Broken hinge on glass top

qquake2k

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I didn't know where to post this. Moderators please move it if needed.

This is a 46 gallon bowfront I've been working on. Other than buying a new top for $60, does anybody have any ideas on how to fix/replace the hinge?
 

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Sheena-Phx

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Super easy fix! You just need some Silicone. You can leave the hinge there, but everything needs to be cleaned well to remove any hard water and mineral build up. Vinegar and a razor blade work wonders. Once everything is clean use some
"GE Silicone 1 All Purpose 100% Silicone"

Cheapest/safe silicone to use for aquariums. You'll want to spread a bead on the top with your finger, evenly distributing it. Then let it dry for a day. Hinge will be good as new. I've repaired many glass lids with this when my hinges came apart in the middle like yours.
 

kallililly1973

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That sounds like a good way to repair it. I've also seen videos where people use vinyl siding channels to make it so their glass tops slide instead of flip. Not sure it will work for a bow front but it's worth looking into.
 
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qquake2k

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Super easy fix! You just need some Silicone. You can leave the hinge there, but everything needs to be cleaned well to remove any hard water and mineral build up. Vinegar and a razor blade work wonders. Once everything is clean use some
"GE Silicone 1 All Purpose 100% Silicone"

Cheapest/safe silicone to use for aquariums. You'll want to spread a bead on the top with your finger, evenly distributing it. Then let it dry for a day. Hinge will be good as new. I've repaired many glass lids with this when my hinges came apart in the middle like yours.
I was going to say I'm not sure I could clean the hinge, since it's plastic. I thought it was glued to the glass. But I just went to double check, and voila! The pieces pulled right off. I'll scrape the edges and try silicone. Thanks for the suggestion!
 

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Momgoose56

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I was going to say I'm not sure I could clean the hinge, since it's plastic. I thought it was glued to the glass. But I just went to double check, and voila! The pieces pulled right off. I'll scrape the edges and try silicone. Thanks for the suggestion!
You can buy those plastic channel glass hinge strips. Many independent aquarium/fish stores either have the steps ypu can buy and cut to the length you need, or can order it for you. You should call around and see. You just need to know the lid glass thickness (1/4", 3/8" etc.) So the channel the glass fits in is the right size. My fish store sells the hinge strips in 6 foot lengths.
 
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qquake2k

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You can buy those plastic channel glass hinge strips. Many independent aquarium/fish stores either have the steps ypu can buy and cut to the length you need, or can order it for you. You should call around and see. You just need to know the lid glass thickness (1/4", 3/8" etc.) So the channel the glass fits in is the right size. My fish store sells the hinge strips in 6 foot lengths.
I'll check with the LFS. Thanks for the suggestion.
 

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Pet Mountain is Ca..
 
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qquake2k

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Great idea, but both sizes are out of stock. I found one somewhere else, but with shipping, it's over $20. I'll try the silicone like Sheena-PHX suggested first.
 

Sheena-Phx

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Yeah, replacing the hinges is great, but not very cost effective unfortunately. The silicone lasts a really long time(probably longer than the darn hinge, lol) and can always be replaced if needed for dirt cheap. One tube will fix a lot of lids!
 

Momgoose56

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Yeah, replacing the hinges is great, but not very cost effective unfortunately. The silicone lasts a really long time(probably longer than the darn hinge, lol) and can always be replaced if needed for dirt cheap. One tube will fix a lot of lids!
So now I'm curious-how exactly do you apply the silicone so it's thin enough between the panes of glass to bend so the lid opens but thick enough so that it holds onto the lid? And what type of surface do you put the glass on so the silicone doesn't also adhere to that? Do you have a recipe (method) you can describe? What kind of silicone do you use for this application? Is there any special prep for the glass (besides the usual scrape off deposits, clean and dry glass)? I would LOVE to make silicone hinges instead of having to search for these hinges every time I need to replace them.!
 
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qquake2k

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After I clean the glass, I plan on putting down masking tape to make straight lines on the silicone. I'll smear the silicone with a finger until it's maybe 1/8" thick in the middle, tapering thinner at the edges. Then let it set for 12-24 hours. Hopefully, that will be thick enough for strength, but thin enough for flexibility. I'll document the process with photos and post them here.
 

Sheena-Phx

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@qquake2k, that's a great idea to keep the lines straight. I've never found that necessary, but it will definitely help if you are unsure.

