How to Cut Big Sheets of Glass

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Cutting large sheets of glass, such as pieces that are 40 by 60 inches, can be a fun, but also intimidating activity. It is important that you take safety precautions while doing so to avoid serious injury.

Things You'll Need

  • Protective eye wear
  • Permanent gold marker
  • Glass cutter
  • Steel ruler with cork backing
  • Large glass cutting board or 3 to 4 pieces of plywood
  • Clean the glass before cutting. Wash very dirty glass with warm, soapy water. Windex or other glass cleaners will work if the glass is only slightly dirty. Put on protective glasses before you begin to cut.

  • Stand with your legs slightly apart to cut the glass so that you will be able to move your body easily. Place the glass right side up on top of the pattern piece. Trace the piece you want to cut with a permanent gold marker.

  • Flip the glass over to the back side, which is the smooth side. Using the glass cutter, follow one line at a time, applying strong pressure to cut the glass. While this will not cut the glass all the way through, it will make it easier to break. You should hear a slight scratching sound. Always cut from one edge to the other. Never stop in the middle.

  • When cutting large sheets, use a ruler with a cork back. Line up the ruler with the straight line on the pattern, and use the ruler as a guide for cutting the edge. Use a large glass cutting board when doing this. If you do not have a cutting board, lay a few large blankets over three or four pieces of plywood that have been pushed together. Position the plywood right under the cut position on the glass. Then cut the glass as you normally would.

Tips & Warnings

  • Never cut a line twice, as this will ruin your glass cutter. Only cut through a line once.
  • Do not press too hard on glass when cutting, because this may cause it to break or chip. However, do not press too lightly, either, because the glass will not break easily.
  • The best way to cut a piece of glass is to cut near the inside of the marked line.

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