How to Cut Glass & Polish the Edges

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Use proper tools and techniques to ensure successful glass cutting.
Use proper tools and techniques to ensure successful glass cutting. (Image: glass #5 image by krynio from Fotolia.com)

Glass manufacturing can be traced back thousands of years. In today's world, glass is used in a wide variety of applications. Whether cutting glass for a home improvement task or a craft project, the process can be intimidating. Use of the proper tools and techniques will ensure a proper cut and finish.

Things You'll Need

  • Gloves
  • Standard glass cutter with tapper
  • Metal ruler
  • Felt-tipped pen
  • Turpentine
  • Glass pliers
  • Glass paper or polishing stone
  • Glass polishing paste

Preparation

Select a flat table and make sure the surface is clean.

Cover the table with a damp rag. This acts as cushion so the glass will stay in position.

Don gloves and safety glasses to protect against glass particles.

Clean the glass thoroughly to remove all dirt and dust.

Cutting and Polishing

Determine the appropriate location for the cut, then use a metal ruler to ensure a straight cutting line. Mark the cutting line with a felt-tipped pen.

Set the ruler on glass. Position the ruler about 1/8 inch from the cutting line to compensate for the glass cutter.

Secure the metal ruler to glass with duct tape.

Hold glass cutter firmly to glass and push down hard. Make one continuous cut the entire length of the cutting line.

Remove duct tape and ruler.

Apply turpentine to the cut line. This lubricates the cut and makes separating the two sections easier.

Tap the opposite side of the cut line gently with the tapper to further strengthen the cut.

Lay the glass on the table with the cut at the edge of the workspace.

Snap the two sections apart gently.

Use glass pliers to remove any remaining pieces of glass.

Polish the edges gently using a fine trickle of water and glass paper or a polishing stone.

Complete the polishing process by gently rubbing glass polish paste on the cut edges.

Tips & Warnings

  • Ensure that you have a firm grip on the cutting tool.
  • When cutting, hold the cutting tool in a straight vertical position and cut firmly.

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