Replacing Glass in Cabinet Door


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Old 02-06-24, 08:16 PM
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Replacing Glass in Cabinet Door

Dear Internet:

So this is probably a really stupid question, but I tend to do stupid things.

I need to replace the glass in a cabinet door. It's held in by a few small finishing nails, tapped perpendicularly into the wood.

Is there a neat trick to getting those nails out... And, more importantly, a neat trick to tapping them back in without breaking the glass??!??!?!??!?

Thanks


 
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Old 02-07-24, 04:48 AM
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Well, that's not the usual way to secure the glass. Normally the brads would be driven into the small cove trim piece; to remove, you would slide a putty knife under the trim and gently pry it off. I suspect it's been repaired previously.

To answer the question, I would carefully pull them out with needle-nose pliers. Put then back by holding with the pliers and carefully tapping them back in with a tack hammer (very small head). If you want to improve the appearance, drill small pilot holes into the cove trim strips and tap the nails carefully into those, then fill the old holes with a color-matching filler putty stick.
 
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Old 02-07-24, 04:56 AM
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Thanks. That's about what I figured. "Careful" in effort doesn't always translate into execution success!

The broken piece slid out fairly easily, but the nails were a ***** to get out - the head is really tiny compared to the shank. And it's right up against the glass, so even my most delicate pliers are banging against it. Ugh!

I don't know if it's original glass but it's definitely that old-timey glass that isn't quite smooth (if that makes sense). Do they still make glass like that or is it all plate?
 
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Old 02-07-24, 10:08 AM
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There are special plier-like tools that sqeeeze the nails into the wood with pressure from the outside edge and the nail head. No hammering involved.

If you have channel lock plier that opens wide enough you could use that. Use a thin piece of wood or a thick piece of cardboard to protect the wood while squeezing.

Also look up "picture framing brad setter".
 
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Old 02-07-24, 07:06 PM
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There are special plier-like tools that sqeeeze the nails into the wood with pressure from the outside edge and the nail head. No hammering involved.
Thanks for the suggestion.

Just as a practical matter, here's how that will play out. A drama in three acts, if you will.

Me: I'm not going to drop seventy-five dollars on a tool I will use ONCE. No way, uh uh, no how.

Me, a week later: Here I am with my tiny little tack hammer and my six nails. Let me carefully, oh-so-carefully, slide a small piece of cardboard in and taptaptap this first nail in. Wow, that was great. Ha ha! I saved seventy-five bucks! Let me carefully, oh-so-carefully, slide the cardboard here taptaptaptap this second nail in. Nice! Okay, three more... taptaptap. Phew. Man, that cardboard is a pain, I think I can just Tap. 5h!t.

Me, two hours later: "Hello, glass shop? Can I have another eighty-dollar piece of glass?" Honey, do you have that link for the seventy-five dollar tool I need to order?
 
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Old 02-08-24, 06:56 AM
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It happens!
Short story I may have related previously.
Co-worker of mine decided to repair his own storm windows. He did a great job using the floor as a platform so as not to drop anything. He was so happy with the finished job, without thinking stepped right on the glass. He never repaired a window thereafter.
When he related that story to me, I laughed so hard.
 
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Old 02-08-24, 08:02 AM
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Epilogue:

"Picture framing brad setter" finds similar tools for much less cost. Here's a really cheap one. Probably good for a single use.


BTW: My wife appreciates DIY so much that tool purchase is never an issue if it helps get the job done.
 
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Old 02-08-24, 08:17 AM
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You can cheat. And, you are correct... this is not the "proper" way to do it.

Remove the existing nails with a pair of pliers or needle nose, whatever you have at hand. Clean out the recess where the new glass will go and clean the perimeter of the glass with alcohol to remove any oil residue from when they cut it. Then apply a small dot of clear silicone caulk in the corner of the recess every couple inches around the perimeter. Then insert the glass and clamp, tape or use push pins to hold it in position for a day until the silicone cures enough to glue the glass in place.

Don't use so much silicone that it squishes out on the front side and is visible. Exactly how big the dots need to be depends on how well the glass fits in it's recess. Test fit the glass and notice any gap around the perimeter because you will need to place your dots where the glass will be. Unfortunately the dots of silicone will be visible on the inside and everyone will know you cheated. But this method is nice because the glass can't rattle.

In the future if the glass needs replacing, break out the glass. Then scrape the silicone off with a putty knife.
 
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Old 02-08-24, 08:50 AM
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You should be using glazing points.

 
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Old 02-08-24, 09:17 AM
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Glazing points are great for when use glaze a window but when there is wood trim on each side of the glass I don't see where it's needed and expect if would get in the way of the molding. I've always installed those types of glass with just the molding and small nails [with or without silicone]
 
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Old 02-08-24, 09:40 AM
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Silicone is an interesting idea. I can't take the door off, so it would have to stay vertical...

On an unrelated note, I can't log on to this site - even using a bookmarked link o this thread - from my work PC. Weird! I can't imagine that the 11 people on my floor (architects, lawyers, and a massage therapist) have spammed DIY so much that our router's IP is blacklisted...?
 
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Old 02-08-24, 10:36 AM
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If you can somehow figure out your IP at work, PM me and let me know what it is.

Pretty sure this site will usually detect your IP when you visit it:
https://www.ipqualityscore.com/user/...ion-api/lookup
 
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Old 02-08-24, 10:49 AM
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Thanks. That link requires registration, but WhatIsMyIP.com does the trick. Info in your PM.
 
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Old 02-08-24, 10:59 AM
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Thanks, I've sent this info up the flagpole.
 
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Old 02-08-24, 11:47 AM
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rjb, did you drill small pilot holes before driving the nails as I mentioned? That would ease their installation. Sometimes takes tiny bits, but you can get them at craft stores (Hobby Lobby, Michael's, etc). I have a set that came with a small handle that you use to spin the bit (they're too small for a standard drill chuck).

FWIW, we have ALL broken glass we were trying to work with.
 
 

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