Since time immemorial, man has devised ingenious means to go about construction works. The constant and conscious efforts made by man towards advancing construction has today yielded immense result. One of these many results includes the advent of saws for cutting any type of material in this case, the glass ring saw. The glass ring saw is a small diameter wire ring designed to spin at high speed to cut glass of form. Although the ring saw can be useful for other purposes, the focus of this article is on glass cutting using a ring saw.
Fig.1: Glass cutting ring saw at work.
Table of Contents
1.Making Complex cuts and pattern
Upon the invention of the glass ring saw, cutting off certain shapes and patterns seemed impossible. It is safe to say that the glass ring saw turned the game around when it comes to glass art. Artists that deal in glass for their craft find this very useful and handy to have around. The blade of this saw is made abrasive instead of toothed. Furthermore, the abrasiveness of the blade is due to the coat of diamond around it. The ability of the ring saw to cut intricate and straightforward pattern is inherent in the blade, cutting in all directions. Forward, backward, left, or rightwards cuttings are all achievable with the glass ring saw.
Regardless of the industry you belong to, you would find this tool extremely important to your day to day work, the round shape of the blade makes it effortless to manoeuvre when cutting out any pattern of shape on the glass. With the glass ring saw, you need not bother about chips or breakings of your workpiece during cutting. All these have been well taken care of in the design of this great tool.
Above all, this saw helps to achieve highly precise and accurate cuts of any shape. Once you have this saw, making tight curves and cuts becomes easy-peasy.
Fig.2: Picture showing irregular shapes of stained glass.
2.Cutting of fused glass
Before going further, let’s briefly analyze how pertinent a glass ring saw is to cutting fused glass. We must examine the technology behind fused glass itself. In case you are wondering what a fused glass is, it is a type of glass made form melting different pieces of glasses together at high temperatures up to 820 degrees Celsius. Once these glasses have been melted together and formed rightly, how to cut and avoid breakage comes into play.
Already, when setting-out to produce this fused glass, manufacturers should have considered the compatibility of the constituent glasses. Often, manufacturers already perform their tests to determine the compatibility of the glasses they intend fusing before commencing. The importance of this test helps to determine the strength and integrity of the final product.
Having picked your preferred fused glass for your project, then you need to cut it to shape. If you are a glass art enthusiast, then the glass ring saw is a must-have for you. Rightly investing in an equipment such a glass ring saw is a great plus for you as a glass artist.
Generally, always be careful when using glass. Most especially a fused glass, to avoid breakage. You, therefore, need to have the best glass ring saw at your disposal if you desire to excel in this field. Owning a glass ring saw will save you a lot of stress, increase your efficiency, and give your accurate cuts.
Fig 3: Marking-out on glass in preparation for cutting.
3.Cutting very thick glass
What comes to mind when you hear very thick glass? Thick glasses are known for their application in both residential and industrial/commercial purposes. In some cases, you can call them heavy-duty glasses. With the glass ring saw blade, cutting this type of glass has never been easier. Below are the range of glass thickness mass-produced with their specific purpose-
3/32″ (2mm)- known for picture framing.
1/8″ (3mm)- For end tables, windows, picture frames, and insulated units.
3/16″ (5mm)- For shelves, small tabletops and insulated units, etc.
1/4″ (6mm)- For protective covering on tables, insulated units, paned windows, shelves, and shower doors.
5/16″ (8mm)- usage is similar to 1/4 inch, but not common in the US market.
3/8″ (10mm)- For office portioning, walls, shower doors, handrails, used in shower doors, tabletops, glass walls, glass partitions, bars, door lights, etc.
Of all the thicknesses listed above, the very thick ones range from 3/8” up to 1”. Over time, thick-tempered glasses have found their way into the heart of architects and designers. Often, the 3/8″, 1/2″ and 1″ are commonly used for retail stores, modular offices, tabletops, reception desk, etc. The reason for adopting thick glasses for this purpose is not far-fetched as cracking must not occur at all.
In this case, cutting thick glasses with glass ring saw is essential if you are into this business or industry. The diamond coat around the blade enables it to penetrate deeply into the depths of thick glasses conveniently. Consider purchasing this glass ring saw to help you pull off smooth cut on these extremely thick glasses.
Fig. 4: Set of glasses with varying thickness.
4.Cutting drapery glass
Unlike other glasses considered in the previous section, this type of glass is different and unique. Whenever you come across a cloth-like, well-folded, and wavy glass usually associated with uneven thickness, then it’s a Drapery glass. Drapery glass has its front and rear side not equally thick, meaning it’s not flat. It could significantly affect the cutting and overall ease of handling this glass.
A glass ring saw befits this purpose due to its ability to cut in any direction in a bid to cut properly. Often, this glass is fused and stained in nature; i.e., it is a product of different melted glasses with different colours, which makes it stained. For this reason, before advancing to cut this glass, you must score the pattern with the saw. Scoring involves making an initial outline of the pattern you want to cut. Scoring the glass helps to avoid any possible case of breakage or chip falling off the edges.
As you set out to cut, you need to observe the following features of the drapery glass. Firstly, on the front of some drapery glass, the folds appear to be reversed while the rear is hollow. In other cases, the rear side is flat, and the folds are on the front with visible thickness in places.
Secondly, after carefully classifying the nature of the drapery glass, you must cut from the surface with the least irregularity. Watch out for the reverse side of the drapery glass for marking out your pattern over the drapes’ front side. More irregularities imply thicker glass, which makes it more challenging to cut than a flat side or lesser irregularities.
Thirdly, position your glass in such a way that you can easily cut the proposed pattern. Lastly, ensure you score the outlined pattern before fully cutting with the glass ring saw.
Note that with the glass cutting ring saw, you need not polish your workpiece as the cut is always perfectly executed.
5.Cutting small pieces
Here, the glass ring saw has a lot of advantages due to its design. The tabletop attached to the saw makes it easy to cut extremely small glasses accurately. Again, tiny bits of glasses have proven to be a valuable asset to a glass artist. Mosaic artists find these small bits of glasses useful as well. You can either cut out small pieces from off-cuts or large sheets of glass. You can decide to decorate with small glasses. You can also opt to join different tiny bits into a piece of artwork. In essence, a glass ring saw can cut your glass into sizes; even a handheld cutter cannot achieve. Over the years, many glass artists and enthusiasts have attested to the relevance of the glass ring saw.
Fig.5: Picture showing broken and small pieces of glass.
In this read, we have not only discussed the cuts possible by the glass ring saw but considered other factors. Regardless of the glass cutting project, be assured of the appropriateness of the glass cutting ring saw any day anytime. Building construction professionals do not take the glass ring saw for granted in their day to day activities. The importance of stained-glass ring saw cannot be over-emphasized, whether as an artist or a small business owner involving glass. You just have to ensure that you allow the blade to do the work and not force it. Do not hesitate to contact NCCuttintools. We remain resolute as a foremost solution provider of cutting tools and accessories. Our requisite knowledge and experience of over 30 years remain pivotal to our relevance to date in this industry. Do well to check out this video should you require further guidance in using this excellent tool.