Glass grinders are used to help shape glass that has already been cut.
Sometimes they are used before the glass is fused, and other times they are used to shape a piece that has already been fired.
These machines use a diamond coated bit to grind off the excess glass and prepare or smooth out the edges of a piece of glass.
When purchased, most grinders come with two bits.
These bits are sometimes referred to as grinding heads.
One bit is larger and is used to shape bigger pieces of glass.
These bits cover a larger area in a shorter amount of time.
The smaller bit is used for tiny detail work, and sometimes for even making holes in the glass.
Although tiny, these bits are great for getting into those small hard to reach areas.
It is not necessary to have a glass grinder to do fused glass work, but it can come in handy when you need to remove just a small edge of the glass, or to smooth out the outline of a piece.
If you are planning on doing a lot of glass fusing, a grinder will definitely come in handy.
Remember to wear eye protection and a dust mask so that you are protected from any small particles that can be thrown into the air during the grinding process.
Shaping the edges of the glass with a diamond glass grinder will give a sharper look to a finished piece.
Not all the pieces of glass require a nicely ground perimeter, but a grinder is a useful tool to have available.
If using this tool on fused pieces, after grinding the edges, drop the pieces in a container of water to keep the edges moist.
This will help in the cleaning process.
If the residue from the machine dries on the piece, it will be more difficult to remove.
Scrub the ground edges with a scrubber or brush and some soap and water.
Allow the pieces to dry completely before they are fire polished.
Grinders have a work surface to support the glass and a water supply to keep the bit wet during the grinding process.
It is necessary to keep the diamond bit wet.
Not only will this make the lifespan of the bit longer, but it will help prevent dusty glass from being breathed in during the grinding process.
Grinders come in a variety of price ranges.
Find one that will fit your budget and long-term needs.
If you are only using or needing a grinder to make a few projects, then select one that is under $100.
The more expensive grinders remove the surplus glass more quickly and this can be beneficial if you are doing larger projects.
Do your homework and compare the prices along with the RPMs, extra features and warranty.
Different companies make a variety of grinders for the glass hobbyist, and their features and warranties can vary a lot.
Check out the different web sites that carry glass grinders and choose one that will fit your particular needs.
If you are a serious about doing glass fusing, a grinder is one piece of equipment that will definitely help you out in your fusing experience.
Be sure that you clean your glass thoroughly after using the grinder and before fusing your piece.
Grinder Method to Encouraging Bubbles
A grinder can be used to add bubbles to your fused glass pieces.
The principal theory behind obtaining bubbles is the creation of air pockets between layers of glass.
Using the bit on a grinder, make indentations into a piece of glass.
This piece will need to be capped with another piece of glass to allow the bubble to form.
In order to view this trapped bubble, the capping piece of glass should be transparent.
Blisters will get trapped where the hole or indentation has been made.
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