DIY Mirror Reflector - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-01-2004, 12:58 AM Thread Starter
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DIY Mirror Reflector

Hello!

I was going to be using extra mirror that I have for a reflector but it would deffinatly need to be cut to size. The glass is 7mm thick and all I have to cut it with is a 3 dollar glass cutter with a diamond wheel. My questions is whether or not this will be too thick to cut with the cutter that I have. I have cut thin glass before so I know how to do it already. Thanks for the help!!!

Kevin
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-01-2004, 01:08 AM
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Mirrors do not make the best reflectors, I don't know the specifics, but light is lost because it has to pass through the mirrors glass.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-01-2004, 01:13 AM
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I've cut 1/4" (6mm) glass with a standard glass cutter. Just lubricate the cut line with some mineral spirits (or paint thinner). You'll probably need to make several scoring passes before it'll snap cleanly.

But, cutting issues aside, using a glass mirror isn't a good choice for use as a reflector since the mirror coating is on the back side of the glass. This will cause a lot of light to be reflected within the glass itself as the light is bounced back to the mirror from the front surface of the glass. That's why all the reflectors use first surface mirrors like polished aluminum.

—Bill

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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-01-2004, 02:28 AM Thread Starter
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Ok thanks, I see what you are saying. It is nice to know that I can cut glass that's that thick though!

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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-01-2004, 05:09 AM
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Regarding the cutting, it depends. If you cut a big piece in half, no problem. If you need to cut a little bit of a little piece, problem. In simple terms...

I am using mirror tiles for reflectors, and their reflection properties compare very well with any other reflector material I know. Problem is the weight... I think that is another reason why polished alu is used instead of thin mirrors. Of course, alu doesn't break either...


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