Author Topic: Polishing sanding scratches out of glass.  (Read 3630 times)

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Online Alex

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Polishing sanding scratches out of glass.
« on: November 10, 2021, 02:08 AM »
Anybody know how to polish sanding scratches out of glass?

A painter working for us made a lot of damage to about 10 windows, sanding by hand and with the DTS400. Instead of only sanding the wood around it he also made wide scratches on the first 5 centimeters of the glass and sometimes even in the middle of the window.

The scratches are not deep, but very noticeable. We contacted a specialised company and they didn't want to take the job, saying there is no guarantee they can make it right. The alternative would be to replace all the 10 windows, which would cost 5000 euro in material alone, without installation.

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Offline AstroKeith

  • Posts: 215
Re: Polishing sanding scratches out of glass.
« Reply #1 on: November 10, 2021, 02:53 AM »
Ouch!

I work with glass to make telescope mirrors. You would have to get a range of grinding and polishing compounds and using a padded buffer work through the compounds. A very long job. Plus clean up and change the pad every time you go to a finer compound - the coarse compound must be completely removed before progressing to a finer.

Normal window glass isnt as hard as some glasses, but it is still very hard!

Can you claim against the painter?
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Offline usernumber1

  • Posts: 191
Re: Polishing sanding scratches out of glass.
« Reply #2 on: November 10, 2021, 03:16 AM »
search google and youtube for Cerium Oxide

can be messy and lots of work or easy with a specialized setup

Offline Bob D.

  • Posts: 2401
Re: Polishing sanding scratches out of glass.
« Reply #3 on: November 10, 2021, 04:49 AM »
I have no idea if this would work but as I was reading this thread I
thought "I wonder if the technique used to fill scratches and cracks
in auto windshield glass would work?"

I don't know what the process is called but maybe a phone call to
a auto glass replacement company could shed some light on the
feasibility of this.

Not what I was thinking of but is this possible for your situation?

« Last Edit: November 10, 2021, 04:59 AM by Bob D. »
-----
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Offline Vondawg

  • Posts: 445
Re: Polishing sanding scratches out of glass.
« Reply #4 on: November 10, 2021, 07:08 AM »
If the scratches are anything like what we went thru years ago (same circumstances) they will probably not polish out …..we ended up ordering and installing/replacing the glass….wasn’t fun
There are no mistakes....just new designs.

Offline Packard

  • Posts: 863
Re: Polishing sanding scratches out of glass.
« Reply #5 on: November 10, 2021, 09:58 AM »
My first inclination is to do a google search for "optometry equipment and supplies".  You will probably find what you need there (though most glasses nowadays are made of plastic).

My second thought was "glass polishing", and that was a good search:  https://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-b-1-d&q=glass+polishing+kit
« Last Edit: November 10, 2021, 10:01 AM by Packard »

Offline Chainring

  • Posts: 130
Re: Polishing sanding scratches out of glass.
« Reply #6 on: November 10, 2021, 11:28 AM »
search google and youtube for Cerium Oxide

can be messy and lots of work or easy with a specialized setup
Exactly what I was going to recommend. I have a bottle from CarPro and it's designed to be used with some polishing pads that have almost no cushion.

https://www.autogeek.net/carpro-ceriglass-polish.html

https://www.autogeek.net/carpro-rayon-glass-polishing-pad.html

Offline Packard

  • Posts: 863
Re: Polishing sanding scratches out of glass.
« Reply #7 on: November 10, 2021, 11:41 AM »
Are they double-glazed or single-glazed?  Are they large or small?

Small pieces of single-glazed glass are cheap and it probably would be easier to replace the pieces.

Double glazed and larger pieces can get expensive though.

I was a picture framer and I cut lots of glass.  It is not difficult, but be careful because glass cuts are nasty. 

It is probably easier to remove the old glass and carry it into a glass shop and say, "match these".  They should be able to do the work (single glaze) while you wait. 


Offline FestitaMakool

  • Posts: 1063
Re: Polishing sanding scratches out of glass.
« Reply #8 on: November 10, 2021, 12:59 PM »
Alex, Ouch!

If the scratches aren’t too deep, I think it may be polished.
As Bob D. suggests an auto glass car shop may be a good start. Although any entrepreneur which specialises in glas facades may also be a good start. I’ve seen, but know little, that there have been specialists done surface repairs to windows, usually on the inside where there’s no coating - replacing large sheets of high tech glass panels costing 5 grand and upwards are worth a try, even for large entrepreneurs..
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Offline Crazyraceguy

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Re: Polishing sanding scratches out of glass.
« Reply #9 on: November 10, 2021, 01:38 PM »
Wow, that sucks.
One window, sure deal with it. But some idiot doing the same thing to 10?!
If one company already turned the job down, it's not likely that anyone else will take it either.
Any time and effort that you put into shopping the job around (or trying to fix it yourself) only to have to get it replaced anyway, is wasted.

