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Sanding edges of cold glass

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SusanKridler
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Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2012 5:24 pm

Sanding edges of cold glass

Postby SusanKridler » Tue Dec 18, 2012 7:31 pm

Hi, I know this is not exactly right for the WarmGlass site, but I've not found a better forum, so I'd appreciate any help. Do any of y'all know about sanding the edges of plain old 1/8" glass? I get small squares and circles cut (between 1 and 2 inches) and sandwich paint between them to make pendants, and of course hand sanding the edges takes forever. I have to sand them down about 1/8 inch to make both pieces flush. I bought a hand disc sander but am not sure the several discs that came with it will work. They seem pretty coarse. I'm in a hurry because I promised a Christmas gift and managed to break the pendant I had prepared and had already hand sanded.

THANKS!

Nicole Hanna
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Re: Sanding edges of cold glass

Postby Nicole Hanna » Tue Dec 18, 2012 9:05 pm

You need a grinder. They don't cost that much and work much faster than hand sanding.
When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would have not a single bit of talent left and could say, "I used everything you gave me." (erma bombeck)

Valerie Adams
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Re: Sanding edges of cold glass

Postby Valerie Adams » Tue Dec 18, 2012 10:55 pm

A grinder will make quick work of your project but in the meantime, I'd get some wet/dry sandpaper in different grits. You can lay the paper flat on a table or counter, wet it a bit and quickly sand your glass squares smooth. Say goodbye to your manicure, though.

SusanKridler
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Re: Sanding edges of cold glass

Postby SusanKridler » Wed Dec 19, 2012 6:07 pm

Nicole & Valerie:

Thanks very much for the quick answers! I really appreciate it! I already had a Glastar All-Star Professional Grinder. http://www.glastar.com/catalog/grinding/allstar.cfm Maybe it’s my lack of skill, but it takes a lot of little bites out of the glass that eat about a millimeter into the corners, even with the “fine” diamond head I ordered.

So I got a Wel-Bilt 2 ½ in. Angle Grinder kit. http://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/ ... _200479063 (Of course, it has since gone on sale.) The sanding discs that came with it appear to be around 60 grit. I want to get a smooth finish, though it doesn’t have to be shiny or completely clear like a bevel. I’m gathering I need to find silicon carbide sanding discs from 200 to 600 grit, and maybe also cork and felt for polishing. Does that sound right? Northern Tool doesn’t have those. What suppliers can y’all recommend? This is not a wet tool, but is it still fairly safe to spray a little water onto the disc, or should I just keep it dry and run it in short spurts?

Jeanne
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Re: Sanding edges of cold glass

Postby Jeanne » Wed Dec 19, 2012 6:29 pm

I use a fine bit on my wizard grinder and it doesn't chip. I use it to grind the edges of dichroic and it doesn't effect the finish at all. Very smooth and light. 1/8" is a lot to hand sand (IMHO). Several years ago I experimented with trizact discs on a bench wheel (to get a polished finish) but you need to keep the water spraying or the glass heats up too much and sparks. Abandoned that idea.
Last edited by Jeanne on Wed Dec 19, 2012 6:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Valerie Adams
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Re: Sanding edges of cold glass

Postby Valerie Adams » Wed Dec 19, 2012 6:32 pm

It sounds to me like you need the edges to be smooth enough to look polished; not ground.

I've successfully hand-sanded small pieces of glass to a near optical shine with progressively finer wet/dry sandpaper. I've gone from 600 grit to 800, to 1200, etc. up to 2000 grit, which left me with a soft, smooth edge.

Using the angle tool like you have would be awkward for me, as I would think you'd need a little more control over small glass. How many pieces do you need to make? If it's only a couple pendants, I'd do it by hand.

Morganica
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Re: Sanding edges of cold glass

Postby Morganica » Wed Dec 19, 2012 7:10 pm

I think the angle grinder is overkill for the delicate work you're describing. Wet-dry does a beautiful job, but you could also look at these hand-sanding pads, which are faster:

You start with the grinding pads: http://www.hisglassworks.com/cart/3M_Di ... NI2C7Y89yo
If you want a full gloss, you can move to the smoothing pads, which include a cerium step: http://www.hisglassworks.com/cart/Diamo ... NI2drY89yo

I usually start with 60, 120 or 200, depending on the condition of the glass, then progress to 400. Then I switch over to 600 smoothing and cerium. With that sequence I can get to an optical shine on the pendant in this pic in about 30 minutes. If all you're doing is a straight edge on thin glass, it'd be much faster.
Image
Cynthia Morgan
Marketeer, Webbist, Glassist
http://www.morganica.com/bloggery
http://www.cynthiamorgan.com

"I wrote, therefore I was." (me)

SusanKridler
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Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2012 5:24 pm

Re: Sanding edges of cold glass

Postby SusanKridler » Thu Dec 20, 2012 2:03 pm

Thank you all for the added responses!

I've found that for me, the handheld angle grinder is indeed awkward for this small work. It's easy to take off too much glass and hard to find 4.5" fine grit sanding discs for it. It also throws glass dust everywhere so I must use it outside which is inconvenient because during the week I can only work at night. So I went back to using the fine bit on my All-Star grinder and by holding the glass at a very sharp angle, almost completely vertical, I am able to make the edges flush without much chipping. Then I'll smooth it by hand with wet/dry sand paper of around 300 grit. That's all I have now, and I'm far from any retailers with good selection. I'd still like tips on where to get fine grit 4.5" discs.

Morganica, what a lovely pendant!

Morganica
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Re: Sanding edges of cold glass

Postby Morganica » Thu Dec 20, 2012 3:24 pm

SusanKridler wrote:Thank you all for the added responses!

