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Background:

I am upcycling a glass display cabinet and have found one of the doors has glass that was broken/cracked so I decided to investigate removing all of the glass from this door and think about how I can replace it.

Here are some photos of the door that has no issues, to give you an idea:

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  1. Full front of cabinet door
  2. Closer up view of the more detailed area of the front
  3. Reverse side of this detailed area including how it is affixed to the glass
  4. Detailed view of the glass/wood interface

When I chiselled away the dark material that helped affix the glass to the wood it revealed that each of the sections of glass were in fact separate and not one curved sheet as I had initially thought (see image below for profile shape.

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I also found, with the fixing agent removed, I could see that the glass was being separated be thin splines of wood (I have saved these) that fit into grooves in the facia struts (as can be seen below).

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  1. Same view as image 4 above, this time with the brown fixing agent & spline removed (and painted of course)
  2. image of the thin wooden splines
  3. Area with the spline placed back in place as example

Advice required

So basically, I am wanting to either add glass back to the newly painted door to almost restore the orignal pattern with shaped pieces of glass, or I am wanting to alter the design of both doors to match such as a simple centre divider with 2 pieces of glass.

What would be the best way to go about the first of these options? I ask for the first only as I can imagine the second will be relatively simple to achieve.

Follow up questions would be things such as:

  • What would be the best glass for this? The original was pretty thin but not too delicate
  • How would one go about shaping/cutting the glass accurately?
  • Should the splines be replaced? If so - with what?
  • How would one go about affixing the glass to these splines? I have seen wood putty can reproduce the original 'look'.

As always, many thanks in advance to the wisdom can impart on me :-)

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If the curve is formed by the framing (only) and the glass itself is flat, the realm of "reasonably possible without breaking the bank" is active.

Actual curved glass is typically insanely expensive (if you are not a furniture factory buying a large amount of it) for reasons that are not hard to figure out - each radius of curvature would be a different item to stock, it's harder to store and handle than flat sheets, etc. etc.

I have successfully made intricate shaped cuts in glass using a "grit-edge" hacksaw blade (a round one, specifically - can cut any direction) - there are also a variety of powered wet-grinding tools made for stained glass work, for instance, or you might simply pay someone who does stained glass to make the cuts for you. Score and snap with curved cuts is possible but experience makes the odds much better (thus the stained glass practitioner might have much better luck than the average person. Or know when and where to "cheat" with alternate tools they probably already own.)

If you saved the splines, re-use them - if some did not survive, replace them with similar wood.

I'd probably use ordinary window glazing putty to set the glass - that's what it's made for - it can be painted if you want the color to be similar to the other door.

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  • Yes, the pieces were all FLAT, just placed at angles to make it appear curved. Thanks for confirming my thoughts on the direction I should go :-) – physicsboy Sep 5 '20 at 13:08
  • I've used a table band wet saw with a round grit edge blade for glass. It as great +1 – JACK Sep 5 '20 at 15:09

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