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What Are the Best Tips for Gluing Glass?

It can be difficult to glue glass because of its non-porous nature.
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  • Written By: Megan Shoop
  • Edited By: Michelle Arevalo
  • Last Modified Date: 25 October 2014
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Whether faced with repairing broken glass or trying to construct a container from glass panels, gluing glass to glass is not typically an easy task. Glass is generally non-porous, meaning it has a very smooth surface. Even glues that appear to adhere to glass may, after a short period, peel away and cause the glued item to fall apart. A few tips to keep this from happening include cleaning the pieces thoroughly, choosing the correct glue, and supporting the piece properly as it dries.

Cleaning the glass pieces is typically one of the most important steps in gluing glass together. This may be slightly dangerous or difficult if one is gluing together broken pieces, but it isn’t impossible. With broken glass, one should wear close-fitting leather gloves. Leather is generally tougher than rubber and well-fitted gloves should provide enough dexterity to handle the pieces easily. Those working with large, unbroken panels may still want to wear gloves to protect their hands from glue or minor cuts from unfinished corners.

Proper cleaning before gluing glass together usually involves wiping the pieces down with glass cleaner and a soft cloth, or with alcohol wipes. This is especially important for the areas to be glued. Oil, dust, and dirt clinging to the glass may prevent the glue from sticking to the glass itself and create a weak joint. Fortunately, a gentle swipe with a cleansing cloth usually remedies this problem.

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The second tip to gluing glass involves choosing the correct glue. White school glue and hot glue are poor choices because they are generally designed to hold porous objects together. Aquarium cement, E6000 adhesive, and thin, clear industrial glues are generally the types of adhesives one should look through. Broken glass often looks better when repaired with E6000 or clear adhesives. Large projects that must be watertight, like glass planters or homemade aquariums, usually hold together well with aquarium cement.

Most glues require a curing time, and this is especially true when gluing glass. One should generally focus on gluing glass together just a few pieces at a time, allowing these smaller pieces to cure and then joining together the resulting larger pieces. Painters tape and supports in the form of sand or small blocks of wood can reinforce the glued joints and help the pieces keep their shape. The glued joints of large containers may also benefit from painters tape and corner clamps padded with soft cloths. Cloths under the flat parts of the clamps protect the glass from scratches.

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Spotiche5
Post 3

@rundocuri- Aquarium cement takes a little time to dry. Typically, 24 to 48 hours are needed to create a secure bond. I would recommend waiting at least a week before you fill your repaired aquarium with water, just to be on the safe side.

You should also keep in mind that since the bond that aquarium cement creates doesn't happen immediately, you may need to use a clamp to keep your broken pieces together until they dry. Make sure to have all of the materials that you will need handy before you start this repair project so you won't have to interrupt the drying process once you place the cement on each section of your aquarium glass.

Rundocuri
Post 2

Does aquarium cement dry quickly? I have an old aquarium that is cracked, and I want to fix it. Since I've never used this type of glue, I want to know what to expect when I attempt this glass repair.

Talentryto
Post 1

I work with glass a lot, and have found that epoxy glues work very well when it comes to gluing it. Since this type of glue dries quickly and holds firmly, it usually works pretty well with all types and sizes of glass objects.

Epoxy glue typically comes in two different tubes that must be mixed together to activate the bonding agents in it. Once mixed, it must be used right away because it will dry quickly. This is another benefit of using this type of glue for glass objects, because they hold better when it doesn't take long for the glue you use to set firmly in place.

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