The O Scale Resource

September October 2014

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The O Scale Resource September/October 2014 60 By Dan Dawdy Glass, we all know what it is. My first experience with glass with when I was five years old and my friend David pushed a glass storm door through my arm. Yes, glass is sharp, and I still have the scar to prove it. My next glass experience was not so traumatic. In the early 1970's, I received a K-Tel Bottle Cutter Kit for my birthday. The perfect toy for a young boy. It had an open cutting wheel, a candle and some emery paper to "smooth" the drinking surface. You scored the bottle, Four Roses Bourbon bottles if I remember my Dad's tastes, over the cutting wheel. Then, you rotated the score line over a candle, after which you rubbed an ice cube over the hot score line and then tapped the bottle on a hard surface. What could possibly go wrong? Well, I survived childhood, as most of us did from that era, without all the precautions and safety awareness we seem to need today. Now, let's race ahead a few years, quite a few years, to the present. I never gave much thought to model windows in buildings. I just used thin clear styrene sheets cut to fit and called it a day. Then I started working on locomotives and brass cars – modifying, rebuilding and painting them. Styrene windows just did not cut it. It did not look like, well, glass. Nothing reflects like real glass. Nothing looks like broken glass better than, you guessed it, broken glass. So I bought some "scale window glass" from Clover House. It's basically microscope cover glass but larger at 2.3" x 0.9". The thickness runs about .006". Did I say it's easy to break when you don't want it to break? Along the way I picked up a few cutters, more precisely called glass scribes, as that is what they really do. After a few mishaps, slivers and some bad language, I got the hang of it. It's not that hard and the cost of supplies allows for many practice sessions for less than the cost of another kit. Below are some examples of items I have used glass in. Some of these are referenced in this article. Because the inside was flat and the windows were going to be dirty I was able to cheat and use square cut glass for the round windows.

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