View Full Version : How do you cut ground glass corners?

7-Sep-2013, 11:12
Just got two kodak 8x10 pieces from surplus shed. One already has a chip in it, the other has some stains that I hope will wash off. Anyways, I tried using some flat edge nail pullers to snip off the corners on a test piece and it worked only on one of the four. For those of you that have done it, What's the foolproof method that doesn't result in a mess?

Louis Pacilla
7-Sep-2013, 11:27
Did you score the corners using a glass cutter before you used the pliers ? You can not simply snap glass in a straight line with out cutting/scoring it first. At least not that aware of.

All the 8x10 gg from Surplus shed where/are stained and I could not get the stain to wash off using water, dawn detergent & a wet bounty paper towel. So your may not clean off completely. It has no ill effects as once I'm under the dark cloth and focusing on the ground glass. I simply don't notice it.

Jim C.
7-Sep-2013, 11:40
I've bought some of the gg from Surplus Shed, never noticed that they were stained, it's glass
so any hardware store solvent ( Acetone, denat. Alcohol ) might get the stain out if detergent and water doesn't.

You have to score the glass with a glass cutter then snap the corners off, never had much luck getting
a clean snap. :rolleyes:

7-Sep-2013, 11:50
One of these little cutters is usually only about $5-6 bucks at a hardware store. You lay the glass on a flat surface and simply put a straight edge along the line of the cut you want to make and score that line two or three times with the diamond wheel. Then you slide the glass off the edge of the surface (table edge, etc.) and use the closest to the glass thickness of the the square cut indents below the wheel to grip the part to be removed and flex it downward. In theory, and mostly in practice, that will cause it to break perfectly along the score line.

The edge will be quite sharp, so you might want to use one of the stone bits for a Dremel type tool to smooth those new edges....top and bottom.

7-Sep-2013, 11:54
400 grit wet sandpaper will be fine for smoothing the sharp edges.

7-Sep-2013, 12:18
I use a diamond knife sharpener they are 2 ($3.10) here in the UK, great for smoothing rough glass edges and even bevelling glass edges for negative carriers. Much faster and easier than wet and dry paper.


7-Sep-2013, 12:54
oops, why didn't I think of that? I have a couple of those cutters floating around. I usually leave glass cutting for glass shops because I ruin nearly every piece I touch. In this case, I must do it myself. Wish me luck! Thanks too.

7-Sep-2013, 16:28
One thing I should have emphasized, Vinny. Only take the scored line out a millimeter or so past the table edge so that all of your force is exerted right on that line and not further back past it. Maybe a counter top with a 90 degree edge would be even better as you what to prevent any stress at any other area than where you've scored the line.

7-Sep-2013, 16:42
I scored and snapped them off. only one broke a bit more off than I wanted but with a little sanding it looks just fine.

7-Sep-2013, 18:48
Most glass cutters have a ball or knob on the end that is used to tap the opposite side under the score. Make sure the fracture created when scored goes all the way through the sheet. Also, comet scouring powder is good for removing stains and light marks on the ground side, just don't get it on the smooth side.

John Koehrer
9-Sep-2013, 22:51
A Dremel tool with cutting disc also works well..........If you've got one.

Steven Tribe
9-Sep-2013, 23:50
I usually leave glass cutting for glass shops because I ruin nearly every piece I touch.

Yes, thats my experience too.
Glaziers have told me that recently made glass is easier to cut than NOS glass.
Part of the problem is that cheap glass cutters are not really up to the job.

10-Sep-2013, 04:49
Yeah, i do have a dremel and cutting discs. I like that idea. My wife commented that the camera all looks really nice except for the ground glass corners. Maybe I'll dremel the second ground glass.

10-Sep-2013, 21:28
When scoring, you must score ONCE only and with great force; going slowly helps. If you take multiple swipes at it or go back & forth, the scratches won't perfectly coincide and you won't get a clean break - it will wander away from where you scored. Use an oil-lubricated diamond scorer. Small breaks are harder to get right compared to longer ones (e.g. dividing a sheet into two).

Ben Hopson
11-Sep-2013, 10:58
Some good suggestions and I would only add that a glass cutter that has a cutting wheel in excellent condition is a must for clean cuts. Glass cutters are inexpensive and if not sure of the condition I would buy a new one. Also dipping the cutter in mineral spirits (paint thinner) will lubricate the cutter and make a clean cut easier to achieve. Make sure the glass is lying flat and well supported underneath so there will be no flex when you put pressure on the straight edge. Lube cutter and drag across glass (once only) with even pressure. Lightly tap glass on the opposite side of cut. Usually you can see the score line deepen through the glass where the cutter was used. Anyway, tap right on the score line with ball end of glass cutter from underneath and if you are lucky the corner will snap off with little effort and cleanly. If you have some glass scrap around it would help to practice cutting to get the feel for it. Emory cloth works well for killing the sharp edge of the cut. Good luck.

11-Sep-2013, 13:07
I think I like the Dremel idea best. That glass is very thin and delicate. I had one cut down to fit my Calumet C1 by a glass shop that had a glass grinder. They went out of business, and I couldn't find anyone else who had one the next time I needed one cut down. So I took it to another glass shop and they broke it, it was just too thin. Good that it was only $10 worth of glass, but disappointing nonetheless.

Jim Andrada
11-Sep-2013, 16:34
And if you're going to use any kind of grinding/cutting wheel, be very sure to wear a dust mask of some kind - glass particles in the lung are not good for you.