Working with Glass Tubing: Cutting, Polishing + Bending

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when cutting glass tubing the way that

you want to do it is with the edge of

the triangular file and you want to

apply direct pressure straight down and

make one deep gouge

now that gouge is going to be a weak

spot in order to break the glass tubing

hold the gouge that you just made away

from yourself put your thumbs behind it

and put apply light pressure like you're

breaking a pencil once you get is a

fairly clean edge

but that edge is very sharp if you

compare it with this piece you may be

able to see that the piece we just cut

has a sharp edge to it whereas this one

which has been fire polished is more

rounded off so the next step is to fire

polish when you fire polish your the end

of your cut glass tubing you want to

hold it on a 45 degree angle at the

hottest part of the flame which is the

tip of the inner blue cone and you want

to constantly rotate it until as you

take it out and you look at it you see

that the edges are rounded off for that

fire polished end all right when you're

heating for a glass Bend you want to

position the glass right above the tip

of that inner blue cone and constantly

twist it to distribute the heat evenly

the longer you heat the glass will begin

to soften and you will actually see the

glass start to Sag a little bit

when you first start to notice that

sagging heat it a little bit longer and

then if you take it out of the heat and

you can actually let gravity do the bend

for you and then when you're ready to

let it cool just set it down on an

insulating pad and use the back of your

hand above the glass the test to see if

it's still hot and usually it's going to

take a couple of minutes before it's

safe to touch now another type of Bend

is one where you can manually guide the

glass instead of letting gravity alone

do the work so again you start by

heating the glass tubing at the spot

where you want the bend to occur and you

watch for it to start to weaken soften

and sag

and when you see that starting to happen

then you can take the tongs in one hand

and you can guide the bend into the

proper orientation and you can also let

gravity do some of the work as well and

then a few seconds outside of the flame

and the cool air it will harden

sufficiently again set it on the

insulating pad to cool until it's safe

to touch