@Momgoose56-The way that we do it here is we totally clear off our dining room table and clean and scrape the lids until they are spotless. We use vinegar, rags, and a razor blade. The hinges, or what's left of them, is also cleaned. After everything is ready we then lay some newspaper down and put the lid on the table, fully assembled, with what is left of the hinge in place. We use GE Silicone 1 All Purpose 100% Silicone and a caulk gun. Because you are only putting silicone on the top, there is now fear of it sticking to anything other than the lid/hinge. we simply squeeze a line (probably a 1/4 inch bead if I had to guess) down the entire length of the hinge, directly in the center. Then we use a finger and spread it evenly making sure to remove the excess when you reach the end(Paper towels or rags come in very handy for sticky fingers, lol) We go pretty thin, much thinner than 1/8 of an inch(maybe 1/16"), and it holds just fine. It adheres very well and is sturdy. Can still be opened and closed just fine once dry. Depending on the temps/humidity, time of year, etc it can be ready to go back on the tank in as little as a few hours, but to fully cure it will obviously need about a day to be considered so. We let them dry enough to be moved back to the tank, then let them finish curing there. And that's that. We've done several lids this way and they actually feel more sturdy than the original hinge before we had to fix them. This is a very cheap and effective alternative to replacing the lids or hinges and can be an absolute lifesaver when your lid falls apart all of a sudden one day. Lol.
 

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I think I would just duck tape it before caulking ??
Some good LFS do carry them and the back plastic part of hoods ..
 

Sheena-Phx

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As a side note, I've also seen someone on Youtube make aquarium lids with custom cut glass and silicone. Using only the silicone as a hinge, no previous "aquarium hinges". It's something I plan on trying in the future, as I have some tanks that I need lids for. You can either have the glass cut at the hardware store, or use a glass cutter and do it yourself at home. Just need to buy the panes at Home Depot or something.
 

coralbandit

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The cracked hinge? It will work as well as silicone and last as long [weeks ,months maybe ?]..
Meant to say tape it instead of as apposed to before caulikng ...I would not caulk myself and expect good results .. Caulk does not bond well to plastic at all..
 

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I think I would just duck tape it before caulking ??
Some good LFS do carry them and the back plastic part of hoods ..
Oh, that’s a great idea! Add it to the 1005 uses for duck tape lol! And yes, I will probably try this as I use the stuff for everything! And I have hinges to fix.
 

Momgoose56

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@qquake2k, that's a great idea to keep the lines straight. I've never found that necessary, but it will definitely help if you are unsure.

@Momgoose56-The way that we do it here is we totally clear off our dining room table and clean and scrape the lids until they are spotless. We use vinegar, rags, and a razor blade. The hinges, or what's left of them, is also cleaned. After everything is ready we then lay some newspaper down and put the lid on the table, fully assembled, with what is left of the hinge in place. We use GE Silicone 1 All Purpose 100% Silicone and a caulk gun. Because you are only putting silicone on the top, there is now fear of it sticking to anything other than the lid/hinge. we simply squeeze a line (probably a 1/4 inch bead if I had to guess) down the entire length of the hinge, directly in the center. Then we use a finger and spread it evenly making sure to remove the excess when you reach the end(Paper towels or rags come in very handy for sticky fingers, lol) We go pretty thin, much thinner than 1/8 of an inch(maybe 1/16"), and it holds just fine. It adheres very well and is sturdy. Can still be opened and closed just fine once dry. Depending on the temps/humidity, time of year, etc it can be ready to go back on the tank in as little as a few hours, but to fully cure it will obviously need about a day to be considered so. We let them dry enough to be moved back to the tank, then let them finish curing there. And that's that. We've done several lids this way and they actually feel more sturdy than the original hinge before we had to fix them. This is a very cheap and effective alternative to replacing the lids or hinges and can be an absolute lifesaver when your lid falls apart all of a sudden one day. Lol.
Aaaah! Okay. That clarifies that! I thought you were making a whole new hinge out of just the silicone! You're using the old hinge and actually repairing it in a sense. Okay. I've been pitching my broken hinges in the trash and replacing them. Not anymore! Thanks for the info!
 
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qquake2k

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Aaaah! Okay. That clarifies that! I thought you were making a whole new hinge out of just the silicone! You're using the old hinge and actually repairing it in a sense. Okay. I've been pitching my broken hinges in the trash and replacing them. Not anymore! Thanks for the info!
No, I removed the old hinge, as shown in my photos. The silicone will be the new hinge.
 
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qquake2k

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The cracked hinge? It will work as well as silicone and last as long [weeks ,months maybe ?]..
Meant to say tape it instead of as apposed to before caulikng ...I would not caulk myself and expect good results .. Caulk does not bond well to plastic at all..
I won't be using actual caulk, but 100% silicone. It will adhere to glass or plastic.
 
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