I've found that for me, the handheld angle grinder is indeed awkward for this small work. It's easy to take off too much glass and hard to find 4.5" fine grit sanding discs for it. It also throws glass dust everywhere so I must use it outside which is inconvenient because during the week I can only work at night. So I went back to using the fine bit on my All-Star grinder and by holding the glass at a very sharp angle, almost completely vertical, I am able to make the edges flush without much chipping. Then I'll smooth it by hand with wet/dry sand paper of around 300 grit. That's all I have now, and I'm far from any retailers with good selection. I'd still like tips on where to get fine grit 4.5" discs.

Morganica, what a lovely pendant!

Thanks. Check HIS Glassworks (there's a link above) and if they don't have them in their online catalog, ask. They're usually pretty good about helping out that way.
Cynthia Morgan
Marketeer, Webbist, Glassist
http://www.morganica.com/bloggery
http://www.cynthiamorgan.com

"I wrote, therefore I was." (me)

SusanKridler
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2012 5:24 pm

Re: Sanding edges of cold glass

Postby SusanKridler » Mon Jan 05, 2015 12:54 am

Cynthia (and whoever else is reading):

Happy New Year! I realize over two years have passed since my original question, but I see that you still post to this site, so I’m hoping to revive this thread. After searching, I found that they offered fine and extra-fine heads for my GlasStar grinder, and those get the edges rounded off nicely. For polishing the whole piece, the easiest thing to get was the wet/dry sandpaper from an auto supply shop, and I clamped the sand paper to a very basic old handheld electric sander that I had. It basically just vibrated to reduce the effort a little and I occasionally sprayed water on the sandpaper surface. It was a lot like the ones at the following links.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Black-Decker-74 ... 46313439db

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Black-Decker-74 ... 566ee414bd

It worked, but was quite slow, taking several hours per piece. Either from age, or too much pressure from me, that old tool broke apart and I’m about to order some of the following pads that you recommended from HIS Glassworks.
http://www.hisglassworks.com/shop/hand- ... Kn6yyvF98F

If you want a full gloss, you can move to the smoothing pads, which include a cerium step: http://www.hisglassworks.com/shop/hand- ... Kn60yvF98F

Do you use a cerium paste, or is the cerium built into the pads?

The pendants I make are from regular 1/8” plate glass and are usually between 1 and 3 inches square (or round). I went to look at a replacement sander and they don’t make many simple ones anymore. There are ones with bags to capture the dust, which might not work well with sprayed water, and there are Velcro ones in shapes like circles, irons, and shields. Do you think it would be faster to use something like that, or is it best just to use elbow grease and the pads from HIS Glassworks? I don’t have the money for a lap grinder. I’m hoping to be able to polish a piece within half an hour, to do several in a day, and you said you accomplish that with your half-moon shaped pendant, but either you’re FAR more dexterous or your pendant was a little smaller, or both.

Thanks a bunch for any advice you (or anyone) might offer!

- Susan Kridler

Morganica
Posts: 1079
Joined: Mon May 19, 2003 6:19 pm
Location: Portland, OR
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Re: Sanding edges of cold glass

Postby Morganica » Mon Jan 05, 2015 3:37 am

SusanKridler wrote:Cynthia (and whoever else is reading):

Happy New Year! I realize over two years have passed since my original question, but I see that you still post to this site, so I’m hoping to revive this thread. After searching, I found that they offered fine and extra-fine heads for my GlasStar grinder, and those get the edges rounded off nicely. For polishing the whole piece, the easiest thing to get was the wet/dry sandpaper from an auto supply shop, and I clamped the sand paper to a very basic old handheld electric sander that I had. It basically just vibrated to reduce the effort a little and I occasionally sprayed water on the sandpaper surface. It was a lot like the ones at the following links.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Black-Decker-74 ... 46313439db

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Black-Decker-74 ... 566ee414bd

It worked, but was quite slow, taking several hours per piece. Either from age, or too much pressure from me, that old tool broke apart and I’m about to order some of the following pads that you recommended from HIS Glassworks.
http://www.hisglassworks.com/shop/hand- ... Kn6yyvF98F

If you want a full gloss, you can move to the smoothing pads, which include a cerium step: http://www.hisglassworks.com/shop/hand- ... Kn60yvF98F

Do you use a cerium paste, or is the cerium built into the pads?

The pendants I make are from regular 1/8” plate glass and are usually between 1 and 3 inches square (or round). I went to look at a replacement sander and they don’t make many simple ones anymore. There are ones with bags to capture the dust, which might not work well with sprayed water, and there are Velcro ones in shapes like circles, irons, and shields. Do you think it would be faster to use something like that, or is it best just to use elbow grease and the pads from HIS Glassworks? I don’t have the money for a lap grinder. I’m hoping to be able to polish a piece within half an hour, to do several in a day, and you said you accomplish that with your half-moon shaped pendant, but either you’re FAR more dexterous or your pendant was a little smaller, or both.

Thanks a bunch for any advice you (or anyone) might offer!

- Susan Kridler
Cynthia Morgan
Marketeer, Webbist, Glassist
http://www.morganica.com/bloggery
http://www.cynthiamorgan.com

"I wrote, therefore I was." (me)

SusanKridler
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2012 5:24 pm

Re: Sanding edges of cold glass

Postby SusanKridler » Tue Jan 13, 2015 12:02 am

Cynthia (Morganica):

It looks like you started a reply to my January 5th post, but I can't find any text. It just has the inset of my post. Anyway, I've learned a bunch from reading some of your blog, so thank you! Also, I really love your vessels, especially the ones from recycled glass and the nudibranchs!


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