Minding the gaps: Using glue to fill in for missing glass shards or splinters

We’ve talked in recent posts about using glue to assemble or repair items used outdoors, where water resistance and durability are critical. This post addresses a situation that’s common both indoors and out, but in keeping with our summertime theme imagine this:

You’re gathered with friends for a backyard dinner party, enjoying some wine as you work the barbecue, when your heirloom glass slips off the grill’s side shelf, hits the grass, and snaps at the neck. You collect the two pieces of the glass, but when you fit them together, you see that a few shards are missing, leaving noticeable gaps at the joint.

Don’t worry. This problem can be addressed with some judicious gluing. Grab another glass, enjoy your evening, and make your repair after your guests have gone.

Clean both pieces of glass with isopropyl alcohol and let them dry thoroughly.

Apply a UV-cured adhesive AP-18 and join the pieces at the break. Expose to a UV lamp to cure the bond, without cleaning up any glue that squeezes out of the joint into the areas where shards are missing.

Use a syringe applicator to place more uncured glue in the remaining gaps, overfilling them slightly.

Lay a piece of clear polyethylene or Mylar film over the wet glue, to make its surface flush with surface(s) of the surrounding glass. Hold the film in place and expose to UV-A light to cure. (About 2 minutes using a 40 watt UV-A florescent black light.)

Peel away the plastic film and wet sand the repair with silicone oxide abrasive in successive grades of 800, 1600 and 2400 grit.

A final, wet polish with a cerium oxide pad or slurry will fully restore gloss.

This technique is applicable to a variety of items, not just stemware. And of course, it works indoors and out, winter and summer, a tip for all seasons.

Good Gluing!

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