Reply by jmos

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Posted on How can you cut rectangles in glass?

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823 posts in 2338 days

#1 posted 02-10-2012 06:20 PM

I made stained glass for many years as a hobby. I’ve never tried what you are attempting, but it will not be easy. As you’ve discovered, glass tends to “run,” any crack will continue to travel. If you score the glass first, and the score isn’t too curvy, you can get the glass to run along the curve. However, if the curve is too tight, the crack will go off the score in an unpredictable manner. Concentrating stresses is you enemy.

I would try drilling out the corners as you propose, then scoring from hole to hole. If you have a simple glass cutter it has the scoring wheel (it’s not a cutting wheel) on one end and a ball on the other. Once you have the straight line scored, flip the glass over and use the ball and tap along the score; do this hard enough to get the glass to crack along the score, but not hard enough to chip or shatter the glass. If you lucky you will get the glass to crack through along the entire length of the score. Repeat on the other 3 sides.

If you do get the center out, do not try to square off the corners too much. This will provide a place for stresses to concentrate, and the glass might crack due to some incidental movement. You can sand the glass to smooth things out, but I think you’ll still end up with a rather ragged looking opening.

Having said all that, you might want to consider using stained glass techniques to make a glass frame. It sounds like you’ll have all straight cuts, so it will be really easy cutting. I prefer the copper foil method (Tiffany) as opposed to lead came. If you want to try it, let me know and we can talk. It’s not too hard to do. According to your profile your in south Jersey, as am I. I’d be happy to help you out.

-- John

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