What glass to use for shadow boxes

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Forum topic by SgtStrong posted 09-09-2013 01:44 PM 2119 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2 posts in 1142 days

09-09-2013 01:44 PM

I will be making a few shadow boxes coming up here in the near future for the first time. What type of glass do I use for the front and where are some good places to buy them at? I am located in New Jersey. There’s a few different sizes I’m going to be making not sure just yet on exact sizes, the size to hold a dress blues coat another for a sledge hammer and another for a USMC NCO sword. Thanks for the help in advance.

4 replies so far

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

3844 posts in 1914 days

#1 posted 09-09-2013 01:54 PM

I’ve always just used single strength 1/8” glass. For things that I want to protect from UV, I’ll get the coat coated to filter UV out. You can get thicker glass if you feel it’s needed, but you often have to beef the overall structure up for the extra weight (depending on size of the pane, of course). If you need an odd shape, what I’ve always done was cut a 1/8” hardboard pattern and take it to the glass shop; which is another key phrase. Go the a glass shop (as opposed to the local hardware) is you want the UV coating, or other special stuff. The hardware store can cut picture frame glass, but most stuff past that is best left to the specialty shops.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View Jimbo4's profile


1420 posts in 2184 days

#2 posted 09-09-2013 02:00 PM

Fred +++ ! (Jimbo, the ex-picture framer)

-- BOVILEXIA: The urge to moo at cows from a moving vehicle.

View hydro's profile


208 posts in 1172 days

#3 posted 09-09-2013 02:42 PM

For a “window” on a shadow box, you can get regular single strength glass. Keep in mind that it is not 1/8” thick, however, and is more like 3/32” at most. I usually just take the project to the hardware store (I do not need any special coating) and have them cut to fit my project. That way any measurement error is on them and I get what I need before paying. If you measure and cut too tight, you cannot trim the glass, and you cannot take it back for a refund.

Thicker glass, like “double strength” (which is closer to 1/8”) is almost impossible to find unless you go the specialty glass shops. Be prepared to spend big $$$$ for a small piece of glass.

-- Minnesota Woodworkers Guild, Past President, Lifetime member.

View AandCstyle's profile


2538 posts in 1678 days

#4 posted 09-09-2013 11:30 PM

I agree with hydro re taking the pieces to the glass shop to have them cut it to the exact size needed. Also, I would suggest buying non-glare glass. It is more expensive, but you want to be able to see what is behind it.

-- Art

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