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Old 01-24-2019, 02:04 PM   #1
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Acrylic "glass" for kitchen cabinet doors


We're getting ready to replace our kitchen cabinet doors, some of which will have "glass" panes in them. For safety, etc., we're planning on acrylic rather than real glass for the panes.

From looking at plastics suppliers online, I see both extruded & cast acrylic sheet material. Which should I choose?

And what's a good thickness of plastic to use?

I'm sure I can get recommendations from whichever supplier I go to, but I like to have some idea of what I'm in for head of time.

Thanks for any comments/suggestions!
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Old 01-24-2019, 02:38 PM   #2
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Re: Acrylic "glass" for kitchen cabinet doors


For a cabinet door, I don't think it matters. Get the cheaper one -- I think that would be extruded.


About 1/4" would be best. But note that often the actual thickness is different (and less) than the nominal thickness. (i.e they call it 1/4", but when you get it, its about .22")


But the stuff is not cheap, so you may go thinner just to save some bucks.


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Old 01-24-2019, 03:02 PM   #3
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Re: Acrylic "glass" for kitchen cabinet doors


We only use real safety glass in cabinets and other projects.

Plastic dulls and scratches easily. We only used plexi-glass on the back
of two birdcages, itís dull, but we needed it to be plastic cause we take
It off and on for cleaning.

If you silicone the glass into the routed channel,
it will be safe.
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Old 01-24-2019, 05:25 PM   #4
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Re: Acrylic "glass" for kitchen cabinet doors


1/8 glass doesn't break that easily. But if you're set on plexiglass, 1/8 plexi is strong enough. I made a simple kitchen wall cab as such. Then I just held the glass (plexi in your case) with glazing points. Rabbeted part was stained the same as face.


Below image was a mistake. I thought you can use it, but when you route out the back, can't use a flush clip.
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Old 01-24-2019, 06:08 PM   #5
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Re: Acrylic "glass" for kitchen cabinet doors


The acrylic sheets have much more flex the thinner you go . What they sell as 1/8" (I think it is now actually .118) would be my choice if your door will accept it .
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Old 01-24-2019, 10:35 PM   #6
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Re: Acrylic "glass" for kitchen cabinet doors


If you're going the plastic route use Lexan instead of Plexiglas. It's a much better material.
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Old 01-25-2019, 09:35 AM   #7
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Re: Acrylic "glass" for kitchen cabinet doors


Lexan = one company's trade name for polycarbonate


Plexiglas = one company's trade name for acrylic


Indeed polycarbonate is harder than acrylic. Also more expensive.
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Old 01-25-2019, 09:51 AM   #8
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Re: Acrylic "glass" for kitchen cabinet doors


I've used a lot of plexi & acrylic in my computer modding to make custom case windows & LED motherboard trays:

Acrylic "glass" for kitchen cabinet doors-dscf5428.jpg
Acrylic "glass" for kitchen cabinet doors-dscf5881.jpg
Acrylic "glass" for kitchen cabinet doors-dscf6643.jpg

Its an older mod, but I think it was 6mm (1/2 inch) thick. I much prefer the cast acrylic, and use this brand, Acrycast but I don't think they do bigger sheets than 12x12 inch ( https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=sr_pg_1...qid=1548428691 ):

Acrylic "glass" for kitchen cabinet doors-dscf5760.jpg

I used to use this stuff and still have a huge sheet of it in the garage. It doesn't cut nor finish as well, but I think it'd probably work for your windows. (That said, I haven't tested it, but I do have the impression that it scratches easier. Not like "Oh I touched it and it scratched" kind of thing, but as the top of a computer case. It might be alright for your cabinet windows.)

Acrylic "glass" for kitchen cabinet doors-20190125_054242.jpg
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Last edited by Mystriss; 01-25-2019 at 10:14 AM.
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Old 01-25-2019, 10:01 AM   #9
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Re: Acrylic "glass" for kitchen cabinet doors


Oh and as a note, if you've got curved cabinets/windows/panes you'll want to go with the thinner stuff, 3mm (1/8") I believe, so you can bend it with a heatgun. I used a cement molding tube to make this acrylic cover plate IIRC, wasn't perfectly shaped due to not having a good heatgun, but it still looks great when installed.

Acrylic "glass" for kitchen cabinet doors-adscn0114.jpgAcrylic "glass" for kitchen cabinet doors-adscn9813.pngAcrylic "glass" for kitchen cabinet doors-adscn0134.jpg

I've also done a clear curved window on one of my carousel horse displays that the glass broke on (or maybe I should say my son accidentally threw something through) but I don't have a decent picture of it and it's kinda buried under donation boxes atm.
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Last edited by Mystriss; 01-25-2019 at 10:11 AM.
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Old 01-25-2019, 01:08 PM   #10
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Re: Acrylic "glass" for kitchen cabinet doors


Thanks for the replies. We're going to reconsider using real glass rather than acrylic; I'm probably overly worried about breakage. I'm installing soft-close hinges, so there won't be any slamming to worry about.

Just as a point of information, from what I read Lexan would not seem to the best non-glass material to use for these doors. It scratches more easily, isn't as stiff, and is more likely to yellow with age when compared to acrylic. And as someone mentioned, it's more expensive.

Thanks again for your thoughts & comments.
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Old 01-25-2019, 02:44 PM   #11
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Re: Acrylic "glass" for kitchen cabinet doors


If you have a glass window/auto window store, or sometimes even a picture framing place, around, they might have glass at a decent price and stained glass cutters are fairly inexpensive. A stained glass store has clear glass too, but they'll charge a lot more - on the other hand, they have a lot of really cool glass you might want to use in your cabinets. Use Dremel wheel sanding drum with around 320 grit for a smooth edge (do that outside/in the garage and wear a mask as it'd be like breathing in volcano ash.)
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Old 01-25-2019, 09:01 PM   #12
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Re: Acrylic "glass" for kitchen cabinet doors


My TV stand has tempered glass panes that are only 1/8". I have two sons. The regularly slam them and crash dump trucks into them and stuff. They are pretty darn tough.

Another cool thing about tempered glass is that if it does break, it disintegrates into pieces the size of a pencil eraser. It is more like scooping up a handful of gravel than sharp glass.

Safety glass is even stronger. One of my customers had her house broken into. She had a glass patio door on the inside of her house and kept it locked. The unfortunate bad guy broke in on the wrong side of the patio doors. But he was already inside, so he had plenty of time to work. There were hundreds of marks all over them from him trying to smash the glass with different things. It was comical. He finally got in, but only by ripping the whole door out of the frame!

Glass is not inherently unsafe, but you kind of have to know what you're doing.
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Old 01-25-2019, 09:37 PM   #13
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I was checking out some Lexan the other day in Home Depot. They say it is 250x stronger than glass. It looks nice too. I dunno. It's on my list.
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Old 01-26-2019, 07:14 AM   #14
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Re: Acrylic "glass" for kitchen cabinet doors


Quote:
Originally Posted by mathmonger View Post
They say it is 250x stronger than glass.

You can probably bend it 250 x more than you can bend glass. But is softer and can scratch. Harder than acrylic though.
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Old 01-26-2019, 01:13 PM   #15
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Re: Acrylic "glass" for kitchen cabinet doors


Quote:
Originally Posted by SPS-1 View Post
You can probably bend it 250 x more than you can bend glass. But is softer and can scratch. Harder than acrylic though.
Can you use it outside?
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