Are you ready? It's time for our 14th annual photo contest! Enter your best pictures of the year, for a chance to win a calendar and annual subscription here. Hurry! Deadline for entries is October 21.
Quoting:I need more control over the shape of my glass pieces. I know this is about as Glasswork 101 as it gets, but what's the scoop with the nippers I see you all refer to? How much control will it give me and how thick (or thin) of a piece will it cut? And I'm guessing I'd go to a craft store to purchase one?
Thanks oh mighty tumbling mentors!
I am also in a quandry about what to use to get more uniform pieces. I've been looking online and have found a couple of bottle cutters (bottles are what I have most of at this point). Karen, you have mentioned a type of glass cutter...a roller or something. What exactly is this and where can I find one? Does this score the glass and then it needs to be snapped off?
In the picture below you will see various tools.
From the left, we have:
Wheeled tile cutters
Tile nippers / Tile nips
Running pliers (have rubber tips - for stained glass use only)
Breaker / Grozier Pliers (for stained glass use only)
Pistol grip oil cutter (stained glass)
While my wheeled tile cutters are just fine and cut well, if you want
the cream of the crop, go for Leponitt brand. Or, if you are a common Joe
such as myself, the local hobby shops have them. Again, watch for discounts
and coupons to save money.
For a better picture and description, here is a great site:
What you bought is a standard stick type. Don't get me
wrong, they will work, I just prefer the pistol grip. Did you
intend to try this on the bottles? I can't say it won't work,
but it's not really the correct tool for what we are doing.
Please don't take this as raining on your parade, but
it would be my opinion that you need tile nippers or wheeled
cutters for this type of work. Unless, of course, you are cutting
flat sheets of glass.
Still lurking and tumbling here. I ordered two double barrel tumblers from HF a week or so ago. I got my glass smashed and ready to go when I plugged one of the tumblers in, it didn't work. It only hummed so I have to ship it back. But I have been tumbling a few things for 18 hours and checked the progress and was very pleased. I just don't know what in the heck I am going to do with this glass when it is done. Does anyone want to share some finished projects? That would be great.
Also I found these tumblers to be so quiet. I bought a "kids" version of one at Hobby Lobby and it was so loud compared to this one. I will take a picture of what I am tumbling when I am done in a few days.
Maybe you could try to repair the belts with super glue? I was talking to my father about the belt issue a week or so ago and he said he had some material that he made o-rings or gaskets from and he'd just cut it and glue it with super glue. He was going to make me extra belts but I haven't taken one over to show him the size, etc.
Worth a shot in a pinch, as they are broken now so what harm could it do and if it works then will keep you tumbling until a replacement arrives. How full do you have your barrel? Wondering if that makes a difference in the belt performance.
Janet, the one from HobLob, was it gray or silver, kind of roundish,
like a spaceship? My sister in law bought that style, she dislikes it much.
Hmm. The belts. Seems these have been sitting around in the warehouse
a bit too long. I would hold HF to them, though they will likely pass it off as
user abuse. Truth be told, the rubber is the problem, not the user.
Hello all been reading all your posts and am excited, nervous and think I'm going to go broke buying tools. Wuvie, you are so good. thank you for taking the time to help us by answering all questions. Thank you too for postina a pic. of the tools. Hope none of this thread gets erased, I'm gonna need all of it. LOL
Wow Janet, 18 hours!? I definitely need to find a different abrasive as I can hardly see any difference after a couple of days. Can I ask what you're using? I've just been using sand from the beach at my parents pond and it's obviously much too fine.
Yes. That sounds like the one I bought from Hobby Lobby. I don't like mine either. WAY too loud.
I am just using regular sand right now.I got a bag from Lowes that is used for plant cover or something like that. I forgot exactly what the bag says but I bought it beside all the potting soil.
Brender, imapigeon & tetleytuna,
The belts I have are Sq cut (flat on all sides).. not like an O-ring or would that still be an o-ring?
and with 2 breaking in less then 24 hours Im Calling HF .. I may try the super glue to see If I can keep the tumbler going ...But my tumbler started out like janet930
Just hummed because the little fan couldn't spin it was to close to the side .. Thought I fixed that but it was still hitting and rubbed off the ends of the fan a bit had to move it a little more .. Guess I should have sent it back the first day ..
I did plug it in before filling tubs and it came on thought it was good to go ..I was wrong .. Waiting for West coast time so I can call HF .. we will see what they say ..
Thanks for the super glue Idea ..
