With this ring saw …

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My wife got her first major glass-working tool, and the parallels to woodworking are both notable and enjoyable.

I’ve mentioned my wife’s glass hobby a few times, but that hobby is developing into something more as she’s begun creating stained glass panels for woodworking projects I’m doing. (Sally’s current project is a panel that I’ll mount in the door of a cabinet I’m making.)

But as she becomes more skilled and familiar with her craft, she’s quickly learning the limitations of her basic glass-working tools. So, for her birthday last week I gifted her with a tool called a “ring saw.” It functions similarly to a band saw but uses a rigid steel ring instead of a floppy blade. The diamond-coated ring slices through glass with ease in any direction. It’s a fascinating tool.

Sally was thrilled when she opened it, albeit a bit dismayed at what I paid for it. As she becomes familiar with using it and learning its capabilities and versatility for working glass, however, she’s realizing that quality tools aren’t inexpensive. To that end, she’s gaining a new understanding and appreciation of the tools I use in my woodshop.

The best part about her becoming more serious about her pursuit is that it allows us to work together in the shop. Her small glass studio is separate but adjacent to my shop, which works out well as what we do increasingly overlaps – I’m now making wooden frames, stands and boxes for some of her art panels, while she’s making glass accents for my woodworking.

We still work more or less alone. I’m in my space making sawdust and she’s in hers making, uh, glass dust, I guess. And while we may not see each out for an hour or two at a time, in my view we’re still working together. All the more so when what we’re making becomes part of the other’s final work.

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