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Q & A Monday, July 31 Edition

diamond carving bits

Today I’m answering reader emails that came in via email or private message.  If you have a glass question that needs answering, please send it on over through the About/Contact page.  All personal details are removed for privacy reasons.

Q: Hi there – me again! I have finally purchased a wet tile saw (after wasting too much money on stupid score and scald bottle cutters AND a diamond band saw that sucked) – and then, I bought a hugely expensive glass blade for it.

So I’m using it for the first time today and almost every time it gets to the last bit it cracks, breaks, or chips. What am I doing wrong? Too fast? Too slow? Torquing the bottle? Any suggestions you can give me would be appreciated. I’ve watched a ton of YouTube videos (including yours) but they are all about process and not technique.

Thanks for any help you can offer!

A:  it’s actually two things, one is the blade is new, it usually takes a bit for them to ‘settle’ in.  I’m not sure why they cut so rough at first, maybe the loose diamonds have to wear off?  The second is too fast.  I usually slow waaaaaay down on the last inch or so of bottle and let the blade eat through the glass very slowly.  You might try cutting a thick bottle, say champagne into 1/2″ wide rings, you should see a difference by the time you get to the end of the bottle.

And you are right, all the videos I’ve seen are about process, not technique.  I’ve added a technique/trouble shooting video to my (long) list of things to make.

Hope that helps!  I’m about to get a new blade myself, so I’ll be right there with you, sawing champagne rings… 🙂

Q: Thanks for those great newsletters every week — I really enjoy reading them. I’ve ventured down the rabbit hole of recycled bottles lately, and am now struggling with devitrification. For me, it occurs almost exclusively on the light blue (gin) and cobalt blue (Bud Light) so I know it isn’t my general technique or cleanliness.

I am about to run down the path of Super Spray or borax+distilled water, but thought I would ping you first in hopes that you already figured this out?

Many thanks again for all the info you have online and provide every week!

A:  Hi there; you are describing exactly what I have found as well, blue glass is a huge devit culprit. I haven’t found a way around it, so I’d go with the spray. I usually make my own with borax.  More info about that here:  Devit on Blue Glass Bottles

Q:  Where do you buy your diamond bits. I live in Europe but have a friend traveling to Minnesota in July and she can bring me back a set.
Thanks

A:  My favorite so far are these:

diamond carving bits

https://www.harborfreight.com/50-pc-diamond-rotary-point-set-69665.html

it’s a great price and there is a wide variety of shapes.  I use some of them for drilling, and some for carving.

Hope that helps!