General Glass Cutting Questions

Textured Glass

When using textured glass, should the textured surface be on the front or back side of the project?


You can use which ever side looks best with your design. If you want the rough side facing front, you will still cut the glass on the smooth side, so be sure to reverse the pattern piece before tracing it on the glass…otherwise you’ll have a piece of glass that’s backwards when you turn it over.

Mottled Glass

Which side of mottled glass is the right side?


I don’t know which mottled glass you are using, but some of it has a fairly smooth and shiny surface on the front while the back has a roughness and dullness to it. Other mottled glass has some lumps and bumps on the front, but still has a shine to it, while the back is rough and dull. Cut on the shinier/smoother side.

If you want the rougher side facing on the front of your panel, be sure to turn your pattern pieces over (up-side-down) before tracing them on the glass. When the glass is cut out and turned over, it will fit the pattern.

Finish the Edges

After cutting the glass do I need to sand or smooth the edges?


It’s not necessary unless you have rough edges that need to be smoothed off to make the glass fit right.

There are people that smooth every edge of each piece they cut, and others that don’t smooth at all unless absolutely necessary. I’m in the latter group.

You can use a carborundum stone which takes some work to grind down an edge, but it’s cheap, or you can buy a grinder, which does quick work but they are expensive.

I have both, but I use the stone much more often than the grinder. I can keep the stone on my work bench so it’s always there if I need it. The grinder is on a stand where I have to get up and walk over to it, so it’s less convenient.

Gaps in Pieces

Try as I might, I still end up with gaps between pieces, some get to be too much to fill with solder. What can I use to fill some of the gaps prior to soldering?


You probably won’t like my answer, but here it is anyway…Re-cut the pieces so they fit! You’ll never learn to cut precisely if you think you can fill the gaps with something. Take pride in your work and practice cutting until you can cut precisely. Check your pattern pieces. Have they been cut out precisely? Do they fit in between the cut lines on your cartoon, just touching the inside edges of the cut lines? Each step in stained glass work builds on the previous step. In other words, if your pattern pieces are wrong, your glass will be cut wrong, the assembled piece won’t go together right and you end up with a poorly made and botched together project.

Glass Jig

Hi Sue. I haven’t been able to figure out how to make a jig so that I can cut multiple pieces that HAVE to be exact. I have tried to just measure and go for it, but I am finding that if they are just slightly off, my piece doesn’t look right and I am wasting my precious glass. Example … to make a box.
I am thinking of buying the Morton Portable Glass Shop. Do you know anything about this and if it is worth my while and investment. I watched a couple of U-tube videos and read quite a few comments on it. I would appreciate your comment or anyone else out there who may have experience with it.
How do you do this part of glass cutting?


There are several types of Strip Cutters available.

I use all of them, but my favorite is the Morton Portable Glass Shop. I’ve had it for 20 years and use it for cutting anything that requires multiple strips, squares, rectangles or diamonds.

You can learn a lot about it on their Web Site. You’ll find videos plus a lot of other information.

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