Fabricating With Art Glass Surfaces
Art Glass Surfaces must be cut with a wet saw. Our first choice is Montolit. We find these products are better able to address the hard brittle characteristics of glass. Whichever blade you use, ensure the blades are clean with sharp diamonds available to cut the glass. Ensure there is ample water available in the cutting process to maintain an even temperature of the glass and reduce the chance of thermal shock. Call us for advice on the proper technique and tools required to make a successful cut.
Polishing and Finishing
Polish edges using a standard diamond polishing pad attached to either a hand grinder fitted with a water jacket or alternatively on an edge polishing machine. Start with a 50 grit pad, followed by 100, 200, 400, 800, 1500 respectively and finally with 3000 to achieve a high gloss finish. Do not skip any of the steps above and use plenty of water. Good quality pads make a huge difference in the time it takes to polish glass successfully.
CNC edge grinders and polishers can produce excellent results. Great care must be taken to secure the glass evenly, otherwise the combined stress of the holding clamps and the cutting head can easily break the panel. Program the machine to travel slowly. As with wet saws, diamond tools must be formulated for glass, otherwise they will work for short time until they begin to bind on the glass – eventually breaking it.
Properties to remember about glass:
- Glass does not absorb liquids, discolor or stain.
- Glass is hard and brittle, so it is very strong but will chip if hit at a weaker point, like at a sharp edge. Protect the edges and consider ordering edge details that minimize exposure (such as a chamber, half or full round)
- It is hard to scratch glass (it takes a diamond or something as almost hard), but when scratched, the polished nature of the finish makes seeing the scratch easy. Dark colors and contrasting light situations can exacerbate a problem. Avoid stones, sand or any debris on dark colored finishes. Consider applying wax on the glass to make it more slippery. Plastic coatings or acrylic films can protect the glass, but because they are themselves weak, they can become a maintenance item.
- Avoid exposing the glass to sudden temperature shock. Glass is able to withstand large variations in temperature (think about windows) but it does not like it when the temperature is localized (like placing a hot pot directly on the glass counter) or suddenly cooled or heated.
Glass Slabs – Product information
Interstyle manufactures glass slabs using new and post-industrial reclaimed glass. Ceramic stains and colors are fused under intense heat to form a flat slab of glass. No other materials or binders are used in the process. The glass is cooled slowly to an annealed state (not tempered or hardened) so that it can be cut and polished to the customer’s needs. Interstyle glass slabs feature the following general characteristics:
- Unaffected by exposure to cold
- Unaffected by exposure to heat
- Unaffected by exposure to ultraviolet light (UV)
- No V.O.C.’s to off gassing
- Can be shaped, cut and polished using the same tools and equipment that are used in the fabrication of marble and granite slabs, (using diamond blades formulated for cutting glass).
General cautionary notes about glass products: Extreme and sudden increases in temperature may cause the glass to crack. Hot pots and cooking pans should be placed on trivets if they are coming directly from the burner element or oven. Glass is very hard, however due to the reflective nature of the product, and particularly in the dark range of colors, scratches are very visible and may have to be polished from time to time. In commercial applications, a protective coating may be required to maintain the finish of the product. Glass is hard and brittle and will break if the glass suffers strong impact, especially at any sharp corners.
Notes specific to Interstyle glass slabs: Every piece is hand-cast and contains some amount of recycled or diverted raw glass. As such, every piece is unique and may contain unexpected characteristics that may not be reproducible in the future. Please keep in mind the variability of thickness and shade when ordering and pay particular attention to ordering enough material of one lot or shade in order to avoid future disappointment.