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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We have a 36” round wood dining table. We’ve had a 1/4”-thick glass cover on it for close to 14 yrs. I like having a glass surface on it because it’s also my work area - painting/staining, sewing, fixing stuff, dirty work, etc.

It split in half today - a clean split (though not straight, more like a yin yang split). My husband always leans VERY heavily (so heavily that the table dips) on his side of the table whenever he gets up from being seated. His knees are not that good so he uses his arm and hand to push down very heavily on the table edge to lift himself up.

In fairness, whenever I clean the wood table and place the glass cover back on it, I’ve noticed that the glass doesn’t sit completely flat against the table surface. When I feel the gap (between glass and table surface)around the table, there are areas (including the area on my husband’s side of the table) with larger gaps. I think that years of the glass being pressed down on that one side (with the largest gap) has caused enough stress for it to crack across the middle.

He purchased the glass top 14 years ago from a local glass store. I’m thinking I should go with thicker glass (1/2”). I thought that would be “special” ( ha ha ha) but as I googled it, I was surprised that 1/2” seems to be the standard at Home Depot and that they’re actually way cheaper than buying from a local glass store.

My questions:

1. What glass thickness do you use if the surface is going to be a work shop area too?
2. If the table surface is not perfectly even, would a glass cover really just inevitably break? How do you compensate for unevenness of the table surface so the glass cover doesn’t break?
 

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JUSTA MEMBER
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Look into a LEXAN top.

It is a shatterproof plastic, it will scratch though, but will never break.

If it is good enough for bullet resistant windows, why not a table?

Might cost more than glass, but it won't crack from the pressure.


ED
 

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retired framer
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With half inch glass, you don't need the wood table top, you could put shims under the edge of the glass. Get him a chair with arms, that works better as a standing aid. I have a soar back right now and my round pedestal table wouldn't support me so I use my office chair anywhere I want to sit.
 

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Glass sounds dangerous to me in your current setting. I've known of people who get impaled. I'm glad you guys were safe.
 

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I have a round antique table I fixed up. I called a glass shop that gave me a good deal on a classic car windshield and they gave me recommendations and cut my glass overlay. They know more about glass than I know. It has pads on it so it sits flat not tight to the table. In your case, perhaps you should get rid of the glass.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
We’re fine, Nik. We heard a pop and had to actually search for where that came from. The crack was right at the center. I covered the entire width (diameter) with hockey tape (bc it’s easier to remove than shipping tape) so there are no sharp edges while I search and buy a new glass.

I have a lot of Lexan/polycarbonate stuff. They get scratched very easily so that material won’t last long scratch-free and wouldn’t be able to withstand chemicals that will get on it.

This now-cracked 1/4” glass used to spin freely on the table (I had those small clear rubbery protective dots to keep the glass from sliding/spinning). I had an old Calphalon pan that behaved like that. MIL overheated it so the center didn’t sit flat against the glass stove top anymore. The pan just spins around when I stir if I don’t also hold the handle to keep it from moving.

I hope that it was the old glass that was uneven and not the dining table. I won’t know until I get my 1/2”-thick glass. Here’s hoping it sits flat on the table.

I like the idea of getting my husband his own chair with arms. He and the FIL are similar. They lean super heavily on things with their arms and hands. Come to think of it, my husband is not just heavy-handed. He’s also “heavy-fingered”. he he he. That’s why he’s expressly forbidden by me from opening up any phone for tweaking. You’ve got to have the lightest touch and be able to feel/sense with your fingers to handle tiny tiny things.

When you said office chair, senior, does it mean you have a wheeled chair? A wheeled chair with arms (computer chair) would work really well for hubby.

Unrelated question that just popped in my head because I’m talking of chairs:
When you need to move your chair closer to or farther from the table, do you slide the chair while you’re sitting flat on it? Or do you slightly lift your bottom off while moving your legs along with the chair? I find the butt lift makes the chair easier and quicker to move.

Edit:
Found another option on Amazon - clear PVC. The customer pics of their tables with the PVC on them look really good. PVC will not stand well at all with chemicals but I’m very mind-malleable to be aware and modify my behavior when I’m handling whatever chemicals. PVC on table would suit the hubby really well.
 

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I have glass top coffee tables. I went to a stone shop and had them fabricate some big marble blocks and went to a glass shop and had them make up the glass tops.

