Cutting a Circle with a Tile Saw
Although most people use a tile saw to cut straight lines or
slice pattern bars, it's also possible to use the saw to cut circles
Start by drawing the circle you'd like to cut on the glass.
It's best to draw with an ink that won't float off or dissolve in
the water that lubricates the tile saw.
After the circle has been drawn, start the cutting process by
cutting a number of straight lines that are tangent to the outside
of the drawn circle. You want to cut a stop sign that just
touches the outside of the circle. (If you started with a
square with sides the same length as the circle's diameter, it will
take four cuts to turn the square into a stop sign.)
Once you have a stop sign, trim the corners of the stop sign
so that you have a 16-sided shape around the circle. For small
circles, this shape (called a hexadecagon, by the way) will nearly
form a perfect circle. For larger circles it may take another
round of corner-trimming before the circle is done.
Finally, use your grinder or wet belt sander to clean up the
edges of the circle and prepare it for firing. This process
sounds complicated, but it only takes a few minutes to cut the
circle. When it comes to cutting circles, the tile saw is both
quicker and less expensive to operate than most glass saws.
Copyright 2006 Brad Walker.
All rights reserved.