Woodworking Talk banner
1 - 5 of 5 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
30 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I would like build a basic oak coffee table with a framed glass top that is hinged and lockable to use for displaying an antique shotgun and shells. My question is this: Since I can't just drop the glass in a rabbet and still have a lockable top, can I frame the glass like a cabinet door without running into problems. The glass is 1/4" thick and not beveled. If this is a sound approach do I need to do anything special when framing glass rather than a wood panel? I assume the glass is dimensionally stable but do I still need to leave expansion space for movement in the frame? Do I need to isolate the glass from the wood with spacers or felt or something?


Thanks -
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
253 Posts
I would like build a basic oak coffee table with a framed glass top that is hinged and lockable to use for displaying an antique shotgun and shells. My question is this: Since I can't just drop the glass in a rabbet and still have a lockable top, can I frame the glass like a cabinet door without running into problems. The glass is 1/4" thick and not beveled. If this is a sound approach do I need to do anything special when framing glass rather than a wood panel? I assume the glass is dimensionally stable but do I still need to leave expansion space for movement in the frame? Do I need to isolate the glass from the wood with spacers or felt or something?


Thanks -
That's what I'd do. Treat the glass like a cabinet pannel, run it in a 5/16" channel. Also, there are some little rubber balls that you can put in there so the glass and wood stay tight yet allows the wood to move some. I can't remember what they're called... magic balls or something. Just my 2 cents.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
113 Posts
You can make it just like a door. You'll need to decide if you want to be able to remove the glass or not and make your door accordingly. I use the foam strip stuff that you use around doors and windows for weatherstripping in the channels. It's not so much for wood movement in the frame but to keep the glass from rattling.

My shaper knives for doing cope and stick cut a 1/4" groove and I think that's standard on router bits too. So if you do it that way, it's easy. For glass cabinet doors I use a cutter that rabbets the whole thing and then I come back with a 1/4 round trim piece that's pinned in place to hold the glass. There are other methods for holding the glass in place, such as putty and the plastic snap in retainers and clips, but I think the wood looks better. I make my glass doors with this removeable piece so it's easy to replace the glass. You might decide that it's just as easy to make a new door, or in the event you do break the glass, you could always rabbet the frame and then use some sort of retainer when you go to fix the thing.

The Spaceballs, the little rubber balls, work really well for wood, but I'm not so sure about glass. They leak if you squish them too hard and you might end up cutting them with the glass. They are really good things though and if you do bust them, it's an easy clean-up, they just won't work so well anymore.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Suggestion

Gav,

I would build the frame with a 1/2" by 1/4 deep rab . Then I would make some tabs that screw to the bottom of the frame and rotate to either hold the glass in or let you take it out.
This way if the glass ever gets broken then you can replace it without making a new frame top. I would also probably put a munt in the middle of the glass/table, which will make the glass less likely to break and will allow you to take it in and out easily in order to thoroughly clean any grime that might get stuck between the glass and frame....

Just my 2 cents....

Jonathan
 
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
Top