My glass is half inch thick and it looks about right, and never had a concern about strength of the glass. I have it sitting on those clear bumpers that you can get at most hardware or glass stores. They would take care of the problem that sub-surface is not perfectly flat. My glass is a rather dark smoked glass so the bumpers are pretty much invisible. On clear glass, you will likely see them, but if you take care to equally space them at a consistent distance from the edge, i think it would look fine. Possibly six bumpers on a 24" diameter circle and maybe one in the center, sounds about right. Keep in mind that you can get a little fancy with the glass, like color other than clear and perhaps a bevel on the edge. At half inch, it will be heavy, but at 36" diameter, its about 85% as heavy as my tops, and I manage (but certainly don't look forward to moving them).

If you use plastic, I think PVC or acrylic is going to be too soft. Polycarbonate is the hardest clear plastic, but it will still get scratched over time.
 

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How is that even possible?
I don't know. But 75 pounds works out that it really is 3/4" x 36 dia.

3/4" is overkill, but I am not getting results foe 1/2"

Its been twenty years since I had my tops made up. Don't recall the price, but no way was anywhere near that $1200 price. Maybe that's their way of telling you that they don't have the equipment to do curved cuts.
 

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My stepdad worked as a glazier for many years so we had glass tops on almost everything. They even used big sheets of glass for the mats under their roller chairs at the glass shop office! He'd always cut it to size/shape, round the edges and then send it off to be tempered. Makes it incredibly tough as long as you don't bang metal on the edge.

Tempered glass is exactly what the side and rear windows in your vehicles are. Very tough and hard to break, when tempered glass does break the whole piece crumbles into tiny square pieces that are mostly blunt instead of leaving razor sharp shards like regular glass. Tempering is an extra step and does cost more but makes it much safer and stronger for applications like this. All the glass tops he made would have these clear plastic spacers about the same size and thickness as a penny, the spacers were inserted between the glass and the table or desk in many spots so the glass would rest on the spacer and not the table. I had a 4x6 observation window made for a dance studio a few years ago, think it was 3/8" tempered and cost me about $200.


Just a quick google search and I found this site.
 

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Hammered Thumb
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Where you at in IL? Just recently priced a 36" round from local shop:
1/4"@$120
3/8"@$230
1/2"@$350
All pencil polish. Sounds like prefab from HD or Amzn is the way to go, to the chagrin of mom&pop stores.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
When you go to lift it, you will wish it were 1/2"

Sigh. You’re right. The one thing I hate about a glass cover is cleaning the table surface underneath. I make do with just sliding the glass halfway then doing the other side in a similar way. Thankfully, I only do it once a year, if I even remember to do it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Where you at in IL? Just recently priced a 36" round from local shop:
1/4"@$120
3/8"@$230
1/2"@$350
All pencil polish. Sounds like prefab from HD or Amzn is the way to go, to the chagrin of mom&pop stores.
Chicago.
Definitely will buy it from Amazon. The seller updated his product listing after I asked about getting one with a flat polish - $101.99 for 36" wide, 1/2" thick, clear. The prices of prefab are the same at the seller's own online store but I like buying from Amazon - very easy to deal with when there are problems with shipment/product.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I made a mistake. Good thing I measured the diameter. I was thinking it's 36" (probably because i had a table before that was 36"). It's actually 44.75" so I'll need a 45" glass.

I can only find stock 45" tempered glass in 1/4" thickness. In fairness, that may be enough since it's tempered which is supposed to be harder/stronger than standard glass. The 1/4"-thick glass that split in half was presumably standard glass (based on the fact that it split instead of shattering).
 

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JUSTA MEMBER
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I thought that 36 was a bit small for a dining table, but kept quiet.

Yes; if glass don't shatter into bits, it can't have been tempered.

ED
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Came back to post why the table isn’t perfectly flat. The top isn’t solid wood. It looks like a parquet floor (short horizontal slats). One slat, close to the center, is lifted. Isn’t lifting usually caused by becoming wet? That would never happen (getting wet/soaked) to a wood table that’s always been covered with glass so I assume it’s just due to air humidity.

That explains why the gap between table and glass isn’t uniform all around. Under the new glass, I used 1-mm thick clear plastic spacers around the table but had to use two 4-mm and one 3-mm spacer in one section so the glass rests on something solid all around.

Can a lifted wood slat be pushed back somehow? The lift seems just slight but is enough to result in a 3-mm difference in edge gap between the table and glass in one area.
 

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JUSTA MEMBER
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Once the slats are all glued together, there is no way to push them back into a perfect flat surface.

It should have been planed flat by it's maker, before the finish is put on.

If you want it flat, you need to get it planed and re-finished.

So learn how, and hope , or get a professional shop to help.


ED
 
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