Bender reread your post about super glue & O-Rings .. The is no stress on O-rings or gaskets
They just kind of lay there. So im thinking its not going to work ...
How frustrating! I haven't had the belt issue so I don't know how they work or where they go exactly. Just thought it must drive the motor somehow so if the barrel was too full it might be putting stress on the motor/belt mechanism. I hope the super glue works just to get you by until a replacement is found. Sounds like the tumbler needs to go back though. What a pain in the youknowwhatsit. Sorry you are having so much grief from it because I know how excited you were to get going with it :-( . The only problem I have had is that the barrel kind of works its way to the end of the frame and scrapes when it is tumbling but I shimmed it with a paint stirring stick and solved that problem. Hope you get going with it soon.
Don't feel bad, I had gotten two of the small HF tumblers while they were on sale and each time they only worked for a few days before the belt broke. Within a few weeks I had gone through all four belts. I did get some new ones from the HF store and these were square looking instead of round and have had no further problems.
Cheryl, the only stop thing I have is a tab thing like on the back of picture frames but it eventually moves so the barrel is rubbing again. I am glad they are replacing your tumbler but wish you didn't have to wait. More time for glass hunting though!
Stopped at an "estate sale" this weekend. There was some really cool stuff there but all if it was filthy, I mean FILTHY! Plenty of colored glass to smash but there were no prices on most of the stuff. They did have a price on a set of 4 melmac dessert size bowls that has been used A LOT and they wanted $10. I guess they thought by calling the yard sale an "estate sale" they could ask $10 for melmac and $20 for a set of white pyrex casserole dishes with food baked on for $20 so didn't even ask about the pretty stuff! I can't even begin to describe the scene..
Went by a cottage on the island and all windows had at least one OLD blue bottle in them, which of course I wouldn't be able to smash. But I've been by there at least 1000 times and never noticed that until now that I am obssessed... or maybe the sun was hitting it just right... yah, that's it...
Ooh, and on the note of dirty dishes, that is the good thing
about smashing and tumbling. We have a vast supply of wine
and beer bottles for my whims, often sitting in the rain, gathering
For the kiln, I have to make certain they are spic and span clean,
but the glass facing a smash, not to worry.
Bender , yeppers thoses are the stops Im talking about .. Guess thats the only thing that worked on mine ...lol they did get a flat spot on them tho ... I might need a picture of your paint stick trick :-)
Karen, Talking about your kiln!!!!! Have you slumped any bottles yet? I just did a kiln full of crown bottles.
Opps better move to the other post ...Ill post new pics this afternoon...
Well I've got a load in the tumbler now, a couple of Estee Lauder bottles- one cobalt blue, one kind of pink and a couple of Revlon and a Mary K. Wasn't quite a full load so I added some scrap art glass. I also went to the powerlines (where there is a lot of sand) to get some coarser sand and had to walk on a creepy trail from behind our house about a half mile through the woods by myself. I don't like going there because I always feel like I am being watched..anyway, my desire for the sand overrode my desire for personal safety! I had my trowel as a weapon and made it back okay, didn't even have to leave a trail of bread crumbs.
Cheryl, I have the tumbler on a cement floor and I just lifted one end of it and stuck a paint stick under it. I don't think the frame is level so that is why it goes to that one end. This keeps it back just enough so it doesn't scrape.
Those Aussies look like so much fun! They'd have fun racing on the trails. We have a Maine Coon cat but he is like the lion on the Wizard of Oz. I'm going for the bag of sand from Lowe's if this batch isn't quite right. I only got a sandwich ziploc full anway because it was accessible today and I didn't want to got to Lowe's and wrestle the bag - o - sand. Really, I'm probably quite safe on the trail... just been watching too many shows on court tv... Guess the cat gets it from me!
Took my lasagna pan tumblage to stained glass class tonight...oohs and ahs abounded.
Actually, I'm using the wheeled nippers on them. They are
long cups, like parfait cups, so I figured I could get some long
strips out of them, then use the nippers to cut them into cube shapes
Wuvie - you asked me :Wanna, huh? Six wheels? Whatcha lookin' at? LOL
I responded: Wuvie - the Fletcher glass cutter sez "6 wheel Glass Cutter" - which is why I bought it instead of the regular kind ... you might need to enlarge the photo to see what I am talking about...
I spent a lot of time at Home Depot today looking (without success) for something like what you showed. In fact, their cutters were not even wheeled.
Would like to know what to buy - or what is wrong w/ what I have - if you have time to answer.
