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Suggestions for workbench glass "mat"

I am getting back to model building after a long hiatus. I would like to improve my work area/workbench. Seems that many people use a sheet of glass to work on for painting, cutting, etc. What do you use for that glass? I stopped at Home Depot and saw their replacement glass but it seemed very thin and fragile. Also, it has sharp edges and corners. Is that what you use? If not, please share what you do use as well as where you purchased it.

Regards,
Vince

Comments

  • Vince...check with a local glass company (one which does commercial installs)...a lifetime ago I was in the commercial glass business and for one reason or another I always had tempered glass that I threw in the dumpster (after going thru the tempering process the glass cannot be re-cut)...if I had been asked for a piece I would have been glad to give it away...tempered glass is strong, if broken it does not break in dangerous pieces and the edges are not sharp....

    Terry
  • edited April 1
    Vince...one other thing...if you do end up with a piece of glass from Home Depot, etc...the edges can be 'knocked down' with a piece of emery cloth or even fine sandpaper and the edges/corners will no longer be sharp, however, it still can be broken rather easily.....1/4" or thicker is your best bet....the home depot glass is 3/32 or 1/8"

    Terry
  • Vince, I agree with Terry. Most will give you round plastic risers, so you can slide paper underneath. They will even radius the corners if you like. Even at 1/4 inch or larger DO NOT drop weights on the glass. Or it's back to the glass store.
    ed
  • edited April 1
    Work Area

    I use a piece of 36"x108" x 1/2" thick tempered glass which was from an all glass door I took out of a renovation project...they're more common than you might think...keep you eye open for an existing storefront being renovated

    Terry
  • edited April 1
    Thanks for the suggestions, everyone. I didn't even realize there was such a thing as a "glass company." Now I know there are a couple in my town. I'll make some calls tomorrow and see what I can come up with.

    Cheers,
    Vince
  • Glass top from an old coffee table inset into the desk. Thick, tempered, beveled, free.

    001

    Check at local "junk/thrift" stores .

    Karl.A
  • Thanks, Karl. Definitely a great idea. In fact, in another forum someone suggested going to Goodwill to look for glass shelving/furniture. So, I wandered over there yesterday just on a flyer. Sure enough, I found an old coffee table with a glass top, about 22" x 30" or so. Five dollars later, I'm in fat city. Ready to go to work.

    Vince
  • Not large but look for free/cheap printer/copiers. nice thick glass, I believe tempered. Plus all the bits and pieces leftover from disassembling.
  • i got lucky. my wife had a 22" x 46" x 1/4" glass slab in the basement gathering dust, so i was able to co-opt it for my workbench. worked out good. now it collects dust in a horizontal position....
  • Dust that sucker off and get back to it !!
  • i've been kinda busy...

    partscaster
  • I use a glass cutting board from a big box store. It's 12x15 so just big enough. It is textured on one side and smooth on the other. Use the smooth side and remove the rubber feet.
  • I bought a box of these for portable work:

    https://www.amazon.com/Econoco-Tempered-Glass-Cubbies-Pack/dp/B00TAZ7QGC#customerReviews

    I set one on a piece of white paper and I've got a palette for working chalks/alcohol or paint. I have a heavier piece of glass for building stuff - cutting and setting weights on.
  • Tempered glass in not absolutely flat. I use normal glass. I go to a glass company and have them cut two 1/8" thick glass sheets than laminate them together with a protective sheet in between the layers. That way if you do break the glass it stays in one piece instead of shattering all over your workshop.
  • Jerryrgs said:

    Tempered glass in not absolutely flat. I use normal glass. I go to a glass company and have them cut two 1/8" thick glass sheets than laminate them together with a protective sheet in between the layers. That way if you do break the glass it stays in one piece instead of shattering all over your workshop.

    Kinda like windshields. Good idea. Thx.

    Vince
  • I may be wrong about this but I've always recalled someone saying that the flattest glass is what is referred to as "float glass". As I understand it this is a plate glass that in its molten state is poured out onto a surface of molten metal, yielding uniform thickness and a very flat surface. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Float_glass Any decent glass repair shop should be able to help with this I would assume. I would also guess that most sheets of glass used for table tops, shower stalls, etc. would be float glass; can't say about the tempering aspect.
  • When I rebuilt my hot rod woody, I needed new glass for the sides. I got an auto glass shop to cut them as they are just flat rectangular pieces.I use one of the old pieces for my worktop. It seems to be very flat. You might be able to get a scrap piece from there.
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