Free Craft How To Instructions

Stained Glass Cutting

Naturally, one of the most important aspects regarding quality stained glass creation is having the ability to cut glass properly and with confidence.

The first thing you need is something which will cushion the glass prior to cutting. If you don't have a professional glass mat, a piece of heavy cloth (i.e. velvet), or even cardboard, will work. Velvet is a good choice because it also collects any glass splinters produced during the cutting process.

glass cutting figure 1 In preparation, the glass cutter should be lubricated in either kerosene or transmission fluid. Or, you can simply place a drop of all purpose oil on the cutter blade (wheel) before making each cut.

Hold the cutter between your first and second fingers with your thumb positioned along its back (see Fig. 1).

Press firmly down on the glass (not too hard) and then pull the cutter toward you in one continuous motion. If done properly, you should hear a slight crackling sound the entire length of the cut. Note: Don't ever go back over the score line. This will not only damage the cutter, it will cause the glass to crack, preventing a nice clean break.

glass cutting figure 2Slip a straight edge (i.e. a plastic ruler) under the glass and just barely behind the score line (Fig. 2). Now press down firmly and confidently. If you're working with a fairly large piece of glass, you can position the score line at the very edge of your table (or work surface). For small and shaped pieces of glass, you can gradually break away the discarded parts with pliers.

The best way to learn how to cut glass accurately is simply to practice doing so. Once you've mastered the basic technique, you can graduate to more intricate shapes and designs.

Precaution: Always were safety glasses!

Stained Glass Tools
Stained Glass Assembly

Top of Page