Buy Float Glass Online Extra Quality
If you a search using the word "float", backing the parameters to the beginning of time, you can pick up a few threads concerning float glass, what the term means and if it really matters for we woodworkers who like to use abrasive sheets on glass. In the end, I think a piece of glass cut to your preferences from your local glass shop will do the trick quite nicely. It has done so for me.
buy float glass online
You can get a 9" x 12" x 2" granite surface plate from Grizzly that's plus or minus .0001" for $17.95. The aluminum plate idea sounds worthwhile checking out. Did you consider starting out with some used plate glass and have it cut to size. Do you think you'd really notice the difference especially if you are just starting out with a new technique in sharpening. Just checked my Enco sale catalog and they have it for $14.95.
I spent some of my early years in the employ of Pittsburgh Plate Glass, now called PPG. In the early 1950's, Pilkington Glass of England developed a revolutionary method of making plate glass in which the molten material floated on a surface of what, as I recall from 50 years later was mercury. I believe that all plate glass is now made in this manner. (Don't know if they still use mercury, due to environmental requirements.) Therefore, any plate glass should serve your purpose.
I use 3/8" plate that I got from a local glass supplier. I didn't order a particular size for a particular purpose, but knowing that glass dealers have a scrap barrel just like woodworkers, asked if I might look through the scrap barrel for something I might use. I got six pieces for $5.00. Don't worry too much about the thickness. Glass this small is not very flexible, and if it's on a fairly rigid surface, it won't flex at all.
A brief tutorial on glass types: Before 1962 there were two basic categories of flat glass for windows. "PLATE GLASS" was formed by metering it through water cooled rolls link washing machine ringer rolls, but with a gap equal to the thickness of glass made. The rolls have a rough surface which leaves an impression in the glass. The surface is then ground an polished to a mirror finish. This glass was used in architectural glazing and high quality mirrors.
"SHEET GLASS" is formed by drawing it upward from a tank of molten glass. The sheet is cooled as it rises (gripped by rollers)--drawing more glass behind it. Sheet glass was used for many low quality or thin glass applications. Sheet glass was often called "window" glass.
In the 60's the "FLOAT" process was developed. This glass is formed by "floating" it on molten tin. The tin remains liquid as the continuous ribbon of glass changes form a free flowing liquid to solid glass that can be conveyed on rollers. Today essentially all common flat glass is float glass. However, it is still common for hardware stores to refer to the glass as window glass. Furthermore, "window glass" from a hardware store is the same as what float glass manufacturers refer to in their literature as "CLEAR" glass, or "CLEAR WINDOW GLASS." And it would almost certainly be float glass. I think that glass shops, the kind that a customer would go to to repair a "plate" glass store front window would have other colors of glass.
Great post William! Too many woodworkers get sucked into buying things they think they need that will make them better woodworkers. When I startd woodworking you either bought a PM 66 saw, Unisaw or a Craftsman. The only alternative fence was the Bies which had just come on the market. Interesting how people buy all the gizmos so they can make things like the old masters who had far less than we do now which shows it's not so much the tools but the folks using the tools. Think any one looking at an old classic can tell if they used a Marples or Buck Brothers chisel. So does it really make a difference if the chisel was sharpened on a piece of MDF or a piece of $48 dollar "float glass" from Garrett Wade?
I bought two 8" X 12" pieces of float glass for less than $15 at Binswanger Glass in Dallas..I think it's a chain of glass places...do auto glass, mirrors, windows, etc. They had it in several thicknesses and, for an extra charge, will even bevel it for you. I see very expensive prices for float glass and don't know what that is about....
As an FYI (I'm a glass guy...smile) float glass is manufactured by floating molten glass on liquid as it anneals (cools and tempers). They used to float it on Mercury..and may still. The liquid is so level (think about it, liquid may be the most level of "tables") that the glass is flatter than regular "plate" glass, which is poured out onto a flat metal table and annealed.
