How to Cut Glass & Polish the Edges

Written by lynda lanford
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How to Cut Glass & Polish the Edges
Use proper tools and techniques to ensure successful glass cutting. (glass #5 image by krynio from

Glass manufacturing can be traced back thousands of years. In today's world, glass is used in a wide variety of applications. Whether cutting glass for a home improvement task or a craft project, the process can be intimidating. Use of the proper tools and techniques will ensure a proper cut and finish.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Gloves
  • Standard glass cutter with tapper
  • Metal ruler
  • Felt-tipped pen
  • Turpentine
  • Glass pliers
  • Glass paper or polishing stone
  • Glass polishing paste

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  1. 1

    Select a flat table and make sure the surface is clean.

  2. 2

    Cover the table with a damp rag. This acts as cushion so the glass will stay in position.

  3. 3

    Don gloves and safety glasses to protect against glass particles.

  4. 4

    Clean the glass thoroughly to remove all dirt and dust.

  1. 1

    Determine the appropriate location for the cut, then use a metal ruler to ensure a straight cutting line. Mark the cutting line with a felt-tipped pen.

  2. 2

    Set the ruler on glass. Position the ruler about 1/8 inch from the cutting line to compensate for the glass cutter.

  3. 3

    Secure the metal ruler to glass with duct tape.

  4. 4

    Hold glass cutter firmly to glass and push down hard. Make one continuous cut the entire length of the cutting line.

  5. 5

    Remove duct tape and ruler.

  6. 6

    Apply turpentine to the cut line. This lubricates the cut and makes separating the two sections easier.

  7. 7

    Tap the opposite side of the cut line gently with the tapper to further strengthen the cut.

  8. 8

    Lay the glass on the table with the cut at the edge of the workspace.

  9. 9

    Snap the two sections apart gently.

  10. 10

    Use glass pliers to remove any remaining pieces of glass.

  11. 11

    Polish the edges gently using a fine trickle of water and glass paper or a polishing stone.

  12. 12

    Complete the polishing process by gently rubbing glass polish paste on the cut edges.

Tips and warnings

  • Ensure that you have a firm grip on the cutting tool.
  • When cutting, hold the cutting tool in a straight vertical position and cut firmly.

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