Some major surgery – Cracked glass, the sequel… (part 1/2)


After I applied the fix to the cracked glass divider inside the paludarium, I noticed… Another crack in the same divider, but now on the other side. I had had enough. More drastic measures were needed… But how to go about that? Luckily, the supplier that built the glass paludarium stepped up and offered to help!



How to fix this issue for good

I figured it would be virtually impossible to remove the glass divider and glue in a new one. I needed more knowledgeable advice. So I contacted the supplier of the paludarium that originally built it for me, Terrariumhuis in Rotterdam. They gave me some good advice on how to apply a fix, but even better: They offered me to replace the glass divider free of charge! Now that is just support from suppliers you do not see everyday: Instead of just telling me how to fix the issue, they went the extra mile and offered to repair it properly. Chapeau!


Part 1: Removing the glass divider

Terrariumhuis offered me to place a new glass divider free of charge in my paludarium. However, I needed to remove the old cracked glass divider myself. Now that in itself is NOT an easy task: How to remove a 6mm glass window, glued tightly into a glass box?? Here’s what I did.

First, I cut away as much silicon glue as I could using a small hobby knife. But still, the glass divider would not move at all. I decided to make a cut straight from top to bottom through the glass divider. I took a glass cutter, and made two cuts about 2cm apart from top to bottom. Then I used the glass cutter to gently tap against the back of the glass (opposite to the cut) to break the glass in a controlled way (the glass will break easiest at the cut that was made):

Making two controlled breaks in the glass to be removed using a glass cutter, tapping and patience

Making two controlled breaks in the glass to be removed using a glass cutter, tapping and patience

After the cut was made, I used a little bit more force to remove the glass that sat in between both cuts:

Removing the glass inbetween both cuts took a little more work

Removing the glass inbetween both cuts took a little more work

Finally, the glass was completely divided in two, and I could start to apply some force on the individual parts:

The cut is now complete, and the divider is actually divided in two for easier removal.

The cut is now complete, and the divider is actually divided in two for easier removal.

But both sides still would not budge. They were just glued in too tight. So I decided to make another cut in each side, this time diagonal so that each piece of glass would only be held by glue in one dimension (allowing me to move it back and forth):

Cutting the pieces diagonal would leave each piece glued in only one direction for easier removal

Cutting the pieces diagonal would leave each piece glued in only one direction for easier removal

Finally, I managed to remove all glass and clean out all the remaining silicon glue. This is all that remained:

All that remained of the old glass divider. Ready to place a new one!

All that remained of the old glass divider. Ready to place a new one!

Now I’m ready for part two, placing a new glass divider by Terrariumhuis. Stay tuned!

UPDATE: The glass divider was replaced free of charge, and it looks way better than my original fix! You can read about it here.

I would like to thank Terrariumhuis for their amazing support in solving my issue free of charge.

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