I have no idea how the law works there, but in the US, the company that did this would be liable for the cost of repair or replacement.
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Online squall_line

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Re: Polishing sanding scratches out of glass.
« Reply #10 on: November 10, 2021, 01:44 PM »
I couldn't tell from the original posting if the "painter doing work for us" was a sub or an employee.  If it was a (possibly now former) employee, the liability/recoverability may not be there, unfortunately.

I'm interested in the results of this because it appears that someone did something similar on some of the windows of my house many years before I bought it; swirl marks in the corners that look like they're from either paint prep gone haywire or a drill-based glazing putty removal gone askew.

Offline Cheese

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Re: Polishing sanding scratches out of glass.
« Reply #11 on: November 10, 2021, 03:09 PM »
Hey Alex you could try 3M glass polishing compound. I've never used it but Mother Mining products are generally pretty darn good.  [smile]

https://www.3m.com/3M/en_US/p/d/b40065564/


Offline Packard

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Re: Polishing sanding scratches out of glass.
« Reply #12 on: November 10, 2021, 03:31 PM »
That 3M stuff seems like the right stuff.  Here's 3M's data on that.

https://www.3m.com/3M/en_US/p/d/b40065564/

There are a couple of videos out there.  Not particularly well-edited, but a good demonstration.  Glass is a very hard surface.  It would not surprise me if this turns out to be a long and tedious process.

« Last Edit: November 10, 2021, 03:42 PM by Packard »

Online Alex

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Re: Polishing sanding scratches out of glass.
« Reply #13 on: November 10, 2021, 04:17 PM »
Thanks for the replies guys. That 3M stuff looks promising. And looks like Cerium Oxide is the way to go.

After googling I found Mirka has a kit which includes a lot of Abranet papers in different grits, made especially for glass, and polishing compound for the final finish. I think I'm going to order that and a bottle of 3M polishing compound.

I was first thinking of using the Rotex as that's my polisher, but after seeing that video above I'm starting to think I need the RAS instead?  There is even an old glass polisher made by an independent company called Scratch-Away which used the RAS as their basis.

And the painter, he's an employee, and still is. Mistakes happen.

Offline Cheese

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Re: Polishing sanding scratches out of glass.
« Reply #14 on: November 10, 2021, 05:33 PM »
I was first thinking of using the Rotex as that's my polisher, but after seeing that video above I'm starting to think I need the RAS instead?  There is even an old glass polisher made by an independent company called Scratch-Away which used the RAS as their basis.

That makes sense Alex as I thought I read that 3M is looking at something over 1200 rpm and I think the Rotexes are all in the 600 rpm range.

Offline FestitaMakool

  • Posts: 1063
Re: Polishing sanding scratches out of glass.
« Reply #15 on: November 10, 2021, 05:45 PM »
I won’t be absolute here, but dual action (DA) as Rotex, polisher I’d maybe be careful with.
You may need to touch lightly, tilting the polisher ever so slightly - and with a DA polisher on presumably thin glass.. ai.. and the vibrations these provide..
Be careful and we might learn something her Alex - crossing fingers for success and learning something new! [wink]
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Offline Packard

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Re: Polishing sanding scratches out of glass.
« Reply #16 on: November 10, 2021, 06:37 PM »
I’d be really interested in how long it takes to polish out deep scratches.  We should have a betting pool.  I my bet is on 2 hours for fairly deep scratches.

It ain’t gonna be easy. 

I used to polish the headlight covers on my 1967 Alfa Duetto Spyder.  I didn’t have buffing compound.  I used Colgate tooth paste.  It took a while.  I also polished the rear clear vinyl window with Colgate.  My car had the best breath in the neighborhood.

Offline Crazyraceguy

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Re: Polishing sanding scratches out of glass.
« Reply #17 on: November 10, 2021, 07:10 PM »
My fault. I assumed because of "a painter working for us" took me straight to sub-contractor.
Shouldn't have assumed.
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Online Alex

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Re: Polishing sanding scratches out of glass.
« Reply #18 on: November 11, 2021, 01:45 AM »
I’d be really interested in how long it takes to polish out deep scratches. 

