Trimming up pieces of glass to reduce grinding
I just discovered your awesome website tonight. WOW... You sure have a lot of very helpful information here!! Thank you for that!!
My question is this... How do I properly use grozing pliers to "nip" or "trim" up glass pieces to reduce the amount of grinding that is needed? I took a class several years ago, and the teacher made it look very easy - he just grasped the glass with one hand and grozing pliers with the other. Then voila... he instantly snipped away small pieces of glass with the grozing pliers. I always seem to "crumble" my pieces, though, rather than nip or trim them. What am I doing wrong? Do I use downward motions rather than "pulling" straight apart?
Thank you for any help you can offer! This is one part of stained glass that I really dread! Making neat solder beads is the other... I'm going to try the suggestions I read on your website for that next time, though, so maybe I'll have better success with that part of it!
What a great question. Grozing is not a common way of trimming glass any more, since the invention of the grinder. I must admit that I seldom groze. I learned, early on, to cut accurately since there were no grinders back in those days. I had a carborundum stone to take off sharp bits, and I still use one to run around the edges of my glass after I break it out. How to Use Grozing Pliers
Most people use the combination grozing and breaking pliers. If you have a good look at them, you'll see that one jaw has a flat surface and the other jaw is rounded. The flat jaw should be up if you are using them as breaking pliers. The rounded jaw should be up when you use them to groze.
Use one hand to hang onto the glass. With the other hand, roll the serrated surface of the pliers over the edge of the glass, removing any unwanted bits.
The easiest way to hold the pliers is to place your index finger between the handles and use the rest of you hand and your thumb to open and close the pliers. This will give you excellent control, and it prevent excessive pressure (which you don't need when grozing).
Kelly, you asked about pulling downwards or out. If you're taking out larger chunks of glass, grab the glass with the corner of the pliers and give a quick twist with your wrist. Once you have the pieces removed, go back and roll the curved jaw over the edge of the glass to smooth it out.
One final comment. That is to suggest that you learn to cut more accurately. Accurate cutting eliminates a lot of grozing time and grinder usage. If you read my page on "cutting glass", you'll learn a lot of techniques that will improve your cutting skills.
Practice cutting on scrap glass, then practice some more. Each time you cut glass you'll learn something from the experience. Over time you'll find less and less need for grozing or grinding.