How to cut a mirror without a cutter
The mirrors around us: in the car, the bathroom or a woman’s cosmetic bag, are by their structure ordinary glass with a layer of metal applied to the back surface. Cutting mirrored glass is virtually the same as cutting regular glass and can be done with a regular glass cutter or the methods above. When there are no special tools at hand, the most effective cutting tool is a file or a diamond disc. Let’s consider in detail how to cut a mirror at home without a cutter, with the help of improvised means.
The first thing to do is to prepare the surface to be treated: wash, degrease and dry. The mirror must be clean, without stains and strong stains. Otherwise the line can get twisted and the bevel will be uneven. The cutting surface should be flat and not too hard. You can put a thick cloth or a piece of linoleum on the table.
After preparation of the material and workplace we mark the line of the future cut on the mirror. Straight line mowing line is better to lead on a ruler or rail with a height of at least 5 mm. You can glue a strip of tape to the bottom of the stop to prevent it from sliding. Then we take a file, an angle grinder or other tool and make the cut along the marked scythe line. detailed process of different methods of cutting is written above.
When the cut is ready all that is left is to break the mirror in the proper place. To do this, you can put a small object (match, pencil, nail) under the cutting line and press lightly on both sides. You can chip the glass on the edge of the table or gently tap the bottom with a small metal object (drill or spoon). If the glass does not break, you do not need to push very hard. It is better to make the second cut a couple of centimeters from the first.
Cutting the mirror If we are talking about a small and not thick cloth, it is not difficult to cut the mirror at home. It is not necessary to go to a workshop or call “the husband for an hour”, it is enough to have a man in the house and a small set of tools.
Before starting work, make sure that all the necessary items for the work are available.
Tools, parts, tools for cleaning the workplace should be present among them:
- The mirror itself;
- Smooth and clean surface to work on (a flat table or a piece of particle board will do);
- Glass cutter;
- A long ruler (thickness of about 8 mm);
- A piece of cloth (an old sheet or tablecloth);
- Rubberized pliers;
- A tape measure;
- A small size hammer;
- Fine sandpaper;
- A basin of water or a bowl;
- Alcohol and soda;
- Glass drawing marker, chalk or pencil;
- Templates, plywood or plastic shapes (will be needed if you need the curves of the mowing line).
Important! Also, be sure to have eye and hand skin protection to protect you from damage from broken shards. Take thick cloth gloves, a band-aid (to protect the skin on individual fingers) and construction or bicycle goggles.
Proceed to cut
The glass cutter should be placed at right angles to the mirror surface strictly on the marked line. Pressing lightly against the glass, it should be gently guided in the direction that leads to you. Take your time. Move the glass cutter gently and accurately along the intended mowing line. If you hear the sound of glass being cut, it means all is going well. Creaking indicates that the glass cutter is broken or you are doing something wrong.
Special cleaners for glass can help you to clean an old mirror.
If the cut is correct you will see a thin line on the glass. If all goes well, place the mirror on the workbench so that the fishing line protrudes slightly over the edge. Then put some pressure on the cut part, holding the other hand. The glass should fall off. If this does not happen, tap the entire fishing line from the underside with a hammer, moving it toward yourself. It doesn’t work? Repeat the cutting procedure again. Use pliers to remove small splinters.
If you just bought the mirror you should leave it for two or three hours in the room where the whole cutting process will take place.
Attention! If you don’t have special glasses don’t lean too low when you work to avoid the shards in your eyes.
A creaking noise indicates that the cutter is broken or you are doing something wrong.
To cut a mirror evenly, you should buy special tools. Even beginners can easily cope with a roller glass cutter, but it can cut glass with a thickness not exceeding 4 mm. The cutting element of the tool can be easily replaced if necessary.
A diamond glass cutter can cut thicker glass, but it costs more, and it is more difficult for an inexperienced craftsman to handle.
