Glass Engraving and Cutting by Stone Wheel

Copyright 2013 by James P. Riser

Note: None of the items shown here are for sale. Please do not ask.

An assortment of small to mid-range stone wheels. I have been asked to show these - so here they are.

Below are part of my stone wheels for glass engraving. I use them mainly for making the rough cuts. These cuts later get refined by copper wheel. The wheels shown below range in size from 1/2" to 7" in diameter. Notice the various profiles on the wheels. The hardnesses and grits vary as needed for certain tasks. The wheels with multiple V grooves were used mainly for engraving names at various stores in the past. This was a very quick way to do the work and keep up with all of the requests. I do not do that type of work today but it was very good practice. I will post pictures of the larger wheels for the large glass cutters lathe as I get the time.






In addition to these dressed and leaded wheels, I have several boxes of new wheels ready to be leaded and dressed as the need comes up. When I first started engraving in the mid 1970's, I custom ordered what will be for me a lifetime supply of stone wheels. 40+ years later, it has become obvious that this was a wise decision.

My backup supply of stone wheels...

... a drawer full.

The Glass Cutters Lathe

Below is the old glass cutters lathe that I am in the process of putting into service. This beauty features ring oiling babbitt bearings for vibration free running.


One of the bearings opened.


The rings open for easy servicing. I need to clean a lot of sludge out before running the lathe.



I purchased only the lathe with an assortment of larger stone wheels from a gent who could never seem to have success with the process (lack of practice?). I have been seeking a matching 6 step flat belt pulley for the drive pulley for the past 12 years since buying the lathe. I recently located the perfect match for the lathe pulley. See the two pulleys below. The steps line up as though made for each other. The diameters of the steps are different - so I will need to deal with that.


The lathe is mounted on an old cast iron wood jointer base. The motor and counter shaft will be mounted behind the lathe for convenience.


Below is shown the assortment of stone wheels that came with this lathe. I have shown them from several angles to better illustrate the profiles. These wheels range in size from 1" - 12" in diameter. The profiles, hardness, and grits vary.







And a few 8" diameter wheels ...


Along with the smaller wheels shown at the top of this page, I will have all that I will require for the intended work.

I have received a 30mm shaft for the counter pulley and the 30mm pillow blocks for this shaft just arrived. Here they are for testing. The light surface rust is not a problem.

Everything turns beautifully with no slop. A drive pulley will be machined to fit over only the end of the short shaft. A short shaft helps to eliminate unwanted vibrations.

Soon I will need to do some welding for the jack shaft mountings.



Steel angle iron supports for the jack shaft and motor mount were cut. All of the light surface rust will be wire brushed away using an angle grinder before any welding begins.

The side wings of the bearing casting were ground down for additional clearance too.


Here you may see the narrower bearing on the right.

The temporary mounting has been removed and the counter pulley has been lowered to its final position - down low for machine stability.

The motor mount has been welded up - except for the tension adjuster to be done last ...

Until then, a chain will be used to adjust belt tension as it needs to be adjusted with step changes due to the differences in step diameters.




Looking down on the lathe the counter shaft may be seen.

It is mounted on a hinged welded up support which pivots for tension adjustment.

The 1 hp 3 phase motor is mounted on the back side of this support.

The weight of both the counter shaft/pulley and motor supply a good tension on the flat leather belt.

The small white box seen at the base of the lathe is a vfd (variable frequency drive) for complete variable speed.

This arrangement allows complete control of speed and torque.

Everything works well without the still to be made tensioner which will securely hold the counter shaft assembly in position.

The trensioner will eliminate any vibrations which might be introduced into the system.






Here is another view.

Below is the lathe with wheel mounted and tub in place.





Here it is in stereo. You will need your red(left eye)/cyan(right eye) glasses to view it.

A steel rolling base was made to hold the lathe and up to five 8" x 8" x 16" concrete blocks for added mass/stability. This has turned into one nice machine.