This is part three of a
multi-part series on glass saws. Click here to go to part one,
which deals with some things to think about before you decide
to buy a glass saw.
This tip deals only with inexpensive saws made specifically
for cutting shapes in glass. These kinds of saws tend to cost
in the range from $250 to $500 US. There are three main types:
band saws, ring saws, and wire saws.
Band saws cut glass using a thin blade with diamonds on one
edge. You cut the glass by pushing it into the blade, which is
flexible enough to permit maneuvering the glass to cut intricate
patterns that can't be cut by hand. The blade requires water at all
times, so that the glass doesn't overheat and crack. Glastar
and Diamond Tech make the most popular models in this range.
Ring saws, which also require water at all times, use a round,
diamond-coated blade that's capable of cutting in any direction,
rather than the single direction of the band saw. They can cut
slightly tighter curves than band saws, but since the blade is
relatively thick they remove more glass than the typical band saw.
The Gemini Saw Company makes the best-selling ring saw, which is
called the Taurus.
Another type of inexpensive saws is the wire saw, available
from Gryphon. This saw, which has the ability to make inside cuts
without a lead-in, uses relatively inexpensive (but short-lived)
diamond blades that can cut in any direction. It is not as fast as
similar band saws and, like the other kinds of saws, the wire saw
requires constant bathing with water to keep the glass from
overheating and cracking.
If you do purchase a glass saw, realize that it will
supplement, not replace your manual glasscutter and pliers. While
these kinds of glass saws can make intricate cuts, they're generally
not a good choice for cutting straight lines or cutting through
Click here for
information on tile saws, which can be used for cutting straight
lines in glass.
Copyright 2006 Brad Walker.
All rights reserved.