Basic Glass Cutting
This is part four of a multi-part series on glass cutting.
Click here to go to part one.
Once you’ve scored the glass, it’s time to break it. There
are several approaches, some requiring specialized tools to make
the breaking go easier.
Whichever method you choose, breaking the glass should be done
firmly, holding the glass securely, and immediately after making
the score. If you wait too long, the score will begin to “heal”
and it will be difficult to get a clean break.
2. For best results it's often helpful use a pair of
pliers (glasscutters, not household) to help you break the
glass. Running pliers can be used for straight lines,
regular glass pliers for smaller ones.
3. For stubborn breaks, sometimes
it helps to tap along the opposite side of the score with the cutter
or another tool. You might also consider
4. To break long straight lines, use the
edge of the tabletop to coax the glass to break along a scored
line. Just place the score so that it lines up with the edge of
the table. Use one hand atop the glass that's on the table
to firmly hold it in place, and with your other hand grasp the
glass securely and quickly push down. Be careful when
doing this, and make certain you hold the glass securely as it
The key to good breaking, just like good cutting, is practice.
Use scrap window glass until you feel comfortable with how to
use your cutter. If you have a grinder, you can also use it to
trim up your mistakes, but with practice and time you’ll cut the
glass perfectly every time.
Finally, be careful when disposing of
glass. One safe approach is to wrap the small slivers and chips
in scrap newspaper and tape together. This quickly tidies up the
workplace and also avoids accidental cuts.
Click here if you're
interested in reading a list of tips specifically tailored to
cutting thin glass strips.
Copyright 2005 Brad Walker. All rights
Most of these this
information adapted from
Contemporary Warm Glass: A Guide to
Fusing, Slumping, and Related Kiln-forming Techniques.