Lesson 1 Chapter 1
After cutting the glass, the sharp edges are smoothed on the grinder preparing the glass pieces for copper foil tape and fitting them together.
When I first started working in stained glass, I was very nervous about using the grinder.
You see, my father has a wood working shop and while I was growing up, we were always told to respect power tools. Never having been taught how to use any of them, I learned to simply stay away from them. In hindsight, I actually began to fear them and their unknown powers. So venturing into the art of stained glass without taking any classes, left me feeling a little overwhelmed at the idea of using a "power tool."
I quickly learned that this little tool is nothing to be afraid of. The grinding head is essentially like using sandpaper on wood and so I began to look at it more like an electric sander than the treturous table saw.
Is learning to cut accurately important since we have to grind anyway?
Just because we have the ability to use glass grinders to help make all of our pieces fit, we should still be working on improving our cutting skills to reduce the amount of time spent on the grinder. You can read a blog post on my Living Sun Glass page that delves into this topic a little further. Grinding Stained Glass: Help or Hindrance?
Which one is the best?
If you haven't already purchased a grinder or you need a replacement grinder, you might be wondering which machine to get.
There are quite a number of different brands and models and I have used a few of them.
If you're needing a sturdy little work-horse, I personally recommend the Glastar Super Star II. I've used Glastar machines ever since I started stained glass and the Super Star II is a great grinder that just keeps going. My last one burnt out at the end of 2018 and it was in use constantly in the studio by myself and students over about a 12 year period.
Every machine is different but work in generally the same way. Their purpose is the same, and that is to help you create magnificent works of art!
To demonstrate everything in this Grinder Basics lesson, I will be using my Glastar Super Star II grinder.
See it on Amazon: Glastar Super Star II