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Category Archives: Stained glass designs
1 Beveled glass that is precut can be purchased from your local glass dealer. Verify that the bevels fit the pattern and grind (p26) to fit if they do not.
2 Take care not to scratch the glass bevels. Keep work surfaces clean. Place masking tape over the raised surface of the bevels for protection from scratches.
3 Apply the appropriate copper foil (p29) to the edges.
This procedure also applies to purchased jewels, glass globs or nuggets, and rondels.
1 Always cut mirrored glass on the glass side, not the silvered side.
2 Bevel the coated side of the mirror by holding it at a 45° angle to the grinder work surface, with the silver-backing facing up, and lightly grind each edge. Beveling will help prevent chipping the silvering during grinding.
3 Grind mirror, if required, to make it fit the pattern. Keep the grinding surface clean to prevent scratching the silvering.
4 Rinse off grinding residue with clean water and dry with a soft cloth.
5 Apply clear nail polish to the edges of the mirror to prevent flux or patina from seeping between the glass and the silvering. Allow polish to dry.
6 Apply the appropriate copper foil (p29) to the edges.
How to Drill a Hole.
1 With a permanent waterproof fine-tipped marker, mark the glass piece where the hole is to be drilled. Holding the glass at an angle to the top of the bit, begin grinding the hole. Hold the glass firmly but do not apply too much pressure.
2 Once the hole has been started, level out the glass piece and continue to grind completely through the glass. Wet the bit often with a sponge soaked with water and/or grinding coolant.
If the glass is opaque and you cannot see where to grind the hole, make a template of the glass piece from stiff cardboard. Make a hole large enough for the drilling bit to fit through. Tape the template to the underside of the glass. With the template facing downward, drill the glass, using the hole in the template as your guide. To preserve the template for later use, remove it from the glass once the hole has been started.
How to Grind Inside Curves.
Using a Drilling/Grinding Bit.
1 Wear safety glasses and a work apron. Grasp the glass piece firmly in your writing hand and grind away excess glass by holding it against the bit with a light and even pressure. In the other hand, hold a moistened piece of sponge lightly against the bit to keep it wet.
2 Check the piece against the project pattern and mark where further grinding is required. Repeat until the piece fits accurately.
An elevated platform, used as a surface on which to rest small glass pieces when using drilling bits for grinding, is available for most makes and models of grinders.
1 Wear safety glasses and a work apron, have a face shield attached to the grinder, and position a back splash along the back and sides of the grinder to contain any airborne glass chips and water overspray.
2 Keep water in the reservoir and have a moistened sponge positioned adjacent to the diamond-coated bit at all times.
3 Cut each glass piece on the inside of the pattern line to fit the pattern with less grinding and allow for the application of copper foil. If the glass pieces fit the pattern and do not overlap the pattern line, make one quick swipe against the grinding bit on each edge of the glass to dull any sharp edges. Only light pressure is required when pushing the glass against the bit.
4 If traces of the marked line are still visible on the piece, grind the edge to ensure an accurate fit within the pattern lines.
5 Check the piece again with the pattern. If any part of the piece still overlaps, mark the area with a permanent waterproof marker. Grind the excess away. Check the piece with the pattern. Repeat until the piece fits.
6 Repeat steps 3 through 5 for each piece, making sure to leave a very narrow space between the pieces to accommodate the copper foil. Pieces that leave a large gap between the line and the adjacent piece should be recut.
7 Rinse each glass piece under clear running water when grinding is complete.
8 Wipe the surface of the grinder often with a wet sponge or cloth to prevent small glass chips from scratching the underside of the pieces being ground. Do not run bare hands across the grid work. Glass slivers are painful and difficult to remove.
9 To ensure proper performance of the glass grinder, clean thoroughly and rinse the water reservoir after each use.
Keep the pattern sheet dry during the grinding stage by placing it inside a vinyl sheet protector or cover it with an adhesive-backed clear vinyl.
1 Trace pattern F (p21) onto the glass, placing one of the sides against the edge of the glass.
2 Score the most difficult cut first (S-shape).
3 Align the running pliers with the score line. Squeeze only hard enough to start the run. Repeat the procedure at the opposite end of the score line If both runs meet, use your hands to separate the resulting 2 pieces. If the “runs” do not meet, gently tap along the the score line (on the underside of the glass).
4 Score and break out remaining cuts.
The jagged edge of the glass along the score line can be smoothed by grozing.
1 Grasping the piece of glass firmly in one hand, place the combination pliers perpendicular to the edge of the glass and drag the serrated jaws along the jagged edge in an up-and-down motion. Repeat until the edge of the glass is smooth.
Cutting Outside Curves, Circles, and Ovals .
1 Trace pattern C (p20) onto the glass, leaving 1/2 in from the outside edge of the glass.
2 Make an initial score line that will separate the pattern piece from the sheet of glass. The score line will go from the outside edge of the glass and* upon reaching the circle will follow the perimeter of it for a short distance and then head off on a tangent to the edge of the glass (see line 1). Break away this piece.
3 The second score line will follow around the circle for a short distance (approximately l/6th of the perimeter) and then leave on a tangent to the outside edge (see line 2).
Break away this piece.
4 Repeat step 3, scoring and breaking the glass in a pinwheel fashion, until the circle shape has been formed (see lines 3, 4, 5, and 6).
5 Small jagged edges where a score line was started or ended can be ground off with a glass grinder or nibbled away with breaking or combination pliers.
6 To practise cutting outside curves and ovals, trace pattern D and E (p20) onto the-glass, leaving 1/2 in from the outside edge of the glass. Follow steps 2 to 5 above.
Cutting Squares and Rectangles.
Because it is almost impossible to cut glass at a 90° angle, a series of straight scores and breaks is recommended when cutting square and rectangular pieces.
1 Trace pattern A (pl9) onto the glass, aligning one of the sides of the pattern with the edge of the glass.
2 Score along the other side of the pattern piece. Proceed to break the score line, using any method described previously.
3 Score and break any remaining cut required to achieve the shape of the pattern piece.
Breaking Larger Sheets of Art Glass.
1 Score the sheet of glass, using a straightedge as a guide for the cutter.
2 Align the score line with the edge of the worktable.
3 Grasping the glass firmly and using both hands, raise the end of the sheet, approximately 1 in from the surface of the table. The opposite end of the sheet must still be in contact with the table.
4 With a swift, downward motion, snap off the end piece of glass.
A Last Resort Technique for Difficult to Break Glass Pieces.
Tapping underneath a score line.
NOTE: Tapping a score line may cause small chips and fractures along the score line and should be done only as a last resort on difficult-to-break pieces. Here’s how to do it.
1 Hold the glass close to the surface of the worktable. Using the ball at the end of the cutter, gently strike the glass from the underside, directly underneath the score line. Once the score begins to “run,” continue tapping ahead of the “run” until it reaches the other end of the score line.
2 With your hands or a pair of pliers, separate the glass into 2 pieces.