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Do you have all the tools you need to trim and cut your optical glass? Watch our video going highlighting glass cutting tools and techniques.

Optical Glass Cutting Tools & Tips

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Cleaning Supplies

Isopropyl Alcohol

Precote 33 Blue Spray Laminate

Microfiber Cleaning Cloth

Novus Plastic Clean & Shine

Glass Scoring Wheel

Running Pliers

Morton Glass Cutting Table

Safety Gear

What side do I score when cutting a first surface mirror with a laminate protective coating?

Glass first surface mirror will have a blue protective laminate covering the front side of the mirror. You can cut on either side with the glass scoring blade. For 1.1mm thickness first surface mirror it will be easier to cut on the non-laminated side. You will not be able to put enough pressure to cut through the laminate and score the glass at the same time without cracking the glass.

We have samples available for purchase if you need to hone in on your glass cutting skills before custom cutting the mirror for your project.

Where To Start

Begin with your Morton cutting system or flat surface and guides. It is great for cutting 18″ x 24″ mirrors or smaller. We have larger cutting equipment here in our shop, so we use this to precision cut bulk smaller orders around 6″ x 6″ in size.

To start using the Morton Glass Cutting System, set the acrylic grid together. We have it attached to a piece of half-inch plywood to keep it more stable. Place the perpendicular guide lined up with the top and bottom support that snap into place. Take the smaller yellow twists guides and measure the distance from the perpendicular support.

Slide your mirror in place and use the glass score cutting wheel to apply medium even pressure, or until you hear a scoring or scratching sound coming from the glass. You may begin at either the top or the bottom of the mirror. You can only score the glass once so be sure to start at the very edge of the glass and end at the very edge for an even score.

Now that we have our scoreline take the running pliers to the very edge of the glass. Line them up perfectly center with the score. Apply slight pressure until the glass pops apart. Be sure when cutting, scoring and breaking glass to wear eye-protection and glass gloves.

Don’t have a morton glass cutting system? No problem.

All you need is a flat surface, rulers or yardsticks, and a steady hand.

Measure the dimension you need to cut on your optical mirror. Measure twice cut once. Remember glass is unforgiving. You will most likely have one shot at your score line. Sometimes you can get away with a few strokes as long as the break is clean.

TIP: Practicing your pressure and technique on a similar sample mirror or glass is a must. Our samples range from $1-$4 and you can find them here.

Line up your ruler at both ends of the glass where you’ve have measured the desired cut. Depending on your glass score wheel style, you will have to account for the small metal space around the wheel. Be sure your glass score wheel cutter has cutting oil inside. With little to no pressure line up your cut until the wheel rolls perfectly over your desired breaking point.

Now that you’ve practiced your pressure and can hear the scoring sound on the practice pieces its time to score and break your mirror. You can start from one side of the mirror to the other. Top to bottom or vice versa. Does not matter as long as the pressure is even and continuous from one end to the other.

Once properly scored, grab your running pliers. Be sure the running pliers are face up and the line even with your score. Only move into the mirror with the pliers about a quarter of an inch. Gently squeeze the handles until your score line pops apart. If it is difficult to press on the running pliers and your glass is not breaking apart nicely, the scoreline may not have been deep enough! Gently rub your finger over the line. You should be able to feel the tiny scratch of the score.

How To Clean Acrylic

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How To Optical Mirrors

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Tips & Tricks

The coating can easily chip if left un-sanded. Especially with first surface mirror edges. You can use a sanding block to seam the mirror edges or a wet sander. Always sand the mirror side with a downward motion. That way you won’t risk accidentally sanding the mirror coating. This will seal the edges from further chipping.

Glass can break with very fine sharp edges, nearly invisible to the eye. Save yourself some deep tiny cuts with the proper glass glove protection.

Eye protection is a must! Small pieces of glass like to jump from the scoreline once scored or during the breaking process.

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