ART OF STAINED GLASS
HOW TO CUT GLASS

Cutting glass is easy
We tend to associate breaking glass with negative events. The baseball through a window, the precious champagne glass in smithereens on the floor, dangerous shards. While it is recommended, for safety's sake, to always treat glass with respect, breaking glass in a controlled manner is a pleasurable experience. All you need is to dare to try. It may look intimidating at first, but it is in fact quite easy. There are many ways to cut glass. The techniques explained here are few and simple, yet, they are the very techniques that will later prove invaluable in cutting the most challenging glass with ease.

Types of glass breaks
We will show you how to perform several types of glass breaks, such as:
  • Large sheets, straight score
  • Medium sheets, straight score
  • Breaking off thin pieces, straight score
  • Curves, tapping method
  • Inside curves
Scoring glass:
Most stained glass is quite a bit harder than plain flat clear glass. Do not attempt to cut with cheap steel glass cutters. A good quality oil carbide glass cutter is not very expensive, and and may last for years and years of intensive use without dulling. it is a necessary investment. The most popular for the hobby craft are the pencil-grip cutters, but some people like fist-grip cutters as well. People that use both will often prefer the pencil-grip for short scores, and the fist-grip for long straight scores. This is the proper way to hold a glass cutter:



Practicing on smooth-textured glass, you will know that you have applied enough pressure when you hear a nice clear "zzzzzip!" as you score. Too little pressure and the break will not follow the score line, and too much will cause unnecessary wear and tear on your cutter as well as your wrist and elbow.

A score will always run from one edge of the edge of the glass, to some other edge. In other words, score lines must run "edge to edge."

Closeup view of score line:

Photograph by Billy Whaley

How To Cut Glass

Introduction
page 1
page 2
page 3
page 4
page 5
page 6
page 7 (how to cut glass, by manufacturer)
Troubleshooting