Grind Glass Without a Glass Grinder


I love my glass grinder. In fact, I have a couple of them. But I dont grind every piece of glass that I cut. For me, its not necessary. If you can cut accurately, and by accurately I mean no bigger or smaller than your pattern, you may be able to cut down on your projects time by trying out a tool that Ive come to love and rely upon, my grinding stone.

A grinding stone, or abrasive stone harks to an earlier day in the history of glass cutting, but still has its value when used in conjunction with good solid, glass scoring and breaking technique. In the pre-grinder days, these stones were de rigueur for the well equipped glazier and to put it simply, they got the job done.

Learning to use the stone will take about thirty seconds of training; implementing it can save you hours.

Step One: Get Stoned

Most stained glass suppliers carry abrasive stones. They are not expensive. Get one, you wont regret it.

Step Two: Use It

An abrasive stone cannot shape your glass pieces the way a glass grinder can, but it can get rid of those nasty little edges on your freshly cut pieces of glass. Instead of taking your glass to the grinder to clean your edges, just run the surface of the stone against the area of your glass that needs smoothing. One or two swipes of the stone and your edge should be just fine. No additional grinding will be needed and youre ready to foil. Since there is no wetting of the stone or the glass, you neednt have to clean up you glass either.

Step Three: Use It More Often

The stone can also be used to make minor modifications in the shape of your glass. I use it all the time to round out edges that need just a little bit of help, or to dull a point that may fit better if it were rounded slightly.

Step Four: Replace When Needed

The more you use the stone, the sooner it will lose its abrasive surface. The texture will smooth out and the stone will begin to show wear (See photo #5) Abrasive stones are not expensive, so if you find they work for you, keep a few on hand. You just might have found a way to cut an appreciable amount of time from your glass projects.

Try it. I can almost guarantee that youll like it.

This article courtesy of Joe Porcelli and Glass Craftsman Magazine.

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Jody S.  •  May 23, 2021
I just tried on a rectangle piece, it chewed it up? Took off the iridescence like I used a bad bit. I found it difficult to even scuff up the glass edges. Is it the type of glass I’m using?
Joe Porcelli

Joe Porcelli

Publisher, producer, instructor and artist Joe Porcelli, author of The Lampmaking Handbook and Jewels of Light, a history of stained glass, has always believed that information, and the sharing of that information has been a defining characteristic of the phenomenal glass movement of the last 30+ years. In response to that, his company Arts & Media, Inc. reaches beyond the publication of Glass Craftsman into book publishing and the latest digital technologies, i.e., video/DVD production (The GCTV Productions catalog of glass videos), to keep the flow of information in tune with readers’ preferences.