How do I install glass.

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Forum topic by Mark posted 01-14-2013 11:36 PM 1041 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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971 posts in 2173 days

01-14-2013 11:36 PM

Afternoon all. I’m making 2 doors 15 X 24” tall. I plan to rabbet the back of each door 1/2 X 1/2” to accept a piece of decorative frosted glass 1/4” thick. What would you think would be a good way to secure the glass. I was thinking of using 4- 1/4 X 1/4” pieces of maple inside the back, up against the glass and the rabbet. ???

-- Mark

12 replies so far

View darinS's profile


713 posts in 3065 days

#1 posted 01-14-2013 11:43 PM

The 1/4×1/4 maple would work, but how difficult would it be to remove them to replace the glass should that need to be done? At a possibility, could you only do a 1/4” rabbet and then use glaziers points to hold the glass in? I think those might be a little easier to remove if need be.

Wait a little bit and I’m sure someone else will come along with a better idea. That’s the beauty of this place.

-- They say many people die because of alcohol. They never realized how many of them are born because of it.

View 1thumb's profile


89 posts in 2355 days

#2 posted 01-14-2013 11:46 PM

deeper rabbet, sticking around all 4 sides. a small bead of clear caulk first so you won’t get any rattle, leaned that the hard way

View patron's profile


13640 posts in 3539 days

#3 posted 01-14-2013 11:47 PM

or just rabbet them to 1/4” deep
and put some flat trim on them
so you can change the glass if necessary later

if you do as you said
that would be fine too
it is just hard to remove pinned stops
if the corners are mitered
not hard if they are butt joineted

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View William's profile


9950 posts in 3040 days

#4 posted 01-14-2013 11:49 PM

There is a vaiety of ways to do it.
Visit the glass section of most hardware stores and you’ll find these little triangle things with point (don’t know the proper name for them) that you use a screwdriver or putty knife to push down into the wood and holds the glass in.
There are the plastic keeper things (nope, no proper name there either) that can be screw in with screws that run through the middle of them.
There is glaze that you put on like caulk that hardens and holds the glass in.

Myself, for small doors like this, I usually just rip thin strips to go behind the glass. I make it small enough that it is hardly visible, if at all. Then I tack it in using a 23 GA pin nailer. I never use glue. You never know when you may have to replace the glass or something. Sometimes, if using plexiglass, I have glued it because I’m a little more confident that I won’t be replacing the plexiglass.
Oh, wear safety glasses when doing all this. I’ve never had any issues before, but all it would take is one mistake and that 23 GA pin I’m sure could shatter the glass.


View William's profile


9950 posts in 3040 days

#5 posted 01-14-2013 11:53 PM

Just noticed David’s suggestion.
No, I would never miter the corners of the strips I use.
As David said, that may make them more difficult to remove in the future should the need arise.
Actually, since I make them invisible as possible, I leave about a quarter inch gap between the four pieces. That gives me something to get a pry bar under if I need to remove them.

Interestingly, I’ve only had to replace one piece of glass that I’ve ever installed. The funny thing is, I broke it before it ever left out of my shop area. I was walking by the piece putting tools away and dropped a sander, which bounced off my leg and went right through the glass.


View huff's profile


2828 posts in 3483 days

#6 posted 01-15-2013 03:00 AM


I’ve done a lot of glass door panels using nothing more than a nice even bead of clear silicone around the glass once it’s set in the door frame. Let it dry over night and it’s good to go. The glass company I used to buy all my decorative glass from showed me and that’s how they did most cabinet door glass. Makes a nice neat way to hold the glass and almost disappears when it dries.

I never had a piece come loose, fall out or rattle. If you have to ever replace the glass you can cut along the silicone and remove.

-- John @

View Dark_Lightning's profile


3340 posts in 3307 days

#7 posted 01-15-2013 03:22 AM

You can use caulk to hold foundation vent screens in, as well. That stuff is pretty doggone sticky and strong. Don’t see why it work here, as recommended.

-- Random Orbital Nailer

View Mark's profile


971 posts in 2173 days

#8 posted 01-15-2013 07:22 PM

Thank you for the response gents.

-- Mark

View Earlextech's profile


1162 posts in 2889 days

#9 posted 01-15-2013 08:10 PM

Clear caulk, dissappears and is easy to remove if needed and eliminates the rattle.

-- Sam Hamory - The project is never finished until its "Finished"!

View pintodeluxe's profile


5798 posts in 3011 days

#10 posted 01-15-2013 08:34 PM

Rabbet the back, and install glass stops. Glass stops are nothing more than wood strips that can be square or profiled. Remember to predrill holes, and nail them in place with finish nails. Caulking is optional for interior applications, but a dab or two will prevent rattles.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View Mark Smith's profile

Mark Smith

509 posts in 2238 days

#11 posted 01-15-2013 09:05 PM

Learned something today. I always thought a rabbet in wood was spelled the same was as rabbit the animal. Thanks to this thread I learned I’ve been spelling it incorrectly all these years. But then again I probably haven’t written the word very often is all these years either.

View Mark's profile


971 posts in 2173 days

#12 posted 01-16-2013 04:35 AM

Thanks again gents. The tip about pre drilling the holes Pinto. I was wondering how I was going to put brads into hard wood. The information that goes back and forth on this site boggles the old coconut.

Every body take a bow!

-- Mark

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