With the right equipment and knowledge, anyone can learn to cut glass in the correct manner. If you're interested in becoming an expert glass cutter, all you need to do is read through the instructions which follow and practice cutting with scrap or waste glass, until you're proficient at this task.
Materials and equipment needed.
- Sheet of glass for cutting (preferably scrap or waste glass from any glass or framing shop; for practice purposes if you're a beginner)
- Safety goggles and thick gloves
- Glass cutter
- Cutting oil or kerosene
- Foot ruler
- Sandpaper or sharpening stone
- Felt marker to define the shape of the cut glass
Safety tips. Glass, though fragile, can be dangerous while you are cutting and shaping it. Always make it a point to wear a thick pair of gloves, preferably made out of heavy and sturdy materials and safety goggles to protect your eyes from stray pieces of glass which will be flying about during the cutting process.
Getting started. With the help of a foot ruler and felt marker, outline the measurement and shape of the glass you want cut from the main sheet. Avoid using a metal ruler because you will also be using it when you begin making the first cut into the glass surface.
Using the glass cutter. Before making the initial cut or ‘score' on the glass, dip the glass cutter in some cutting oil, which can be procured from the glass or framing shop as well. In case you cannot get cutting oil, substitute with kerosene. Clean the glass surface you will be cutting to remove any dust or grime which can interfere with making that perfect cut.
Correct grip. Hold the glass cutter as you would hold a pencil, grasp it firmly but not too tightly, when applying the cutter to the glass, don't press too hard with the cutter, else you may end up breaking the glass or marring the surface, thus spoiling your cut.
Cutting the glass. Hold the glass cutter and move it along the measurement lines you've drawn earlier. Remember the glass cutter will be helping in making a ‘score' across the surface of the glass, not actually separating the glass into two or more pieces. As you move the cutter along the glass surface from one end to the other, there should be a thin scoring line which appears on the glass, the movement sounding smooth to your ears. If there is a harsh, grating sound instead, it means you're either pressing too hard with the cutter, or the cutter is not properly lubricated.
Separating the glass. Once you've made the score across the surface in the desired shape, clear away all the glass bits and powder generated during the cutting. The scored lines should be visible just like a thin scratch on the surface. Using both hands, snap the glass across the scored lines. The correct snapping movement to be applied will have your right hand moving in a clockwise direction, while the left hand goes the opposite way in an anti-clockwise movement.
Smoothening the edges. Use sandpaper or a cutting stone to smoothen out the newly-cut glass edges, until the edge surface is clean and even. With this you've just cut your first piece of glass!!
Practice cutting on waste glass pieces before you attempt cutting the actual glass sheet. This will take care of any beginner's ‘nerves' and familiarize you with the correct ways of holding the cutter and making the cuts along the surface of the glass.