Saturday, July 2, 2022

Cutter Maintenance

Your glass cutter is the most important piece in your stained glass tool kit.  Although your cutter is small and can easily be hidden in your pocket you should never overlook it or take it for granted.   Cleaning your cutter will make your glass cutting go much smoother. 

First, let's identify the cutter parts.  Yours may not look exactly like the one in the picture below but the same parts exist and are located in the same place no matter what brand of cutter you may be using.  The scoring wheel is at the extreme bottom of the cutter.  It's VERY small and resides in a slot that the wheel's axle is mounted to.  The cutting wheel actually spins while you are cutting.  If it can't spin freely your score line will be disjointed which results in erratic breaks.  As the wheel is spinning, small bits of dirt and dust particles become trapped in the slot above the wheel.   Once the slot is packed with dirt and grime your cutter stops performing well.  It's your job to clean it out so that your score lines run smoothly.

Cleaning is very simple and takes less than 5 seconds.  Simply take a straight pin and gently push it into the slot above the wheel to force out any grime and grit that has accumulated there.  It may take a few pokes to clean it out but when you've made a few passes with the pin you will hopefully be able to see through the slot.   If your cutter has a long oil wick you may not be able to see through the entirety of slot but you will see a lot of dirt and debris come out.  You'll know you are finished when the pin travels through the slot with very little effort.  

Always keep your cutter's wheel in a SMALL amount of oil when not in use. An old coffee mug with a circular piece of sponge lightly soaked in oil is the best place to store your cutter when it is not in use.  Just take a sponge and cut it into a circle that fits snuggly in the bottom of the mug.  Again, make sure the entire bottom of the mug is covered or your cutting wheel will slip off the sponge and onto the bottom of the mug thus defeating the purpose.


Bayou Salé GlassWorks

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