long piece of metal, these all work well. Doing this will help assure that the cut edge of the glass is straight. After all this tool can be used to make rounded cuts for stained glass windows, etc.
  4. Until you are used to cutting, a spring clamp can hold the clamp in place so that it doesn't slip or shift as you make the score thus screwing up your cut.
  5. Place the straight edge so that it covers up the side of the glass that you are wanting to keep. That way if you slip and the cut goes awry, you are cutting on the scrap side and not ruining the good piece.
  6. With the heavy little ball on the other end of the glass cutter repeatedly tap along the entire score line. This sends little shock waves through the glass helping to deepen the score. This helps to ensure a proper snap.
  7. If you don't have a table edge long enough for the glass to be snapped or if you are making you cuts on a piece of plywood laid out on the ground, place a wooden dowel under and along the entire length of the score so that you can make the snap evenly.
  8. The biggest causes of broken glass during a snap are:
    • Irregular pressure on the snap (solved by placing the snap line on the dowel or on the edge of the table)
    • Not a deep enough score either due irregular pressure during the score (solved by the tapping)
  9. The belt sander does a great job of cleaning up and smoothing an irregular / sharp edge. Use the lowest grid numbers, 30, 50, 80.
  10. Acetone works well to clean up and remove residual oil and sharpie marks.

I have scored and snapped glass as thick as a 1/4 inch.

I show a bit about cutting glass in a tank tutorial I did some time ago.
http://www.dendroboard.com/forum/parts-construction/40473-detailed-journal-colored-foam-tank-rear-access-artificial-vines-stumps-9.html#post469373
 
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