Cutting glass

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Cutting glass

Postby Overlander Matt » Tue Feb 05, 2019 10:57 pm

I must admit I am having trouble cutting larger pieces of glass cleanly without breaking it and wonder whether there are any tips anyone can offer. The workshop is currently a bit temporary but I'm not sure I really want to blame the bench and the tools for the problems! To date I have just been working on a rickety work bench and using a long metal rule rather than a purpose designed T. The cutter is a bit prone to the occasional deviation from the straight line with the metal rule.

Most of the glass cutting video clips I have seen show a small piece of glass being cut which tends not to be a problem. It's normally when I cut a 4' width that I run into trouble. If I had to guess it would be that the score is not deep enough...

Finally, does anyone use a blanket to cover their bench to protect the glass?

Thanks in advance.

Matt
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Re: Cutting glass

Postby prospero » Tue Feb 05, 2019 11:59 pm

If you think it's going to go wrong, it will do. :lol:

Could be the cutter that is skipping. When this happens you tend to lean on it harder.

When you make the score, do little tiny shards of glass fly off the score line? If so you are either pressing too hard or
the cutter is worn out or both. You know when you have done a good score when it 'sings' to you. If it sounds crunchy, it's bad.

You could try lubricating to wheel (I assume it is a wheel) with a dab of white spirit. That often perks up a worn wheel.

I should treat yourself to a new cutter. :wink:
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Re: Cutting glass

Postby poliopete » Wed Feb 06, 2019 5:50 am

Cutting on a rickety workbench is probably not a good idea :( as prospero said the cutter should sing and make a sound like tearing silk rather than a rasping sound. A large L shaped square is more stable than a straight edge for long cuts unless the straight edge has suckers. a good cutter is essential and a regular drop of thin oil works wonders.

There are excellent threads on here about cutting glass so it's worth a search and if your lucky someone will come along with pics of cutters etc to help explain further.

I see you are about two hours from me. If you would like to pop over for a cuppy and a free glass cutting demo/lesson you will be very welcome.

Just send a pm.

Peter.
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Re: Cutting glass

Postby Chris_h » Wed Feb 06, 2019 10:18 am

When I started I struggled for ages with cutting glass by hand, I had watched lots of videos, read books and got lots of advice on here. It turns out even though my glass cutter was brand new and a decent make there was something wrong with it. I got a new cutter and the problem was solved instantly. I also got a proper glass cutting T-sqaure from Wessex after a year or so of using a metal and wooden one and this also made a big difference as the cutter slides down it much better and doesn't skip.

When cutting really large sheets I always found it easier to turn the sheet once cut and then snap on the edge of the workbench.

I use the rolls of laminate flooring underlay to place on my workbench when polishing glass and used to do the same when cutting glass by hand.
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Re: Cutting glass

Postby BaBaZa » Wed Feb 06, 2019 11:50 am

you're local to us, we are based in Langar, Nottinghamshire. Happy to give you a quick course in glass cutting, give us a call to confirm someone is available to demonstrate.

https://mainlinemouldings.com/index.php
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Re: Cutting glass

Postby Overlander Matt » Wed Feb 06, 2019 10:16 pm

Thank you for the replies. I'm always impressed at how generous total strangers can be to others on the internet. It restores your faith in humanity!

Chris understands where I am at right now with the glass cutting. It really is too hit or miss to be reliable and sustainable. I will order a decent square and get the cutter checked out. Ricky at Mainline sounds like he can help me - it's half an hour from where I am so pretty handy.

I really have to get the workshop organised - at present it is a cluttered garage where we are living temporarily. I have grand plans for the next house which has a decent out building with loads of space (at last!!). For now I am messing around with an MDF board balanced on other items. It could not be further from ideal... I am just dabbling with the framing right now, balancing being a full time stay at home dad to a one year old and five year old. There's time in the evening for a bit of framing and learning the ropes before I look to earn any kind of living from it.

Pete and Prospero, I really appreciate the advice you have given previously when I was playing around with some oak frames. I'm on the hunt for a vice at the moment as it happens. I will take you up on the offer of a visit at some stage too Pete!

Thanks once again.

Matt
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Re: Cutting glass

Postby poliopete » Thu Feb 07, 2019 6:04 am

Matt, your very welcome any time :D I always have something interesting to frame.

