How to Smooth Glass Edges

Three Methods:Using an Emery ClothSanding with a DrillSmoothing with Silicon Carbide

Freshly broken glass is one of the most dangerous things to keep around the house. If you want to smooth the edges to salvage a glass bottle, object or sheet, you will need a tool or substance that sands down the edge until it is smooth and opaque.

Method 1
Using an Emery Cloth

  1. Image titled Smooth Glass Edges Step 1
    1
    Purchase a multi-pack of emery cloth from a home improvement or hardware store. A multi-pack has coarse to fine grit cloths, which will aid in smoothing the edges. The emery cloth is preferred over sandpaper because it is easier to run around the edges.
    • If you can’t find emery cloths, buy sanding blocks that are wider than the object.[1]
  2. Image titled Smooth Glass Edges Step 2
    2
    Wrap the coarse-grit cloth around a sanding block or a piece of wood to begin. Wear gloves to minimize contact with your hands.
  3. Image titled Smooth Glass Edges Step 3
    3
    Place the glass in your non-dominant hand. Hold it steady.
  4. Image titled Smooth Glass Edges Step 4
    4
    Work the emery cloth up around the sharp edge. Work for about 10 to 20 seconds on each inch, and then move along the rest of the edge.
  5. Image titled Smooth Glass Edges Step 5
    5
    Repeat with a medium-grit emery cloth. Then, repeat with a fine-grit emery cloth.[2]

Method 2
Sanding with a Drill

  1. Image titled Smooth Glass Edges Step 6
    1
    Get a sanding bit for your Dremel tool or your drill. Choose a medium-grit sandpaper finish. The larger the sanding bit the more of the edge it will be able to smooth at once.
  2. Image titled Smooth Glass Edges Step 7
    2
    Hold onto your glass object with one hand. You can try placing it inside a clamp, but it is more likely to crack the edge of your glass. Only use this method if you can safely grasp the glass object without coming into contact with the sanding bit.
    • Be very careful when handling electric tools. Wear gloves, eye protection and a ventilation mask.
  3. Image titled Smooth Glass Edges Step 8
    3
    Press the button to start the power tool. Hold the side edge of the bit against the edge of the glass.
  4. Image titled Smooth Glass Edges Step 9
    4
    Work in toward the center and out toward the outside edge to get a rounded edge. Rotate it slowly until you have traveled around the entire outside edge.
  5. Image titled Smooth Glass Edges Step 10
    5
    Finish off with a sheet of fine grit sandpaper against the edge to get an even smoother finish.[3]

Method 3
Smoothing with Silicon Carbide

  1. Image titled Smooth Glass Edges Step 11
    1
    Order a jar of silicon carbide powder. You can also order sheets of sandpaper, which is useful for the outer edges. If you have several glass bottles to smooth, this is likely to be the fastest way to sand them down.
    • This process creates an even rim, and is less likely to make your edges crack.
  2. Image titled Smooth Glass Edges Step 12
    2
    Find a piece of scrap plate glass, such as a piece of window, mirror or picture glass. Place it on your worktable over a piece of butcher paper or newspaper.
  3. Image titled Smooth Glass Edges Step 13
    3
    Pour the silicon carbide over the glass. Spray it lightly with a spray bottle to wet it down.
  4. Image titled Smooth Glass Edges Step 14
    4
    Place the bottle with the sharp edge against the plate glass and grit. Grasp it in your dominant hand.
  5. Image titled Smooth Glass Edges Step 15
    5
    Begin circling your hand and the bottle around the glass, moving in a figure eight motion. Make sure to stay within the glass surface. Give light pressure as you go around and around.
  6. Image titled Smooth Glass Edges Step 16
    6
    After 30 seconds to one minute, pick the bottle up and look at the edge. If the glass is no longer glossy and it is smooth to the touch all around, you are done.
  7. Image titled Smooth Glass Edges Step 17
    7
    Use the silicon carbide sandpaper along the outside and inside edges to create a curved, smooth edge. Also, use it to sand any rough spots you find.
  8. Image titled Smooth Glass Edges Step 18
    8
    Wipe the bottle or glass with a wet paper towel along the edge. Run it through the dishwasher.[4]

Warnings

  • Avoid breathing in the dust from the glass. Clean up your area very well before continuing with your project.

Things You'll Need

  • Emery cloth
  • Wood block
  • Power drill
  • Dremel tool
  • Sanding bit
  • Fine-grit sandpaper
  • Silicon carbide powder
  • Silicon carbide sandpaper
  • Glass surface
  • Spray bottle
  • Work gloves
  • Eye protection
  • Mask

Article Info

Categories: Glass and Stained Glass Projects