hand cutting vs saw

This subject is debated, seemingly endlessly, on one of the FB pages I follow. Traditionalists are of the opinion that using a saw is cheating, essentially. I believe that for beginners, it is cheating a bit. I cut glass by hand for 4 years before buying my Gemini ring blade saw. I think it is a sound argument for developing your cutting skills first, before relying on a saw. once you have a saw, it is so easy to just use it since it is there, even on easy stuff. I wouldn’t have challenged myself to cut some difficult angles, if I had owned the saw early on.

the glow cut

This would have been a super simple cut with the ring saw. Maybe take 5 minutes. Instead, I cut it out by hand using Ringstar pliers, little nibble, by little nibble.

the glow

I then ground out the rest, switching back and forth between a regular bit, a 1/4″ bit and an 1/8″ bit. Took a couple of hours. The satisfaction of doing it has lasted for 9 years… and will last as long as the piece exists.

I use my saw fairly sparingly. If I have a cut that I must get done, and I only have one shot, then I will use the saw. If I have loaded a bunch of pattern pieces super tight a piece of glass (this goes back to having a limited amount of a specific glass), glass that is notoriously difficult to cut (drapery glass, ripple glass, or any translucent /opaque blend esp with lots of white in it), and deep inside curves are all situations in which I would use the saw. Oh, and points and right angles.

small lotus backlit

the saw certainly makes thing easier. I like to keep my cutting skills lubed up, so I use it as seldom as possible, but it is a worthy investment.

This top piece would h

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~ by kellig on February 1, 2015.

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