And if you take up Ricky's offer and drop your Morso blades of at Mainline at the same time to be sharpened, you can't go wrong :giggle:

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Re: Cutting glass

Postby Steve N » Thu Feb 07, 2019 8:15 am

Don't forget how you store your glass , can have an effect on how it cuts, if you store your glass leaning against the wall, make sure it is supported all the way down the length , ie put a 12mm bit of chipboard leaning against the wall , then lean your glass against this. If you just lean the glass aginst the wall so it's just touching at the top against the wall and not supported, then the glass is bending, leading to a stress in the glass, so with a combination of rickety bench, steel rule for a straight edge and dodgy glass cutter, you're going to have problems
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Re: Cutting glass

Postby Daveyo » Fri Feb 08, 2019 6:43 pm

Does anyone on here use a designated glass and board cutter ie keencut?
We're about 4 months into picture framing and my buisness partner favours the 4000 whilst I'm used to a t square... he finds it hard to snap big glass on the board cutter as it often runs off at the end of the cut on a big sheet....
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Re: Cutting glass

Postby prospero » Fri Feb 08, 2019 7:59 pm

I'm just as happy cutting by hand as using a wall-mounted cutter. That is until you have to do a long score and then the wall cutter wins.
Cutting by hand does require a lot of horizontal space though. It's either reserve an area for glass cutting or be constantly clearing stuff out of
the way. Ina busy workshop dedicated work areas will greatly speed up production.
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Re: Cutting glass

Postby cleaver » Fri Feb 08, 2019 8:12 pm

Hi Dave,

I've had a tiny bit of experience of the 4000 - loved it.

Like most good framing equipment, it's designed to do one thing - and do it brilliantly well.

As you probably know, it cuts glass, mountboard to size, and all backers - inc MDF. What I especially like is how true and straight cuts are....so the 'waste' can be re-used without worrying about off-true edges. It has production stops too, making runs easy.

You may have seen; there's one on ebay now at a start price of £425 (I think). The seller very honestly says the rubber clamping gasket is perishing. One fly in the wossname: I think spares might be an issue for the 4000 (I could be wrong).

In a nutshell, if a framing klutz like me can use it, it must be good!
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Re: Cutting glass

Postby prospero » Fri Feb 08, 2019 8:59 pm

Most of the time the clamps on the Keencut systems aren't critical. With glass the clamps aren't really needed, only to make
sure the sheet is' snugged up' to the back. 2.5 MDF is just about on the limit of the twin-wheel cutter. It needs a fair bit of
beef. One problem is when you want to slice a narrow piece off. If the waste part does not bridge the gap between the channels
the force downward can tip the sheet causing a deviation in the cut. You have to hold down the far end which requires three arms.

But in all cases the cushioning strip is desirable. :)
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Re: Cutting glass

Postby Daveyo » Fri Feb 08, 2019 9:39 pm

It's the mdf were struggling with .... in a 4ft cut it runs 3or 4mm out.... but the wheels really pull.the board off the machine..?? The glass cuts bang on so it's not the machine out of square.... I've had suggested... New cutting wheels or an issue with the clamps?
Thoughts?
D
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Re: Cutting glass

Postby prospero » Sat Feb 09, 2019 12:30 pm

I had trouble with the wheels not cutting straight. First thing to do is make sure they are rotating freely, but not loose on
their mountings. There is a nut on each which can be adjusted. Easier to do this with the block removed.
It may be that you need a thin shim between the cutter block and the slidey part to true up the path of the cut. It's mostly
a question of trial and error.
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Re: Cutting glass

Postby Daveyo » Sat Feb 09, 2019 6:44 pm

That's interesting .... I'm using 2mm mdf and it's quite tough to pull the cutter down..... I may buy new wheels and try to adjust.... should the cutter head run smoothly up and down on the rail? Mine's a bit stiff even without trying to cut mdf? Also should the mdf wheels pull the mdf off the cutter?? Finally it looks like the rubber that's on the large clamp has pretty well gone.... anything I could replace it with? Ta d
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Re: Cutting glass

Postby prospero » Sun Feb 10, 2019 6:07 pm

The cutting wheels can get clogged up with dust from the MDF. It combines with any oil an can clog the pivots.
Taking the block/wheels off and giving every thing a good clean might help.

Before you do this check that both wheels are rotating freely. If one or both is binding the it's will still cut but with great effort.
I have never adjusted the actual sliding track. If that runs fairly smoothly when not cutting then best leave it alone.

** I noticed that I have a little bit of folded card between the wheel block and the slide carriage which I put in sometime. It serves
to skew the cutter block a small amount clockwise to achieve a cut parallel with the bar. That all a matter or try and see.
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Re: Cutting glass

Postby Daveyo » Mon Feb 11, 2019 9:00 am

The wheels do rotate but it is quite an effort to pull the cutter through the 2mm mdf and it does really pull the mdf away from the back of the machine... the cutting head I would say is quite stiff on the track compared to the glass cutting head so maybe adjustment required?
I've downloaded the manual...not sure how much adjustment there is on it..... he Dave
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