How to Grind your Glass

April 2nd, 2021

When breaking glass along a score line, there’s a good chance that it’ll have a few sharp and jagged edges to it.

Here’s some particularly sharp edges!

By using a glass grinder, you’re able to smooth off the rough spots on your pieces. A glass grinder is eventually an abrasive wheel covered with a fine diamond coating which is attached to an electric motor. Once you turn on the power, the motor will spin the wheel, allowing you to grind glass.

Because you’re using abrasion to smooth down the edges of your glass, you’ll want to make sure the wheel is wet. Not only will water reduce the friction between the wheel and your piece, it also prevents tiny particles of glass from kicking off. Typically, glass grinders will have a compartment for holding water that a sponge is meant to both soak up water and apply it to the grinding wheel. While water alone will work fine for cooling the wheel, I like to add a cap-full of grinder coolant as well. This helps prolong the life of your grinding wheel and increases its speed.

Before I take my glass to the wheel, I like to take a paper cutout of my desired shape and glue it to the glass with rubber cement. The paper then acts as a guide to make sure I don’t grind off more than I need to.

Start by placing your glass on top of the grinders surface. Carefully press the edge of the glass against the spinning wheel. You don’t have to apply much pressure for the grinding wheel to polish the glass quickly. Make sure you smooth each edge evenly and make sure corners that are supposed to be sharp and pointy aren’t blunted off.

Its important to note that you don’t want to take off so much glass that you beguine stripping away paper. If you do, there’s a good chance the finished piece won’t fit properly with the others when assembling your project.

Once you’re done grinding all the rough edges on your pieces, rinse them off with soap/detergent to remove the paper template.

Now you have some smooth-edged pieces that are ready for the next step of the process!

One Response to “How to Grind your Glass”

  1. Makai on April 4, 2021 10:08 pm

    Makes sense that you’d need to sand down the edges of the glass after cutting it. Papercuts are certainly a possibility when drawing, but generally speaking, glass seems like a more dangerous medium – in terms of the potential risk of injury.
    Informative post, very nice.

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