You won't find the cutter Karen uses at Lowes or HD .. maybe Hobby Lobby .. but for sure at a stained glass shop ..
I use the Fletcher stright cutter . But have never seen a 6 wheel cutter . Where did you get it so I can just take a look next time im in Town
It looks so much like a regular straight cutter ... but it has a little wheel on there. I am totally coming from a knowledge base of "zero" - so I appreciate your answering the question. We don't have Hobby Lobby here - would Michael's or Joann's be apt to carry something like that??
I have a 6-wheel cutter. You just rotate the head when one of the wheels gets dull. I usually use a Fletcher (one head) like Cheryl, that's my preferred. They don't have them at Lowe's or HD. Do you have a mom&pop type hardware store nearby? That's where I get mine or at the stained glass store - about$4.50 That would be your best bet to find a one-head cutter. The pistol grip one like Wuvie has is a stained glass store item, like Cheryl said, and is more $$. The Fletcher (single head) I have has a thumb rest and a ball on the end of the handle to tap the glass after you score to aid in the snapping/breaking of the score. I don't see why you can't use the one you have. Do you have a stained glass shop nearby? They should be more than happy to show you how to cut but here are a couple of links that might help you with steps to cutting glass. You can google on images and videos and find something that might help, too.
You're welcome. I am naughty and don't store my cutter in lubricant :-/ thinking maybe I should though. What I use to cut is 3-in-1 oil and that would also be good to store the cutter. The 3-in-1 is about $2 a bottle at any hardware store. It is a white and red plastic "can" (used to be metal). Might find it in the hardware section of the grocery store. I have gotten some there recently. They do have it at Lowe's or HD. Cheryl and Wuvie, what do you use?
Thought maybe on some mollecular level known only to itself it might change - me overthinking again... I'm thinking about bracelets and rings but I would like a walkway, since you mention it. However, with the freeze-thaw cycles we have here I have been outvoted by headquarters for any hope of the walkway of my dreams :-/ Thanks for the input, Cheryl and Wuvie.
Sounds like a plan! I may do some stepping stones and get my fix that way.
Sooooo this dirt I got yesterday maybe wasn't a good thing. When I opened the tumbler to check it today it looked like the Labrea Tar Pits or something..black and bubbly. You know what a rootbeer float looks like when you blow bubbles with your straw? Like that only black..eeeeewwww. Not sure whether it was from the printing on the bottles that caused it, plus I had some scrap glass still with paper patterns glued on I couldn't get off, or contaminated sand...probably a combo of all. So drained that off into a container to let it settle. Not knowing what it was, didn't dump it on the ground. Anyway, I've put some steel nuts (at the suggestion of DH) and play sand in there. We'll see what happens now.
Steel nuts...mmmmmm...sounds veeerrry interesting. Please let us know how it turns out. I am also seriously thinking about jewelry. Perhaps some type of Christmas decorations/ornaments. I signed up for a jewelry class so I could learn some loops/coiling/crimps and clasps. I'ts been postponed for a month, but that doesn't mean I can't experiment on my of for now. I still have to try to get some uniform pieces of glass to work with. Tomorrow I start a watercolor painting class. HAH! I have never painted in my life! (except for walls) Poor teacher...I have no artistic talent to speak of. LOL!
Celia, good luck with the watercolor class. I have been going to adult ed watercolor classes and this is my 5th semester I guess you'd call it. It's a struggle for me but I enjoy it, which is really all that counts. You will probably surprise yourself! Have fun!
Haven't posted anything here, gawwd no!! I do okay but nothing I would show the world. I really go for my mental health. I enjoy it. Drawing and painting just don't come as easy to me as 3-dimensional work, that's why I said I struggle, but eventually it looks like something. Just don't be too hard on yourself. There will probably be people who have painted before, etc. But you are there to learn and there for yourself so focus on that and not what you don't know or can't do.. yet! Watercolor is more difficult than acrylic or oil, so I am told. So keep that in mind also. The best advice is to HAVE FUN! Give yourself time to get into it. If you hate it -oh well, then move on to something else; life's too short. :-)
Brender, I can totally relate---when I'm painting tiles it takes me a LOT of brushstrokes to get something I like. And then a week or two later I can't even duplicate a pattern I've come up with to save my life. If I'm working on a project, I have to plow thru it till I have ALL the tiles I need, and some to spare in case they warp in the kiln. I haven't even gotten the nerve yet to do any painting on my pots. I really admire people who have artistic ability!!
