Use vintage glass for cabinet doors
Old panes bring vibrancy to new furniture
Synopsis: Old glass has ripples, bubbles, and flaws. It reflects and refracts light unpredictably. Sometimes it varies in thickness. In short, it’s much more interesting and attractive than the flawless glass you buy at the hardware store. So next time you are building a cabinet with divided-light doors, take a tip from Steve Latta and go for vintage glass. Here, he shares tips on how to find it, salvage it, clean it, cut it, and install it.
You took great care when you selected the wood for your new cabinet, and then you poured yourself into the milling, joinery, and assembly. Now that the divided-light doors are built, what will you do about the glass?
Glass purchased from the hardware store is sterile and lifeless; it takes more away from your piece than it contributes. Vintage glass, by contrast, has a vitality that adds something extra to the finished piece. old processes of making window glass produced panes with ripples and bubbles and varying thickness, and it is these blemishes that make old glass so vibrant. old panes reflect and refract light unpredictably, creating glints and shadows that make it a pleasure to open a door. In this article, I’ll tell you where to get old glass, how to salvage it from window frames, and how to work with it.
In search of old glass
The search for old glass is part of the fun of using it. Antique stores, junk shops, and flea markets often have old windows, and I typically pay between $15 and $25 per sash. Architectural salvage companies are another good source and often have a broader selection. once you’re on the lookout, you’ll also notice windows on the side of the road waiting for the garbage truck—this may be less predictable, but you…