Tempered or toughened glass is a type of safety glass. As the name reveals, its primary function is to provide safety. You probably have seen it more than once in your lifetime. It is typically used in aquariums, frameless glass doors, passenger vehicle windows, swimming pools, etc. Check out this guide on cutting tempered glass.
You might have cut something made out of the glass before. Is there any difference between regular and tempered glass? Can you even cut tempered glass? This article is here to provide you with answers to those and other questions.
First of all, you need to know what type of material you are dealing with. Tempered glass is a specific type of safety glass that is created in a controlled environment.
This fact means that you should not treat it like ordinary glass. However, you can still cut it. If you would like to know how to cut tempered glass, follow this guide.
Step 1: Annealing the Tempered Glass
A glass piece has to be tempered via a chemical or thermal tempering process to create tempered glass. To safely cut a piece of tempered glass, we have to follow a similar procedure.
The first step in cutting tempered glass is annealing it. This means that you will have to heat it to nearly 1000 degrees Fahrenheit and then cool it. This process will allow you to remove the stress points the glass has gained during the tempering process.
To do this, you will need a kiln. If you do not have a kiln of your own, you should visit a professional or somehow access one.
You should start this process by putting your glass in a heat-proof vessel and covering it with water. Then, you should place it in the kiln for about 30 minutes. Adjust the heat to the type of glass you want to cut.
After heating the glass, you should cool it. Usually, this process takes two to three hours. Remember to cool the glass slowly as you do not want to weaken it too much.
As with the heating, you should adjust the temperature to the type of glass you want to cut. Always keep in mind what kind of glass is used. Ensure that the glass has cooled below its strain point (around 800 degrees Fahrenheit) and take it out of the kiln.
Step 2: Getting Ready for Cutting
If you have managed to change your tempered glass into the annealed glass, now is the time to make some preparations. Clean the surface of the new-made anneal glass. Make sure the glass is stable and will not break. Prepare some protection for your eyes and hands.
Gather all the needed tools: glass cutter, straight edge, sandpaper, and wooden dowel. You can get them at your local hardware or home-improvement store.
Remember that if the glass is tempered, it will not break into sharp pieces. However, we have removed the stress points made by tempering in the previous step, so now the glass will shatter as usual. Breaking the glass may cause danger to your health. Be careful with it.
Now is the right moment to mark where do you want to cut the glass. You can use a straight edge to do this.
Step 3: Cutting the Glass
Here comes the big moment. Finally, you will be able to cut the glass. Keep in mind to put on your gloves to protect your hands in case something goes wrong.
Bring out your glass cutter and score the surface of the glass with it. Work along the lines you have previously marked. Also, do not be afraid to apply a little pressure.
Remember not to run the glass cutter along the same line twice or more times. After you have finished, put a 1/4 inch wooden dowel under the line you cut.
When your wooden dowel is in place, apply sharp pressure on both sides of the glass. This should cause it to break into two pieces. Remember to do this without putting your hand over the dowel! If you do this, you can hurt yourself.
Now, all you have to do is use the sandpaper to sand the edge of each piece. Congratulations, you have just cut tempered glass!
While dealing with tempered glass, remember to take care of your safety. If the piece of glass window you want to cut has such a big size that you feel you could use some help, head to the professionals. The same advice applies if it is too small. It is never wrong to ask others for help.
Now you can cut glass. And not even standard glass, but a tempered glass at that! You just have to remove the temper and change it into the annealed glass. You can now form one sheet of glass into another shape! Awesome, right?
Now instead of throwing your old balcony doors away, you can find some practical uses for them. Maybe you see yourself using them as a window? Put your new-learned knowledge to the best use possible. Good luck!
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