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Old 12/31/2009, 03:26 PM   #1
redfishsc
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Cutting 3/8" thick glass..... score-n-snap not working.

Any tips, aside from using a wet saw, on how to cut 3/8" plate glass (not tempered obviously).


I've only cut glass up to 1/4" thick. This glass is reclaimed from an older tank that had a crack in it. I'm salvaging the glass to make a custom sump with (ie, it's free glass).


I've tried twice to score/snap it and it just doesn't work. It breaks at random, sometimes following the snap, but always wandering off.

Cutting tool is brand new, and I've cut lots of thinner glass. This stuff has me beat.


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Old 12/31/2009, 03:46 PM   #2
windupdevl
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Thick glass will cut exactly the same way as thin glass. The thickness is not your problem. You say this is reclaimed glass from an old tank. That leads me to believe that there are some sort of mineral deposits on the surface you are scoring and you are not getting a clean score. Try taking a razor blade to the glass where you plan on making your score and clean it until you are positive the glass is immaculate. Also, using some sort of alcohol or acetone to clean the glass helps. Make sure you are using some sort of lubrication for the score as well. HTH.


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Old 12/31/2009, 05:31 PM   #3
redfishsc
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Quote:
Originally Posted by windupdevl View Post
Thick glass will cut exactly the same way as thin glass. The thickness is not your problem. You say this is reclaimed glass from an old tank. That leads me to believe that there are some sort of mineral deposits on the surface you are scoring and you are not getting a clean score. Try taking a razor blade to the glass where you plan on making your score and clean it until you are positive the glass is immaculate. Also, using some sort of alcohol or acetone to clean the glass helps. Make sure you are using some sort of lubrication for the score as well. HTH.
Good points. The glass has some haze from where I scraped off the coraline. It's clear but hazy, so I'll do as you say and give it a real good scraping.


As for the lube, what do you recommend? Water, WD40...??

Thanks for the help!

Matt


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Old 12/31/2009, 06:03 PM   #4
bananaboat
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you need a better cutting wheel and mineral spirts like a 145 flechter wheel then once scored spray more lube on the score let it set 5mins place a broom handle under the score press down on both sides of the score will cut like butter with the right wheel


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Old 12/31/2009, 06:05 PM   #5
windupdevl
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For the lube, you could use vegetable oil. I wouldn't use anything that could potentially contaminate your tank. Make sure to wash the glass with warm water and dish soap when you are done to remove any oily residues. It should work out pretty well for you.


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Old 12/31/2009, 06:18 PM   #6
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My neighbor works with glass he claims 3/8 will some times walk or will wind up with a bevel cut ( not square ) edge if the glass is old it is harder to cut straight also he said the same thing Bananaboat said


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Old 12/31/2009, 07:55 PM   #7
redfishsc
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Thanks for the help, all!

For the moment I'm stuck with whatever kind of glass cutting wheel you get at Lowes.

I'll check around online for a 145 Fletcher.


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Old 12/31/2009, 08:43 PM   #8
Rhodophyta
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I have a glass cutter with a diamond instead of a wheel. It gives you a really clean score and cuts half inch with very little wander. Old glass though is always gambling.


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Old 12/31/2009, 10:05 PM   #9
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If you have an old style cutter. You can take the back end of the cutter, the ball and tap the glass to make the crack run. Not too hard. This is the only way you can cut a inside circle out. The main thing is to make one single score and not pick up the cutter. Any slight off cuts can make the crack run out the wrong way.


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Old 12/31/2009, 10:22 PM   #10
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I was just in same position. I practiced on a piece that was chipped pretty good. The first cut I knew the score was inconsistant and even tapping it from underneath you could see it was going to wander. Second time I really focused one smoothe ven pressure through the entire length, and it just about fell apart at the score as I was picking it up, and the cut was REALLY nice and square. It's definitely not the same animal as 1/4", but just focus on a nice smooth even pressure through the score and it's just as easy. fwiw, I lubed the wheel with WD40.


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Old 12/31/2009, 10:59 PM   #11
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I cut an old glass tabletop for sump baffles. I made sure to scrape well and clean with rubbing alcohol. I placed a huge towel (to be used for rags when done) on the garage floor. Then placed the glass on top of it. I used a t-square to make my score line straight. I used a 1/4" dowel placed under the score line and firm but heavy pressure to snap a straight edge. As someone stated before sometimes the edges can bevel and I experianced that on a few of my edges. It was a learning curve to say the least...

In the end, I rented and used a wet tile saw to make the baffles with perfect edges. Just be sure to always use thick leather or cut resistant gloves and wear eye protection.

HTH,
Joe


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Old 01/01/2010, 02:36 AM   #12
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It depends on how wide of a cut you are trying to take off. If its too thin, It won't break right. Yes you can use the ball end on the underside of the score or you can take a cold chisel (ie, blunt tip) and using that under the score, tap it to make it run. Going along the entire score until you reach the end. You can see it run out the length of the score. Be careful with your arms under the score as if it lets go, it may cut your arms. We used to use arm gurads at the glass shop I worked at. This method really works for 1/2 and 3/4 plate glass. Usually wasn't needed on 3/8 but if you are trying to just take like an inch or two, It won't break right, especially for someone who isn't a glass cutter (No offense intended). Like anything, it takes practice. I have been out of it for soo long. I was suprised I still could cut well on the 3/16 I cut a couple of weeks ago. Good Luck, YMMV, Mark


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Old 01/01/2010, 08:08 AM   #13
redfishsc
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Thanks guys, lots of great help here!

I'll be giving it another shot here soon.


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“The tyrant dies and his rule is over, the martyr dies and his rule begins” -- Søren Kierkegaard

Current Tank Info: ghetto grad school reef.....11g rimless tank, 36X9X9, lit by Cree and Rebels scobbled together. Stocked mostly with free stuff I got from panhandling my fellow reefers.
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