Earlier this year I acquired a new glass cutter and I realized that I now have several methods of cutting straight edges, so thought I would share what works best for me.
Starting with the cheapest tool to acquire is my metal carpenter square. When cutting my full-size Bullseye sheets of glass, I need something large enough to cut across the width of these sheets of glass. The carpenter square is perfect for this as it is 24 inches on one side. I just score along the square and then break the glass either over the edge of a table or the edge of several pieces of cardboard or using my running pliers.
As this was originally my one and only tool, I used this for all straight edges. I would line the one edge up on the straight edge of a piece of glass and cut on the inside of the other edge. The downside is that the square can easily move while cutting so it is less of a sure thing with each cut.
Bohle Silberschnitt Workspace
The next tool was my first glass cutting straight edge tool which I bought at the Bullseye Resource Center. It is called the Bohle Silberschnitt Workspace (http://www.bohleamerica.com/shop/Manual-Glass-Cutting/Strip-and-Speed-Cutters/SILBERSCHNITT-reg%3B-Roll-up-Workplace::62.html) and includes a rubber mat with a metal guide along one side which the glass cutter rides in as it cuts. You can cut your glass from about 3/8 inches up to 12 inches wide. This is now my workhorse tool for straight edges. It is also my go-to tool when I know I want all pieces to be cut exactly the same size as I set the ruler to say 4 inches and then cut all pieces without changing it so that all pieces comes out exactly the same size.
The cutting edge is very nice and it is very easy to position my glass and cut. I see that they sell replacement blades, but I have been using the original for several years now and it still works great. I do dip the tool in cutting oil every few cuts though and also need to clean out the guide part of debris every once in a while to keep it moving along the guide smoothly.
Beetle Bits Cutting System
My latest purchase this last spring at the Las Vegas Glass Convention was the Beetle Bits Cutting System. I had debated whether I really needed it, but liked the way it made it easier to cut angles. I was also having a hard time with the Bohle cutting my thinner strips of glass such that they scored and broke easily and cleanly. So I went ahead and purchased the Beetle Bits this year and it works like a charm. It is a little cumbersome to get larger pieces of glass under the cutting arm, so I tend to go back to my Bohle workhorse for just normal straight-line cuts. But for cutting strips that are thin like 3/8 inches or cutting triangles and other angles, this tool is awesome!
For cutting the strips, I actually score several at a time. Using 1/2 inch as my sample, I score the first line 1/2 inches from the edge. I then move the glass over so that my score line is now on 1/2 inch on the ruler and score the next line. I do this for as many strips as I want out of that one sheet of glass. Then using the running pliers, break the middle score first and keep breaking each piece along its middle score. You will get much better cuts than if you cut the outside strip each time.
As I am now addicted to cutting thinner strips, check out a few of my striped plates.
Do you have other favorite glass cutting straight-edge tools? Please share as I would love to know the benefits and disadvantages of other tools.