Securing glass - glue? what kind

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Forum topic by Marvelicous posted 08-28-2007 11:34 PM 2195 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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7 posts in 3956 days

08-28-2007 11:34 PM

Hi, I’m new here, but I’ve spent a couple days looking around and haven’t found an answer yet, so I figured I might as well introduce myself and ask at the same time.

First an introduction: I’m a union boilermaker by trade, so I’m used to working with metal. On one hand metal is usually hot and or sharp and you wind up with burns and cuts all over – on the other hand, if your fit isn’t perfect, you can always weld gaps. I’ve been building fairly simple furniture around the house as I decide I need it, or to replace cheapo laminate crap. I’ve done a few bookshelves, my bed frame, and an entertainment center, and every project looks a little better – probably because every time I start one, I pick up another tool that I decide I can’t live without anymore.

Now to my current project and my current dilemma: I’m building a coffe-table / humidor. My problem is that I want a tempered glass top for the center section that will be the humidor, and I’m having trouble deciding how to attach the glass. Basically it will be a 12×12 square inside a miter joint frame made of 1×4’s cut down to 3” so the whole thing is 18×18 if you follow. I thought about cutting a groove into the inside of the boards to trap the glass, but a: I don’t want the glass siting below the flush with the wood (I don’t want spills having no place to go but into my humidor!) and b: on the chance of breakage, I don’t want to have to tear apart and rebuild the whole frame, just replace the glass. So what I want to do is router a mortise into the inside edge of the 1×4’s to allow the glass to sit flush, and glue the glass in.

The actual question – what kind of glue, (looks are kind of important, becasue the glue joint will be visible through the glass) or does anyone have any better ideas?

Pardon my long winded question, but I wanted to cover the bases I’ve already been over.

-- Send whiskey and fresh horses...

7 replies so far

View bryano's profile


546 posts in 3961 days

#1 posted 08-29-2007 01:18 AM

Hi Marve. My wife dose stained glass work and uses a product called E6000, it dries clear and bonds to wood. You con pick some up at walmart in the craft section

hope this helps.


-- bryano

View Marvelicous's profile


7 posts in 3956 days

#2 posted 08-29-2007 01:49 AM

Nice, looks like it will work well. Also looks like stained glass has come a long way since my mom used to do it old-school lead and solder style. Thanks for the help.

-- Send whiskey and fresh horses...

View Mark A. DeCou's profile

Mark A. DeCou

2009 posts in 4433 days

#3 posted 08-29-2007 02:59 PM

I’ve used just silicone caulking for years. It is a mess to clean up, so I cut a very small hole in the tube tip, but it has held glass in for years for me. Although I would not recommend it for a piece of glass that gravity will pull out of a frame, such as your top. For those cases, I recommend a wood strip around the edge that is tacked with brass nails. My current preference for glass is to put about four dots of silicone on the glass and then use the wood strips. The silicone is just enough to keep the glass from rattling, but not so much the glass can’t be pulled back out. The wood strips just look better to me than having the glass edge show with glue on it.

Here is a coffee table I did with 1/4” glass, the beveled edge provided the lip I needed to make the glass flush with the top of the wood frame.

Also, I don’t feel that you need tempered glass if you use 1/4” thick glass, especially for the small size of glass you are using.

This is a scanned image of my planning book sketch. I did not put the screw in the position the sketch shows it. I put the screw into the horizontal position, so that it went into the frame edge, not up, as the sketch shows.

-- Mark DeCou - American Contemporary Craft Artisan -

View Dan Lyke's profile

Dan Lyke

1520 posts in 4153 days

#4 posted 08-29-2007 04:26 PM

Unless this top is also going to be hinged, all of the pieces I’ve seen with inset glass tops have just used gravity to keep the glass there.

Doesn’t help you on your issues of keeping spills out of the humidor, though. Might want to build some extra drain channels on the rabbet you inset the glass into just to make sure the liquid has somewhere else to go.

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California,

View Marvelicous's profile


7 posts in 3956 days

#5 posted 08-29-2007 10:25 PM

Yeah, the top will be hinged, and that bevel just looks like an invitation for a humidor full of beer soaked stogies! I do like the drain channel idea, maybe just a 1/8” hole at each corner going to the bottom of the outside edge would be cheap insurance!

-- Send whiskey and fresh horses...

View Dadoo's profile


1789 posts in 4018 days

#6 posted 08-30-2007 01:43 PM

I was drifting about the local Lowes store the other day and checked out how the high-end (high-dollar) cabinet makers place their glass panels…They cut a rabit in the back and glue the glass panel in place with clear silicone. Expansion/contraction will be absorbed by the flexibility of the silicon and beer spills won’t pass the seal.

-- Bob Vila would be so proud of you!

View snowdog's profile


1164 posts in 4010 days

#7 posted 08-30-2007 04:21 PM

I was in the middle of a project (kitchen pantry) and had the same question. I’ll post it when I finish the pull out draws, hopefully before the end of the year or my wife will cut off a part of me that I am very attached to <laugh>

Thanks all
silicon it is

-- "so much to learn and so little time"..

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