Is it Possible to Cut Tempered Glass?


The Case of the Bookcase Glass

Dear Glass Detective,

I have an old, low-value, deep bookcase/display cabinet that originally had sliding frameless tempered glass doors. Recessed metal tracks are present top and bottom to guide the doors as they slide, one behind the other. I’d like to get replacements, but the glass retailers I’ve encountered don’t seem to work with tempered glass.

I once wanted glass shelves from an old bathroom cabinet cut to be shorter to fit a new cabinet. They claimed it couldn’t be done. I ended up cutting them myself with my wet tile saw. It worked great.

Who might supply me with 24″ x 40″ tempered glass doors with chambered edges? And what might I expect to pay?

Thanks,
Michael
Sharpsburg, GA

On Glass Shops & Cutting Tempered Glass

Michael,

Thank you for making contact with the Glass Detective regarding your need for tempered glass sliding doors for your bookcase/cabinet. You also described a past occurrence regarding a glass need and, based on the information you have provided, I am going to offer a few comments that I hope will be of value to you.

First, I want to state that truly tempered glass cannot be cut. It will explode once the outer surface is breached. So the glass you cut with a wet porcelain tile saw was very likely not tempered.

Secondly, as for your comment that you don’t seem to be able to find a glass dealer that will work with tempered glass, keep looking! A shop that won’t work with tempered glass is probably not one you want to deal with. I’m guessing that maybe you are dealing with a hardware store or perhaps a paint store. I can’t imagine a real glass shop not wanting or being capable of dealing with tempered glass.

The glass you seek should not be all that expensive. If you cannot find a glass shop in your area to assist you, please feel free to send me your zip code and we will help you find one. I hope this information is of value to you and thank you again for contacting Glass.com.

-Glass Detective

The Glass Detective attempts to answer all questions accurately but cannot be held liable for any information provided or omitted.  You should always work with a licensed, insured and reputable glass shop that can assess your specific needs and local building codes and offer professional services. Never attempt to cut, install, or otherwise work with glass yourself. The Glass Detective answers questions on an informational basis only.

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