Glass Chipping

shayla

WOW Framer
Do any of you line the bottom 'trough' of your glass cutters with something? We're frustrated with how easily glass chips in our Fletcher 3100. Hubby has taken a rasp to the right side bar at center, (middle photo), but it still happens at the far left end with oversize pieces.

glass chip image 6015 jan 2020.jpgglass cutter center image 6026 jan 2020.jpgglass cutter end image 6022 jan 2020.jpg

He's planning to rasp this far end, but it seems like better engineering would have prevented the problem. We're very careful when moving large pieces, and it still happens.
 
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prospero

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Excalibur 5000.

Yes, I think everyone has this problem and basically I think you just have to live with it.
With full sheets especially, even if you lower them into the machine very gingerly it's tricky not
to fetch a bit off a corner.
I did try lining the channel with some thin wood, but this makes it hard to slide the sheet and
eventually you plough a groove in to wood. Same with matboard lining - it rips up.

I have some nice short-pile carpet offcuts. Might try that. Stay tuned........

:oops:
 

wvframer

Forum Support Team
Staff member
Check to be sure the channel is perfectly flat. They can develop barely discernable grooves that can cause problems. It causes the lite to catch from back to front. I adjusted my right support so that it is not perfectly even with the left so that it isn't as likely to chip there as I slide the lite in place. This helps and is ok if you don't use the right side scale. It throws it off a bit.

I get little dings occasionally, but not as substantial as what your pics show. I use 32 x 40 lites most of the time. If I am loading them horizontally, it doesn't seem to matter how carefully I lower it into the channel.

It might help to replace those channels, but it might be costly with no guarantee that it would help. It might be worth the time to try to track down an expert on the machine at Fletcher.
 

shayla

WOW Framer
...I did try lining the channel with some thin wood, but this makes it hard to slide the sheet and
eventually you plough a groove in to wood. Same with matboard lining - it rips up...
:oops:
That's what I imagine happening. As in, it wouldn't matter how protected the main part of the channel was; the glass would bind or fall down in the edge between liner and back rail. I'm interested in hearing how it goes. It's frustrating with a 40 x 60, but with a 48 x 68, even moreso.
 

shayla

WOW Framer
Check to be sure the channel is perfectly flat. They can develop barely discernable grooves that can cause problems. It causes the lite to catch from back to front. I adjusted my right support so that it is not perfectly even with the left so that it isn't as likely to chip there as I slide the lite in place. This helps and is ok if you don't use the right side scale. It throws it off a bit.

I get little dings occasionally, but not as substantial as what your pics show. I use 32 x 40 lites most of the time. If I am loading them horizontally, it doesn't seem to matter how carefully I lower it into the channel.

It might help to replace those channels, but it might be costly with no guarantee that it would help. It might be worth the time to try to track down an expert on the machine at Fletcher.
Thanks for the idea. We don't much measure with the right side, but pieces often rest on it. Seems like lowering it to reduce weight on the far left end would make it harder to square the pieces. As for contacting the company, perhaps they could help. But with the other flaws we've had to fix on this, it would seem that if they cared more, they'd have done it right in the first place. The round cutting rods were so flimsy we ordered replacements from elsewhere.
 

alacrity8

MGF, Master Grumble Framer
Does anyone line the back of their glass cutter to prevent scratched to Museum Glass?
I have stopped letting my assistant work with Museum, as every sheet that she cuts is ruined before it makes it to the fitting table.

Brian
 

Ylva

Forum Support Team
Staff member
I have never lined, I used to have the paper act as my liner when cutting MG. Now I’m just extra careful.

I don’t have much of that chipping problem either. Sometimes, but that is usually because I didn’t handle it carefully enough.
 

neilframer

PFG, Picture Framing God
Does anyone line the back of their glass cutter to prevent scratched to Museum Glass?
I have stopped letting my assistant work with Museum, as every sheet that she cuts is ruined before it makes it to the fitting table.

Brian
Being careful is the key as Ylva points out.
You have to set the glass down very gently.
We always wear gloves when handling Museum glass.
I sometimes put a 2 ply board behind the glass on a large piece and even with that when I slide the glass, I hold it away from the back of the cutter so the coated side is not really touching anything.

Also, I've mentioned this before, I never slide the museum glass out of the end of the box as I do with regular glass.
I open the front of the box and lift the glass out the front.

