Glass Boxes Of Utah
Glass Boxes Of Utah
History / Why a Glass Case

Glass Boxes Of Utah History:

Making Glass Boxes is a hobby - sideline business for me.

I started out in this because My wife bought me a 40 inch long RMS Titanic model ship, for Christmas one year, and it sat in a huge clear plastic bag for a year.

I thought that this was nuts to have such a nice wooden ship model displayed this way.

I researched online for ship model cases and well, even though these are nice cases that these companies make specifically for huge ship models, I felt they lacked something. Even though they offered wood frames and finished and unfinished wood, they still took away from the ship model itself.

Thats the point right?

To display your item FIRST and not "display" the display case?

Well I decided that in order to have a display case that didn't take away from the item displayed, it had to be all clear.

So I started to research where and who and how much locally in Salt Lake City, Utah

In March of 2007, to have a glass box - case made ( 5 sided box to cover this on a Walnut Base I handmade for the 40" Titanic model ship) was EXTREMELY expensive from the average glass companies in the Salt Lake City, Utah area. Approximately $250.00 - $350.00.

I personally felt that this cost was NUTS!!

So.. it sat for another few months....

I even looked into the process of how aquariums are made. Well I didn't like the HUGE semi-transparent silicone seams, and the black frames. Again, that "took away from" the model or item being displayed. Not to mention the thickness of the glass being used.

No one in the Salt Lake City, Utah area was making these 5 sided clear boxes or even a decent plastic box this size on a regular basis that I could find.

After I researched this for a few weeks, and after being discouraged either by products offered, which size limitations and or prices, I decided that it was time to "dig in" and see if this is really "rocket science" or not to make a glass box to ANY custom size or not.

So in December, 2007 I decided to make my own. Between December, 2007 and March, 2008, I researched the hobby of glass art, stained glass and leading, UV adhesives and I went to study how some of the glass artists do their work and made my own.

This cannot be "rocket science" to glue 5 pieces of glass together right? 

Well it isn't.

To get 5 pieces of glass to adhere to each other, "cleanly" is NOT easy either.

You cannot simply "glue together" 5 pieces of glass to display an item and have it look professional with the "standard" Home Depot or "Lowes Home Improvement" adhesives.

After some research I noticed that in order to have the correct seams, and CORRECT sizes from right to left and front to back pieces, PIECE to PIECE, and be repeated time after time, I needed to find a glass company that KNEW this without being told.

Pretty easy right? Glass companies should have a industry wide standard right?

Wrong and wrong.

There's 2 places to AVOID:

Glass being cut at your local home improvement stores CANNOT guarantee accuracy right to left and front to back pieces, PIECE to PIECE, and be repeated time after time. They are NOT setup for this type of accuracy.

Glass being cut at your local window glass companies CANNOT guarantee accuracy right to left and front to back pieces, PIECE to PIECE, and be repeated time after time. They are NOT setup for this type of accuracy.

Being in the printing industry for 32+ years, I knew that this process of glass cutting accuracy MUST BE repeatable. Time after time. Just like ordering a printed job one day and then reorder 1 week later or 3 years later, the 2 printed jobs MUST BE accurately done.

This process might also be called: International Standard of Operations or aka "ISO".

The "window glass trade" is setup to allow for minute discrepancies in windows so that seals take up the slack. This is even true in dual pane, 3 pane windows. They have "vacuum sealed frames", then an inert gas or gases inside these panes, then that is placed in your window frame. This inert gas or gases provides for less heat loss and sound proofing. These discrepancies WILL NOT work when it comes to making a clear 5 sided box from glass. Again not to mention, the frames was not what I was looking for. Besides, I don't need vacuum sealed glass boxes nor do I make them. These are simple single thickness glass, glass boxes that are clear and do not have "visible" glue joints.

Even hutch doors or cabinet doors with glass are NOT as accurate as needed for making an entire glass box from glass without any seals or adhesive visible.

The stained glass trade has even more variables since they use "lead" for frames at all angles to hold the various pieces, shapes, thicknesses, finishes, colors of glass in. Then placed in a window. Once again, I didn't want "lead" frames.

I researched the craft and found the correct materials.

The adhesive used in gluing glass to glass is probably endless, however, 2 basic adhesives exist.

1. Sprays:  There is a 2 part spray, part A is applied to one piece, then part B to the other part. Sets up fairly fast. then the pieces are allowed to "setup" for a few seconds or a minute, then attached to each other. Working time is ZERO.

The 2 part spray glue joint is strong BUT, not strong enough. Including the fact that once the 2 pieces are attached to each other THEY ARE DONE. NO WORKING TIME, meaning you MUST BE QUICK AND be exact the FIRST TIME you cannot "move it around to get the "squared up - best fit". The joint will be strong in some places than the glass itself and in other places not at all. This proved to be unacceptable to me. This showed me that longevity of the glue joint wasn't the best. Nor keeping dust OUT if the inside of the glass box, the 2 part spray wasn't good enough to be consistent across the entire joint, then it wasn't worth using.

2. Semi-liquid or gel type adhesive

Why not use Liquid Nails? or Super Glue? Silicone? (please re-read above)

Liquid Nails take DAYS to setup.

Superglue will "frost up" and not very easy to remove NOR is it strong enough to keep glass joints together. It is also dangerous to use as you might accidentally glue your glass box to your work table or your fingers together and to the glass!! It offers no longevity either.

Silicone / Aquarium adhesive looks "messy" Takes hours or even days to setup.

OKAY..... what the correct adhesive to use?

The correct adhesive used in making glass boxes or glue glass to glass, sets up and dries in 1-5 seconds in an environment that does NOT allow "air-dry" to work. It is "cured" using a UV light.

you to "work with it" endlessly, UNTIL you turn on the UV LIGHT.

Then 1-5 seconds later, ITS STUCK. Quite ALOT stronger than the glass itself and correctly applied it will provide a complete seal and NO VISIBLE glue joints.

Drips and excess adhesive is an easy cleanup if done promtly.

Why a Glass Box or Case?

Glass Boxes are "Old School" and are classic way of displaying your items. 

Glass Boxes do not scratch as easily as as plastic display boxes do when cleaning them.

Glass Boxes do not attract static electricity as much as plastic display boxes do when cleaning them

Glass Boxes CAN BE repaired easily. It IS time consuming however.

If you are looking for some glass boxes for your figurines and collectibles, I offer my services for assembly only.

My services are based on SIZE and TIME. Average time is about 6 to 10 hours.

Rate is 12.00 per hour
  (this is NOT written in stone but is the average)

This hourly rate includes all materials EXCEPT YOUR GLASS PIECES.

I do NOT sell or cut the glass but, I do recommend Art Glass Studio in South Salt Lake City, Utah to buy your glass and cut the glass because ACCURACY COUNTS.

I have worked with Juergen and Bob at Art Glass Studio in South Salt Lake City, Utah several times and they know what it requires for making glass boxes and prep its glue joints.

You can email them here:


I will need the exact height, width, length of whatever you want to place in a 5 sided glass box.

 I will add 1 inch to these measurements OVERALL to be sure your collectable is centered and not touching the glass box to avoid unnecessary vibrations and scratching.

Please also provide any shelf location you plan on placing this glass box and what ever is inside it. This will give me the OUTSIDE limits of size on the 5 sided glass box and its base.

Base: This will another 1 inch larger overall than the 5 sided box. Silicone seal on the base will provide a dust free and glass to glass "gasket" from chipping.

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