Updated: Aug 27, 2021
In my first blog post, I wrote about what you will need to cut bottles and other glass objects with a wet saw. In this post, I will cover more in-depth how to minimize damage to your glass while cutting and some precautions you can take to be successful.
So you purchased a tile saw and blade and have some glass available to cut! Here's some tips:
You cannot cut tempered glass with a tile saw, the glass will literally explode into a million pieces. You can cut annealed aka plate glass, but it needs to be at least be 1/8" thick!
Make sure your water reserve is full and that water is spraying on either side of the blade as you're cutting. Glass will melt if it's not cooled while cutting and this can also damage your blade.
Make sure your glass object is clean and free of any debris.
Be prepared for an unsuccessful cut. Some days your cuts may not be clean and chip free and that's OK. A number of factors influence the process of cutting glass.
Always follow all safety precautions! You're working with electrical hardware that can be extremely dangerous if you're not properly prepared when cutting glass.
Avoid cutting close to cars and other objects that will be damaged with glass debris and dust from the saw. Avoid electrocution by keeping outlets and plugs dry.
Replace the water frequently. Glass cutting creates a sludge in the water reservoir. If not maintained properly the sludge will impede water flow to the blade.
Cut during daytime when you have adequate light, also avoid cutting in rain and thunderstorms!
Tile saws can be used to cut glass vertically and horizontally, learn how to position the glass and the speed you need to maintain as you're feeding the object through the blade. Slow and steady not fast and haphazard. Do not stop in the middle of a cut, unless there's a jam.
Flip the power switch and wait for the blade to stop before reaching to clear a jam. If you're not familiar with the saw, ensure you have someone on standby to help you.
Cutting requires 100% complete focus. Avoid working in a distraction filled environment!
Thick glass often cuts easier. I usually cut 1/4" annealed glass, although through trial and error you can cut thinner glass. Glass vibrates as it's cut, and if there's a flaw in the object, it will likely crack and spread.
These are the most obvious aspects that you need to be aware of as you prepare to cut. Practice makes perfect. When you sell your art that features glass you've cut, take the cost and labor of the process into account.
Watch out for my next blog post! See you soon!
Theresa (aka Jazzystreasures)