Glass Scoring Tips
Are the blades for the Taurus 2.2 and Taurus 3.0 interchangeable?
- Hold cutter like a pen
- Score from edge to edge
- Curves are OK, but never try to cut angles
- Use the side of your hand for a second point of contact
- Keep you score light - like a hair, not a string. You don't want to see a big line of crunched glass when you score.
- Invest in a great cutter that you're comfortable with - it will soon repay you in savings of both glass and time
All blades can be used on both saws except the Megablade which is designed exclusively for the Taurus 3.0.
Are there any tools that will reduce hand fatigue or joint strain while I'm cutting glass?
There are several tools that can make stained glass cutting easy and enjoyable. The Cutter's Mate will allow you to make all of the same cuts you can with a regular hand held cutter without the strain caused by applying pressure to the cutter to make an even score. The weighted handle applies the pressure for you while you simply guide the cutter head making consistently great scores that break cleanly and evenly. Delphi also has the Score 1 cutter which is a convenient and small tool that allows you to set the cutter head pressure and guide the glass through, moving the sheet of glass instead of the cutter to make a precision score. Because the pressure is set, you don't have to worry about exerting the downward pressure that can cause muscle strain for some people.
My glass cutter is defective - it leaks oil!
In most cases, if your cutter is leaky, it's not actually a problem with the cutter. Most cutters only require a few drops of oil, so if you use a moderate amount of oil (don't fill it up!), you won't have any leakage problems.
Why is there a little screw sticking out of the top of my running pliers? I noticed only some pliers have it.
Use the screw to set your running pliers to the same thickness as the glass you are breaking. Before you make your cut, set the running pliers onto your glass and gently close them. Tighten the screw all the way down, then back it off about half a turn. This will allow the pliers to close just a little bit smaller than the thickness of your glass, which will help you make a perfect break!
With a bandsaw, do I still need a hand cutter?
Bandsaws are great tools, but they won't entirely replace your hand cutter. Bandsaws can physically cut any shape you can think of, a bandsaw isn't practical for every cut you'll need to make. Bandsaws cut very intricate and tricky cuts, but they are slow for basic cutting (about the speed of a slower sewing machine). For the best (and fastest) results, we recommend using the saw on small or complicated cuts, and using your hand cutter on longer, easier cuts.
I've heard that temperature affects how easy it is to cut glass - is there any truth to this?
Yes. Cold glass is more brittle, which can make it more difficult to cut. Glass is much easier to cut and break when it's warm. If you work in a basement or garage, you may notice it's more difficult to get clean breaks, especially in the winter. Try not to work in areas that are too cold (for your own comfort, too!). Some people also warm their glass up a little: when you're ready to cut out your pieces, pre-warm the glass. I use a plate on a hot plate which is set on the lowest setting.
I'm having trouble cutting front surface mirror, and have tried every trick I know. The glass runs fine for the first inch or so, but then it runs off to the right or left. What am I doing wrong?
Front surface mirror is a hard yet brittle glass. Here's how you can cut front surface mirror...successfully! Use a cutter that is strictly dedicated to cutting mirror so that the wheel stays sharp and unchipped. I also use a Morton surface and Portable Glass Shop.
Before placing the mirror on the surface, position a large piece of craft felt on top of the grid surface to provide a little cushion for the mirror. Straight scores are more successful when the cutter is pulled toward your body. Score lightly and then break the glass gently. The blue plastic coating on the front of the mirror should still be attached to the glass. Being careful not to grind the edges of the glass together, use a sharp blade to cut through the plastic at the break line.
Since you mentioned that your score starts straight and then veers off, there could be a few other things occurring. For a good score, it is important to hold the glass cutter perpendicular (at a ninety degree angle) to the glass while applying light, even pressure. If the cutter strays from this angle, it is possible for the glass to jump off of the score. The other possibility is that your cutter may have a chip on the wheel, which may not be discernible to the naked eye. To determine if this is the case, score across the surface of regular mirror (not the front surface), but don't break it. Since the silvering on regular mirror is on the bottom (or back) side of the glass, it will better reflect and illuminate the score line. Examine your score. Does the score look like a dashed line? If the answer is yes, the cutter wheel is indeed chipped and will affect any glass cutting you do regardless of the type of glass.