How to make an Ergonomic Murrine Glass Cutter with a Lexan cut off bin.

January 23, 2018

How to make an Ergonomic Murrine Glass Cutter with a Lexan cut off bin.

When I added making murrini glass to my studio I had to come up with a way: 1. To cut it ergonomically and not stress my wrists and carpal tunnel, 2. To be able to set up repeatable cut lengths, and 3. To capture the cut glass murrini missiles so they did not end up all over the studio. Before you start making murrini take a class.  I took a class for Larry Pile at Hollander glass in Houston.  Also a big thank you to Cyndi who works there for her help and support.  The course will speed your learning curve.  I also recommend the videos by Nathan Sandburg on making Murrini at AEE glass.

There are many approaches to this on the web, but for me I like to design things and I also fabricate many of the machines I use in my shop.  I do this for 2 main reasons:  1. The cost, and 2. I like to customize my machines to fit my workflow. If you are a large production studio you may wish for a air driven cutter.  I am sure it works fabulous but it is very expensive. 
For many of you buying a device off the shelf is the best solution and there are various suppliers who will be glad to help you.  But for those who enjoy a challenge and have some basic shop skills this is a great project that functions well.
Below is a list of suppliers where I purchased the parts and some of the tools.
I bought this press on amazon, but I am sure if you have a Harbor Freight close by with a coupon you could buy it there.
Be sure and use all tools safely and with appropriate instruction. 
Use/Make this at your own Risk!
​I assume no liability for injuries which could happen with improper use of machines.
​Enjoy the U tube video below.  Click on the arrow to start.
Here is list of the parts and some tools I used to make this project.   Click on the link and you will be redirected to Amazon.

I found these on ebay searching for extra cutting wheels .  2  wheels per package
I used a table saw to cut the lexan so I would  get straight edges, but it will easily cut with hand tools. Here is the layout I used. It will fit in a 12x48 piece of lexan. Lexan (generic name polycarbonate) is is much stronger than plexiglass and what is used in most face shields. When it is made it has fine fibers woven into the plastic so it will not shatter like plexiglass  Where impact is involved I always use Lexan   (generic name polycarbonate).
Final thoughts:  
​So after running a bunch of cane thru the cutter I learned a couple of things.  For large can over 3/8 to 1/2 inch cutting it on tile saw gave a smother end and was very easy.  Cutting very fine cane less than 1/8 inch it was not effective as the cutter heads don't go that small.  This is easy to cut with a nipper.
The Cut off bin worked well, but needed to add a small piece of cardboard or lexan to outer part of press  to make it level and so it would not rock.  If I had made the lexan base longer it would also have solved the issue.  

Final impression was this will be a good tool in my studio and was a fun project.

Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.