Cutting Laminated Glass

What You'll Need
A tape measure
A permanent marker pen
A steel ruler
A wheel glass cutter
Lighter fluid
A large cloth
A dusting cloth
A holding clamp
A sharp utility or Stanley knife
Safety gloves and goggles

Laminated glass is formed with two sheets of glass sandwiching a large layer of plastic. Laminated glass looks like normal glass to the naked eye but it is much better in terms of safety. Laminated glass is growing in popularity because it does not shatter when it breaks. You will have to use a slightly different approach for cutting laminated glass. However, it can be done with simple tools in a short amount of time.

Step One - Work Area

Choose you work area carefully. Place the laminated glass down flat on your work surface. Make sure the work surface is fire-resistant. Also, make sure the work area is sturdy as you will have to use high levels of pressure in later steps. A store-purchased DIY bench should do the job. Use a tape measure and a permanent marker pen to mark the lines you will cut along.

Step Two - Start Cutting

Use a steel ruler to keep your wheel glass cutter in a straight line. Start at the top of the line you have created and press down firmly as you move the wheel glass cutter along. Cut along the full length of the line. Once you have finished, apply a small amount of lighter fluid to the edge of your glass with a small cloth. Run the glass cutter along the line again and then flip the piece of laminated glass to cut along the same line but on the other side of the glass.

Step Three - Break the Glass

Use a clamp to hold the piece of glass in place. Remember to put on your safety gloves and use your hands to move the laminated glass either up and down or to the left and right until the glass snaps. It will not shatter. Flip the glass over in the clamp and break the other side.

Step Four - Stretch Plastic

You will not be able to break the plastic using the same cutting and snapping methods as the glass. Place another small application of lighter fluid along the edge of your broken glass on both sides. Light the fluid to ignite a controlled flame and wait until the flame goes out. This will start to heat up and melt the plastic, thus making it weaker. Immediately place the glass on a flat surface and start to bend where the plastic has melted. This will increase the gap between the cut pieces of glass.

Step Five - Cut and Sand Plastic

Take a very sharp utility knife and cut down the middle of the stretched plastic. You should not cut through or mark the glass as the seperate pieces will be further apart. Use a piece of rough sandpaper to gently sand away at any excess plastic,which sticks out from your cut glass. Do this until the laminated glass has an even edge. Finish by cleaning your glass with some glass cleaner and a dusting cloth.