Besides the glass cutter, you will need a long ruler, which should be at least 8 mm thick. As additional tools and materials must be prepared:
- Pliers with rubber pads;
- A fine-grained sandpaper;
- tape measure;
- A cloth (an old sheet or a bedspread);
- A special pencil (brand “steklograph”), a water-soluble felt tip pen or wax pencil will also work;
- a bucket of water;
- A template made of plywood or plastic sheet, if the cut glass will be shaped.
To cut the mirror at home should be on a flat, stable table, so that its area was larger than the size of the mirror.
Safe technique when cutting mirrors
Before cutting a mirror at home, you need to take care of your own safety:
- In order not to injure your hands and not to cut yourself on the sharp edges of the mirror, prepare thick cloth gloves. Additionally, you may want to put strips of plaster on your fingers.
- Eyes also need protection. Use bicycle goggles, construction goggles, or any other safety glasses for this purpose.
Important! Before you first cut a mirror with a glass cutter, you need to practice on small glass elements, and after gaining at least some experience, proceed to the responsible part of the work.
The glass cutter must be placed at right angles to the mirror surface strictly on the marked mowing line. Pressing it slightly against the glass, it should be gently guided in the direction that leads to you. Take your time. Move the glass cutter gently and accurately along the intended mowing line. If you can hear the sound of the glass cutting, all is going well. The squeaking noise indicates that the cutter is broken or that you are doing something wrong.
Special glass liquids will help you to clean the old mirror.
If the cut is correct, you will see a thin line on the glass. If all goes well, put the mirror on the workbench so the fishing line protrudes slightly over the edge. Then put a little pressure on the part you cut, holding the other hand with your other hand. The glass should fall off. If it is not, use a hammer to tap the entire line from the underside, moving it toward you. It is not working? Repeat the cutting procedure again. Use pliers to remove small pieces.
If you just bought the mirror, leave it in the room to be cut for a couple of hours.
Warning! If you do not have special glasses, do not lean too low when working to avoid the shards getting into your eyes.
Creaking indicates that the glass cutter is broken or you are doing something wrong.
Be sure to check the availability of all materials before you cut the mirror. The most standard table will do. The main thing is that the size of the table top must correspond to the size of the mirror surface, and ideally it must exceed it.
There are two types of glass cutters: diamond and roller, and you can cut a mirror at home with both.
If you plan to insert a mirror into a frame, get it in advance.
Then a ruler, preferably a metal one, should be attached to the mowing line.
The work should be done carefully, taking your time.
The most important tool of course is the glass cutter. Tools, with the help of which you can cut glass at home, come in three types:
- Rollers. The cutting part is made of a specially durable alloy;
- Diamond. technical diamond is used as the cutting part;
- oil. have the same characteristics as the roller ones, there is an additional reservoir.
This technique allows you to control the correct position of the cutting part of the glass cutter and gives you a guarantee that the glass cutter will not slip off the ruler.
If you are pondering which glass cutter is worth buying, choose a diamond cutter. It is superior to the roller ruler in both quality and service life.
it is clear that the cutting element must be located strictly on the marked mowing line and perpendicular to the mirror surface.
During operation, the glass cutter is pressed firmly against the surface of the mirror and the ruler.
Another necessary tool is a special thick ruler or angle for cutting glass. However, you can use an ordinary metal ruler, just need to slightly improve it. You will need some rubber or leather pieces for this. You should put a ruler on them. This will prevent the metal from sliding on the glass and raise the ruler high enough to support the glass cutter.
The pressure and movement of the glass cutter should be smooth, progressive.
You will also need pliers and a hammer, which is designed to make breaking the glass easier by tapping the mirror from the back. The hammer should preferably be small.
When cut properly, a thin white fishing line will remain on the surface of the mirror.
Specialist is able to determine the correctness of the cut. by hearing the characteristic light cracking.
