How to Grind & Polish the Edges of Glass Shelves

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Glass shelves provide a touch of elegance to any home décor by creating a "floating" effect for any objects that you set on top of them. If you have a glass shelving system that has rough, unfinished edges, you know they can be sharp and dangerous. To avoid getting cut on the glass, you can grind the edges down with specialized glass tools, which polishes the edges to a smooth finish.

Things You'll Need

  • Gloves
  • Safety glasses
  • Glass grinder
  • Water or grinding oil (optional)
  • Towel

Put on safety glasses and gloves before grinding the edges of the glass shelves.

Turn on any overhead lights or position additional lamps near the worktable. Since glass is clear, bright light is required in order to see the edges properly.

Set the glass grinder on a work surface and plug the cord into an electrical outlet. Fill the internal tank with water or oil if instructed to do so by the manufacturer.

Attach a super fine grinder bit to the glass grinder following the manufacturer's instructions.

Lay the glass shelf flat on the glass grinder with the unfinished edge facing the grinder wheel.

Turn the glass grinder on and place your hands flat on top of the glass shelf. Move it forward just until the edge touches the grinder bit. Move the glass edge along the bit in a smooth, slow motion until you reach the end of the shelf.

Rub your gloved hand along the edge of the shelf to feel for roughness. If any rough parts remain, you will feel your glove catch on the glass.

Push the glass shelf back against the grinder and move it along the entire edge, if needed, to remove any roughness. Then rotate the glass to grind and polish the other three edges.

Wipe the glass shelf with a clean towel to remove any glass dust and to wipe away any water left by the glass grinder.

Set the glass shelf aside and repeat the grinding process with any remaining glass shelves.

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