Sunday, March 18, 2007

Getting to Know You...

Well, I just got my brand new Morton Maxi Surface and Portable Glass Shop out of the box and am in the process of learning all about its many benefits. There's an audio CD talking me through reading the manual, so far. And what a nicely illustrated manual it is! (It is available to download here, if you need it.)
While sitting here, I came across an interesting tidbit that I was about to highlight, but figured I should just blog it instead. So, tonight I am sharing my Morton board lesson with you all:)

The first interesting fact I came across was the Flares, Burrs & Voids section. "These are terms to identify unwanted results when scoring and breaking glass." Turns out that a flare occurs when the glass cutter runs at an angle to the glass you're trying to cut. In other words, the cutter should be held perpendicular to the glass while scoring it. Also, they suggest picking up a Morton Runner Safety Break, a device that allows you to start the break in the middle of the piece of glass, as opposed to the edge of the glass (like when you use running pliers).
I've found that if you're trying to make a long break in a piece of glass, it works well to gently squeeze the running pliers from one edge and then finish the break from the other edge, also squeezing gently.
From the instruction manual: "It takes time for the break, that was started by the score, to travel through the thickness of the glass. As you add pressure to break the glass, a slow steady squeeze and hold type of pressure, is much more effective than a quick hard squeeze with no holding pressure."
Okay, so I really haven't had too much concern over "flares" on my glass. True, they can surprise you with a bite that bleeds, but flares are not that hard to grind off with the grozing side of the breaker-grozer tool. The edge may not look perfect, but chances are that it will look fine when it melts down in the kiln. (Unless, of course, you're going to be foiling the piece for stained glass work, in which case you'll be covering the edge with copper tape.)

I have made a mental note, though, to check out the angle of my cutter the next time I am cutting glass. I will try out this "new" technique with my Morton board tomorrow and get back to you with results. Flares be warned!

More on this subject as I read on. But for now, I'm off to bed to dream about glass:)

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