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Old 11-23-2010, 04:31 PM
Stealth Potato Stealth Potato is offline
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Can you file tempered glass without shattering it? (Need answer fast!)

I'm helping my dad with his wood stove right now -- the problem is that the glass window on the front of it cracked recently. The whole thing is still held in place by the frame, but it's fragmented into a handful of large radial shards. Here is a photo.

He actually just bought a replacement window, but it turns out that you can't install it without first removing the handle, and the bolt/lock assembly securing the handle is cemented in place by twenty years of ash. So we're probably going to have to cut the handle off with a hacksaw and replace it with a new one, which means that the glass replacement will have to wait on at least one more trip into town to the stove store.

But in the interim, my dad was thinking that a stopgap solution might be to insert a very small bolt and a couple of washers into the center of the crack, to hold the glass in place and prevent airflow. But the gap at the center of the fragments isn't really large enough to insert a bolt, and he's worried that trying to file or chip the tempered glass might just shatter it, which would make the stove unusable -- and as temperatures are expected to get down to -5 degrees Fahrenheit tonight, that's not really an option.

So what's the straight dope? Will a file work, or is there some other way to temporarily secure this glass without breaking it?
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  #2  
Old 11-23-2010, 04:38 PM
beowulff beowulff is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stealth Potato View Post
I'm helping my dad with his wood stove right now -- the problem is that the glass window on the front of it cracked recently. The whole thing is still held in place by the frame, but it's fragmented into a handful of large radial shards. Here is a photo.

He actually just bought a replacement window, but it turns out that you can't install it without first removing the handle, and the bolt/lock assembly securing the handle is cemented in place by twenty years of ash. So we're probably going to have to cut the handle off with a hacksaw and replace it with a new one, which means that the glass replacement will have to wait on at least one more trip into town to the stove store.

But in the interim, my dad was thinking that a stopgap solution might be to insert a very small bolt and a couple of washers into the center of the crack, to hold the glass in place and prevent airflow. But the gap at the center of the fragments isn't really large enough to insert a bolt, and he's worried that trying to file or chip the tempered glass might just shatter it, which would make the stove unusable -- and as temperatures are expected to get down to -5 degrees Fahrenheit tonight, that's not really an option.

So what's the straight dope? Will a file work, or is there some other way to temporarily secure this glass without breaking it?
That's not tempered glass.
If it was, it would have shattered into a zillion little squares.
File away.
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Old 11-23-2010, 05:09 PM
Stealth Potato Stealth Potato is offline
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Hm, yeah, now that I'm looking into what "tempered glass" actually is, I see that that's not what's used here. But is there any kind of special glass used in wood stove windows, and would it have any properties that would make trying to cut or file it inadvisable?

I mean, I assume it's not just ordinary glass, considering how much they charge for one little chunk of it.
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Old 11-23-2010, 07:03 PM
beowulff beowulff is offline
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Originally Posted by Stealth Potato View Post
Hm, yeah, now that I'm looking into what "tempered glass" actually is, I see that that's not what's used here. But is there any kind of special glass used in wood stove windows, and would it have any properties that would make trying to cut or file it inadvisable?

I mean, I assume it's not just ordinary glass, considering how much they charge for one little chunk of it.
It may be heat-resistant, but I don't think that filing it is going to cause it to shatter. But, you may find that a file isn't the right tool - I would use a drill and a grinding wheel.
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Old 11-23-2010, 07:37 PM
Dallas Jones Dallas Jones is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stealth Potato View Post
Hm, yeah, now that I'm looking into what "tempered glass" actually is, I see that that's not what's used here. But is there any kind of special glass used in wood stove windows, and would it have any properties that would make trying to cut or file it inadvisable?

I mean, I assume it's not just ordinary glass, considering how much they charge for one little chunk of it.
It may not even be actual glass at all. When you go to the the glass shop or buy a replacement at a stove store you are going to get something called NeoCeram. It's more of a clear ceramic than glass.

And it is expensive, at least $50 per square foot. Probably more by now, I managed a glass shop a few years ago. You are going to want to take the door off and bring it with you to order a replacement.

Our shop got to where we would not work on them because taking the bolts out always resulted in the bolts breaking off, as you say, cemented into place by 20 years of use. Almost every one we tried twisted the bolts right off and people get pissed.

Sucks, I kow, but I just wanted to let you know of the problems. Here is a typical vendors site, picked only so you can say "Damn! 200 bucks!"

I wish you luck.

http://woodheatstoves.com/wood-gas-o...t-p-12832.html
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Old 11-23-2010, 07:55 PM
Dallas Jones Dallas Jones is offline
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Sorry, I missed the part about already having the replacement glass.
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Old 11-24-2010, 12:26 PM
Stealth Potato Stealth Potato is offline
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Welp, the quick fix worked -- thanks for the advice, guys!

And yeah, it doesn't look like there's much chance of getting the handle off without breaking it; but at least the stove is usable until we pick up a new handle.
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Old 11-24-2010, 02:11 PM
The Great Sun Jester The Great Sun Jester is offline
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So...


CAN you file tempered glass without shattering it?
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