Wednesday, August 17, 2011

How To Cut Perfect Circles From Stained Glass

The easiest way to cut perfect circles for suncatchers, wind chimes, etc. is to use a commercial circle cutter to score a perfect circle.

If you don't care to spend the money to purchase one, you can just score the circle freehand. Just make sure you end the score line where you started the score.

Silberschnitt Pro Circle Cutter

After the score the line, flip the glass over on a piece of corrugated cardboard and press along the line using your fingers until the line "runs" all around the circle score line.

Flip the stained glass back onto your cutting table with the score line up and score a few tangent cuts off of the circle.

Using your running pliers or your fingers, break off the outside tangent scores from your circle until you have a finished circle.

The finished circle should break out easily once the tangent cuts have been broken away.

When done properly, you should have a perfect circle without any rough edges.

The trick to cutting circles in stained glass is to make a series of concentric scores into the circle and then removing them in sequence.

This technique is also used to make sharp concave cuts in stined glass.

Concave curves are difficult to master; but if you remember to make only one score line for the curve, then a series of concentric scores back into the curve and remove the pieces in sequence, you shouldn't have any trouble.

The primary score should be removed last by gently tapping it out with the ball end of your cutter.

Instead of using concentric score lines, some artisans prefer cutting severe concave curves using a crisscross hatch pattern. It's really six of one, half dozen of the other.

If you plan on making a lot of concave, circle or other types of intricate cuts and money isn't a factor; you should consider purchasing either a
Ring Saw
or a Band saw for glass cutting these pieces.

When you graduate from creating stained glass suncatchers and get into Tiffany style lampshades; having a glass grinder, band saw or ring saw on your workbench is pretty much a necessity.

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