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Thread: Using Tempered Glass Instead of Plexiglass?

  1. #1
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    Using Tempered Glass Instead of Plexiglass?

    About a month ago, me and a buddy of mine took my spare tire out of my wheelwell in the trunk and built a little compartment in the wheelwell to house my amp and capacitor. Then we fabricated a piece of square plexiglass that was built flush into the surface of the trunk so that you could peer through it and see the amp and capacitor underneath. I spent a lot of time doing a lot of precise cutting and sanding work on the plexi and then painted the JL Audio logo onto it. Unfortunately, while I was returning home from college during winter break, I did not have enough room in just the back seat of my car to put all the crap I was bringing home so I put some of the lighter stuff in the trunk. Between the trip going home and coming back up to college, I guess the crap I put in the trunk scuffed up the plexiglass a little and that was rather upsetting. I realized that there will be many instances where I will be forced to put some crap in my trunk and the plexi will just get more and more scratched as time goes on. My question now is whether there are any issues with replacing the plexiglass with a custom cut piece of tempered glass and instead of painting the JL Audio logo onto it, I'm just gonna buy vinyls and stick them on the underside of the glass (considering there are no issues with using the glass). I wanted some input on this before I start cutting the glass...just wondering what people have to say about this. Perhaps someone has done this in the past?

  2. #2
    FLAC sdashiki's Avatar
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    how are you going to secure this glass? as you cant screw it or nail it.

    glass is still going to get scratched, maybe not so easily, but you shouldt have something you want to keep clean and blemish free in a place where it CAN have this kind of abuse.

    in any case, I think glass is a bad idea, it absorbs heat and is certainly not as resilient with pressure and weight as acrylic of the same thickness.
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  3. #3
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    wrap a piece of MDF, the same size as the cutout, in foam and fleece so you can put it over the plexi when storing stuff in the trunk.

  4. #4
    Variable Bitrate Spawn12336's Avatar
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    I have the same issue in my santa fe, easiest thing I found was that roll of soft plastic mesh from IKEA that you put on shelves to prevent things from slipping about. no scratched plexi, or fibreglass boxes. I just roll it up when I got to shows, and put it back when I am leaving.
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    Maximum Bitrate GoHybrid's Avatar
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    or you could use a thin sheet of clear vinyl or if you REALLY wanted the best clarity, a sheet of mylar on TOP of your plexi. Glass is strong but brittle. In a vibration prone environment with potential impacts like your trunk, I'd actually put my vote on staying with plexi. Just use a sacrificial cover like clear vinyl sheet or mylar that you can replace in 5 minutes when you need to make it clean again. Think about that plastic stuff that they put over LCDs when they ship them that you get to peel off when you buy it brand new. That's kind of what I'm talking about... and you can imagine they do that for the same reason.
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    Hey everyone, thanks a lot for the feedback. To answer sdashiki's question of how I have it fastened, I have 4 little pieces of metal that run diagonally across each of the corners under the surface in my trunk so that all I have to do is lay the plexi square into the square cut out and the corners of it sit on the little metal pieces.

    Guizai: I dunno what MDF is so i'll have to look that up. Thanks for the suggestion.

    Spawn: I'll take that advice into consideration as well.

    GoHybrid: Thank you again, for always posting a response for all my questions I realize that glass is strong but brittle, hence the reason I opted to try tempered glass (which is supposedly a lot more structurally sound the way it's made). I dunno how well it would work in that kind of environment though. Is low bass likely to shatter glass? cuz from what I remember from high school physics, glass only had a chance of shattering from a certain frequency of sound and it was usually pretty high. I really would like steer away from using any kind of cover on the plexi or glass...jus cuz if it isn't 100% clear, it drives me nuts (i'm anal like that :-/)

    So. If shattering is the only thing I should be concerned about with the glass, I think I just might give it a shot...and if it shatters, well then I shall bow down in shame and admit defeat (you guys can tell I'm asian can't you haha ) and switch back to plexi. I'll take some pics once I cut the glass and put it in.

  7. #7
    Raw Wave shotgunefx's Avatar
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    I'd be worried that the tempered glass would shatter from the cargo, and if it does, will be in a million pieces, dumping your cargo on your hardware. If it's just an amp, then I guess that's not too big a deal though.

  8. #8
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    You'd want to pad the edges of the glass so they did not get up against the metal frame. If tempered glass gets struck on an edge you'll be cleaning up approximately 10,000 little pieces of glass from your amp rack. Not to mention tempered glass is a special order item, and not cheap. Once a piece of glass is tempered, it cannot be cut. So, you need to have a piece of regular glass cut to size, then have your glass people send it in to get it tempered. (Or send the tempering company measurements.)

    in addition to the above advice: You can polish plexiglas, then protect as stated above. If you want to try actual glass, use laminated glass. (Think windshield material) That way if it breaks, it will still be in one piece. (Local glass shops typically stock this stuff, also. If they do truck windshields (think Peterbilt).

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    heh, ok ok I'm convinced. seems no one thinks it's a good idea so I'll choose another substitute for the tempered glass. thanks everyone

  10. #10
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    Soooo I thought you guys might be interested to see what my trunk looks like after all this whining and complaining from me ...i'm attaching some pics. If you notice the little discoloration on the left side of the JL Audio logo, that's what I've been complaining about the paint getting scratched up a little bit and I spent ...bah...like an hour painting the logo on there So, gonna redo the plexi and use all your suggestions about putting something over it to protect it from scratches
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