line marking tempered glass

The Truth Behind the Possibility Of Cutting Tempered Glass

Ian Mutuli
Updated on
Ian Mutuli

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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If you are looking for a durable glass for your space, then tempered glass can be the best solution for you. Not only you will get an added value at your home or commercial place, but the glass will enhance the overall beauty as well. So, if you are thinking to move on towards the modern interior, it is the best time to pick this glass as a decoration material.

What Is Tempered Glass?

This glass is a type of glass that people know as toughened glass for its safety characteristics. To know what does tempered glass mean then simply this glass manufacturing process goes through chemical or thermal treatment. During manufacturing, the glasses are cooled down very quickly to increase the strength. For this process, it is stronger than any other normal glasses. Also, it has another safety quality and for that, it does not generate sharp edges when breakage. Rather, it shatters into very small pieces. This glass property is significantly important to avoid any accident.

What If a Tempered Glass is Cut Down?

For the stunning look and the safety characteristics, this glass is very popular now a day. However, the desire has no bound. With modernization, people want a more stylish look. For this, sometimes, it seems necessary to cut the glass for custom use. It is a burning issue that toughened glass cannot be cut directly. It will shatter if you try to cut it directly. If you don’t want to ruin the beauty of this decorative glass, you need to follow a proper procedure to cut it.

Proper Way to Cut Tempered Glass

Through a special procedure, you can cut this type of glass without harming it. If you are dealing with tempered glass, you must know about the annealing process. It is the process to undo the tempering property from the glass to cut it.

It is a very straightforward and stress-free process. You will just need to heat the glass pane around one thousand degrees Fahrenheit. Then you will cool it down very slowly. Once it has released the heat perfectly, it is ready to cut. This process makes the glass weak so that you can cut it without creating shattering.

Just remember one thing, try this procedure if and only if you can manage the access to the kiln. If you cannot manage, you must hire a professional person to cut it. It is not possible without a kiln.

So, you can go through a step-by-step procedure to cut the glass safely. Keep very careful so that you can avoid unexpected accidents. The extra caution is necessary because when you have gone through the annealing process, the glass is not safe or strong anymore. Any mishandling can create a breakage.  

Now here are the steps to follow:

proper way to cut tempered glass

Step#1: Surface Cleaning

surface cleaning

Remember, your glass is now annealed glass. So, hold it very softly and clean the entire surface. In this step, the glass cleaner works very well. You don't need to rub it strongly. Just spray the liquid on the glass surface, let it be for some moments. Then wipe it with a soft cloth. Choose the cloth sensibly. It must be lint-free cotton cloth. Only cotton clean cloths can make the surface perfectly dry after wiping. If it is not clear yet, try the process again, because an accurate smooth glass cutting depends on the cleanness of the surface.

Step#2: Safety Issues

safety issues

Glass is always a risky material. You need to ensure the safety for the cutting procedure. Keep safety goggles and secured hand gloves. The leather hand gloves are more preferable. As the glass pan is no longer a safety glass, it can create sharp edges in breakage. So, the safety gadgets can help to protect your hands and eyes from any unexpected accident.

Step#3: Line Marking

line marking tempered glass

It is a very important step. You need to mark the line perfectly where you want to cut the glass. The perfect line will be, the perfect glass cutting you will get. For this purpose, you can use any straight edge. A metal ruler can be the best use for this purpose.

Measure the place where you want to use the customized cut glass. According to the measurement, place the ruler straightly on the glass edge and mark a line through it. It is a trace where you will have to cut. For this marking task, you must use a permanent marker and the line must not have any curve. 

Step#4: Glass Cutter Scoring

glass cutter scoring

If you are a new user with a glasscutter, try it any other place for the first time. Then go for this step. Here, you need to score on the glass surface with the cutter according to the marked line. In this case, hold on the cutter in the right position. You should keep the straight edge in place and then press into the pane carefully. Do not put much pressure. Run the cutter only one time throughout the line. Never try to score more than one time. It can create scattering on the glass edge.

Step#5: Wooden Dowel Placement

wooden dowel placement

For this, you will require a wooden dowel with a measurement of 1⁄4 inch or 0.64 cm. Place it under the scored line you have done with the glass cutter. Maintain the exact line-up, otherwise, you may get a shattered glass when pressing on the surface. Also, you should avoid long dowels.  It may create a defective glass verge with jigging.

Step#6: Apply Pressure

apply pressure

Consider it as the most vital part of this cutting process. Apply a very sharp pressure on both sides on the dowel. Apply a straight and sudden pressure without any pause. If you give any pause, the glass may break down in a curved shape. The use of both hands is mandatory to introduce equal pressure. If everything goes well, now you have two pieces of divided glasses.

Step#7: Sand the Edge

sand edge tempered glass

Many people avoid this step. That is the reason for many accidents. You must sand the freshly cut glass pieces. For this, use sandpaper coarse 10-grit. It makes the newly cut jagged glass edge safe and smooth.

The overall process is very easy but you need to keep careful throughout the process to get it perfect.

Ian Mutuli

About the author

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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