ROFL, I am so totally not interested in finding out.  [tongue] [big grin]

I don't think the scratches are deep, how deep can you get with sandpaper of grit 120?

I won’t be absolute here, but dual action (DA) as Rotex, polisher I’d maybe be careful with.
You may need to touch lightly, tilting the polisher ever so slightly - and with a DA polisher on presumably thin glass.. ai.. and the vibrations these provide..
Be careful and we might learn something her Alex - crossing fingers for success and learning something new! [wink]

I think I need to keep it as straight as possible in order to keep the glass straight and not create a lens effect. Been reading into it a bit now and they always warn for deformation of the glass. Our lens buddy above can agree.

I get the impression the Rotex with it's 600 RPM is way too slow, the dual action makes no difference. Everybody advises rotary in the range of 1500-2500 RPM.

I cross my fingers too, but I can do without this. I don't like to work with glass, it's too sharp. But I'm the only one who has the slightest chance of succes with this in this company. Not sure if that's a compliment or not.  [tongue]

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 9117
Re: Polishing sanding scratches out of glass.
« Reply #19 on: November 11, 2021, 10:19 AM »
Well, I'm thinking a RAP 150-21 FE spinning at 900-2100 RPM is in your future.  [big grin] 

My  [2cents] ...the RAP with a 80 mm Polishing pad 488337, some Mirka 90 mm diamond paper and then some 90 mm sponges for the 3M glass polish. Maybe throw in a couple of 90 mm hard felt polishing pads also to keep things flat.

Keeping the polished area as small as possible will certainly speed up the process and keeping it as narrow as possible may visually hide any surface aberrations.

https://www.mirka.com/MI241D-DMD/

Here's something interesting, 3M offers both diamond lapping film and cerium oxide lapping film. I'd suspect the cerium oxide film is cheaper.

https://multimedia.3m.com/mws/media/686826O/3mtm-lapping-polishing-film-for-precision-proc-finishing.pdf

Offline Michael Kellough

  • Posts: 5307
Re: Polishing sanding scratches out of glass.
« Reply #20 on: November 11, 2021, 12:20 PM »
Which abrasive scratched the glass?

Not sure where I got the idea that aluminum oxide wouldn’t scratch glass. Is that true or false?

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 9117
Re: Polishing sanding scratches out of glass.
« Reply #21 on: November 11, 2021, 01:41 PM »
Not sure where I got the idea that aluminum oxide wouldn’t scratch glass. Is that true or false?

Here ya go Michael...


Online Alex

  • Posts: 7745
Re: Polishing sanding scratches out of glass.
« Reply #22 on: November 11, 2021, 04:46 PM »
Which abrasive scratched the glass?

Not sure where I got the idea that aluminum oxide wouldn’t scratch glass. Is that true or false?

It was Festool Granat on the DTS, 120 grit, but only used sparingly. Most damage was done by hand sandpaper, I don't know which.

Every sandpaper can scratch glass.

Online Alex

  • Posts: 7745
Re: Polishing sanding scratches out of glass.
« Reply #23 on: November 11, 2021, 04:48 PM »
Well, I'm thinking a RAP 150-21 FE spinning at 900-2100 RPM is in your future.  [big grin] 

Ha, I think I do want one,  [smile] But too much money for the limited use I'd get out of it. I think the RAS will do for this little problem right now.

Offline FestitaMakool

  • Posts: 1063
Re: Polishing sanding scratches out of glass.
« Reply #24 on: November 11, 2021, 05:28 PM »
Well, I'm thinking a RAP 150-21 FE spinning at 900-2100 RPM is in your future.  [big grin] 

Ha, I think I do want one,  [smile] But too much money for the limited use I'd get out of it. I think the RAS will do for this little problem right now.

Solution: Cheese might enjoy the Dutch dikes and canals off season, to see the non-postcard stereotypes scenic views..
Bring him and his arsenal over  [wink] [big grin]
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Offline Bert Vanderveen

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Re: Polishing sanding scratches out of glass.
« Reply #25 on: November 11, 2021, 05:34 PM »
Which abrasive scratched the glass?

Not sure where I got the idea that aluminum oxide wouldn’t scratch glass. Is that true or false?

It was Festool Granat on the DTS, 120 grit, but only used sparingly. Most damage was done by hand sandpaper, I don't know which.

Every sandpaper can scratch glass.


