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Saturday, February 6, 2010

Next Steps in the Work on the Castings

Here are some of the next steps in cold working one of my recycled cast glass dragonflies. First, always wear some sort of gloves when using a wet tile saw. I found some lightly padded but non-bulky gloves at Home Depot.

Since I chose to use tempered window glass (which disintegrates into thousands of tiny puzzle sized pieces after you break it), it is impossible to stack the tiny pieces high enough so that they do not move and overflow the edge of the plaster mold. After the first kiln firing (and note that the glass is no longer tempered after this time), I stack more of the glass into any depressions in the mold and fire it again. You can see the excess glass below which must be trimmed off with a wet tile saw. This is an extreme case example below since there is not typically this much glass overflow.

After using a wet tile saw that I filled with water and having it drench me each time I used it, I bought a Ryobi wet tile saw. It allows you to hook it up to a water source (or an alternate pump source). The water only drips on the saw blade and it is easy to use and fairly mess free. Be sure to get a non-segmented saw blade made for ceramics or glass.

I use the wet tile saw to carefully trim off the excess glass around the edges. If there is a sizable piece of excess to trim off, I trim it off in sections versus removing the entire piece all at once. Most of the excess glass is not very thick. After some use, it is easy to become skilled with the wet tile saw and use it almost as a grinder to evenly cold work the piece. But you need to do all of this slowly and let the saw blade do the work. After trimming the excess glass, you can see the cloudy area below where the saw touched the glass. This can be easily fixed with sandblasting which will be covered in the next post.

1 comment:

  1. I'm just loving reading all the updates and following the process of these dragonflies! Thanks for all the great info!