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Newsgroups: rec.crafts.misc,rec.crafts.metalworking,rec.woodworking
Subject: Re: Glass Cutting Saws?
From: John De Armond
Date: Tue, 30 Nov 93 19:29:17 GMT

Michael Lagae <> writes:


>I was wondering if anyone has any information regarding glass 
>cutting band saws.

>I saw a post in rec.crafts.misc (I believe) about a year ago from 
>someone who seemed very pleased with a stained glass cutting band 
>saw.  However, I!ve talked to a few glass dealers who claim that 
>they cut very slowly (one inch/minute) and really aren!t worth it 
>unless you need to make very integrate cuts which would be 
>impossible to do otherwise.

Yes, we have a Diamond Lazer 1000 saw which is a chinese clone
of the Gryphon unit.  It works very well and we are quite 
pleased with it.  It's speed is dependent on the thickness and hardness
of the glass.  For thin fusable glass (what I usually use it with), it
cuts several inches per minute.  Even regular stained glass cuts 
satisfactorilly fast.  It is NOT as fast as scoring-and-breaking but
then again, you can't score a spiral or other complex shape.

My experience is most stained glass dealers disparage the products
they either can't get or don't make money on.

>I!ve only actually seen one such band saw.  I don!t recall the 
>brand, but it didn!t seem all that durable, was a rather small 
>table top unit and was extremely expensive; around $500.  The only 
>feature that set it apart from other band saws is that it had a 
>water reservoir around the lower wheel.

The Gryphon saw was cloned because their price was so outrageous.
Strangely enough, Gryphon's saw is now reasonably priced.  We paid
about $200 for our saw.  I have used several other brands including
the very expensive german unit and I like the Lazer the best.
It is fast and deceptively rugged.  Accomidations for the diamond
blade are subtle but numerous and range from the tensioning system
to the rubber rollers and teflon guides.  

>I'd like to get back into making stained glass lamps and the idea 
>of being able to saw quickly through glass is appealing.  However, 
>I'm leery of purchasing a hobbyist type of machine.  I!d be much 
>more inclined to spend that much or more for a good quality tool 
>that could be used for other materials as well.

Sawing really isn't a substitute for pieces that can be scored and
cracked.  The speed of scoring is vastly superior.  On the other hand,
if you have a curved cut on a $50 piece of glass, it is nice not to
risk a spurrious crack.

>So, my questions are:

>2.  Does anyone have any experience with any other tools that 
>could be used to cut glass?  Does anyone make glass cutting blades 
>for larger band saws or scroll saws?

The pantograph-based scoring machines work well.  Gryphon makes a fairly
expensive scoring machine that seems to have some merit.  IT has a 
pneumatic driven scoring wheel and a variable speed rubber drive wheel
under it.  The idea is to feed the glass in much as you would to a band-
saw.  The score is deep and accurate.  

I am investigating having diamond blades made for a Delta woodworking
saw but I've yet to find a suitable price.  The conversion requires
more than just the blade.  Things such as rubber rollers and 
frictionless guides as well as a water system.  

I'm experimenting with CO2 laser cutting but the work is in its earliest
stage.  It looks to have some possibilities.

BTW, there is a stained glass mailing list,  Subscribe
to  Put your email address on the Subject: line.


Newsgroups: rec.crafts.misc,rec.crafts.metalworking,rec.woodworking
Subject: Re: Glass Cutting Saws?
From: John De Armond
Date: Fri, 03 Dec 93 18:17:53 GMT (johnm) writes:

>I agree with the glass dealer. I have not seen the bandsaw but I have 
>seen many glass saws. The problem is class can not be cut a we think of 
>it from having experience with things like wood or plastic. That is why 
>most glass is cut by scoring. Some very intricate cuts can be made with 
>scoring, check out a stain glass expert. Glass cutting with a saw is a 
>grinding process. Typically diamond abrasives are used. 

There is a certain danger in posting about things one has no experience
or first hand knowledge about.  Perfect example.

The diamond bandsaw cuts glass through a combination of abrasion and
spalling.  The chips removed from the stock are much larger than the 
grit of the blade (as you would have known had you ever actually
used a diamond saw.) and therefore the cutting speed is much faster
than what could be achieved by abrasive action alone.

>of cut material is removed in powder instead of a chip the processes just 
>can not be too fast with causing high stresses in the glass.

