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Basic Glass Cutting

There are dozens of different kinds of cutters and lots of opinions about the "correct" way to cut glass, but there's only one key to getting it right: practice, practice, practice.  

The first thing you should do is stay away from the cheap glasscutters you can buy in hardware stores. Instead, get a cutter especially made for cutting stained glass. There are two major types: the pencil grip and the handle grip. There are also two major manufacturers, Fletcher and Toyo, as well as a host of other manufacturers. Most make cutters in each style. It's best if you can try each style to find the one that feels most comfortable to you.


Now that you have the right tool, it's time to get ready to cut. Start with scrap glass -- inexpensive window ("float") glass is just right for practice.  It's better to cut standing up than sitting down. Many people are slightly afraid when they first cut glass; as a result, they cut timidly, rather than with an even stroke. Good cutting considers a number of different factors, ranging from basic stance to work surface to amount of pressure and more.

Stay tuned for more on cutting, including specific tips to help you do the best job of cutting glass.

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Copyright 2005 Brad Walker.  All rights reserved.

Most of these this information adapted from Contemporary Warm Glass:  A Guide to Fusing, Slumping, and Related Kiln-forming Techniques

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