How to Cut Glass at Home
If you’re doing a lot of DIY projects, you’ll occasionally run into the problem of needing a specific piece of glass, like for a window or a mirror or a picture frame.
You can go to a hardware store or a big-box store and have a custom sized piece of glass cut, but you can also save a couple of bucks and cut the glass the size you want yourself.
Let me show you how that’s done.
How to cut glass at home
It’s best to cut glass on a softer surface. A project mat works great, but you could also use cardboard.
You’re going to need a glass cutting tool, that’s got a diamond wheel on it.
These tools don’t always come ready to go out of the box, and you’re going to need to run them across the surface of some glass a few times, to figure out whether it’s ready to go.
When it makes an even, consistent sound as you’re scoring the glass, that’s when it’s ready to cut.
I recommend you buy a little bit of extra glass, as that gives you the ability to test your wheel and it also gives you the ability to test making glass cuts.
The first thing to know is that you get much better results if you’re cutting clean glass than if you’re cutting dirty glass. So it’s highly recommended to clean your glass before cutting.
After it’s clean, you can mark your piece to size using a grease pencil.
Something that’s true about glass is that it can get sharp, and it could cut you, so wear safety gloves to help you from cutting your fingers, as well as safety glasses to help protect your eyes.
Get a straight edge, put it on the marks you’ve just made, and you’re ready to start to scribe.
For best results, it’s a good idea to use a glass cutting oil and dip your cutting tool into it.
With straight edge in place, nip one edge a little bit because it’s hard to get a good start.
Press down good and hard, and with a steady, smooth push, scribe your cut one-time-only, that’s all you need. After you cut, it’s recommended to clean off any little granules of glass that may have popped up.
Pick up the glass so you can see your scribe line really clearly. Line it up on top of a dowel.
Some people just break it by flexing with their hands, but I prefer to snap it against a dowel. Once that’s done, a good thing to do is to take some sandpaper and sand down the sharp edge, break it a little bit. Be careful not to sand the face of your clear glass here.
How to cut a mirror at home
Mirror glass has this film on the back, the reflective part of the mirror. Before you can cut the glass part, you have to cut a line through it with a knife.
Let me show you how you do that.
Mark the piece of mirror to size and place your straight edge on those marks.
Use a regular sharp knife to cut through that film. It’s important to cut all the way through the film. If you don’t, when you make your glass cut on the other side, the film may tear off.
You should be able to see the line that you cut through the film through the glass.
What I need to do, is line it up carefully, so that the straight edge positions the cutting wheel right over the top of that line.
Once I do that, dip the cutting tool in glass cutting oil and push good and hard. After that, break it once again by bringing your dowel and lining it up right over the top.
The next time one of your projects requires a piece of glass or mirror, consider cutting it yourself following the steps outlined in this article.