Sunday, September 28, 2008

Cutting Is Done

I finished cutting the glass this afternoon and will probably foil tomorrow evening. Once that is done, I'll re-check for fit. If the past is any measure, I'll probably have one or maybe two of the smaller pieces that I could cut more precisely, that won't show their nasty heads until all the foiling is done. This is the first piece that I've done that uses alot of clear (no color) glass, and I found it was harder to see my mistakes right away. Hopefully I will have time to solder it Wednesday or Thursday. Then Ed can make a frame for it next weekend and I can wrap it and get it shipped.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Slow And Steady

After several weeks off, I'm back at it today. The only problem is that I can't stand for long periods, and the foot-to-foot that happens from project board (left) to cutting board (middle) to grinder (right) is really tough on the hip.

Needless to say, nothing is happening in a hurry. I cut a few pieces, and go sit down. Cut a few more and stretch that.. anyway, I did add a few pieces today, and hope to get all the glass cut by this weekend. Then I can sit and foil in an evening.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Too Hip!

Well, I go in this morning to have my hip roto-rootered, so glass is going to be on hold for a month or so. I tried to get all of the glass cut for Gene's piece before this morning, but that didn't happen. It just hurt too much to stand at the counter. Here's what I have done so far:

The clear baroque glass as the background looks a little limp laying flat, but I think once it is done and up into the light it'll be good. The glass for the swords doesn't even begin to show itself off until the light is in it. One good day of glass cutting is all I need to finish, then an evening of foiling. I've tried cutting glass sitting down, but it just doesn't work for me. Depending on how long I'm on crutches will determine when I can get started again...maybe a month. See you then!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

People Let Me Tell Ya 'Bout My Best Friend

Let me introduce you to my best glass friends. Mr. and Mrs. Dustpan, and Ms. Safetyglasses. I can't tell you how frustrating it is to be cutting a piece of glass and have it make that tiny horrible popping sound as you cut, because you've been too lazy to sweep after that last cut...and've just busted your new piece in half on some microscopic shard. I have said some very bad words...some of them out loud..when doing this. Now I sweep after every cut. And yes, I tried those grid things..not working for me.

The safety glasses? Never NEVER never never never ...ever.. cut or grind without them. Not even a little. From here, it's an hour to the nearest medical aid. I don't think I want to try to drive with one eye, while the other eye has glass razor blades in it. Nope, just don't want to.

So back to the project: I sure hope I can phrase this so that it makes sense!
The pattern is drawn on the fasson paper, and the original pattern is pinned and squared. Ready? Stop. Look. Look at your pattern and pick a side, preferably with a larger edge piece. This pattern doesn't really illustrate that because all the sides are more or less the same, but I decided to start with the left side. I like to work from top down or left to right, partly because I want my world to be symmetrical, and if little things are off balance (like crooked pictures on the wall etc) then the world starts wobbling on it's axis. Eventually the Earth wobbles so hard it spins out of it's orbit and goes spinning into space and we all get into God knows what kind of trouble. Sorry..I wandered off.. In any case, on this piece, I cut out the outermost piece on the left of the pattern. I slip it under the block plates so that the right edge of the fasson pattern piece lines up with the pinned pattern, then using a fine-line pen, I trace the inside edge of the block plate. Double click on the pictures to enlarge them, if it helps.

Trim away the excess, peel the backing off the fasson paper, stick the template on your glass and cut the glass. Check the fit on your pinned working pattern, adjust if necessary. I use the grinder to knock off any killer edges, and make any adjustments.

From there I've decided to get a good solid corner going, so I pretty much do the same thing again, only from now on I slip the fasson piece under existing glass edges.

I trace along the edge, trim off the excess, and cut the glass. Now the folks that I learned this method from use push pins between every piece of glass to leave space for the foil. I found if I do that, there is too much space and my pieces don't fit well. My guess is that has more to do with my inexpert glass cutting, rather than their method being faulty. So what I do is put pins in where it looks like it needs it, about every third line. Scientifically and mathematically querulous, I know.

After several pieces, it begins to look like this:
By the time all the pieces are cut, you'll have a good sense of how it all fits, and if there is one piece that barks at you, or just looks wrong, take it out, slip a piece of fasson paper underneath and trace out a new template. I's working well for me. The only serious frustration is when I cut a fasson piece off the master, then forget to trace it against the existing glass pieces before I cut the piece out of the glass. Darn!
Here's the deal...
Yes, this method is slower than others.
No, I know that's not how the pros do it.
Yes, it works for me.
No, I can't guarantee it will work for you.
Yes, I probably forgot something important.
No, I don't remember what it is.
If you mess up, nobody dies!