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Tips, Techniques, and Questions -- Technical questions or tips

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  #1  
Old 2014-07-10, 1:19pm
anyideas anyideas is offline
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Default Newb question: best way to cut glass rods?

Just got my first haul of glass rods, and the clear boro rods (6 mm) are 5 feet long.

What's the best/easiest way to cut them? Preferably also cheap, if buying special tools is necessary...
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Old 2014-07-10, 1:26pm
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Eileen Eileen is offline
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Do you have any tire nippers? I used those. It took a little more time than the cutter they have at the glass shop, but I didn't do them all at once, so not bad. (I have the wheeled ones, & they sell them at Harbor Freight for less than $10 someone told me)
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  #3  
Old 2014-07-10, 1:36pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anyideas View Post
Just got my first haul of glass rods, and the clear boro rods (6 mm) are 5 feet long.

What's the best/easiest way to cut them? Preferably also cheap, if buying special tools is necessary...
Welcome to LE!

Where did you get 5 foot long rods?! Wow!

I have heard others score with a knife and then snap, but when I tried that I got shards everywhere.

I use cheap tile nippers. Michael's sells them in their stained glass section. Wipe them down with alcohol before nipping to minimize dirt/oil transference.

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Old 2014-07-10, 3:38pm
rnmcginnis rnmcginnis is offline
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Score the rod with a tungsten glass cutter (usually a triangular blade so there are three cutting surfaces) or a new, small, fine triangular file. Just score about 1/3 of the circumference of the rod. Hold the rod with your thumbs on each side of the score and the score facing away from you. Snap the rod by pulling the ends toward you and pushing the scored section away from you.

Another method is to wet the score and touch it with a small (pea size or smaller) gather of molten glass. The rod will usually break cleanly or will require less effort to snap.
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Old 2014-07-10, 3:48pm
anyideas anyideas is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bshelle View Post
Welcome to LE!

Where did you get 5 foot long rods?! Wow!

I have heard others score with a knife and then snap, but when I tried that I got shards everywhere.

I use cheap tile nippers. Michael's sells them in their stained glass section. Wipe them down with alcohol before nipping to minimize dirt/oil transference.
I got the 5' rods from American Laboratory Supply in Richmond, CA. They're really awesome there.

Thanks for the tip, I'll go check out some tile nippers! Might also pick up a file and a tungsten glass cutter and experiment.

Thanks everyone!
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  #6  
Old 2014-07-10, 4:04pm
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Three Muses Glass Three Muses Glass is offline
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This little thing is brilliant for cutting small rod and tubing.
http://www.sciplus.com/p/GLASS-TUBE-CUTTER_3874
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Old 2014-07-10, 4:51pm
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welcome to LE!!! And welcome to the world of lampwork. The community is awesome, and you will find a wealth of information right here on LE.
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Old 2014-07-11, 4:21am
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Score the glass where you want to cut it with a carbide cutter or even a file. Rub your thumb across the score mark (this will make it break easier). Put both hands on either side of the score mark about 4 to 6 inches apart, place the rod up close to your body with the score mark facing out pull apart and back. It will break. If there are any protrusions on the end of the rod knock it off, it is very sharp and can give you a nasty cut. Then when you are done playing rush right out and get a decent cutter.
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  #9  
Old 2014-07-13, 11:27am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rnmcginnis View Post
Score the rod with a tungsten glass cutter (usually a triangular blade so there are three cutting surfaces) or a new, small, fine triangular file. Just score about 1/3 of the circumference of the rod. Hold the rod with your thumbs on each side of the score and the score facing away from you. Snap the rod by pulling the ends toward you and pushing the scored section away from you.

Another method is to wet the score and touch it with a small (pea size or smaller) gather of molten glass. The rod will usually break cleanly or will require less effort to snap.
This is my method too. Easy and cheap.
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  #10  
Old 2014-07-13, 3:03pm
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Just an additional thought here. Years ago Tom Holland recommended cutting rods under water, as the glass microscopic glass shards wafting off the break go right into your lungs.
You might also try doing your cutting with your exhaust fan running.
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