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Preventing Chipping When

Using a Tile Saw to Cut Glass

One of the most common problems that arises when using a tile saw to cut glass is the tendency for the saw to chip the edge of the glass as it completes the cut.  This occurs when the blade of the saw jerks slightly as it finishes cutting through the glass.  The jerk of the blade prevents a final, clean cut and often causes a uneven cut. 

It's possible to improve the quality of the cut by slowing down and pushing the glass through the blade a bit slower, but this seldom solves the problem entirely.  One solution that does work is to adapt an old woodworker's trick for use on glass.

In woodworking, it's common to prevent chipping by placing a second piece of wood so that it follows the first piece through the blade.  This way, the blade slices through the first piece, then cuts into the second immediately.  Chipping is avoided, and a clean cut is almost guaranteed.

To duplicate this in glass, simply use a scrap length of pattern bar or other thick glass.  Place it next to the glass being cut.  As the blade emerges from the first piece of glass (the good one), hold the two pieces firmly and continue cutting.  The blade should immediately engage the second piece of glass (the scrap piece).  Once it entirely clears the first piece, you can turn off the saw and remove the chip-free slice.

You'll need to trim off the ends of the scrap piece when they get ragged, but you can use the scrap over and over until it becomes too small to do the job.

This tip works best with a tile saw where the blade is below the cutting surface.  Click here for more tips on minimizing glass chipping on tile saws (including saws with an overhead blade).

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Copyright 2006 Brad Walker.  All rights reserved.

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Four Corners International, Inc.

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Copyright 2005-2006 by M. Bradley Walker.  All rights reserved.

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