Scary Sharp, What is Float Glass, and where can one get some.

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Hi all,
I read the essay on scary sharp and want to give it a try. What is Float Glass and where can one get it? Barring Float Glass, what is the next best thing to use. Something I can buy at a Home Depot or something.
Thanks, Daniel
--



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DANIEL HENEGHAN wrote:

Forget about the Borg, you need to go to an industrial type glass shop. I got a piece of plate glass about 3/4 inch thick by six by 16 inches. He just happened to have that sitting in his bin. The guy sanded off the edges(!) so I wouldn't get cut, and that was it. About $8.00 because he didn't have to cut anything.
You can also use a machinist's surface plate but those are big and very heavy. About $75-$100 plus shipping from Enco.
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forth from the murky depths:

If you can wait until they have their special times (right now is one of them) shipping is free.
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Ed Clarke writes:

Grizzly has their 9x12x2 granite for $17.95, plus shipping. Total is under $25.
Charlie Self "For NASA, space is still a high priority." Dan Quayle
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Check granite installation shops. Got mine as cutout for sink, gratis.
On 29 Apr 2004 09:05:54 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@aol.comnotforme (Charlie Self) wrote:

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Why ?

Plate glass hasn't been made in decades.
These days all glass that isn't decoratively figured or really low end "greenhouse glass" is made by the float process. It's just cheaper that way.
My sharpening plate is the glass top from an old photocopier. Useful size, tempered safety glass in case I drop it, and the edges were already bevelled.
For sharpening, especially when you're gluing a paper-backed abrasive to it, then worrying about the type of glass you use is sheer overkill.
--
Smert' spamionam

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I got a flat piece of 12" floor tile. cost about $9 from a tile store located in the parking lot of...drum roll, please...Home Depot. :)
dave
DANIEL HENEGHAN wrote:

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I asked for float at a local glass shop. They said "there used to be a difference, but now all glass is made the same way." I found a glass shelf at Target, 6" x 24" x 3/8" for way cheap. I later found a 12" square marble tile at a tile store (next door to WoodCraft...). The tile works well too, and it was on sale.
To add to the discussion: There's some squish in sandpaper + 77. Why get a surface plate good to 0.001 when your paper squishes more than that? Not that I'd object to owning one, mind you.
Rockler had some 3x wet&dry paper; I tried some and it really does last longer than what I'd gotten at Ace. Get your fine grits at an auto parts store. Then go back to Rockler and get the 8000-12000 grit papers. (I never have.)
If you don't have a crepe block for a power sander, use a crepe eraser. Works great for getting the gunk out of the paper. DAGS and you can find recipes for making your own honing fluid, should you choose to go that route. IIRC, the essay describes grinding dry. A little homemade fluid slows the clogging way down.
Go easy with the Super77 spray adhesive. When I started, I used too much. It globbed out onto the glass. You'll want to smooth the paper when you glue it down. Use a dowel or something (ever heated an MRE?)
Regards,
--
"Keep your ass behind you."

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On Wed, 28 Apr 2004 22:31:22 -0500, Australopithecus scobis

Right. The kitchen formica or a spare hunk of BB ply is good.

Or just wet it and lay it down.
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I tried that, but the paper moved annoyingly. Use very light pressure on the blade?
--
"Keep your ass behind you."

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On Thu, 29 Apr 2004 09:59:49 -0500, Australopithecus scobis

Yes, fairly light, and I usually have a couple digits holding the paper in place. (But not in the trajectory of a Scary blade edge.) Caveat Sandor.
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MDF is good too, cheap and ultra flat.
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Almost all glass is floated, even if it will be tempered or polished later. It would be an old plant that did otherwise.
They flatten that granite plate by making random orbits with "rocks" that have grooves in 'em.
Amazing what advertising can do with reality, isn't it?

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I believe that this is the method commonly used for much of the glass that is on the market today. The molten glass is floated on a bed of molten tin. It is allowed to settle into a nearly flat configuration. It is a relatively inexpensive way to produce large amounts of reasonable qualilty glass. We used to get plate glass for more critical applications. The plate glass was actually ground and polished to get an optimum surface. It was extremely high quality and flat. Your local glass shop can tell you much more about the glass that is available.
Dick

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Float glass is made by floating the molten glass on another liquid (oil?, lead?, I really don't recall at the moment) to cool so gravity can smooth it out. If you really want it and your local glass shops don't carry it I'ld suggest asking at antique shops. Don't buy antique glass however, glass distorts over time.

A piece of marble or granite floor tile should do nicely. The local HD all most always has some sub $2 marble tile.
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John Keeney wrote:

You're not going to find it in antique shops since the float process was invented sometime in the 1950s. Generally speaking if you encounter a piece of recently-made flat (as opposed to curved or rounded) it will most likely be float glass--flat glass made by other processes is a specialty item. Basically you just need a piece of window glass thick enough to stand up to handling.

--
--John
Reply to jclarke at ae tee tee global dot net
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Well, another "fact" I learned from that guy that was wrong. I had all ready scratched off huge areas of what he had told me but it looks like I have a few more to go.
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wrote:

if you're talking about what you quoted above as attributed to John Keeney, aside from being a bit vague it's essentially correct.
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On Fri, 30 Apr 2004 09:31:04 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@igetenoughspamalreadythanks.com wrote:

erp. sorry, that was J. Clarke's post that was essentially correct, if vague.
I think.
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Find a hardware store that sells louvered glass windows. The individual plates are perfect for SS use. My local hw store sells a 24x4x3/8 with burnished edges for about $4.
HTH,
Vic

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