This is part of a series
on different kinds of saws which can be used to cut glass. Click here to go to part one,
which deals with some things to think about before you decide
to buy a glass saw.
For many people who work with kiln-formed glass, the tile saw
is the first major equipment purchase after the kiln. Although
tile saws can be very expensive (over $1000 US), it's also possible
to purchase a serviceable model for under $100. This low entry
price makes them attractive options for people who want to make it
easier to cut straight lines in pattern bar slices or thicker
Even a piece of glass as thin as two fused layers (1/4" --
6mm) can often be cut more easily with a tile saw than by hand. This
is especially true for those who lack the necessary hand strength to
cut and break thick pieces by hand.
As the piece of glass gets thicker, cutting straight lines
with a tile saw makes more and more sense. Pattern bars, for
example, are usually at least one inch (2.3 cm) thick, making them
extremely difficult (if not impossible) to cut by hand. A good
tile saw greatly simplifies this task, and makes it fairly easy to
cut uniform pattern bar slices.
While inexpensive glass saws (band
saws like the Gryphon, ring saws like the Taurus, etc.) can also be
used to cut thicker pieces and pattern bar slices, they tend not to
do the job of cutting straight lines as well as a tile saw.
The blade on many glass saws tends to wander when cutting. In
addition, replacement blades for glass saws are much more expensive
than blades for tile saws. Add this to the fact that the
cheapest glass saw is at least three times the price of the cheapest
tile saw, and it's not hard to see why tiles saws have become the
saw of choice for cutting straight lines in pattern bars and
similar thick pieces.
Click here for
information about selecting a small, inexpensive tile saw.
Copyright 2006 Brad Walker.
All rights reserved.