How to Cut Tempered Glass Easily?
By: Jan Hajek | Date Posted: March 1, 2018
If you’re a DIY-er who likes to do most stuff in the house, surely you’ve considered using tempered glass in one of your home projects. This kind of glass is not easy to work on, because it’s made to break if it is cut without the right process.
To make it simple, let’s concentrate on home projects that use this specific kind of glass to allow illumination and a variety of designs in home improvement.
Knowing how to DIY cut tempered glass can help in saving money because you don’t have to pay expert technicians to do this task.
It’s better to know how to do this and it’ll enable you to replace glass doors, sliding doors, and most of anything that needs this kind of glass. Using tempered glass because it durable and it’s safe when used in home designs.
Another benefit of knowing how to cut tempered glass is that later improvements in the home may allow us to use this material for constructing more complex projects with fewer mistakes!
I suppose now, we’ve got an idea of where this is going and you’re eager to learn more on this very helpful subject that easily teaches anybody, how to cut tempered glass without any risks.
What Do You Need to Cut Tempered Glass?
Before we start learning how to cut tempered glass, there are some items that one should be acquainted with before anything else.
Knowing how to use these items is important before you can do any cutting of tempered glass safely and efficiently without any injury or a few errors. Each item is important to the process of learning how to cut tempered glass.
How to use each item before starting on the process and what step in figures in?
1. Window washing fluid
This is a solution that can be bought anywhere, and this item is applied on the tempered glass to be used and will be spotless and clean, before any “heat treatment begins” on the material.
2. Craft furnace
This is where the “Annealing” process is done. The oven has an adjustable temperature setting that is important in implementing the “heat treatment” of tempered glass. You have the option of getting different sizes so that you can “heat-treat” any size of tempered glass for your specific needs.
3. Glass cutter and Kerosene
A glass cutter is a tool that’s used for etching lines and cutting glass. Kerosene is where you dip the glass cutter to make the cut neater.
A tool used for aligning and making sure that all sides are even when you cut the tempered glass.
5. 1/4-inch wooden dowel
A dowel is used to separate the cuts made into the “annealed” glass. They come in “wooden”, “metal”, or “plastic” rod shapes that are important in one of the last stages.
It’s a stone that is fine-grained for sharpening or cutting tools. This is used in the last stages of the process of cutting tempered glass. This is basically what makes the tempered glass ready for its final application.
7. Eye and Hand protection
These are goggles worn over your eyes to avoid injury to them, just in case any accidents happen. Safety is important whenever working with glass and keep in mind to wear gloves to protect your hands as well.
Process On How to Cut Tempered Glass Easily
Here is the meat of this DIY on the most effective way of cutting tempered glass effectively for any project that it’s needed. In mastering the technique, you will have the confidence to do it yourself with ease.
To begin, tempered glass cannot be cut without breaking into bits! What you need to understand is the process of “Annealing”, which means heating up tempered glass, so the internal structure is heated up to alter the stress points of the glass.
Without “heat-treating” the glass it would be impossible to cut. In mastering the annealing process, you can learn to manipulate the shape of tempered glass by cutting or even re-tempering when you’re familiar with the process.
You need to make sure that the tempered glass for cutting is not too big or small for your immediate requirements.
Deciding on the final design you will work on will help a lot, and taking into consideration the annealing furnace’s size is an important consideration.
A glass cleaner or washing solution is needed to ensure a clean surface. This must be done in the initial stages of the “annealing” technique.
When the heating treatment begins, the end goal is the elimination of “stress points” in the tempered glass. In this stage, what must be done is to let the kiln reach an “annealing” temperature of 900 degrees Fahrenheit or 1013-poise.
The material is soaked to a “stable heating” temperature in the furnace, this is to make the glass less tempered so that you can cut it without breaking apart.
Once, you’ve determined the entire process, keep the glass where it was heated and leave it for 8 hours for cooling, or any duration depending on your judgment throughout the entire process.
The next stage is cooling the tempered glass, allowing changes for a slow and gradual drop in heat applied so the “stress points” will not show in the glass structure. As a marker, the suggested “strain point” temperature is “1014.5-poise”, from there cooling is gradual to eliminate the temperateness of the glass.
Leave the material inside the oven until the de-tempered glass has reached room temperature. Different kinds of glasses have differing cooling temperatures.
Once the “annealing” is done; now what you need is safety goggles, a glass cutter, and kerosene. After the “annealing treatment” is done, what you have is a de-tempered glass with no more stress points, and any cutting done will not shatter it anymore.
Put a T-square over the area that you will begin cutting. A pro-tip is to dampen your glass cutter with kerosene, which will make a clean cut on the heated-treated glass. A glass cutter should make a straight line with a T-square, to make sure the line is done correctly. It’s important that any pressure applied is moderate and it must be run over just once.
What should be done after the lines are etched on the glass, you need to use ¼ inch wood dowels on the etched lines. If the lines are not cleanly done, the ridges won’t come apart evenly. Once, the dowels are placed and enough force is applied to them, this will result in a neat ridge.
Last thoughts on how to cut tempered glass
How was this DIY-er on “how to cut tempered glass”? Was it easy to follow and understand the text? Did it give you a clear idea of how to go about it and clarified some confusion about the entire process?
If it did, then you can understand the importance of how the de-tempering of glass and the items involved in the process go together in achieving the end result. This will allow you to work on home projects yourself, which requires a technician and you save money.
Did the information allow you to learn “how to cut tempered glass”, if it helped much then kindly share if you can. Keep in mind that initial attempts may not be successful, but follow the tutorial and continue refining your technique further will produce better results in time.
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How do you tell if the glass is tempered?
Tempered glass has smooth and even edges because of the extra processing it goes through. On the other hand, if the glass is not tempered, the edges feel rough to the touch.
Is there any way to cut tempered glass?
Tempered glass cannot be cut using the same methods as you’d use to cut ordinary glass. You will need to heat it to nearly 1,000 °F, then slowly cool it. This process is called annealing, and it will effectively undo the tempering process, weakening the glass to the point that you can cut it.
What household items can I use to cut tempered glass?
To cut tempered glass you will need window washing fluid`, a glass cutter, kerosene, T-square, 1/4-inch wooden dowel, whetstone, eye and hand protection, and most importantly a crafting furnace.
Thank you for reading!