Inventables Community Forum

Glass cutting on X-carve?

I can’t tell you how happy this makes me to have found your postings! I’m in the process of building the exact same thing. Planning on using the cutting head from a Schlibert circle cutter. Trying to figure out a spring mechanism to hold the head, allowing for a little tension down on the glass from it, along with some ability to automatically adjust for variances in thickness of the glass. Either a spring on the tool holder, or maybe a felt or slightly “squishy” pad under the glass.

So happy right now. Your work is phenomenal! Is it available for purchase?
I’ll be doing work that is similar, but yet, so very different as well. Mostly fused and/or blown.

Great im glad other people are interested in this field. Since it’s my first attempt, and trust me I figured this was going to be a waste of time, producing horrible cuts.

I originally wanted to add compression springs to the unit, but i just couldnt find any with enough tension to be helpful. I know someone can come up with a way to set variable tension with a screw compressing the spring or something, thats just out of my expertise… Ive figured out how to utilize the machines own “give” to my advantage as I was desperate to find a way to save my arm from the constant pressure of trying to cut borosilicate one day and just decided to omit the springs. I have my glass on two layers of clamped down 1/4" mdf, as ive cut into my wasteboard quite often, it may act as its own “ridgid” spring. Along with the torsional give of the X axis bar, there seems to be enough consistency with my cuts that i can repeat indefinitely better than I could ever by hand. Once i got the right pressure dialed in, i havent looked back. My production times have honestly been cut from a full 8 hour day to cut my pieces, down to 1 hour. Not exagerating. Between the consistency of every single cut, and the speed of not having to measure every single cut, this has made my job way easier… But its in no means something you can just setup and go.

Thank you! Right now I sell them on my personal website, and at ABC Home in NYC, and in about a month it will be in MoMA Design Stores. Both made possible with my glass cutter head.

Im sure i left a good deal of info out, ask if you have any other questions. Id like to see what a schlibert glass cutter looks like, ive never heard of it. I know there are professional cnc glass cutters out there, I would love to get a hold of one of their heads… Im sure they figured a way to either mechanically rotate the heads, or they have a tiny turning radius.

For safety sake, i hope anyone doing this has proper air filtration, and respirators, Glass dust is not really something you want to breathe. Your lungs don’t really deal well with tiny particles of razor sharp glass embedding itself into them.

If you want more information on the dangers of breathing in silica dust, glass dust etc… just google the term “Silicosis”

I concur. I bought it a few years ago to score/cut glass. It doesn’t work as advertised.

every bit i try just grinds down and becomes useless very quickly, don’t even get a full carve finished

Hello Sean: Thanks for your inspiration. Did my first glass score today. Simple system. Using this as the scoring head on the machine:

They make two that look very similar. One with a “turret” head, and one with a ball bearing head. Have to have the ball bearing head, as it has a very small radius caster and carbide wheel.

Here is a very quick video of the first score. scoring 4 1"x1" squares.

Wow, so let me get this straight… That cylinder has a small rotating cutting bit in it? That looks like a much better setup and if thats all true, im getting it!

Correct. A little wheel and holder is on the bottom, that caster spins on the bearings. 360 degrees.

This last product on this page shows it a bit closer.

Just bought it and an aluminum U bar! Thank you for sharing. This is the number 1 way to go… Far better and precise looking than mine. Is there any noticeable turning in the first few mm of the score? It looks like it starts perfectly straight each score. Wow, that speeds the process up tenfold, the entire sheet can now be run in one go, as opposed to my method of manually directing it. Videos to come soon. I get 19" diameter sheets of borosilicate that i cut all sorts of shapes from, this way will get the most out of each sheet for sure. Also, i think you and I should look into reinforcing the x bar, as more downward weight is being exerted than designed for, I have seen a few solutions that dont require any disassembly.

Thank you for upping the game!

Fantastic. I’m happy that I could contribute. When starting a line, there is a noticeable “wobble” (3-4 mm) as the wheel engages the surface and aligns with the cut. I start each cut, about 1/2" before (could probably be less) I need to, to allow the alignment to take place. If I want a square, I cut a “#” shape with some overhang on each end to allow for the alignment. Cutting a circle, I think I’m going to have to score it 2 times, to help smooth out the starting wobble, or devise a “lead in” in the drawing.

I’ll give some thought to reinforcing the X axis. Let me know what your findings are please.

I hope it goes well for you. I can only imagine the cost of a 19" diameter circle sheet of boro dichroic. Ouch.

All the best-- Lee

Great! Yeah I was making margins of 2" with my setup, so your margins are just so much better. Yes the glass is extremely expensive, but it pays off!

How do you buy it? We have been having trouble figuring that out.

You can buy just the head here:

Have you had a chance to try out the new carbide wheel and mount? I hope it’s working extremely well for you.

Im about to install it this week and ill show results asap. This turning radius is tiny! Also what size bolt did you secure the cutter to the U bar? I want to make sure there is absolutely no movement, so i can start cutting full sheets in one automated run.

Hey just wondering if anyone has thought about just threading a 1/4" shark with threads into the top where the ball handle goes into the brass? Because then you could just throw the whole shank in your spindle collet and not have to worry about bolting it on. Ive preordered a shaper origin handheld cnc and I’m just trying to solve this issue. Lemme know if anyone else is getting a shaper.

Also wondering if this little head is spring loaded?

What size U Channel are people using with the ball bearing cutter? We just got one from Bullseye Glass.

Went through the whole chain here, bought the silberschnitt cutter, made the attachment, set up a base with springs…

It works GREAT on “perfectly flat glass with straight lines and simple shapes”
but fails horribly with colored Stained Glass and complex organic shapes…
(turns out the old school hand cutter with glass breaker pliers is the way to go for stained glass and has been for 100’s of years)
the sound of the ‘glass crunch’ was just right… but the breaks are not so hot even with glass pliers

On a side note - found a machine called “Desktop WAZER water cutter” that would do the trick,
(but its got a hefty price tag, and the word desktop is misleading at best)

Just thought I would throw that out there for anyone thinking they will be doing some custom stained glass with an Xcarve… lol. you can… but only “kinda” and not at all “perfect”.

Be advised I wasted 20 sheets of 12x12 stained glass.
That said… to keep it Cheerful: If anyone manages to pull off cuts with Stained Glass, let me know! (tried using springs, foam, cloth, tried the widgetworks diamond 90 and 60 degree and the silberschnitt
too… tried it with and without give. Just made a big pile of broken and mostly unusable stained glass. lol - expensive lesson)

  • by mostly unusable I mean ~3 out of 10 pieces were salvageable with some grinding but were not at all ‘perfect’ with regard to size and consistency. Alas, that is the nature of Stained Glass methinks… or so I am told…

What I think might work well is using the xCarve to make “templates from wood” to “trace/guide” the shapes into the Stained Glass - and then use the hand tool. Might give that a shot…