It is highly desirable to cover the table top with a coverlet. The cloth should be natural and have the necessary density because you will manipulate the mirror on it. If you do not use a blanket, the fragile glass on the hard surface of the table may crack with any careless movement.
When the cutting line is ready, the mirror rests on the edge of the surface (table, workbench, stool).
The last item is a water-soluble felt-tip pen or wax pencil for marking.
If this does not work, then a small hammer should be used to tap the entire mowing line from below, moving the hammer from its far end towards yourself.
Cutting mirrors begins with preparation
It is required to prepare not only the tool and the workplace, but also the mirror itself. It is washed and degreased. A dirty, dusty or “greasy” surface can cause the cutter to go sideways.
Then the mirror is wiped dry and placed face up on a tabletop covered with a cloth.
Make a marking, apply a ruler so that the marks coincide with the working part of the glass cutter (roller or diamond), and this requires a small indentation.
The glass cutter itself is held perpendicular or at a slight angle to the surface, but the diamond cutter has its own specific position.
The crystal is inserted in the metal frame in such a way that it may have an acute or obtuse angle in relation to the mirror. It is the acute angle that is working. For the correct orientation of the glass cutter, a mark is made on the rim, which must face the ruler during the cutting process.
To make it easier to work with the roller glass cutter, the surface of the mirror in the place of the cut can be moistened with turpentine.
It is necessary to cut a mirror with a glass cutter in one movement. repetitions are not allowed, this is a direct way to spoil it. That’s why the motion has to be progressive and even with the same intensity along the whole length except for the very edge (the pressure on the edge must be slightly eased in order not to damage it).
The trace from a diamond glass cutter is thin and almost colorless, from a roller the strip is a little wider and whiter. By the way, it is easier to control the cut on the mirror than on the glass. The power of a roller cutter is usually a little more than for a diamond cutter.
A wide band or whitish glass dust means excessive force. Alternatively, for the roller, this could mean that it is blunt, and for the diamond, that the cut is at a blunt angle.
The cut mirror is displaced (not turned upside down) to the table top edge so that the cutting trace would exit beyond the table top at the distance not bigger than the mirror thickness (from 3 to 5 mm). Press the mirror to the table with one hand and break it down with one sharp movement (but without fanaticism).
Use slots in the glass cutter or pliers if necessary. You can wrap the jaws of the pliers with insulating tape or use strips of rubber (leather).
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Tools and materials
Table. In principle there are no limitations for cutting mirrors like there are for glass. As a rule, the size of the mirror is quite comparable to the area of a standard tabletop, and its thickness does not exceed 5 mm (that is, a roller glass cutter will do as well).
Ruler. When cutting a mirror with a hand tool, it is necessary that its side has a good stop. The usual metal ruler does not provide this condition, and the availability of special rulers or angles for cutting glass from an ordinary set of tools is not expected. Not always there is even a meter wooden ruler, which has the right thickness, although it is found quite often. That’s why you have to use pieces of rubber or leather for the metal ruler. They keep the metal from sliding on the mirror (this pair has one of the lowest coefficients of friction) and raise the ruler high enough above the mirror for the glass cutter to rest.
Glass cutter. In everyday life, it is most common to find a roller glass cutter, which has a cutting part made of carbide. That’s why it’s so important for him to stop at the side of the ruler.
It does “roll” rather than cut, hence there’s a risk that it could drift sideways. Therefore, if there is a choice, it is better to use diamond tools.
Hammer and pliers. A small hammer is needed to lightly tap the thick mirror from underneath, this will make it easier to break on the mowing line of the cut. Pliers are used for breaking small strips in width, when the thickness of the “unnecessary” edge is small for breaking.
Cloth. This is a thick tablecloth or a thin bedspread, preferably made of natural fabrics, you can use a linen sheet. Cut on the table, and table tops have a polished, slippery surface. In addition, there is a risk that the mirror could crack on a hard surface if it is not moved properly.