How to Cut Glass: Tips and Techniques

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Sometimes woodworkers like to mix things up a bit and pull in other materials to complete woodworking projects. Glass is a great example of this, adding an element of class and craftsmanship to certain projects. Cutting and installing glass is not as difficult for beginners as it might seem, and in fact it is probably easier to learn how to cut glass properly than it is to learn certain woodworking techniques.

Proper tools are a must

As with any craft, as you learn how to cut glass you need to use the right tool for the job. Do not, under any circumstance, attempt to cut glass with your woodworking tools. There’s only one way that end up and it won’t be pretty. Look for a good quality glass cutter from a reputable supplier. As a newcomer to the hobby you’ll want the confidence of knowing that the tool is capable of making the cut, so it is up to the person holding the tool to do their part.

One shot at the perfect score.

The trickiest thing to get the hang of as you learn how to cut glass is to apply the appropriate down pressure as you score the glass, because you need to make the score in a single pass. Therefore it is a good idea to practice on some glass that you can discard before making your first “keeper” cut.

Snap with proper support.

After the perfect score has been applied, you’ll want to properly support the keeper piece along the score line, and carefully snap the glass. Handle the glass with caution after it has been cut because those fresh cut edges are razor sharp.

Once you learn the basics of how to cut glass, you might find yourself branching out to stained or leaded glass.

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