glass cutter doesn't actually cut glass, it 'scores' glass with a tiny
sharp wheel at the tip. A score is simply a tiny scratch on the surface
of the glass. Once you've scored a line you simply apply pressure to
it and the glass will break along the score.
cutters come in all shapes, sizes and colors. Some glass cutters have
a reservoir for oil to lubricate the cutting wheel, others do not.
Both kinds make the same score on a piece of glass, so this becomes
a matter of personal preference. The cutter pictured above is oiled.
An annoying feature of oiled cutters is their spring loaded tip. The
entire silver colored tip pushes up into the reservoir to dispense
oil. This clumsy feature makes cutting a little more tricky.
want to have a glass cutter with a carbide wheel. While the initial
expense will be a slightly more, it's well worth the investment because
it will last much longer.
to Use One:
score standing up. You'll have much more control over the cutter.
the cutter: You can hold the cutter any way that feels comfortable,
as long as you keep it nearly perpendicular to the glass. Most people
hold the cutter the same way they hold a pencil.
so you can just barely see a scratch on the glass. If you see glass
chips flying all over, you're scoring too hard. Here is an example
of a horrible score (I pushed as hard as I could).
must always cut from one edge of the glass to another, so plan your
cuts in advance.
you start a score, you can't stop and expect to start again. If you
try to pick up where you left off, you will never get the cutting
wheel back in it's tiny groove and the break will go shooting off
in whichever direction it wants.
your score an eighth of an inch from one edge and score to an eighth
of an inch of another edge, using a ruler if you want.
close attention to your score when using a ruler, it's easy to wander
away from it.
that rule about cutting from one edge of the glass to another? Well,
that makes circles a little tricky. It usually takes at least three
separate cuts to complete one:
a gentle curve to cut along. This will be the first of several.
cut along the first curve and break off this scrap piece with running
pliers or grozing pliers.
another gentle curve and cut it off.
doing this until you are left with your circle. As you can see,
it won't be neat at first, but you can grind it to perfection later.
an inside curve is tricky because you are cutting a line that begins
and ends on the same edge of the glass. Here's how to do it:
an inside curve. If you were to score this and try to break it off,
the break would probably shoot off diagonally across the glass.
get around that, we'll cut a series of smaller, less dramatic cuts.
the first line, we'll do these one at a time.
out your first chunk with grozing pliers.
scoring and breaking. This last piece is on the big side, you could
use either grozing pliers or running pliers to break it out.
same shapes could easily be constructed out of many smaller shapes
soldered together, but using these techniques you can successfully
work with larger pieces of glass.