This is absolutely false.  Indeed, quite the opposite is true.  I have a
homemade glass slicing saw that uses a thin 2" diameter diamond blade 
rotating at 25,000 rpm.  That is, a rim velocity of (2*pi*25000) = 
157,000 feet per minute.  This saw is as smooth as silk and cuts glass
about as fast as a radial arm saw cuts an equivalent thickness of wood.

>Bandsaw blades wear as the revolve due to the bending around the wheels. 
>Priced any diamond blades lately? My 7 1/4 circular saw blade cost over 
>$100. I am sure the bandsaw blade would cost much more. In fact if I made 
>the bandsaws I would give the user the saw as long as I could sell him 
>the blades!!

Home Depot sells a 7-1/4" diamond blade for $60.  Irrelevant.  The blade
for my diamond band saw costs $40.  In the two years we've owned the saw
which has been in almost daily use, there has been no discernable wear.
I have broken the blade a couple of times but it is a 10 minute process
to silver-solder it back together again.  I recently received a notice 
from the company that makes the blade.  They announced a new stainless
steel substrate blade for $40 and a price cut to $20 for the soft 
metal substrate blade.  They describe the stainless steel blade as a
lifetime blade.  I believe it.  Somehow I don't think the saw maker
would give away a $200 saw in order to sell even one $20 blade.

In general, diamond abrasives are as cheap as others and are getting 
cheaper.  I buy most of my diamond abrasives from the Truebite corp
in New York.  Drills and burrs suitable for use in a dremel tool 
costs typically $7.  A 4" diamond hole saw to be used in a drill
press costs all of $60.


Newsgroups: rec.crafts.metalworking
Subject: Re: Diamond Bandsaw Blades
From: John De Armond
Date: Tue, 07 Dec 93 05:48:28 GMT (JOSEPH A. ZELINSKI) writes:

>     To John De Armond, WD4OQC:
>    Would you kindly post the name(s) of the mfgr. or distributor of the
>  Stainless backed diamond bandsaw blades you referred to in your earlier
>  posting? I would find such a blade very useful -*especially*- at the price
>  you mentioned. 

Coincidentally I got a flyer from these folks today.  Unfortunately
there has been a small price increase.  The stainless steel blade is
now $89.95.  The old blade is now $60.  The Gryphon-clone saw, the 
Diamond Laser 1000S (an enhanced version of my saw) is $295.  
Other than kicking myself for not buying earlier, the blade increase is 
of no major concern to me since the blade seems to last forever.

The company is Stained Glass Workshop in Syosset, NY.  800 669-7151.
In NY, 516 496-7593.


Message-ID: <>
From: John De Armond
Subject: Re: Tile saw for cutting fused 1/4 inch glass
Date: Sat, 05 May 2001 20:41:57 -0400

Cellar Art wrote:
> Hi All,
> I know that this subject comes up every now and then but I am still slightly
> confused.  I want to get saw to use for making straight cuts on fused 1/4
> inch thick glass.  I am under the impression that a tile saw from Home Depot
> with a special diamond lapidary blade will do the trick.  Will this be a
> good solution?  I've also heard horror stories of the tile saw shattering
> the glass with a special glass blade that was recommended by the tile saw
> manufactures  Where do I get a good lapidary blade that will make a fine cut
> that will only need to be fire polished and that will fit a tile saw.  The
> tile saw blades are 7" and most lapidary blades are either 6" or 8".

We've had good luck using the Plasplug tile saw.  HOWEVER.  Throw
away the junk chinese made blade that comes with it and get a good
american made unit. Expect to pay $40-60.  The differences are
manifold, the major one being the much tighter concentricity
tolerance and balance.  The junk blade will be out of round and will
pound the glass into breaking.  When you mount the blade, mount it
carefully, measuring the runout.  Use the slop between the blade and
spindle to perfectly center the blade before tightening the nut.  Do
not EVER run the blade dry on glass regardless of the package label
unless you like to have diamond pixie dust everywhere except on the
blade where it belongs.

I have also found that it is more satisfactory if the blade is
slowed a bit.  These saws use universal motors so motor-qualified
light dimmers will work fine.  The overhead fan speed controllers
that Home Depot sells works fine.  As does the Lutron commercial
grade light dimmers, the ones with the large heat sinks, also
available from Home Depot, etc.  I use a variac (variable auto
transformer) which works best but I'd not go out and buy one if I
didn't already have it.

All these blades will have a little residual runout so it is
important to feed the glass in slowly. If you force it in against
the blade, it WILL crack the glass.  Hold the glass tightly to the
table or else the vibration is liable to slap the glass around and
crack it.  Fed slowly and firmly, breakage is almost nonexistent.


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