HOW TO CUT GLASS TO A
The simplest way to cut your glass is to
use the traditional method. If the glass is transparent enough to
see through, you can place it directly on top of your pattern.
Make sure that the lines of your pattern are of the proper
allowance (1/16" for lead, 1/32" for foil) and cut to
the very inside of these lines for every piece of glass.
For darker glass, a light box or table with
your pattern and glass on top transmits light so that you can
clearly see your cut-lines.
If you are using dense opalescent glass in
your project, you can trace the pattern piece directly onto the
glass. Position a piece of carbon paper face down on the glass,
with your pattern on top and trace the pattern outline of the
piece to be cut. Trace exactly where you will cut making sure to
leave the proper allowance.
PAPER PATTERN METHOD
Another easy but more time consuming method
of cutting out your glass is the technique of using paper
templates as a guide. This method has the benefit of giving you a
piece of paper the exact size your glass should be. The template
can be taped to the glass with a double-sided tape and the piece
of glass is cut to size by cutting around the pattern with your
cutter. You can also trace around the template with a fine-line
felt tip pen directly onto the glass and follow the inked lines
with your cutter.
To use this method, you will first make two
copies of your pattern. The original full-size pattern you will
be using is called the "cartoon." It is from this
cartoon that you will make the work drawing and pattern paper
- Step 1. First, place a sheet of oaktag
or kraft paper on the table. This is the pattern paper
copy which will eventually be cut and used as the
- Step 2. Overlay the pattern paper with
carbon paper, face down.
- Step 3. Place your work drawing paper
down next. This should be a medium thickness of paper
because you will be assembling your glass on top of this
- Step 4. Now overlay the work drawing
paper with carbon paper, face down.
- Step 5. Place the cartoon on top.
Square up the edges of the papers and hold them together
by taping them to the table.
Number and color code the pieces.
Mark any other important considerations, such as the
direction you want the grain in the glass to go.
Remove the carbon paper. Set aside
the working drawing and the cartoon.
You are now ready to cut out your
pattern paper copy. At this point, you should have made a
choice between copper foil or lead for this project. Two
different types of pattern scissors are available which
will automatically cut out the allowance for the heart of
the lead (1/16") or the space your foil occupies
Use the pattern paper templates to
cut your glass, as described at the beginning of this
section. Cut as closely to the template as you possibly
can, without cutting into it or letting it interfere with
It is best to cut the largest
pieces of a color first and work down to the smaller
pieces. In this way, you can use the scraps from the
larger pieces to cut the smaller ones.
As you cut, lay out the cut pieces
on the cartoon. If you have a light table, place the
cartoon with the cut pieces on top of it. By doing this
you will be able to see how the different colors and
textures interact. Keep your cut pieces away from your
cutting area, so that you don't mistakenly pick them up
and use them to cut out other pieces.
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