Well, attended my first watercolor painting class last night. I LOVED it! I actually painted something!
Aside from that, I have a question for WUVIE. On Sept 28th I posted a pic of my tumbled blue glass. You asked didn't I just love the way it looks when it's wet. I do. And...when it dries, it looks dull, not bright and shiny. So, my question is... on Sept. 26th (I think) you posted a pice of some of your glass, separated in containters. In that pic, you have some beautiful blue SHINY glass. Sooooo. (finally) what do you do to get that finish? does is depend on the type of glass? Or do you use a type of polishing abrasive to achieve that shine?
Have you or anyone had any experience using the Glass Insulators that went on top of old telephone poles?
I have some that are broken and wanted to know your thoughts. The top of the insulator is thick. They are clear, blue and green in color.
I have never tumbled or tried to break glass.
I also have some that are not broken, but I could fix that too.
This post is very interesing.
TIA for your response
Glad you asked, yes, in fact, I often try to find broken
insulators at yard sales because you can get them cheaper.
As they are much thicker, the only drawback is you MUST
be careful, as you have to really smack them to get them to
break. However, after about a week of tumbling with rough
sand, they are big fat chunks of beautiful.
Welcome to the thread, we're glad you've joined us!
So I really have the "fevah" because I just posted on freecycle for colored glass..what a sicko! Meanwhile, DH is bringing things home of interest - a light blue-green antique bottle that was already broken, a lovely olive-colored olive oil bottle, and a thick glass juicer. He brought home another old bottle with a big chip out of the neck but I think I will incorporate that into a stained glass project intact. Followup to my post about putting steel nuts in with the glass - no ill effects on the glass and it seemed to lessen the clay/goop factor.
Ironically, I am pursuing my creative interests to stay sane, but in fact it is sending me off in a whole other direction/level of insanity ;-) Oh well... better than some other addictions that are out there...
Thanks for the welcome and response. I thought it would be a challenge to break the insulator and a safety hazard. I will be extra careful.
Someone had asked "how to keep glass shiny?"
One trick I learned after collecting some "sick" glass...if you use a oil or polish on the glass it will look shiny.
It depends where you plan to display or use the glass whether you will be able to do this.
Sick glass looks shiny and clear with the oil, but undesireable without the oil.
Some flea market dealers would do this trying to get rid of their bad glass. I learned the hard way.
Just picked up my freecycle stuff... wow! 5 small boxes of stuff - glass, china, etc. and on top of that it was an old school mate that I haven't seen in 30 years! Plus she gave me about 5 hosta plants so I'll be reciprocating with day lillies and tomatoes..
I have seen a very pretty concrete garden bench that used various bits of colored glass incorporated into the cement. What they did was mixed the glass in with cement before they poured it and then used a polisher/grinder on the bench after the cement cured to remove the sharp edges of the glass and expose more of it. I just don't think that I want to work with cement that has sharp shards of glass in it everywhere, seems risky to me! Anyway, that is where my tumbled glass is going I think. If I work on it all winter should have enough to make it by spring.
OW---you just reminded me of something amusing-----when we lived in the Caribbean on a 14-square-mile island, the local jail was a cinderblock wall with broken bottles mortared into the top row. It took great care to escape without severe injury, and the only time I ever did know of an escape, the local constables just let the guy spend his time getting out, and picked him up on the other side of the wall and marched him back thru the gates. Glass is such a multi-functional material...lol!
Oh, yes, I remember reading something about a guy doing that,
only he used distinctly jugular-ripping shards of glass on top of
his concrete wall. It seems, if I remember correctly, they made the
guy take it down or remove the potentially deadly stuff.
He was trying to keep people out and off his property. Ouch!
So when the heck are those tumblers going back on sale? I need to tumble I tell you!
Yes, I've been to the recylcling center. I have to say it was great fun with the only problem being that it was too dark in there too see well. I had trouble distinguishing the colors but I still managed to walk out with a bucket full of glass. I'm gonna get me one of those mining hats with the light on top before I go back the next time. ;-)
Lala, too funny! I actually bought two of those nifty
elastic band lights that go on your head.
And guess where I bought it? I can't brag enough about
these things. They were, oh, three bucks at Harbor Freight.
If you think about it, when you need a flashlight, you also
need two hands. This thing is perfect!
When the tumblers go on sale, we all need a headlight as well.
Living in the country where the power is a "sometime" thing during stormy weather, I have used the headlamp more than once. Equally, digging razor clams on PM tides in the winter requires lighting. Yahoooooooooo