I am trying to find (or create) a 48 high x 24 wide panel of "frosted" glass for a door. Since it is in a door, tempered glass or other shatter resistant glass should be used. Most stores recommend sandblasting the glass to give a very even texture. A 3/16 tempered sandblasted sheet is about $80 to $100.
I have seen a lot of commercial installations with a frosting film -- cut in patterns or the logo of the store. Is this an option that I can do myself? And would it be significantly less expensive?
Thanks for any help.
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Matthew Eash
It's been my experience that 1/4" actually costs less than the 3/16" plate, because of the volume that most places buy in. You could also look into laminated instead of tempered. If you need it in a hurry, the lami is easier to get than the tempered because you don't have to wait a couple of days for the tempered to be, well, tempered. If you don't know the difference between lami and tempered, think of your car windows, The side windows are tempered, the windshield is laminated. Tempered will crumble into a zillion pieces, lami will break but the plastic film in the middle will hold the sheet "together". I pay about the same for tempered vs. lami, the only problem is that I usually can't get the etched logo to identify the glass as "safety" on the lami.
Sign shops should have the frosted film. It's a self adhesive material, not like tinting film that is put on "wet", this stuff is sticky and has a release paper on the sticky side. It's made to go through a plotter cutter to make the logos, etc.
I don't know much about sandblasting glass...but it would seem to me that you'd have to temper the glass after you sandblast it? Sandblasting already tempered glass would put a lot of stress on the surface and I'd think it would crumble?
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I guess that depends on how good your protective clothing and face mask is. :>) Wouldn't catch ME trying that.
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not to try it 10 years before by someone who knows 'half' the facts. The facts is: I etch using shading methods "up to" a solid frost on 1/4" tempered without ever having a problem. No carving! One time only, early 70's, after being told I couldn't sandblast on tempered, I tried it, and nothing adverse happened, so I 'bored into" the glass a bit, maybe 1/8" deep ... and nothing happened. This was on a test piece about 16x20". I took it into the studio and set it down and about 20 minutes later it blew into bits. I was still finding some bits years later too. So there you have it. Surface etching only! NO carving!! Works fine.
That plastic etch-looking vinyl from the sign shops looks pretty good too, especially for signs or privacy use .... not for artwork. It lasts several years in UV exposed windows before replacement becomes necessary
Some people do deep carving on thick float glass and then have it tempered. I have not yet been willing to risk my work efforts to try that route, and I probably never will, since I'm only doing about one etching project a year anymore, in favor of more interesting forms of glass work.
cheers, Jacques Bordeleau
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I share studio space with an accomplished carver. He said that frosting is no problem. he named some percentage that you can safely go in and it was quite a bit.
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Hey Matthew...
You can sandblast the glass or an even simpler idea is to order a piece of 'Pattern 62' tempered from a glass co.. It is the same glass they use in bath windows over showers etc..
You can also use the film you are talking about. Its faux sandblasting.. Doesn't look all that great IMHO but to each their own.. I have a roll here in a closet somewhere.. You should be able to find it at most sign making shops..
Reply to
Byron Wells
Hey Matthew, get your glass and then go to your local Home Depot, or a large craft store and once there you can purchase, acid for etching glass or glass spray paint or static cling stuff for glass, there are many products in both arenas. P.S. there is also spray on frosting for glass (many colours too) and all at a lot less than $100.00. Good Luck
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There is a new product on the market (here in Australia anyway) called Metalux It is an acid etched mass produced float glass that can be toughened with no loss in surface texture. (Looks just like sandblasting, if not better). Comes in 4,6, and 8mm.
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Glass Suppliers
UNFORTUNATELY, "frosted glass" in regard to replacement windows can mean "filmed-over" glass.
This is to inform home owners interested in purchasing replacement home windows about one couple's experience with a Northern Virginia firm, CONSUMER CONSTRUCTION, INC.
In June 1999, Consumer Construction, Inc., Woodbridge, VA 22191, 703-491-0745,
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, furnished andinstalled 13 ea. replacement vinyl windows, Carefree brand, with Low Eglass and argon gas. Cost: $4,200.Initially my wife Robin and I were generally pleased with the product,however one double-hung unit toally filmed over within three years onthe inner (sealed) surfaces. Those surfaces cannot be cleaned. We left several phone messages with Consumer Construction, Inc. (hereinafter called the "company') but received no response. In June 2004, we sent the company an e-mail mesage via its e-mail response line. A male from the company phoned and agreed to inspect the window, but never showed up.
We subsequently contacted the Better Business Bureau (BBB) of Greater Washington, D.C. (202-393-8000,
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, which made contact with the company. A company representative came to our house in May 2005, and found that nine (9) windows had some degree of filming due he said to "inner moisture."
The company agreed to contact the manufacturer to obtain an on-site inspection, but a few weeks later, it was determined by the company that the manufacturer of Carefree brand windows had gone bankrupt and out of business. The company subsequently told us that it, therefore, would not replace at no cost any of the filmed windows, since the manufacturer was no longer in business. "I am at a dead end," we were told by the company manager, Mr. Mitchell.
We went back to the BBB with this information; the BBB agreed to try to arrange for arbitration of our case, but were met with silence on the matter. The case remains in an unresolved category.
To summarize my wife's and my position, we believe that, at a minimum, Consumer Construction, Inc. should be willing to replace at no cost the two windows that are completely filmed over, especially since the company's own inspector remarked, "You don't need blinds for these [filmed windows]."
Consumer Construction's position is unacceptable to us, as customers, and we believe it fails to meet standards of responsible business practice as well. Consumer Construction SOLD us windows that failed; THEY bear primary responsibility for resolving this case to our satisfaction. The company's position is like a food market telling a customer to go to the farmer who raised the steer from which a spoiled cut of meat was originally obtained!
(It would be interesting to know how many of the company's other customers have incurred problems such as ours.)
Ken Spalding Dale City, VA
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I just know I am going to regret posting this, but hell, I'm like that.
DO you realize how much you are talking about? Have you had a local glass company come out and give you an estimate to replace the two panes? You did know they can do that, without tearing out the whole window?
I am in no way excusing, or taking the side of the seller in this matter, for them to act as they have done is totally off the wall.
Having gotten past that, and to cure your problem, call your local glass company, then sue the bastards for expense... they have insurance and money set aside to settle this kind of problem, but they aren't going to tell you that.
This is an easily cured situation. I would rather deal with the solution than the cause.
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Probably another case of going with the low bidder.
Sometimes you are the dog, sometimes you are the tree.
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