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I have some glass things to fix ("decorative kitchen stuff to play with"). The broken part is a rod, about 8mm diameter, made of some colored glass.

I thought of using nichrome wire, but seems that it can't hot enough to melt the glass. Should I try to connect the broken things with the butane torch lighter?

Some ideas:

  • make it look ugly, and ugly-repaired. Do not let parts disconnect again at their own will. No dynamic forces would be applied.
  • ...forget about it.
  • build RepRap and reproduce the thing.
  • profit.
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2 Answers 2

up vote 7 down vote accepted

I doubt this will work. For starters, from what I can see online, depending on what is in it, glass melts somewhere between 2700 and 4200 degrees F (1500-2300 °C). Butane burns at a temperature of 788°F (420°C). You also mentioned nichrome wire - but this too simply will not generate sufficient heat. Nichrome itself melts at 2552°F (1400°C), so it would not be able to transfer sufficient heat to glass without itself melting.

Even if you could heat glass up enough to melt it, thermal stresses can be significant. So you may find that the glass shatters if you did heat it sufficiently. Those craftspeople who do work with glass also have torches and furnaces that are capable of significantly more heat than you can get from any simply source that a handyman can provide.

Just use glue, perhaps a decent two part epoxy to join these pieces together.

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What you want is a MAPP torch. Many plumbers use it instead of propane for sweating copper because its hotter flame temperature gets the copper up to temperature more quickly. I have this one and the trigger start is very handy. For glass work you'd want to come up with something to clamp the torch in place on your bench, leaving both hands free to work.

Here's a torch that mounts straight to your table for glass work, along with lots of other related accessories.

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According to wikipedia, MAPP burns at 3,670 °F (2,020 °C) which is in the range of what it takes to melt glass (according to @woodchips), and so it may work depending on the type of glass. It's worth a shot, since it's reasonably cheap and a MAPP torch is useful for other things anyways, like copper plumbing. –  gregmac Aug 11 '11 at 22:45

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