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Q & A: How do you cut curves in glass?

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Q & A: How do you cut curves in glass?


Q:

My up-and-coming star pitcher accidentally hurled her baseball through a glass pane in our family room hutch. Usually, I’d just get out my glass cutter and make a replacement pane, but this one’s arched! How the heck do I cut a new arched glass pane?

 

A:

Think positive—at least she didn’t bust the TV! And you can cut a new pane using only a standard glass cutter.

Reproduce your curved pane by taping together the broken glass or making a template of the pane using paper or cardboard.Place the pattern under the new glass.Use a sharp cutter lubricated with light machine oil (3-In-One works well). The oil prevents the wheel from getting stuck and skipping a spot.Grip the cutter like a pen and use a light, smooth stroke directly over the curved outline.Don’t go over the line twice! This dulls your cutter.The first score makes a “clean”crack.A deeper, second score will probably cause secondary cracks to spread from the first.

In addition to the curved score, make radial scores from the curve to the edge of the glass.After scoring the curved section, turn the glass over onto a flat surface and tap directly over the score with the ball on the end of the cutter. Buy extra glass and be prepared for some trial and error before you get it right.

Caution: Wear safety glasses at all times and leather gloves when handling the glass.

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This story originally appeared in American Woodworker February 2001, issue #85.

February 2001, issue #85

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