The Turner Transom: A Snag

Not too long ago, we got started working on the Turner Transom piece, a custom order for some good folks in our local area. We drafted the designs, got them approved, got the cartoon compiled, and started cutting glass and came and doing a dry-fit all together. We tend to piece the work together as we go along to make sure we’re keeping ourselves consistent and because things happen when working with glass. Sometimes, the material’s…temperamental and decides it’s going to be a little…ornery. And it happened to us as we were working on the transom, specifically on the right half of the sun, as you can see below where we had to stop work.


The work in halted progress; photo by Geoffrey B. Elliott

There are several ways to go about cutting glass to use in the kind of work we do. One of the oldest is among the most labor-intensive, involving hot fires, heavy metal, and a steady hand. In many cases, we cut the glass we use by means of a diamond-bladed cutter and a specially designed pair of pliers. For pieces like the sun behind the tree in the Turner Transom, though, we usually use a ring-saw. Occasionally, any of the cutting methods will reveal an invisible flaw in the glass–by breaking it where we don’t want it to snap off. So much happened with the right half of the sun, above.

That introduces two complications for us on its own. One is that we have to recut the piece, but occasional material loss is something that anyone who works with goods has to expect. It happens, and nobody really likes it, but you accept it and move on. A little more of a complication, though, has to do with our glass-matching. See, we work hard to make sure that each piece of glass fits into its context well, and that means matching the pieces of glass that are going into equivalent things. In this case, it means that not only do we have to recut the piece that snapped, we’ve got to recut the other half of the sun; it’s the only way to make sure the halves line up right.

And there’s one other item of concern. When the glass broke, so did the saw. It’s kind of a chicken-and-egg thing, certainly, and it doesn’t much matter which made the other happen. Both are broken, and so both need fixing, delaying the project slightly. We’re on the mend, of course, and getting back to work on the Turner Transom, the Perry Panel, and other jobs just as soon as the parts get in (they’ll be in presently, we’re assured).

If you’d like to have yours be one of those jobs, please, give us a call at 830-890-1509, or message us via our “Contacts” page or via the contact form below to see what all we can do for you!

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