How to Cut Glass Crystal

Written by lynn rademacher
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How to Cut Glass Crystal
Crystal glassware is still favoured as a formal type of glassware. (crystal image by jimcox40 from

Cutting crystal glass requires a steady hand and focus to create beautiful pieces of glass art that catch the light. People have used crystal as decorative and formal pieces of glassware for decades. Today laser machines mass produce cut crystal pieces but the most unique pieces are still ones that were created by hand. Cutting crystal takes time to master but the rewards can be worthwhile as you see your artwork take shape.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Hand-held grinder tool
  • Diamond-tipped grinding bits
  • Buffer tip
  • Glass polish
  • Water-based marker

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  1. 1

    Trace the pattern onto the uncut crystal with the marker. The water base marker will wipe off when the cutting is done. For beginning cutters it is usually helpful to have a pattern to follow.

  2. 2

    Insert a diamond-tipped grinding bit in the grinder tool. If you are unsure of how big of a groove each bit will create, practice on a piece of scrap glass until you are familiar with the different types of tips.

  3. 3

    Turn on the grinder and allow the drill motor to come up to speed. Position the grinder tip at the end of a line towards the bottom of the crystal and work your way to the top of the crystal piece.

  4. 4

    Apply light pressure to the drill tip as you move across the pattern. It is easier to cut over the path with the grinder a second time than to try to achieve the final depth on the first pass of the grinder. Repeat this process until you have cut all of the lines of the pattern into the crystal.

  5. 5

    Place the buffer tip in the end of drill tool. Turn on the drill and place the buffer in the polish to get a coat of polish onto the buffer pad. Buff all of the newly cut areas on the piece of crystal. The buffing process will restore the crystal's shine and clarity.

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