Glass – Part 2


How far you want to take care of glass most likely will depend on the value – monetary and sentimental. Aside from cleaning and polishing – did you know that breaks and cracks to glass can be mended? Both rivets and glue can be used to accomplish this.

Rivets were the primary method of repair prior to the invention of the super glues of toady. Don’t think we have to tell you that their use was – and if used today would be – unsightly, and in most cases are only used when someone is completely determined to continue using the piece. For older pieces where rivets have been used, the problem to remove them and use glue is a tricky operation leaving holes that can be filled or masked to a degree by using fiber glass.

For gluing breaks, most experts agree that using industrial Araldite is the best. If used correctly, particularly on breaks where there is a natural indentation, i.e., wind stem, the repair is almost invisible. For home use of this product, the following steps are recommended by some:

  • Use the finest smear of Araldite
  • Hold the article together with strips of brown sticky paper stretched across the joints
  • Stand the article in such a way that the least amount of strain is on the joint (A box of sand works well for this)

Chips are best removed by being ground out – or if not too deep, polished out. The most common chips are those around the rim of a glass and these can usually be removed by someone trained in using a grinding wheel. For chips in less accessible areas, or for pieces that have significant value, you always want to have an expert do the ‘grinding’ repair. As in any case of glass repair, there is always the possibility that the item may shatter. So before having any item worked on, be prepared to accept the possibility of breakage.

Should you have a ‘cheap’ piece of glass you can try ‘smoothing’ the chip by using a nail file with oil and then finishing the process with jeweler’s rouge. NOTE: This is NOT a recommended ‘fix’ and is a hazardous process that may result in more damage or breakage, and TAM takes no responsibility for anyone’s trying it. User understands the risk and accepts sole responsibility for any results should they attempt to ‘smooth’ any item.


Need a stopper? If you’re not a purist and don’t mind having a stopper that simply looks good with the piece and doesn’t match exactly – then you might consider buying a stopper that is too large and having it ground down to fit the neck of the bottle. You can try removing stuck stoppers by using one of the following methods *:

  1. Soaking in oil – or glycerin, cooking oil. Allow the oil to sit for several hours before wiggling it gently from side to side all the way around.
  2. Gently tapping with another piece of glass – the operative word being ‘gently’
  3. Soaking alternately in hot and cold water – not recommended for crystal pieces as extreme heat changes may cause breakage.

* Use these methods at your own risk.   Every piece of glass is different and should there be any unseen cracks, fractures or dings, using any one of these methods might result in breakage.

Did You Know….

It is not possible to weld in a new piece of glass into an old lead glass piece because the heat will melt the lead and cause the whole glass to go cloudy and gray.

To replace a missing piece of leaded glass you can have the replacement piece cut and then glue it in. This can be expensive depending on the shape of the cut.

On another note – should you want to replace a piece that has ruby glass – you can have ruby glass made today, however, this is a very expensive proposition due to the fact that solid gold is thrown into the molten glass to make the real ruby color. (That is why the old ruby glass brings such a good price today)


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