For this week's Toolbox Tuesday post I want to cover a tool that took a previously intimidating job and turned it into something that anyone can handle. The tool in question, the Fletcher Terry Glass Cutter with carbide wheel, isn't terribly expensive, but does the job that any high end glass cutting system can do.
I've been doing a lot of glass cutting over the last week while getting the new front french doors ready. It's a lot of measuring and patience, but I'm no longer intimidated by the process, thanks to this high quality glass cutter.
Old and wavy glass is a fragile and expensive thing to make mistakes with. Our previous glass cutters had steel wheels that dulled quickly and were difficult to keep a reliable line when scoring the glass. After making mistake after mistake, I got to the point where I was almost afraid to cut glass, expecting it to shatter or produce a piece too small for what I was working on.
That all changed when I bought this Fletcher Terry Glass Cutter with a Carbide Wheel. The wheel is sharp and lasts up to 10 times longer than a steel wheel, the weight of the tool is balanced and heavy with a ball tip that you can use to encourage breaking with slight taps, and the ergonomic finger position makes it easy to get a reliable grip, which is very important when trying to maintain a line against a straight edge. Now I actually quite enjoy the glass cutting process.
Now it's as easy as: measure, mark, score, snap! And you're left with a cleanly cut piece of glass that is ready for your project.
We had a bunch of broken and extra pieces of old and wavy glass in the basement that I've been cutting up while working on the doors. I actually got into the groove of the project and started to cut pieces for other things that have needed it, like the new transom window I built a little while ago that will eventually go above our bathroom door.
As I said, I no longer fear the process, and I have this tool to thank for it. I'll just keep my eye on the cutting wheel and will be sure to replace it before it gets the slightest bit dull. That's the real secret to success.
Do you do any glass work? What are your tools of choice? Would it help me to add some cutting oil to my process?
Also, I'm thinking of picking up a Fletcher Terry Glazing Point driver for all of the glass lites I need to install in the doors, rather than using the points with the ears that you push in with a putty knife. Any opinions?