Larry, sorry, but I think we need to lay the mercury story to rest. They have been using molten tin for as long as I have known of the proces,..since the '50s. Molten tin is going to look like mercury so the misunderstanding is reasonable. Mercury has a surprisingly high vapor pressure at room temperature and at glass manufacturing temps it would be extreemly poisinous, a fact that was well understood when the process was develpoed. I would hazard a guess that if used in float glass manufacture, mercury would distill off and the vapor that was not inhaled by the workers would condense as mercury droplets all over the factory.
There is also a decorative treatment in which a silvery coating is applied to one side of glass to make mirrors and ornaments. It has always been called "mercury glass" for its looks, even though mercury has never been a component. No doubt this misnomer contributes to the myth of mercury being used in glass products.
I use the glass out of an old photocopier, it is a nice size so I can put different grits of sand paper on it at the same time, the edges are finished and best of all it was free. Any copier dealer is likely to have a boat load of junkers in the back somewhere and should not have any problem giving the glass away out of one of them.
The AcuraCoat CVD hard coating system transforms financially vulnerable float glass facilities into highly profitable value-added pyrolytic glass factories by producing cutting-edge and profitable products.
*Note On Image Accuracy: While glass is notoriously difficult to capture well in a photograph, great care is given to present glass as true-to-life as possible. Since computer monitors and printers vary widely, and may not reliably portray the glass or its color, you may want to consider purchasing a Sample Set for selecting just the right glass for your projects.
Our selected float glass is a universal, economically priced, high-quality technical glass with excellent optical characteristics. The glass features a white appearance at smaller dimensions, resulting from the iron-reduced glass composition.
Numerous applications work based on our selected float glass material. The excellent optical performance from visible to infrared range makes the glass a versatile material many customers use for technical optics. It has almost no inclusions, high purity, and has proven to be a high-quality replacement for expensive glass materials in many optical applications. The cost savings in such cases often are significant.
The production of thin glasses with the high-quality micro float process guarantees an excellent optical flatness, an extremely low deviation from the nominal thickness within each batch, and a very low standard thickness tolerance. A large selection of standard thicknesses beginning at 0,4 mm plus a high surface quality allows an efficient fabrication of many optical components and bulk optics based on this economically priced glass.
In the UK it is a requirement to have safety glass fitted in certain areas of a window or door. Please see below image where the shaded parts indicate where you are legally required to use safety glass. If you need safety glass click here.
Broken the glass in a photo or picture frame? Order a replacement piece online - we will deliver smaller pieces/volumes but for larger pieces or orders you will need to collect your order from our premises in Chesterfield.
Brazilian glass manufacturing company Cebrace (Companhia Brasileira de Cristal), a joint venture between Frances Saint-Gobain Glass and the UKs Pilkington, has officially inaugurated its fourth flat glass manufacturing plant in Brazil. The new facility is at Barra Velha, in Santa Catarina state. The company already has two units in Jacarei and Cacapava (Sao Paulo). With investments of USD 120 million, the Santa Catarina-based plant has an annual production capacity of 200,000 tonnes (600 tonnes/day) of float glass, taking the firms total flat glass capacity to 700,000 tonnes per year. The company intends to increase its market share in the south of Brazil from the current 50% to 75%. For Brazil as a whole, Cebrace is targeting market share of 60% market share, up 5% on the current level. The main markets served by Cebrace are civil construction, auto glass, furniture and decoration, and household appliances. The Barra Velha-based facility will serve the whole of Brazil, particularly the south, and some South American countries (except Chile and Argentina). Currently the four Brazilian plants export 20% of output and the goal is to increase this to 25% in the 1H 2005. The main destinations for Cebrace products are Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, South Africa, Nigeria, Mexico, US and Mali. Cebrace plans to build a plant in Colombia for USD 120 million. The company is also making an additional investment of USD 1.2 million to start production of laminated glass in Barra Velha.
Guardian UltraClear is a low-iron glass with a brilliantly clear, neutral color that offers incredible aesthetic benefits. It can be used for any application, but is especially suited as a base glass for architectural, interior and specialty applications.
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