MOTHER's Fluorescent Glass Tube Cutter

A dowel rod, some wire, a few screws, a switch, and a car battery are all you need to make this simple glass tube cutter. You probably already have most of the materials at hand.

| September/October 1978

  • The completed fluorescent glass tube cutter looks something like this.
    PHOTO: MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
  • Cut a dowel rod in half and make a groove down the center.
    MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
  • The cutter in use.
    MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
  • Diagram of the assembled cutter.
    MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
  • Diagram of the wooden handle assembly.
    MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
  • Diagram of the steel rod assembly.
    MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF

The principle of this amazing little glass tube cutter is quite straightforward: A stainless steel wire, which can be heated electrically, encircles the tube. When the current is on, the wire heats and melts into the glass. Then, when the power is turned off, the glowing wire immediately cools, causing the glass to cool unevenly and break apart on the melted "score line".

You can build your own cutter in about an hour with a drill, some assorted bits, a handsaw, a hammer, a center punch, a tap and die set, a chisel, a hacksaw, a pair of wire cutters, and a screwdriver.

Start by cutting the 1 1/4" X 7" wooden dowel exactly in half lengthwise. Then temporarily nail a short scrap of wood to the rounded side of each dowel half and clamp them, one at a time, in a vise so that the flat side of each half faces up.

Now take your handsaw and cut a 1/8"deep lengthwise groove down the center of each half-dowel's flat side. Then use a wood chisel, carefully, to open one end of each of these grooves into a wider and deeper (5/16"-wide, 3/8"-deep, and 1 1/4"-long) slot.



Next drill four 3/16" holes through the dowel halves (one hole 1/2" in from each end of each half). And use a 3/8" bit to bore two holes (each about 1/4" deep but not all the way through the wood) into the flat faces of the half-dowels about three inches from their "unslotted" ends and to one side of the center grooves.

Now drill two 5/32" holes—one 3/16" from the end and the other 3/8" from the opposite end—through each of the two 1 1/4" X 5/16" X 5/16" square steel rods. Cut threads into each of these four holes with a 10-32 tap. Then put the square rods—one at a time—into the vise "short-end" (the end with the hole drilled through it 3/16" back) out and bore a 1/16" hole lengthwise into each block 3/32" from the edge, until the drill bit pierces through into the first tapped hole.

Rafa
1/27/2018 12:15:59 AM

Why would you cut into a tube with poisonous phosphorus and Mercury?!?!?







fermentation

Fermentation Frenzy!

September 12-13, 2019
Seven Springs, Pa

Fermentation Frenzy! is produced by Fermentation magazine in conjunction with the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR. This one-and-a-half day event is jam-packed with fun and informative hands-on sessions.

LEARN MORE








Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 64% Off the Cover Price

Money-Saving Tips in Every Issue!

Mother Earth NewsAt MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we are dedicated to conserving our planet's natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. You'll find tips for slashing heating bills, growing fresh, natural produce at home, and more. That's why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.95 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.95 for 6 issues.

Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
International Subscribers - Click Here
Canadian subscriptions: 1 year (includes postage & GST).


Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter flipboard

Free Product Information Classifieds Newsletters

click me