I remember reading somewhere that glass will always stay fluid. So maybe the scratches will disappear by themselves thru gravity in a few centuries…
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Offline Crazyraceguy

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Re: Polishing sanding scratches out of glass.
« Reply #26 on: November 11, 2021, 06:43 PM »

I remember reading somewhere that glass will always stay fluid. So maybe the scratches will disappear by themselves thru gravity in a few centuries…

I have heard that somewhere too. "They say" that if you take out the window panes from a really old building, the glass is thicker at the bottom, from sagging over time. I don't think any of us have the time to see if that works out though....lol
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Online Alex

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Re: Polishing sanding scratches out of glass.
« Reply #27 on: November 12, 2021, 12:50 AM »
Solution: Cheese might enjoy the Dutch dikes and canals off season, to see the non-postcard stereotypes scenic views..
Bring him and his arsenal over  [wink] [big grin]

Hm, that would be cool if I could borrow Cheese's RAP.

I remember reading somewhere that glass will always stay fluid. So maybe the scratches will disappear by themselves thru gravity in a few centuries…

Yeah, well, I ain't got time for that.  [tongue]

I have heard that somewhere too. "They say" that if you take out the window panes from a really old building, the glass is thicker at the bottom, from sagging over time. I don't think any of us have the time to see if that works out though....lol

I've read that too. So when I had to replace a broken window of 80 x 40 cm they said was at least 120 years old, I brought my calipers to see if I could detect anything. I didn't notice any difference.

Offline Crazyraceguy

  • Posts: 855
Re: Polishing sanding scratches out of glass.
« Reply #28 on: November 12, 2021, 10:35 AM »
That was the point of the quote marks on the "they say". I'm not so sure about random, unproven claims like that either. It's purely anecdotal because they can't possibly prove that it wasn't that way to start with.
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Offline Cheese

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Re: Polishing sanding scratches out of glass.
« Reply #29 on: November 12, 2021, 12:36 PM »
That was the point of the quote marks on the "they say". I'm not so sure about random, unproven claims like that either. It's purely anecdotal because they can't possibly prove that it wasn't that way to start with.

An interesting article from Scientific American.

Bottom line..."A mathematical model shows it would take longer than the universe has existed for room temperature cathedral glass to rearrange itself to appear melted."

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/fact-fiction-glass-liquid/

Offline AstroKeith

  • Posts: 215
Re: Polishing sanding scratches out of glass.
« Reply #30 on: November 12, 2021, 12:37 PM »
Glass flowing is a myth. True its close to being a liquid, but against that it has tremendous chemical bonds between atoms and molecules that liquids dont have.

Its been calculated that typical old glass would flow by 1nm over a billion years. Interestingly, the lead holding the glass in old windows would flow about a billion times faster!

Glass has only been made flat for the last 70 years (Pilkington's float method), before that the thickness varied enormously over even a small pane in manufacture
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Festool USA does not pre-approve the contents of this website nor endorse the application or use of any Festool product in any way other than in the manner described in the Festool Instruction Manual. To reduce the risk of serious injury and/or damage to your Festool product, always read, understand and follow all warnings and instructions in your Festool product's Instruction Manual. Although Festool strives for accuracy in the website material, the website may contain inaccuracies. Festool makes no representations about the accuracy, reliability, completeness or timeliness of the material on this website or about the results to be obtained from using the website. Festool and its affiliates cannot be responsible for improper postings or your reliance on the website's material. Your use of any material contained on this website is entirely at your own risk. The content contained on this site is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice.


Online squall_line

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Re: Polishing sanding scratches out of glass.
« Reply #31 on: November 12, 2021, 12:39 PM »
I haven't read that specific article, but I've read and researched enough to adhere to the conclusion that any instances of old glass that is thicker at the bottom than at the top is that way because a) flat glass was spun to flatten and then cut, resulting in uneven thickness, and b) all things equal, it's easier to install glass with the thicker part down because the thicker part is heavier and has a wider, more stable base.

Offline Crazyraceguy

  • Posts: 855
Re: Polishing sanding scratches out of glass.
« Reply #32 on: November 12, 2021, 06:02 PM »

Glass has only been made flat for the last 70 years (Pilkington's float method), before that the thickness varied enormously over even a small pane in manufacture

Yes, that is why large "picture windows" became praised/valued when they were first available. Before that large window spaces were comprised of many smaller panes with mullions and muntins separating them like tiles.
Those small panes were made by blowing glass into cylinders. Then cooling and cutting the ends off, splitting the tube into two half circles, reheated to lay flat. It was a lot of work and that's how the bubbles and waves got in there too.
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Offline FestitaMakool

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Re: Polishing sanding scratches out of glass.
« Reply #33 on: November 12, 2021, 06:22 PM »
Love the bubbles and waves.. [wink]

As a owner of an old house, my outhouse has pretty wavy glass. An acquaintance of mine was by one time, looked at the old windows and said: “Will be good once you get rid of those bad old windows”
I didn’t say anything, just looked at him and thought: “You have no clue, have you”.. then we had coffee  [big grin] [big grin]
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Offline Packard

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Re: Polishing sanding scratches out of glass.
« Reply #34 on: November 12, 2021, 06:27 PM »
Not really on topic, but interesting anyhow.  I drove into a small down in upstate New York about 50 years ago.  The local restaurant had a front window comprised of many small panes of glass. 

