ART OF STAINED GLASS
THE PERFECT SCORE

Troubleshooting guide
Scoring and breaking glass is easy once one gets the hang of it. It you are experiencing difficulties, please refer to this troubleshooting guide.

Glass cutter
If you are using a cheap $5 steel wheel glass cutter, you would find it difficult to cut even thin soft clear float glass, you certainly cannot cut the much harder art glass. Make sure your glass cutter has a carbide head. That's essential. Oil lubrication is also very useful. Your glass cutter should cost in the vicinity of $25.

Positioning
For long scores, do stand. Standing will increase the reach of your hand by utilizing your shoulders and upper body in the scoring motion. For small scores, be seated in order concentrate on following the marker score line as close as possible.

Edge to edge
Always score from one edge of the glass to the other.

Pressure
Do apply an even pressure throught your entire score. With clear or cathedral glass with a smooth surface, you should hear that nice clear zipper sound from beginning to end. Excessive pressure will damage the cutter wheel, and insufficient pressure will result in the glass breaking off the score. But what if you are scoring art glass? If you are cutting textured glass from the smoother, but still relatively rough underside, you may not hear the zipping sound. If you are cutting Youghiogheny stipple glass, you also may not hear the zipper. Remember the following tips.

Glass requiring more pressure:

  • Opalescent glass
  • Thick glass
  • Ring mottles
Glass requiring less pressure:
  • Clear cathedral glass
  • Thin glass
  • Youghiogheny stipple


Breaking a lot of small pieces
Trace your pieces on the glass, and line them up in rows of similar widths. For any row of pieces, any piece with a concave face should be facing downward. Why? Because it's easier to break off the concave face first, and then all the other faces.



Score inside the marker lines
In order to minimize grinding, always aim for your score line to be just within the marker line.

Pointy shapes
When breaking a piece with a pointed end, there is a risk that this pointed end will break off. How to tackle this kind of shape depends on the overall shape of the piece. Remember these tips:
  • Tap the part of the score that's further away from the pointy tip with the ball end of your class cutter, on the underside of the score.
  • Place your breaking pliers closer to the pointy tip of the piece, rather than in the middle of the score line.
  • If the piece is a large one, gradually remove glass from the pointy end much like you would remove crescent moon shapes while "carving out" a concave area.

    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