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Cutting Large Letters and Numbers

mosaic sign for oceancide villas

Mosaic Signage by Lou Ann Weeks and Cindi Novak, 5' x 9' stained glass, glass tiles

When you need to cut letters and numbers AND keep them in one large piece (instead of several small tiles), a wet saw is the tool you will need.

Below are 4 tips to help you make the kind of cuts with a wet saw that will produce letters and numbers in one piece. First, draw your pattern onto your glass using a marker you can see clearly. Then, using chapstick or bees wax, coat your pattern marks to keep your pattern from "floating" away once the water hits it. In addition, I recommend hand cutting your glass to remove any excess material before you use your saw. This saves time, and wear and tear on your saw and blade.

1. Straight Cuts – Line up your pattern mark with the saw blade and guide your material forward, using consistent but light pressure.

2. Curves – Feed your material slowly into the blade following the pattern, gently turning. If you use a ring saw, you can move your material left and right and forward and back around the blade without any problem.

3. Cutting a 90-degree cut – if you are using a ring saw, this is easily done; angle the glass sideways across the blade. With a band saw, turn your glass slowly until you can work the glass around the blade. Go slow and be careful not to twist your blade.

4. Cutting unusual shapes – Same as above, but sometimes you have to make numerous cuts into the glass to complete the shape.

The large letters and numbers in the image above were cut with a band saw. To see detailed instructions on using a band saw, here is a video that demonstrates these cuts. Click here

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