Fusing Glass – Cutting the Base Glass

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 17,941
    Glass art expert Erwin Timmers demonstrates how to fuse glass and how to cut the base glass.

    Erwin Timmers: Hello! My name is Erwin Timmers and we are here at the Washington Glass School and today I am going to show you how to cut squares of clear glass to form a base for your bowl. First you want to wear safety goggles because this is the part where little glass slivers can unexpectedly show up. I am going to take a ruler and measure out the square that I want to cut.

    This is base glass which is a little bit thicker than the colored glass that you'll see in little bit and I'll talk about the various thicknesses in the next segment. Here I basically want to measure out six inches because that's what our bowl is going to be. Six inches over here, and then these little things have to come off, as you cannot run your score over the paper. Lay the ruler and give a little bit of room to -- because the cutter had, the cutter wheel is just a little bit over from the side of the cutter. So like when you are drawing, you have got your ruler right up against it but you want to leave a little bit of room so that the actual is right where your mark is. Start at the very end and I usually notch the very end a little bit and then bring it all the way down.

    Some people push, some people pull, it doesn't really matter you can do both ways. Now you have got your scorer, it's basically just the surface of the glass, it's just been scratched and there are various ways to now cut it, to break the scorer. The official tool for something like that would be these, these are running pliers and they have, they form a little fulcrum, you will probably be able to see it there and so it pushes the side of the glass down and opens up that score. Now I'll see if I can do that reasonably well with this, here you go.

    Sometimes you see it run slowly, sometimes it just breaks in in go. If your score is good, you'll get a straight cut, if you stop and go, that means your score is not continuous, you'll see the glass break into all sorts of different directions just because if there is no more score to guide the break, it'll just go wherever it wants to.

    Now a couple of things on the glass here. I don't know, if you can see this. This has a little number on it and that number is very important to get off because that number will actually stay in your glass, it's a batch number from the factory made with high temp ink and it will stay on it forever, if you don't clean it off now.

    So next, I'll measure it up here. So again we have got six inches, I'll start here. Six inches here, and now you need little square to be able to get it square so because otherwise you are not quite sure, the edges of the glass, the way it comes from the factory, are very wonky and so you never quite know if that is the same distance.

    Here I go, so now I have got six inches on both sides. Again notch the little end here and pull it all the way through and you push with like a medium pressure, you don't want to push too hard, then your score gets too deep and it's also not a good score. The glass will break in various directions, I'll show you different way to break the glass and you can also just hold your fingers underneath here and your thumb on both sides and do it that way.

    It's basically the same principle where you are forming a fulcrum underneath the score on the other side and then pushing it, kind of opening up that score.

    Here is another one, I am going to make another cut here. I am doing the same thing, I notch it here and put through and there are these various ways that I could just break it like this again, here you go. And a lot of people are very scared of this breaking part but essentially it's very easy, as long as you have a good score and you put an applying pressure on both sides and you have got a fulcrum in the middle.

    So here we have the six inch square and this is going to be the base of our fused bowl and in next segment I'll be showing you how to do, how to cut shapes of colored glass that will form the pattern on the bowl.