Where to get glass? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-18-2016, 08:02 PM Thread Starter
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Where to get glass?

So maybe this is a totally newb question but... where can I go to get glass? Ive tried googling it for my local area, but not a whole lot comes up. Is this something that say Home Depot can do? Or do I need to find an official glass shop...? Really never done this sort of thing before! Thanks

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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-18-2016, 08:37 PM
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Home depot glass is generally pretty thin for Windows and such. Find a good glass shop.

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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-18-2016, 08:38 PM
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Glass for what? Around here the big box hardware stores carry glass, but will not cut it for you. I have found some smaller hardware stores that will cut to size for you. You can also check with frame shops, although they may be limited in glass thickness selection.


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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-18-2016, 08:43 PM
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If you're on the handy side, you can ask your LFS if they have any leakers around. I just got 3 10G's that I dismantled with nothing more than a pair of cutting pliers (to cut the plastic trim, a dremel tool is even better) and a few straight razor blades. Cutting the glass itself takes some tools and skills, but if you practice cutting scraps it's not hard at all and emory cloth takes the sharp edges and corners down pretty fast. Before you try to salvage anything, just be sure it isn't tempered.

The glass you'll get at HD is the absolutely thinnest glass manufactured. I wouldn't recommend it for very much.

The expensive way is to go to a glass shop and have them cut to size and thickness.

That's about the only two ways I know of: salvage and cut Vs. glass shop cut to order.

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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-18-2016, 09:24 PM Thread Starter
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oh im sorry, I really should have specified. I intend to build a small shallow tank, roughly about 8x12x14. So I dont need a ton of glass.

Bump: Oh ok, thanks! I am kinda handy, but I am entirely new to glass, so im not sure I would want to attempt cutting yet. Also I do not have an LFS anywhere near me, probaby about 4 hours away is the closest so not something I could just pop into. that being said maybe I will scrap the custom size tank idea, for now anyways.

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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-18-2016, 09:36 PM
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Check craigslist or other classifieds for your area... you'd be surprised how much glass people buy for projects and then just resell at a fraction of cost...
I went to school with the local glass guy's daughter so he does all my cutting for me. Someone with 40 years' experience makes it look like child's play.

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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-18-2016, 09:43 PM
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If you can find a glass shop, it shouldn't be too expensive. I had 3 pieces of 3/16" totaling about 2 square feet cut for me at a local shop for about $15.

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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-26-2016, 01:45 PM
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If you can find a glass shop, it shouldn't be too expensive. I had 3 pieces of 3/16" totaling about 2 square feet cut for me at a local shop for about $15.

-Justin
Glass shops are just all over the place price wise. It's just something you have to shop for. Your 3 pieces would've cost me more than twice that at the one shop that's a reasonable distance from me.

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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-26-2016, 01:47 PM
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Believe it or not, glass is made from liquid sand. You can make glass by heating ordinary sand (which is mostly made of silicon dioxide) until it melts and turns into a liquid.
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-26-2016, 01:59 PM
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Originally Posted by thatphotoguy View Post
So maybe this is a totally newb question but... where can I go to get glass? Ive tried googling it for my local area, but not a whole lot comes up. Is this something that say Home Depot can do? Or do I need to find an official glass shop...? Really never done this sort of thing before! Thanks
Most automotive glass shops will carry the glass you need. Home depot, lowes, and any other hardware store should at the very least carry/sell glass. The home depots near me wont cut it but I've heard lowes does. I'm sure lots of the big box stores that have any sort of hardware section might carry it. Wost case scenario I'm sure there are some shops near Boise or any other city and/or college area. If their not too close to you call them up, tell them where you're located and see if they can suggest another shop to try.


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oh im sorry, I really should have specified. I intend to build a small shallow tank, roughly about 8x12x14. So I dont need a ton of glass.

Bump: Oh ok, thanks! I am kinda handy, but I am entirely new to glass, so im not sure I would want to attempt cutting yet. Also I do not have an LFS anywhere near me, probaby about 4 hours away is the closest so not something I could just pop into. that being said maybe I will scrap the custom size tank idea, for now anyways.
Where in Idaho are you? Is it really that desolate that you cant find any pet store closer than 4 hours away? Seems a bit hard to believe.

But you might need to start thinking outside the box. Keep an eye out for people throwing something away that might contain some glass. Old fish tanks would work, even the windows from your home could work. I'm sure there is an online source that could ship panes of glass to you

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Believe it or not, glass is made from liquid sand. You can make glass by heating ordinary sand (which is mostly made of silicon dioxide) until it melts and turns into a liquid.
While this is true its not exactly something one can accomplish in their own house!

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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-26-2016, 02:04 PM
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Believe it or not, glass is made from liquid sand. You can make glass by heating ordinary sand (which is mostly made of silicon dioxide) until it melts and turns into a liquid.
heh, easier said than done.
First, you'd need a kiln or the like to heat thousands of degrees.
Then, you'd need to blow the glass and cut it to flatten it out.

I have a glass store by me where they fix car windows and install house windows. I'm sure you have a store like that around.


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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-26-2016, 02:08 PM
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You'd be wise not to throw stones in a glass house buddy. Don't underestimate the motivation of your fellow aquarists to engineer their own solutions from scratch. Glass was first created in 4000BC, around the time Amano was first creating Iwagumi's. If it could be done then, it can be easily done now.
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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-26-2016, 02:22 PM
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You might be surprised but glass is really easy to find. Pretty much any window/windshield place will cut to size very economically.

The hardest part is getting them to honor your desired edge finish (if you are, say, building a rimless ADA style tank). Cutting a perfectly square section of glass and then grinding/polishing the edges and hitting tolerance will cost 5-10x more than having a guy score/snap a piece for you.


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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-26-2016, 02:27 PM
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You'd be wise not to throw stones in a glass house buddy. Don't underestimate the motivation of your fellow aquarists to engineer their own solutions from scratch. Glass was first created in 4000BC, around the time Amano was first creating Iwagumi's. If it could be done then, it can be easily done now.
Yeah, I know what you mean. I'm building my own working spaceship right now.
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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-26-2016, 03:58 PM
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Yeah, I know what you mean. I'm building my own working spaceship right now.
Might bit late to the game MG. Meet me around Alpha Centauri.

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