Once you’ve finished cutting your glass pieces, the next step is grinding and smoothing the edges in preparation for foiling and fitting them together. Stained glass grinders make the grinding easier and quicker, but they do present some issues for inexperienced users. These tips from pros can help beginning users of stained glass grinders get a good handle on using their new equipment.
Grind Against the Rotation for Deeper Cuts: On most stained glass grinders, the bit rotates counter-clockwise. If you want to do deeper cuts in the glass, push your glass piece in the opposite direction – that is, from right to left. If you want more control and shallower cuts, push your glass against the bit in the same direction as the turn.
Experiment with Scrap Glass Before You Work with Your Pieces: Every type of glass will grind a little differently. It all depends on the thickness and fragility of the glass, as well as its texture and the shape. Before you start grinding on a new project, get a feel for how the glass grinds by practicing a bit with scraps. That will give you a feel for how much pressure you can use without chipping the edges of the glass.
Always Protect Yourself from Glass Chips and Dust: Eye protection is a must when you’re working with stained glass grinders -– glass chips and glass dust flies everywhere. If your grinder doesn’t have a protective face shield, wear goggles.
Don’t Forget Your Fingers: Glass edges are sharp. Protect your fingertips while you’re grinding with this pro tip for using stained glass grinders. Wrap surgical tape around and over your index fingers and thumbs to protect them from cuts and snags.
Keep the Sponge Wet and the Reservoir Full: It’s important to keep your glass wet while you’re grinding. Keep half an eye on the water level in the water reservoir and make sure that the sponge stays wet.
Troubleshooting Chipped Glass: The biggest issue that most beginners have with glass grinders is chipped edges on their glass. There are a number of reasons this can happen, and the right cure depends on the cause.
Thin or delicate glass can chip if you press too hard against the grinder bit. Try easing back a bit to see if that helps.
A coarse grinding bit can chip more delicate glass as well. Try using a finer grade bit.
A worn bit can also cause chipping, even on heavy-duty glass. Check your bit carefully for worn spots and replace it if necessary.
Finally, the shaft on your grinder may be warped or off center – it’s not typical, but it can happen with an older grinder. If that’s the case, you’ll need to replace the grinder with a new one.
Stained glass grinders will make your work much smoother, more professional and easier. It takes a little effort to get the knack of working with them, but the effort is more than worth the results.
Note: All prices in US Dollars