Removing cracked glass safely
April 21, 2021 9:54 AM   Subscribe

I have a piece of glass with a simple pattern of leading on it. Two panes at the bottom are cracked. I'd like to remove them without breaking the rest of the glass. What do I do? The pattern of leading is very similar to this Leick Riley Holliday TV stand.

The lead is well-attached to the glass. Do I use a wheel glass cutter to score a line next to the leading and break the glass off with grozing pliers? Or can I use regular pliers that I already have on hand? Is scoring it necessary?

I'm thinking of gluing a piece of acrylic "glass" in the empty space after I get the cracked glass out. Would I need to do something different for that?
posted by SandiBeech to Home & Garden (5 answers total)
It depends on how it is attached to the piece. A lot of times in furniture the glass is held in place by the pieces of trim around it - you may be able to pop the trim on the inside of the window off and take the entire piece of glass out in one piece, put your acrylic into the space the glass occupied, and glue the trim back on.

Cutting glass is harder than it looks - it's more like "controlled breaking" most of the time. I'd encourage you to really look at the construction of window and see if you can get it out without breaking the glass itself.
posted by _DB_ at 11:40 AM on April 21, 2021

Is it actually stained glass (separate cut pieces that are channeled into lead and soldered together) or is it one piece of glass with decorative lead applied on top of the glass? If it's real, I don't know if I would recommend a DIY replacement with acrylic. I'd probably tear it out and get a piece of glass custom-cut to the size of the current piece and use Decra-Led (self-adhesive decorative lead strips) to recreate the design. Or any design you want - and then replace it in the space where the original pane is.

I wouldn't normally recommend Decra-Led, but this seems like a good purpose for it.
posted by rachaelfaith at 11:41 AM on April 21, 2021

Response by poster: I'm sorry that I wasn't clear (as glass, hah).

The piece of glass was easy to remove from my cabinet. I'm interested in removing the cracked glass from the uncracked part of the glass.

The glass is one piece with decorative lead applied on top of the glass. There are two cabinet doors with identical glass, so I want them to look similar, which is why I was hoping to keep the original leading. I think that replacing a couple of the panes at the bottom would look better than using fake lead on a whole new piece?
posted by SandiBeech at 12:09 PM on April 21, 2021

If you do go the route of removing the broken piece only and replacing with acrylic, make sure that the new piece has the same sheen/finish as the existing glass (including how it reflects light) - unless you can make it look exactly the same, I'd really consider getting a new piece of glass or acrylic and doing the fake leading. I'd be more distracted by an even slightly mismatched piece of glass than fake leading, but your personal preference may be different.
posted by _DB_ at 2:11 PM on April 21, 2021

Best answer: A single pane with decorative leading over the top, with cracks that don't extend very far, might be a better candidate for repair than replacement.
posted by flabdablet at 1:47 AM on April 22, 2021

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