Monday, March 21, 2016

How to not to cut glass…
or A very labor intensive way to break glass

This month one of my projects was to try to turn some wine bottles into a cloche.  It is pronounced kloSH, with a long o.  A cloche is a bell shaped transparent container that is used to cover plants to protect them from frost and cold nights.  Usually made of glass, they can also be made of plastic such as ones made from a milk jugs with the bottom cut out.  I happen to think the glass ones are beautiful but do not want to pay the big bucks for one.  So enter my attempt at glass cutting.

I did do my homework, Pinterest pins were examined, YouTube videos watched and several home improvement sites’ articles were read.  I chose the following method as the most sensible for my situation and desired outcome.  I wanted to cut the bottom of my jars off.

Collection of jars and two practice jars

First you need to mark the glass with a file.  This creates a weak spot in the glass which is supposed to crack when stressed.   I used my knife sharpener set at an angle to make an even line.

Whetstone braced with a wooden dowel, beads and poster putty

I put a pot of water on to boil to heat up my jars after marking them
and had a bowl of cool water ready.

Next I ground my practice jar against the file to make my line.  It did not mark as evenly as I had hoped.  I tried again with the wine bottle.

Practice jar with sloppy score lines

After holding the practice jar in the boiling water to heat it up, I dunked it in the cool water.  Nothing happened so I tried again but this time it made a crack around the base that had nothing to do with the line I had scored.  Ok, so it probably broke at the place where the heat difference was greatest.

Nope, not what I’m after at all, it didn’t even break all the way apart.

Attempt number two was with the wine bottle.  After heating it up, I ran it under cold water from the tap.  It immediately broke apart.

Closer but not quite… the break line still didn’t seem to have anything to do with my scored line.

Alright, so maybe the score line wasn’t deep enough.  I dismantled my angled whet stone to grind the line a bit harder into the glass and eyeballed the line.  Since my other practice bottle was way too thick and I didn’t think it would work at all, I next tried on of the wine jugs.  I had two so if one messed up, I would still have one.  Also, my in-laws save me their bottles so I can get more.

The heavily scored eyeballed line, not too bad and pretty straight.

The process just cracked the jar but did not break off the bottom.

The hot to cold created a crack that radiated around the bottom part of the jar but did not break it fully or all the way around.  It again was nowhere near my scored line.

I then thought maybe the glass near the bottom is too thick and I have to make sure the cold water hits directly on the scored line.  So I drew a line with a sharpie and scored it again.  Hot water to cold water directly on the scored line brought about the sound of cracking glass which is quite ominous actually.  One is usually trying very hard to NOT break glass things.

NOPE, NOPE, NOPE!  I got pieces and it did not crack anywhere near my scored line.  Humph!

So, I found several ways that break glass quite well, just not the way I WANT it to break.  Back to the drawing board or rather Google to find another way.  To quote Mr. Thomas Edison, “I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.”  I still have two jugs left and will beg some more to try again another day.

So after that disappointing news, I think I need some cheerful Spring pictures to go along with the first day of Spring!  It was lovely today with highs in the low 40’s and sunshine along with lots of crocus sightings both in my yard and in neighbors’ yards as we drove to volleyball today.

I did successfully complete a project deliberately chosen to force me to learn how to use my Cricut machine this past week that helped me finish my spring decorating.  After I cleared off the kitchen table of snowflakes, runner and table cloth, T mentioned that he liked seeing the bare wood of the table.  So I created a small runner of paper to go under the clear plastic cover to decorate the table but also keep the bare wood visible.

I taped 3 sheets of 12 x 12 scrapbook paper together for the base and used 2 sheets of metallic blue for the butterflies.  I made 3 “spring” cut outs of yellow paper, one which was used on the runner and the other two as decorations elsewhere.  I misjudged the depth of the blade and had to cut out one sheet of butterflies by hand with an exacto knife as the cut was not deep enough.  The second run was perfect.  I glued them all down randomly on the paper base and there you go, a table runner for spring.

Spring paper table runner in my favorite colors: blue, purple and yellow.

My dad, upon seeing my pinecone branch this past winter commented
that I needed to put a cardinal on it.  I will have to find one before next winter.
In the meantime, I think this makes it look quite springy.

Well, my how to wasn’t quite as successful as desired but not every endeavor will be triumphant the first time… or maybe even the fifthteenth time but to not try is a greater failure.  I am a perfectionist who is often scared to try new stuff because to fail is “THE WORST THING THAT COULD HAPPEN”.  I am learning that real failure is not trying at all, rather than a moment of not succeeding.  While I could wish that I had learned this oh so important lesson so much sooner than I have, I can’t regret the past, but instead, be happy that trying and failing is not fatal and to just enjoy the process.  It makes the journey so much more enjoyable.

1 comment:

  1. When once you have not cracked upon the scored line, crack, crack again!