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Cutting Laminated Glass 101: A Complete Walk-Through

Sunday 17th January, 2016

Laminated glass, or safety glass as it is also known, is used in a wide range of installations where safety is paramount. The laminated glass is formed from two sheets of annealed glass these are sandwiched together around one of more layers of plastic laminate. Should the laminated glass break for any reason, the laminate layer will hold the  glass in place.

Car windscreens, shop doors and Windows are manufactured from laminated glass. 

Cutting safety glass can be trickier than cutting normal glass, but follow our complete guide to cutting laminated glass to find out how to get the best results.

You will need: 

  • Safety gloves

  • A tape measure

  • A steel ruler / straight edge

  • Felt tip marker

  • Rotary glass cutter (ideally one with an internal oil reservoir)

  • Lighter fluid

  • Lighter

  • Utility knife or razor blade

  • Rough sandpaper

  • Sturdy, flat, flame-resistant work bench with a clamp (or, even better, a purpose-made laminated glass cutting bench)

Step 1: Measure

  • Begin by placing your laminated glass on your work bench. Using your tape measure, felt tip and straight edge, mark out where you want to cut your glass. Remember! Measure twice, cut once!

Step 2: Score

  • Using your straight edge as a guide, score the laminated glass with your rotary wheel glass cutter. Apply pressure while moving the glass cutter to ensure you get a nice deep score. Tip! Using a glass cutter with an internal oil reservoir will give you a much smoother cut.

  • Apply a coating of lighter fluid to the cut line, then go over the line again with your glass cutter.

  • Turn your sheet of laminated glass over and repeat this process on the flip side, ensuring you score the glass in exactly the same place on each side.

Step 3: Break the glass

  • Clamp the laminated glass to your bench to hold it in place.

  • Making sure to wear your safety gloves, move the glass up and down and to the left and right with your hands until it snaps along your scored line. Flip the glass over and repeat the process to break the other side too. 

  • The sheet will now be held together by only the laminate.

Step 4: Cutting the laminate

  • Apply another coating of lighter fluid to the broken edge of your glass. Using your lighter, light the fluid to create a controlled flame along the length of the cut edge.

  • The heat will soften up the plastic laminate, so immediately after the flame burns itself out, use your sharp razor blade to cut the weakened laminate.

  • Use your rough sandpaper to smooth out the edge of the laminate so it is flush with the edge of the glass.

Step 5: Finish

  • Polish up your newly-cut laminated glass with some glass cleaner and a dusting cloth. And hey presto, you’ve finished the job!

Of course, you may prefer to ask a professional to do the job for you. At Peterlee Glass our experts will be able to help. And with our competitive prices and famous customer service, you know you’ll be in safe hands!

Call into our Trade Centre in Peterlee, phone us on 0191 586 3113, or email your enquiry today.

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