Can You Grind Glass with a Bench Grinder?

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The grinding of glass is done after you have completed the process of spitting pieces of glass, and it is usually done as you prepare to foil and then fit. To do this, you need to make use of a bench grinder as it helps you make the process quicker as well as much simpler.

Nevertheless, if you are new to this, you most likely will experience some difficulty. Therefore, in this article, you will be taken through the tips on how to grind glass using a bench grinder. Consequently, you will be better placed to use a bench grinder to sharpen glass.

Steps to grinding glass with a bench grinder

Cast glass typically tends to be unwieldy and very bulky, and this might consequently affect your back, hands as well as your arms. Thus, you should take your grinder to the glass, and here are the steps you will take afterward.

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Step 1

You need to make use of electroplated diamond disks that are made from glass. They also feature resin diamond pads, which are ideal for working on stone and provide you with the much-needed rough grit while you work on your glass as you move to a fine grit and mid-grade steps.

Typically, the disks for stone works might make minute micro-fractures in your glass, which may in future come and haunt you. Thus, you should make use of plated disks that are from 3M as they are specifically made to work on glass and ensure your glass surface looks exceptional.

Step 2

Once you are done working the glass through the electroplated diamond disks, you will have a rough surface that you need to polish either using fire polishing or cerium. It is at this point that disks that are usually backed by diamonds are stuck on the back and the charged electrostatically.

As this happens, the adhesive cures, thereby leading to the diamond “standing up” on the disk surface, but it will slightly bend when it comes into contact with the glass. Subsequently, this results in an excellent surface on the glass that is the perfect location to polish from.

Step 3

The electrostatic diamond disks do an excellent job finishing the glass surface, but if you want the best quality, then you should instead use the right angle grinder. Therefore, deepening on your finish or size of the surface you require to have, resin diamond smoothing disks may be a better fit. Consequently, using this will not only result in an attractively looking glass surface but also prolongs the life of the electrostatic disks.

Tips on how to grind glass using a bench grinder

Grind against the grinding wheel rotation to achieve deeper cuts

If you are looking to sharpen your glass efficiently, you need to rotate the grinding wheel counter-clockwise. Doing this will allow you to make deeper cuts in the glass by oppositely pushing your pieces of glass, meaning from right to left. Moreover, if you want to achieve shallower cuts as well as an additional control, you should push the glass against the grinding wheel in a similar direction to the turn.

First, try out with scarp glass before starting to work on your pieces

The bench grinder will grind the various types of glass differently as this all depends on the fragility, shape, texture, shape as well as the weakness of the glass. Nevertheless, before you embark grinding glass on a project, you are just starting out; you need to feel how the glass grinds.

You can do this by first practicing with scarps, and this will subsequently provide you with a feel of the pressure you need to apply, which can lead to the chipping of the glass edges.

Always wear safety gear when sharpening glass with a bench grinder

As you work on the ground glass, you must put on safety goggles. This is because this process produces a lot of glass dust files as well as glass chips all over, which can cause severe injury to your eye if you fail to put in place precautionary measures.

Therefore, in case the grinder does not come together with protective gear, you must never hesitate to buy them yourself for your safety.

Look after your fingers

You need to be extremely careful whenever you are operating grinders due to the sharp edges. Furthermore, glass also has sharp edges, especially after getting cut hence making it more important to be cautious during the entire grinding process.

Thus, to safeguard your fingertips, you need to wear surgical tape over and around your thumbs as well as index fingers to protect them from getting snagged or cut as you grind glass.

Have a wet sponge with you

As you grind the glass using the bench grinder, you must ensure your glass is humid throughout the entire grinding process. Additionally, you need to continually check the water level inside the water reservoir to confirm the sponge is wet at all times.

Troubleshoot chipped glass

One of the most common issues people experience while using bench grinders on glass is the formation of chipped edges on its edges. This usually happens due to several different reasons, and the remedy is dependent on the specific cause. For instance:

  • The shaft of your bench grinder is off-center or warped, and whereas this is uncommon, it does happen. Therefore, you need to replace it if you notice this happening.
  • More delicate glass is chipped using a rough grinding bit, and you should thus instead try making use of grade that is finer.
  • Delicate or thin glass is susceptible to breaking if you press very hard against the grinder, so you need to ease on the applied pressure to avoid this from happening.
  • Worn bit typically results in chipping even when used on heavy-duty glass, so you need to carefully inspect your bit for worn out parts to know whether replacement is necessary.
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You now know how to make use of a grinder to grind glass and thereby archive smooth surfaces. Furthermore, you also have an idea of some of the safety tips you need to consider to safeguard your wellbeing during this entire process. Therefore, thanks to a grinder, your work is made more efficient as well as a whole lot easier.

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