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Old 11-07-2002, 07:09 PM
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Post Cutting windshields down

I just found this site and logged in, preatty cool. But can't find anything on cuttting windshields down !!!!I've cut alot of lam. flat glass before. can you do the same with a slight curve in it,( scoring both sides ) ?? If not How ?
Thanks -all 4senuff <img src="confused.gif" border="0">

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Old 11-07-2002, 07:17 PM
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4senuff, trimming your curved glass is much more dificult than just scoring and breaking. I would take it to your local glass man and not attempt to ruin a winsheid. Cutting it at home by hand without proper tools is risky and often results in you buying a new windsheild.

HK
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Old 11-08-2002, 03:28 PM
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4senuff,
Cutting a windshield is something you don't even want to attempt. There are places that do it and there are places that will do it but they will have to install it also. Quite a few of the places do it with sand. It is a tedious process therefore costing more than just a few bucks but still affordable. Using heavy masking they will sandblast away what needs to be removed. You mismark it, you just pissed away a good chunk of change. That is why they would rather have the car, mark it, and install it. The only other alternative would be a lexan windshield but we all know what happens to plastic after awhile, let alone a windshield wiper dragging across it a few times.

Kevin
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Old 11-08-2002, 03:36 PM
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Glass actually gets harder with age and old glass is the worst to work with. Most people who cut them down mask the area they want to save with rubber tape and sand blast off what is not desired. I have never heard of anyone successfully cutting a glass down using the score, heat and pinch method. I have tried to do some minor trim work on new glass and it is really hard not to get a heat induced crack.
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Old 11-08-2002, 06:55 PM
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i have seen them cut down with a wet belt sander at a custom shop but it is time consuming $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
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Old 11-08-2002, 07:09 PM
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dont know how, but rod shop bud in reno (sparks)told me that if i had a large window 55 cab and wanted to chop the top that it can be done by a glass shop. but he said they generally break 2 or 3 before they get one right, and you get to buy the new ones as they break, so it has the potential to be even more expensive than you think. if they sand blasted the glass off, it would seem like they would never break, so they must not have done it that way there. it's one reason i would never even think of chopping the top unless it had mostly straight glass. even tho most newer front glass is curved. just goin on what i was told here.
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Old 11-09-2002, 05:32 PM
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I checked around for a shop that could handle shaping my existing windshield to fit after I chop the top on my '53 Plymouth. The best deal I found was a small, one man shop which quoted me $100 for the job. I drive my car to his shop after cutting the top down and he will shape my existing glass to fit while I wait. I asked about how he handles the problem if the glass breaks, and he told me that if you take your time with it and do it right the windshield won't break.

As you look for a shop in your area, hunt for the small business guy who is willing to take his time with your prized possession and do you right. A rush job by a bigger company that doesn't have time for you in the firrst place may cause you to buy multiple windshields before it is all over.

You took your time chopping the top, they should take their time cutting the glass.

Phillip
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Old 11-10-2002, 11:30 AM
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cutting a windshield is not difficult IF the window is new.. as mentioned in an above post the windshield gets harder to cut with age. but if you have some to play with you wet the windshield with kerosene and cut with a quality cutter on both sides, and finally you wet it with alcohol (about 2-3 inches arround the desired cut line and on one side only) and igninte the alcohol, this heats one side quickly and introduces thermal stresses in the windshield and helps the break.. but be prepaired to break one or two before it works.
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Old 11-12-2002, 07:39 AM
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I don't have alot of help for cutting them at home.you really have to develope a touch and feel for your cutter and glass.
personally I like cutting the old thick windshields if there not sand pitted.but the new late model thin windshields cut almost like flat glass. the biggest problems that I encounter are some forign repops mainly AGR brand that make alot of 50's and early 60's repops. when a windshield is made they bend two pieces of glass separtly then laminate them into one.if both pieces arn't a perfect match when laminated one or both sides will be stressed and trying to cut with any method is usually a problem.
one thing I wouldn't reccomend is the one about scribing and heating before running the break heat make glass unstable
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Old 11-12-2002, 09:14 PM
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Thanks to all that replied to my cutting windshields down question. I do alot of chop tops but don't do the glass as a rule, unless flat. But this one is mine an its a 81 Nissan king CabTruck ! I can redo the wind-s bed and the dash to make it fit a flat glass with not much trouble. Tring to figere out witch would be easier or cheaper!! Thanks again 4senuff
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Old 07-25-2005, 02:13 PM
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Hi i've never done any thing like this before, but i would like to chop the top on my 1983 GMC High Serria pick up. i thought about buying tex smith's book "how to chop tops". but i'm not sure. I was wondering if anyone has a general idea of how much it costs to get custom cut glass?
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Old 07-25-2005, 04:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deuce_454
and finally you wet it with alcohol (about 2-3 inches arround the desired cut line and on one side only) and igninte the alcohol, this heats one side quickly and introduces thermal stresses in the windshield and helps the break.. but be prepaired to break one or two before it works.
An old friend of 30+ years owns a glass shop here in town and I have seen him cut lots of glass over the years.

According to him, the purpose of the alcohol is to melt the plastic in between the two pieces of glass after the glass has been cut on both sides. The alcohol seeps in the crack after you make your first break and allows you to hinge the glass without the plastic holding you up. Alcohol in itself does not really burn that hot. As a matter of fact you can pour alcohol on paper and it can burn without the paper burning.

Sandblasting is a common way to shorten windsheilds. They usually layer up multiple layers of duct tape to protect the glass. The glass is cleaned up with a belt sander to edge it. Be careful when doing so and even though you could in theory belt sand a windshield to size, you still have risk of cracking it from overheating one spot with the belt.

Unless your glass guy is VERY good, I think sandblasting is the safest method. Still want to go slow with even with sandblasting.

Rich
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