Each (approximately 12” x 12”) pane bellied out so that it was convex on the outside and concave on the inside.  The net result was that the patrons in the restaurant had unimpeded vision out the glass. 

But people looking in from the outside saw greatly reduced images of what was going on inside.  Each pane appeared to have the same optical image of a greatly reduced restaurant interior.  The images were so small that no one inside was recognizable. 

It afforded a lot of privacy without seeming to.  The people inside saw undistorted images and on the outside, microscopic images. 

It always impressed me.  Of course that was before double pane and e-glass.  So this would probably never happened in 2021.

I apologize for the digression.

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 9117
Re: Polishing sanding scratches out of glass.
« Reply #35 on: November 12, 2021, 09:33 PM »
I drove into a small down in upstate New York about 50 years ago.  The local restaurant had a front window comprised of many small panes of glass. 

Each (approximately 12” x 12”) pane bellied out so that it was convex on the outside and concave on the inside.  The net result was that the patrons in the restaurant had unimpeded vision out the glass. 

But people looking in from the outside saw greatly reduced images of what was going on inside.  Each pane appeared to have the same optical image of a greatly reduced restaurant interior.  The images were so small that no one inside was recognizable. 

It afforded a lot of privacy without seeming to.  The people inside saw undistorted images and on the outside, microscopic images. 

It always impressed me.  Of course that was before double pane and e-glass.  So this would probably never happened in 2021.

I apologize for the digression.

No apology necessary...I've certainly side-tracked my share of threads.  [smile]

I think that's a great observation...the old precursor to privacy glass without tinting the windows or applying light reduction film to them. An early attempt at letting the sun shine in but keeping the prying eyeballs out.

Offline Sometimewoodworker

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Re: Polishing sanding scratches out of glass.
« Reply #36 on: November 12, 2021, 10:57 PM »

I remember reading somewhere that glass will always stay fluid. So maybe the scratches will disappear by themselves thru gravity in a few centuries…

I have heard that somewhere too. "They say" that if you take out the window panes from a really old building, the glass is thicker at the bottom, from sagging over time. I don't think any of us have the time to see if that works out though....lol
Both the glass stays fluid and the old buildings have thicker glass at the bottom because it sags over time are complete myth.

NO glass is not fluid and NO it doesn’t sag over time.

The reason for glass being thicker in old windows (pre 1834) is that it was made by blowing glass, piercing the bubble then spinning it into a disk (the crown process), this process produced a flat circle of glass, though the thickness was not uniform, that was cut for windows, the cheapest, and incidentally strongest, was the centre or bullseye that was bought by pubs for their windows. The glass cut for regular windows varied in thickness and it was probably felt that the thicker part should be fitted at the bottom.
The other method was broadsheet glass, invented in Britain in the early 17th century, a lengthy balloon of glass that was blown, and then both ends of the glass were removed, leaving a cylinder to be split and flattened. Again having 2 bullseye pieces and the flattened sheet was not uniform thickness.
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Online Alex

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Re: Polishing sanding scratches out of glass.
« Reply #37 on: November 13, 2021, 12:11 AM »
I apologize for the digression.

Fine with me. I think I've learned here what I needed to know, I don't mind if the rest of this discussion is about anything glass related you can think of.

Offline Crazyraceguy

  • Posts: 855
Re: Polishing sanding scratches out of glass.
« Reply #38 on: November 13, 2021, 08:50 AM »
I apologize for the digression.

Fine with me. I think I've learned here what I needed to know, I don't mind if the rest of this discussion is about anything glass related you can think of.

I agree completely. Once the original topic is effectively resolved, why not learn something? It adds to the enrichment of everyone, especially since this particular group spans many countries, while having a commonality in the tools, yet we may all use/see them differently too. "You don't know what you don't know" even in your own country/culture. It's even better across them. I have learned a lot from this forum, especially the European members.
Derailed again....  ;)
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