What is a Glazier?

Glazier. Noun. A person whose trade is fitting glass into windows and doors.[1]

A glazier is a tradesman with either academic training or 'on-the-job' work experience. This acquired knoweldge grants the glazier the skills to be able to remove, replace or repair windows as well as many other glazing installations. Most glaziers will be able to install glass mirrors, shower doors, and fit glass for tabletops and display cases and will have at least a basic knoweldge of carpentry to allow them to work with wooden window frames and may also be able to build metal framework extrusions for larger construction projects.

As well as common tasks such as emergency glazing, many glaziers will offer services such as window tinitng, applying security window films and as a glazier's skillset has many transferable skills, a glazier may also be able to work with marble and various plastics.[2]

A glazier's main tool is the aptly named 'Glass Cutter', Typically this is a six inch long metal tool with a rolling V-shaped cutting wheel made from hardened steel, tungsten carbide or, in rare cases, diamond. Other tools a glazier may use include, suction cups, glazing knives, and power tools.

To cut glass a glazier will use a straight edge as a guide and press the cutter's wheel firmly to the glass. To keep the tool gliding smoothly across the glass, the glazier will either dip the glass cutter in oil or spread oil on the glass where it is to be cut. Once the cut has been made, the glazier will press hard on the shorter end of the glass to give it a clean break along the cut. The glazier will then place the glass into it's intended fitting. Once in place the glass will be secured with putty or cement. In certain circumstances glass may also be secured with bolts, rubber gaskets, or a glazing compound.

With the advent of computers a glazier has a greater range of glazing techniques at their disposal. The most common form of computer assistance in glazing is when a semi-automatic 'CNC' (computer numerical control) glass cutting table is used to score large sheets of glass, which are then broken out by hand (or robot) into the individual sheets of glass known as "lites"[3] in the glass industry.

Glaziers may use these skills to complete jobs as commonplace as emergency glazing (fixing a broken window) or creating intricate and complex stained glass sculptures.

[1] http://oxforddictionaries.com/definition/glazier

[2] http://www.glaziersregister.com/

[3] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glass_cutter