Re-Using Sliding Glass Doors

Old 07-21-10, 10:33 AM
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Question Re-Using Sliding Glass Doors

Anyone ever come by a DIY project that you could re-use 2 sliding glass door panels... I just replaced my sliding glass doors with French doors and I really don't want to take the glass doors to the landfill... Just trying to re-use what we have instead of throwing it away...

Old 07-21-10, 10:37 AM
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I've seen panels used for any number of different purposes. Recording studios, shed windows, solar heaters, patio tables...yes, a table top! It's tempered glass..same as tables.

Any number of uses...just let yer imagination be your guide.
Old 07-21-10, 01:05 PM
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But being tempered, you can't cut it, so it must be used full size. I made my wife a nice seeding platform using a sliding glass door unit as the top panel. Fixed hinges on the back and the sun does the rest.
Old 07-22-10, 03:38 AM
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Years ago I gave an old sliding glass door unit to a friend. He wanted to open up a wall in his dining rm. I didn't realize at the time I'd also have to come over and help in install it.
Old 08-22-10, 01:31 PM
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Gunguy -

Thanks for the suggestion about using a door for a table.

Before I yank the door, are the edges finished enough to use as-is for a table?

We're adding a big space to the house and need a corner table and the slider door glass is the right size. I just don't know about the edge - any advice appreciated.

Old 08-22-10, 01:43 PM
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Assuming that you will be removing the frame surrounding the glass (whether it be wood or aluminum, or what have you) you will be left with either a single piece of tempered glass (with sharp edge) or a double paned insulating glass unit, that will be two pieces of glass with sharp edges.

In either case, you would want to make a nice wooden frame to "glaze" the glass into. Similar to the frame it is currently glazed into, but something more suitable for a table edge. Something as simple as a board with a dado to accept the glass. Then silicone this frame to the glass as you assemble it.

You would likely want to consider whether of not it will be wise to lay this glass flat or not. Depending on how this "table top" will be supported, you wouldn't want to create stress points on the glass that would cause it to break when you least expect it. Like when big Uncle Melvin is sitting on the end and puts both elbows on the table to eat his corn on the cob. Patio door glass is generally thin, and this works well since the glass is always standing vertical, and isn't being laid flat. A piece of glass that is laid flat usually needs to be thicker tempered glass to be safe. And laminated for safety.

Tempered glass is very tough, but when enough pressure is exerted on the glass edge, it will shatter all at once. You can practically hit the center of a piece of tempered glass with a hammer, but strike the edge and it will break.
Old 08-22-10, 02:59 PM
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Good information and suggestions here, particularly Xsleepers recommendation to frame the edges. I'd like to throw in my 2 cents.

First a important word of caution.
You didnt mention the age of the door.
Most door glasses manufactured in the 60's were not tempered. Tempered glass codes were just beginning to show up in the early 70's. If you are not sure, make sure to find the etched 'bug' in one of the corners of the glass positively identifying it as 'tempered glass'. There are also etched trademarks like 'thermopane' out there which is not tempered, just a logo.
Laying normal annealed glass (that size) flat for any reason poses a potentially catastrophic safety risk.

Next, if it is 1/8" tempered, you will get a lot of deflection trying to simply support it around the perimeter. I'd strongly suggest support through the middle. Its simply not strong enough to support itself in that size horizontally.

So all that said, I've had customers request my old patiodoor panels for greenhouses. They are great for that as long as they are not LowE
Old 08-23-10, 09:41 AM
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Oldblades and XSleeper -

Thanks for the info and tips on reusing that glass.

It was installed in 1982 - old -but new.

We had visioned (in new construction) a glass table built into a corner nook - a place to have coffee and read a newspaper (are they still printed?) and generally relax.

The glass would be supported on 3 sides and it would be easy enough to install a supporting leg dead center or slightly to the unsupported side.

However- based on feedback - maybe reusing this glass is not the best solution - I'll have to think of this for a while.

Appreciate any other comments.


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