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Flat-sided crystal ball (glass blowers help)

2179 Views 15 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  turtle2778
Ok, this is what I am going to build. I would like to have a computer-generated skull in the crystal ball, but don't want to buy an LCD projector. So, all I need is a crystal ball with one flat edge that will be pushed up against the fortune teller's rib cage (I can hide a small monitor there). The problem is the crystal ball. I bought a 10" gazing ball and removed the metal. Now I need to cut out a circle from the ball and glue on a glass plate. The problem is, any glass blower I have talked to have told me that it would be very difficult to cut out that circle. I have a Dremel tool, but Dremel says not to try to cut glass with it. The glass is very thin so I might try it. Or, I might try puting a flaming alcohol-soaked string on it then do a water dunk. I have never worked with glass and the balls are $15 each so I'm not into experimentation. Then I have to figure out a good way to glue on the glass plate since I want to fill the finished product with water (thus, I need a strong, water-tight seal). Glad I am starting early this year.
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Oops, picture didn't come through. Check out my "Need your opinion on a prop (which is scarier)" thread for the picture.
iIdon't know how much help this is, but you could try a place that sells and cuts sheet glass (windows, mirrors, etc) Possibly they could help you out with the cut. As for a good stong, clear glue.....use the glue sold to secure rearview mirrors to a car's windshield, or just ask what's available at the glass shop when you get you're globe cut......

good luck, and BE CAREFUL!!!!!
I don't know if this would help, but they have round glass vases that have a pretty wide opening, rather than having to cut your own. I just saw one today at a rummage sale, and if you're interested, I can go back tomorrow and pick it up if it's still there. Tomorrow is bag day...my favorite.:D
That thin type of glass can shatter pretty easy. If I were you, I'd go to a pet store that sells all sorts of fish tanks. I'm sure they'll have something of the appropriate shape for your project.

If you decide to try and cut the one you have, make sure you at least try using a hand held glass cutter to score the hole you need. Also, put a lot of masking tape around the area surrounding where you want to cut. This way if it shatters, the tape will hold most of it together and hopefully you won't get cut.
DO NOT REPEAT DO NOT TRY TO CUT GLASS WITH A DREMEL. I have tried this several times and depsite alot of patience a lot of advice it never ever has been succesful.
You might also try a garden and crafts store and look among their planters and vase section... I used to have a couple of spherical glass planters that were meant to hang from a macrame thingy; they had a round hole at the top and the rest was perfectly round and seamless. About 8-10" globes as I recall, the hole was about 4".
Humm. Good ideas, but the vase thing won't work. I need a flat 90 degrees to the opening. And I do need an opening so that I can fill it with water. Though, if I can find the perfectly round vase, maybe I can fill it with a clear gel. That will prevent me from doing anything dynamic within the crystal ball but it might save me an eye. I think I will try to score it with the dremel and then set fire to it. Maybe I will get lucky. If this is my last post, you know what happened.
Okay so why not use a round fish bowl? Im using one on top of another for a project for mothers day. You can easily seal it because the top is flat. ALso i wouldnt advise water inside or maybe i would but ya better make sure its AIR tight. I didtn with one of the things i made and the water evaporated. I dindt know where the air got out so i couldnt put it back in. The hole was too small. I was planning on using a clear oil im not sure if it will work, but it doesnt evaporate. Well i hope that helps. You might check out a pet store for the round fish bowl.
I want it to look like a solid sphere of glass. But if I use a sphere, you can see the computer image only from a limited angle. If I make one side flat (the side facing the fortune teller), then the glass still looks like a sphere, but you can see the computer image from a wider angle. But, I also need an opening to put the water in but hide under the table (thus, the one-opening fish bowl causes problems and no one sells a bowl with the flat 90 degrees to the opening). I don't intend to seal a glass full of water. I can't use arylic (too thick) but maybe I can find a gel for the one-opening approach.
I was at a hardware store and saw these 10" globes that are used for light fixtures. They had frosted and transparent ones. They have a small beaded lip for the set screws to grab, but it's only about 1/2" in height. This might work for you. It was an Orchard Supply store - they don't have online shopping, unfortunately.

Later: I found the same thing at a Home Depot. 10" clear ball with a set screw lip. A reminder - if you fill the globe with a liquid it will magnify and possibly distort the image on the display. Hope this helps.
Id try using Big Sream's TV's crystal ball illusion. No need to cut glass at all.
what is the water for?
I found the frosted ones at Home Depot but no clear ones.
My attempt at cutting the circle myself cost me $15. I tried scoring it with a Dremel (ya, that Dremel wasn't about to cut glass. Made a cool red glow, though) and then used an oil-soaked string aka thermal shock method. I guess I should have used lighter fluid because I could get the string to light only at the ends then the globe cracked before I could dunk it in the water and this crack was perpendicual to the score. Hum.
Okay, here's an idea. Can you use that fishbowl or vase that is round with the exception of the opening, put a 45 deg peice of glass or plexi on the inside, place the hole on the table, have a hole cut into the table where the opening of the vase goes onto it, and project the image on the 45 deg plate inside the ball from under the table?
oooh good idea SI
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