Use The Morton Portable Glass Shop to Cut Strips

The Morton Portable Glass Shop does a lot more than just cut strips, however this tutorial is going to show you how to cut strips, and how to cut squares, rectangles and diamonds out of those strips.

I must explain that my Portable Glass Shop is 14 years old. There have been upgrades since I purchased mine, and there have been some additional pieces added to the newer version. However the techniques for cutting strips haven't changed. If your Portable Glass Shop doesn't look exactly like mine don't be concerned, because the basic pieces are still the same.

Double click on all pictures to enlarge them

Getting Started

Morton Setup 1

Follow the direction in the box, for the basic setup, using the mini or maxi surface, squaring fence and cutting bar. Have one or two glass stops ready to use.

Straighten The Edges 1

Straighten The Edges 2

First of all, you must make sure the edges of the glass are straight. To do this, find a straight edge on the glass and put that edge against the squaring fence. Slide just enough glass under the cutting bar so you can cut off about 1/2 inch. Repeat this process until all edges are straight.

Allowance for Cutter Wheel

Get an accurate measurement for the width of the strips you will be cutting. Mark that measurement on your glass by drawing a short line.

Slide the glass under the cutting bar so you can see the line you just drew. Set your cutter wheel on the right side of the line (side closest to the edge of the glass), so that the wheel touches the line. Slide the glass and cutter over until the cutter wheel is touching the cutting bar on one side and the edge of the line on the other side.

Setup To Cut Strips

Place one or two glass stops against the outside edge of the glass. Check, one more time, to make sure the glass didn't move when you put the glass stops in place. Now you are set up to start cutting strips.

Don't forget to cut a practice strip from window glass, or scrap glass, just to make sure your measurements are accurate. Once you are confident that the measurements are correct, you can cut as many strips as you need without any further measuring or adjusting of equipment.

Holding Cutter Against Cutting Bar

When you are cutting strips using the Morton Portable Glass Shop, the cutter wheel must be sitting straight on the glass, not tilted sideways, and tight up against the cutting bar at all times. You always start cutting from the top edge of the glass and end at the bottom edge. The cutter does not have to be held straight up and down. You can tip the cutter forwards or backwards...whatever angle is comfortable for you to hold your glass cutter.

Cutting Squares With the Morton Portable Glass Shop

Cutting Squares

Square Is Cut To Exact Size

Once you have your strips cut, place a strip lengthwise along the squaring fence. Keep the glass stop in the same position on the mini or maxi surface, but you might have to move it down a few squares so the strip can rest against it (it was up higher for a longer piece of glass). It is now set up to cut squares from the strip. Cut along the cutting bar, the same way you did to make strips. You will be able to make as many squares as you want without any further adjustments needed.

Cutting Rectangles With the Morton Portable Glass Shop

Mark your strip for the length of the rectangle you want to make. You will basically follow the technique for setting up, and making allowance for the cutter wheel, just like you did for cutting strips. Lay the strip lengthwise along the squaring fence like you do for a square (above), make the cutter wheel adjustment, put in a glass stop and start cutting. This is the technique you'll use for cutting out the four sides of a box, as well as any rectangles you'll need for borders or geometric designs.

Cutting Diamonds With the Morton Portable Glass Shop

Diamond Template

Diamond Marked and Ready for First Cut

You'll need a template for a diamond and strips cut to the width of the diamond. Mark the diamond near the top of your first strip. Hand cut along the top line. You will now have a strip with one angle cut.

Setup to cut diamonds

Setup to cut diamonds2

Lay that strip along the squaring fence. Lift the cutting bar and swing it around so it lines up with the second line on the glass (remember, you just cut along the first line). Use a bar lock to hold the bar in place. You'll need to read the instructions to learn how to adjust the bar lock. Make sure the cutting bar is lined up perfectly with the line on the glass.

Place you glass cutter so the wheel is between the cutting bar and the inside of the line on the glass that you will be cutting along. Make sure it is on the inside of the line. If you cut along the outside, the diamond will be too wide. Place a glass stop against the cut end of the glass, and check again to make sure the cutter wheel is still lined up with the inside of the line. Now you're ready to cut diamonds. To be on the safe side, cut the first diamond out of scrap glass just to be sure it is the right size.

Setup to cut diamonds2

Here are two diamonds. The strip is in place ready to cut another.

If you have questions about cutting strips with the Morton Portable Glass Shop you can contact me here.

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This page was last updated on October 11, 2012

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