What tools do you need to begin learning glass engraving?


Quick Answer

Some tools necessary for a beginner glass engraver include an electric rotary tool or manual pin vice, several different types of engraving burrs, polishers and safety glasses. Optional but useful tools include dust masks, headband magnifiers, a water dispenser of some kind and a dark cloth to work on.

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Full Answer

The most important tools for any beginning glass engraver are burrs. Burrs are available in a number of different materials that perform different steps in the glass engraving process. Diamond burrs draw outlines and deep incisions into glass, but using these tools requires care, as they can easily drill straight through thin glass. Silicon carbide and stone burrs are useful for smoothing and shading designs, as well for adding texture to your work. Pre-sand glass or smooth rough edges using silicon rubber burrs and abrasives.

Hold your burrs using either an electric rotary tool or a manual pin vice. While rotary tools are much faster and more powerful than traditional pin vices, the manual tools are more suitable for delicate work.

While polishers, like abrasives, are all made of silicon rubber, they are available in a number of different grades and shapes to give different effects. Even the hardest polishers are softer than the softest abrasives, and engravers use these tools to put the finishing touches on finely detailed engravings.

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