Cutting Glass - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-19-2017, 09:02 PM Thread Starter
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Cutting Glass

I accidentally broke half of my glass aquarium top and I was looking for a replacement from amazon. Unfortunately aqueon sent me a 16" top instead of the 20" I need for my top so I might not try that route again. Does anybody have experience buying a 20" sheet of glass from a hardware store and cutting it to size? Is there a significant learning curve where I would create unsafe edges or break more glass than it's worth?
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-19-2017, 09:13 PM
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If you cut a nice straight and deep line it should break pretty easy. Sand to take off the sharp edge. Or go to Lowes...maybe Home Depot too...they cut glass and I'd assume they have or can get something 20". At least if they mess up the waste is on them.


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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-19-2017, 10:17 PM
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Hi @JusticeBeaver,

You are not alone, I broke 1/2 a glass top on one side of my 75 gallon. Apparently the Aqueon Glass Tops are tempered not normal glass. I went to one of the better glass shops in town with the remains of the top, and the back half so they could determine the dimensions of the broken piece as well as the thickness. It took them about 20 minutes to cut and smooth the edges on the replacement piece and if I remember correctly less than $15.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-19-2017, 10:57 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nubster View Post
If you cut a nice straight and deep line it should break pretty easy. Sand to take off the sharp edge. Or go to Lowes...maybe Home Depot too...they cut glass and I'd assume they have or can get something 20". At least if they mess up the waste is on them.
Unfortunately I'm in the middle of nowhere and my home depot is full of pretty incompetent people. Maybe I'll try the lowes near my family's place when I visit over Christmas. It'd be nice to add glass cutting to my list of skills though since I have some ideas for frag style freshwater tanks.

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Originally Posted by Seattle_Aquarist View Post
Hi @JusticeBeaver,

You are not alone, I broke 1/2 a glass top on one side of my 75 gallon. Apparently the Aqueon Glass Tops are tempered not normal glass. I went to one of the better glass shops in town with the remains of the top, and the back half so they could determine the dimensions of the broken piece as well as the thickness. It took them about 20 minutes to cut and smooth the edges on the replacement piece and if I remember correctly less than $15.
Good to know that option exists. I've emailed a couple of places but they mainly do large glass pieces for cars and homes so I don't know if they'll take the time for a small cut. It's not a huge deal since nothing in my tank has tried to escape yet but I want to slow the evaporation rate.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-19-2017, 11:13 PM
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Amazon is usually pretty good about making things right if they send you the wrong product, they might swap it for you. I've also had success purchasing from Drs. Foster & Smith. I really like the Marineland Perfecto glass tops they sell.
Edit: just checked my email and they're having a flash sale today- 20% off + free shipping with no minimum order

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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-19-2017, 11:43 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
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Amazon is usually pretty good about making things right if they send you the wrong product, they might swap it for you. I've also had success purchasing from Drs. Foster & Smith. I really like the Marineland Perfecto glass tops they sell.
Edit: just checked my email and they're having a flash sale today- 20% off + free shipping with no minimum order
Yeah, I'm returning it. The problem is that the aqueon 20" tops and 16" tops are packaged in the same box, and the only way to tell the difference is that there is a checkmark next to the size. So I don't have great confidence in a warehouse worker realizing the difference.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-20-2017, 01:50 AM
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Quote:
Good to know that option exists. I've emailed a couple of places but they mainly do large glass pieces for cars and homes so I don't know if they'll take the time for a small cut.
Try a custom picture frame shop they cut glass frequently and frequently do small and large cuts. No idea what they would charge
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-21-2017, 10:21 PM
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Try a window shop. People get single panes all the tine for small windows, like in bathroons, or to replace individual frames in old custom windows.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-22-2017, 12:11 AM
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I like how a post in DIY asking about cutting glass has received only one comment about actually cutting glass while all of them because say to go to a store and get a piece cut.

I've used a Dremel tool to cut wine bottles for a project for my wife. One of my Christmas break projects is to cut up an old mirror for my wife. I may attempt the Dremel again, but I did order an inexpensive glass cutter with some oil to try my hand at it the somewhat proper way. I'll let you know how it goes

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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-22-2017, 12:43 AM
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It takes practice to use the regular cheep glass cutter. It is not as easy as it would appear. I tried it years ago but ended up having a shop do it. Never tried a dremel.
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-22-2017, 01:14 AM Thread Starter
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I talked to a local shop and they had to special order the glass and it'll cost $75 which is nowhere near worth it lol. I might just try amazon again to get the pieces I need. I wanted to see if it was easy enough since this probably isn't the last time I accidentally sit on something and break it.
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-22-2017, 02:55 AM
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You could always get some Lexan and make the lid from that. I'd avoid acrylic as it will warp and sag. Lexan won't.


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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-22-2017, 03:06 AM
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You should have no problem at all getting a piece of glass cut from any glass shop and Im sure it will be cheaper than buying these other materials. I have had glass cut for counter tops, desks, night stands, and even fish tanks at multiple places without issue. Call before you go making purchases, you may be pleasantly surprised. 75 dollars is highway robbery. I got my coffee table glass top cut and polished 1/4"x 24"x 36" for 35 dollars. Call around. There are powder coating shops out here that sandblast, most charge around 60/hr, one charges 160/hr... call around.
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-23-2017, 10:47 PM
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If you cut it yourself lay the glass on something completely flat. I doesn't hurt if it's slightly cushioned. You need oil. If your glass cutter doesn't have a reservoir lube the cutting wheel with a small amount of mineral oil. Hold the cutter like a pencil in your hand and pull it in one motion along the length of the cut. You should have a firm but light pressure that sound like a sheet of paper ripping as you score the glass. Tap along the score with the ball end of the cutter until it cracks and separates. You can carefully smooth the edge with a sanding block.....or return it and get the proper size.
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