Updated: Jul 23
I finally got my blog up and running. YAY! If you haven't met me, I'm a mixed media artist who specializes in acrylic painting, combined with reclaimed glass and epoxy resin. I live in Florida with my hubby Mike.
A number of fellow artists have expressed an interest in cutting stemware, tumblers and wine or liquor bottles. If you look on Pinterest, you'll see many fantastic ways of using empty bottles and glasses you have no more use for to create art and/or functional decorative items! I've cut several bottles and have learned quite a bit through trial and error. That's why I'm going to introduce you to the process step by step. Here we go!
There are different ways to cut glass, depending on what you are looking to create: something decorative or purely functional? There are many glass cutting tools available for several different techniques of cutting; I've tried them all! Some tasks just need a different type of animal to get the job done. Tile saws are for the heavy-duty glass-cutting enthusiast. Make sure to familiarize yourself with the different cutting tools before you invest in more expensive equipment that you might never use, and definitely watch tutorials on YouTube, etc.! Let's talk about saws...
Have you ever heard the term "wet saw" and wondered what that's used for? It refers to a tile saw, which uses water to cool down the blade while cutting. Tile saws cannot function without water; they are made to cut pieces of tile or glass with precision. I use it because I like to 1. Recycle, 2. Repurpose and 3. Make unique art. To get started, you need glass, a tile saw, a blade, water, gloves and protective eyewear, and determination, nerves of steel (jk), and electricity! You'll probably call me "Captain Obvious", but that's OK, it's better to be obvious than obtuse.
Not all saws are created equal (the same goes for glass), and there are several different varieties, including belt, scroll, band, tile saws to name a few. If you're starting out, you may not be able to afford the highest rated, which I would generalize by saying is the best or close to the best!
I've included a link to a website below that posted reviews of a few recommended saws as of February 2021. I have to warn you, good saws (any type) can be pricey. It can cost anywhere from $75 to $1000. Most purchases includes a blade, which USUALLY isn't the highest rated or most expensive, it's the STANDARD for that saw. Not all blades are effective for everything. The blade is made to cut a specific type of material, including ceramic, glass and porcelain and to certain thickness. The desired end result is the same, i.e. a good, clean and chip-free cut!
If you haven't ever cut these materials, you'll find there's a learning curve, as in most things you try for the first time! You can have a really great tile saw, but a substandard blade, which defeats the purpose of having the saw. The term "diamond" blade is often mentioned in terms of cutting glass. Much like the saw, the blade needs to be able to do a great job. Not all diamond blades are suitable to cutting thinner glass, which will chip and crack easily. You will get frustrated, it's a learning process.
MK Diamond makes a great diamond-edge "wet" blade that I've personally used and have gotten great results with. You need a blade with a very fine edge that won't eat up the glass, i.e. destroy it. When it comes to purchasing blades, you have to splurge on the best. I've tried several, including DeWalt, RIDGID, but you don't have to spent a ton on blades, just check the reviews before you purchase. I have a 10" Chicago Electric Wet Saw and my blade of choice used to be a pricey diamond blade that cost around $285 today. I wouldn't start by sacrificing my best martini glasses, the Dollar Tree carries some glassware that is pretty thick and easier to cut than your expensive crystal.
I'm not suggesting you spend $500 or more on a saw and blade , especially if you've never used this type of equipment, and it truly is trial and error. You can start off with a mid-range 7" saw, that you can cut wine glasses and bottles with, if you just want give it a shot. These fairly inexpensive tile saws are good for starting out. I cut some of my first glasses and bottles with that one. Harbor Freight carries Chicago Electric products that do the trick, although their products aren't the highest rated. Once again, check the reviews, and not only the positive ones.
My next blog will feature more in-depth exploration in the art of cutting and sourcing glass...see you soon!
Thanks for stopping by!
Theresa (aka Jazzystreasures)