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Preventing Chipping When

Using a Tile Saw to Cut Glass

This is part two of a multi-part tip on minimizing chipping when using a tile saw to cut glass.  Click here to go to part one.

Another way to help prevent glass chipping on the tile saw is to use wax to affix the pattern bar to a scrap piece of float glass.  Done properly, this results in chipped float glass (which can be discarded) and perfectly cut pattern bar slices.

For best results, start with a wax that is a blend of ordinary paraffin and beeswax.  Both are available in most craft stores, and paraffin can also be found in many grocery stores.  Blend them in equal portions (some people go a little heavier on the paraffin, but pure paraffin is too brittle).  The easiest way to blend the two waxes is to heat them in a double boiler (a pan set in a second pan of water).  This prevents the wax from getting too hot and splattering.  Remember, utensils used for working with wax cannot also be used for cooking.

Once the wax is mixed, cut a piece of scrap float glass the size and shape of your pattern bar or other item to be cut.  Then heat the float glass on a hot plate (or even place it on top of a warm kiln).  When it gets hot enough to melt wax, coat the upper surface of the float glass, then press the pattern bar on top.  It should stick firmly in place.

Then use your tile saw to cut the pattern bar as normal.  Any chipping will damage the float, not the pattern bar.  When you're finished, simply warm the glass again and the two pieces will separate.  Discard the float scrap and then scrape off the wax from the pattern bar.  You may need to use some mineral spirits to do the final cleaning.

Coming soon -- more tips on preventing chipping.

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Copyright 2006 Brad Walker.  All rights reserved.

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Four Corners International, Inc.

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Copyright 2005-2006 by M. Bradley Walker.  All rights reserved.

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