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How to Shape Sheet of Glass?
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 Posted: Mon May 4th, 2020 10:44 pm
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BL
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Hi,
I am a woodworker and am planning on using glass on my latest project, however, I'm not sure how to go about it and thought this may be a good place to get some help. Please refer to the attached picture. This is a piece of redwood that I'm working on. For a couple of reasons I would like to have a sheet of glass sit on top of the redwood. However, I want the glass to follow the shape of the wood. I figure I can buy a circular sheet of glass, and then work it from there.
The redwood is about 31 inches across at its longest point.
I'm not sure what tools I would need, or even if this is something that is possible (or within my ability). I've cut glass before, but mostly straight cuts. I'm guessing, if it is possible, I'd be cutting and then grinding?
Any thoughts or advice would be appreciated.
Thank you!

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 Posted: Mon May 4th, 2020 11:50 pm
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Krueger
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First go to your library and get a book on making stained glass......that will get you started and tell you what more you need to know, in the way of equipment....OR, find a stained glass person/studio near by and talk with them about their doing that part of the art work....



 Posted: Tue May 5th, 2020 03:37 am
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BL
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Thanks for the response. So I would use the same techniques as cutting for stained glass. Good to know. I’ll find some information and start reading. Thanks



 Posted: Tue May 5th, 2020 01:25 pm
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Krueger
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after looking at your photo of the piece of wood, perhaps you will have to make a mold of the top of the wood, and then using a large kiln at the correct temperature, allow the glass to slump into/over the mold...so look up "slumping glass" in your research.



 Posted: Tue May 5th, 2020 02:43 pm
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Rebecca
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I say you just need to use a wet grinder to shape the circular piece of glass. No need to read up on fabricating stained glass. Also, my local window glass shop used to do this kind of work. Your local shop - stained glass or window glass - might be able to help. I don't see how a kiln would help at all.

Rebecca



 Posted: Tue May 5th, 2020 03:07 pm
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Krueger
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I am assuming the top of the piece of wood is not flat, hence the glass may need to be slumped in a kiln.



 Posted: Tue May 5th, 2020 06:59 pm
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BL
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The piece of wood will be flat on the top. Maybe not perfectly flat, but flat.

Wet grinding sounds more like what i was thinking. I’ve see that there are drill bits for glass grinding, and also the glass grinding machine. The drill would be much easier for me. Is there any reason not to go that route? Also, besides the water, how much of a mess will this be? Will the tiny glass particles just go wherever the water goes, or is there a lot of flying debris?



 Posted: Wed May 6th, 2020 10:22 pm
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Rebecca
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You do NOT want to grind glass dry. The glass heats up and breaks and you get glass dust in your lungs. But that wasn't your question! LOL! Glass grinders are expensive if this is the only time you are going to use it. That's why I suggested finding a local window or stained glass shop. I used to have a shop, and I would have let you come in and with a little instruction try it yourself. Then you would know whether it was something you wanted to buy and do at home, or just pay for me to do it. I would even let you buy time on my machine in my shop and do it yourself.

But your question was if it is messy. There is a bit of flying wet glass granules with a glass grinder, but they have shields that help to minimize the mess and it isn't hard to clean the mess up if you do it while it is still wet. I would only use a glass drill bit to drill a hole in glass, and only under water.

Rebecca



 Posted: Thu May 7th, 2020 12:43 am
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BL
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Thanks for all of the info Rebecca. I'll try and contact a shop in my area, or maybe see if someone in my neighborhood has one that I could borrow.

For a piece of glass this large (31 inch diameter) I'm guessing it would be a bit of a struggle to maneuver on the grinder and get the grinding exactly where I want it? Maybe not?



 Posted: Thu May 7th, 2020 03:17 pm
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Rebecca
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Yes, the size makes it a bit of a struggle, but I used to do it by myself. It might be better to have two people, whichever way you do it. That's why someone with experience can be useful.

It might be possible to do it with a glass drill bit and two people. If you could have one person use the drill and one person dribble water and do a little at a time; it could work. You would need to have a third person to hold the glass so it wouldn't move away from the drill. (Or gently clamp the glass.) And talk about messy! You would just about have to do it outside. Ground glass is not good for your drain piping, so you should probably wash it away into your soil where it won't dry out and become airborne.

I'll keep thinking about it. I wish I could be "hands on" with you.

Rebecca



 Posted: Tue May 12th, 2020 03:26 pm
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Rebecca
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Have you made any progress? Where are you located?



 Posted: Thu May 14th, 2020 02:46 am
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BL
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Thanks. I’ll be sure to get someone to help out.
No progress yet. I’m at the beginning of the project so i’ll work on the wood before the glass starts. Just trying to plan ahead by starting this discussion now. I’ll call a couple of glass shops this week and see what they say and go from there.



 Posted: Thu May 14th, 2020 03:37 pm
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Rebecca
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Sure. If you have trouble, let us know where you are and there might be someone on this board close to you.

Rebecca



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