We've got 2 Fletcher 3100's and 1 Fletcher 3000.
We don't seem to have problems with these cutters and believe me, they get used a ton.
 

shayla

WOW Framer
We always lift the glass from the front of the open box. Large Museum scraps are stored in the boxes with interleaving; small scraps are wrapped in kraft paper and stored elsewhere. We don't put any board behind the glass in the cutter, but are super careful and rarely have scratches. That said, it sounds like a good idea to use one. After not wearing glass gloves for my first seven years of framing, (because the folks who trained me didn't), I started wearing them in '99 and have done so since. We only get this chipping with 40 x 60 and larger. Seems like just the weight of it causes it chip on that left end. We're going to try wvframer's idea of adjusting the right side. Now that I think of it, I sometimes have to lift that leading right lower end of the lite up a tad, or it can get stuck on that first right thing (shown in center photo). Maybe this is because it's a wee bit high, and it makes sense that could cause a problem with big ones on the far left.
 

Joe B

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
About once a week I dampen a paper towel with 3 in 1 oil and run it run it along both rails, it not only really cleans the rails but also makes them very slick. If I cut a lot of glass in a week I will do it more often. The oil is only a slight film but if you leave it set for 10 to 15 minutes it seems to soak into the metal. That does seem to help a lot, just be sure that it is only a slight film so that if you cut mats the oil doesn't damage the mat. I too filed down the very front of the right rail because there is no way that you can get that exactly the same as the left rail.
 

artfolio

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
I rarely used to cut glass in my Fletcher because I simply do not think it is a safe way of working. Mine was set up with the tray at around waist height and the thought of a lite cracking badly (yes, they do that sometimes) and dropping a big sliver across my legs (or worse;) ) was enough to have me cutting my glass flat on the table.

Not being built like Arnie Schwarzenegger I never used 2mm 60 x 40 lites as the one time I got a batch they were too heavy for me to handle safely anywhere. The way those things flexed and wobbled while I was carrying them was scary:eek: I reluctantly and very carefully used them but never bought them again.
 

wpfay

Forum Support Team Angry_Badger
Staff member
We wax the bed of the cutter so the lites slide easily. Never had that particular problem, but know it comes from small pressure points. Keeping the bed clean is essential. We have 2 3000 machines and they each have their own personality. Weird but true.
 

Joe B

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
We wax the bed of the cutter so the lites slide easily. Never had that particular problem, but know it comes from small pressure points. Keeping the bed clean is essential. We have 2 3000 machines and they each have their own personality. Weird but true.
Sounds like a really good idea. Do you have any problem with wax buildup on the glass? Is it hard to remove if it does buildup? I do something a really different with the tube on my 3100. I spray Pledge Furniture Cleaner onto a paper towel and run that up and down the tube to clean the tubes and to make the cutting head slide easily. The Pledge doesn't build up and really cleans to tubes nicely. About every 4 to 5 months I will do a good cleaning with lighter fluid but I do really like the Pledge in between those cleaning. It keeps the head sliding smoothly longer than the cleaning with lighter fluid and Pledge doesn't stink like the lighter fluid.
 

wpfay

Forum Support Team Angry_Badger
Staff member
Joe, I apply a paste wax to the bed (what I call the adjustable steel pieces the glass rests on) and then polish it off. There's no build up. This is probably more effective for acrylic than glass, but we cut more acrylic than glass.
I clean the guide tubes with alcohol or mineral spirits, and that's pretty much it. I don't use any kind of lubricant on them.
 

Jim Miller

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Yes, careful handling and keeping the track clean and seem to be the best ways to avoiding edge-chipping. We have always kept a 3" wide paintbrush with our cutter and use it to sweep those tiny shards and debris out of the track before every cut.

Waxing is a great idea, too. Oiling, not so much, as it could increase the cleaning task.
 

framah

PFG, Picture Framing God
I put a sheet of suede matboard beind the Museum glass and slide them together so the glass never moves against the suede except to make that final adjustment to the ruler.

As for lubing. ..remember when we used to lube the rod on a mat cutter where the cutter head glides? Don't use now as I have an Eclipse.
Clean with lighter fluid and then spray with Caruthers lube and wipe down.
I like the idea of filing that edge. Must do.
 

prospero

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
That's what I imagine happening. As in, it wouldn't matter how protected the main part of the channel was; the glass would bind or fall down in the edge between liner and back rail. I'm interested in hearing how it goes. It's frustrating with a 40 x 60, but with a 48 x 68, even moreso.
With my customary rapidity I have now got around to testing this out. 😁

It works quite well. Glass slides along without digging in and it does provide a cushioning effect.

I used Flotex carpet which I've fitted tightly in the channels with a aid of a bit of d/s tape.

It may work with other types of 'kitchen' type carpet, but Flotex is not like others. It's akin to suede.
 
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