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Thread: Custom Windshield Cutting

  1. #1

    Custom Windshield Cutting

    How would you cut an existing windshield to fit a custom designed body? Not that I'm building one, mind you, but I would just like to know.

    For example, if someone were building a Ferrari Enzo or McLaren F1 replica, how would they come up with or construct a windshield for that vehicle if the windshield was not so readily available?

    When I see or hear about someone building their own design or a super-exotic replica, I often wonder how they sourced the glass for it.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Don's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Victoria, BC Canada

    Re:Custom Windshield Cutting

    You can go to windsheild installers and find out were they get their glass from and call that place to see if they do custom windshields as well. I beileve it in not cheap nor easy to create the plug for it but it can be done.

    I know CK3 used to have a custom winshield created for their 355's and Testarossas at ~$600 each but I do not know what the original creation of the plug and first windshield cost them.

    I think you can probably find plenty of custom windshield makers throughout the States as well. What about custom rod shops? They may know where to get on done.

    308 Ferrari replica
    Prova Countach 5000QV

  3. #3

    Re:Custom Windshield Cutting

    There are 3 companies on the east coast that do custom bent laminated windshields,but the cost of a bending jig,YES BENDING,for a car sized windshield is 5-6000 dollers,and you still have to pay about 500 a shield with a minimum first purchase of six,the other drawback is that they won't be dot approved,no custom glass company will have that few windshields certified,the windshield i had made for a 60 foot
    boat was almost 20,000,and that was using an adaption of windshield molds they already had while i could still make the boat fit the windshield instead of vice-versa.

  4. #4

    Re:Custom Windshield Cutting

    Good gosh! How do these people afford to build such a car?!

    Say you noticed the windshield on your pickup was similar enough in size, shape and curve to that of the vehicle's that you are building that you only had to cut a little here and trim a little there a way to do that at home with your own tools?

  5. #5

    Re:Custom Windshield Cutting

    If you had a windshield similar in size and shape that just had to be trimmed to fit, you could bring the windshield and a tracing of your windshield opening to a glass shop and have them grind it.
    Rick Lord<br /><br />

  6. #6

    Re:Custom Windshield Cutting

    some do acrylic, but theres a safety glass issue there,
    although the process is far less expensive and works with any
    shape. its basically melting fiberglass at really high
    temperatures and hotrod builders use this alot.
    Professional 3D, web, graphic, architectural, interior, and CAM design at affoardable prices.<br />Any questions: voicemail/fax (323)281-0583<br />sales @

  7. #7
    Senior Member johnjs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003

    Re:Custom Windshield Cutting

    one method I was told of cutting curved glass (never tried) tuck tape along the line you wish to cut,several layers,cover and protect the portion of glass you are saving and then slowly sand blast along the line to cut ,then reverseto the other side same procedure.....then carefully grind smooth with a 1" belt sander ..wouldn,t try it first time on your $600 lambo shield tho

  8. #8

    Re:Custom Windshield Cutting

    The problem with cutting windshields by any means is stress that is in the glass when it is bent,you may cut t ;D ;D : :he outer layer no problem,but when you go to cut the inner layer,[windshields are laminated] the stress is now unequel,and 9 out of ten times you get a traveling crack no matter what method you use,my chopped corvette took 4 windshields
    before we got a good one,but it's been in the car since 1984,
    we bought a crate of 6 becouse i knew i would use whatever we diden't breAK!!!

  9. #9
    Moderator FunnyWheels's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Tampa, FL

    Re:Custom Windshield Cutting

    I used a method of cutting glass windshields on older cars that employed the use of a small sand blaster. First, you lay out your pattern. Then tape off the good glass your keeping with thick rubber and thick tape. Then using silicone carbide and a low air pressure simply blast away to remove the unwanted glass on the windshield. This has to be done on both sides and the laminate in-between he glass has to be cut with a knife then the edge sanded with a belt sander to smooth the edge. I started on the inside of the glass first with the windshield sitting on top of a 55-gallon drum with an old tire on the drum to keep from damaging the glass. Some of the glass shops will try this for you, I took mine to a place that engraved tomb stones.

    More recently, the windshields are thinner and seem to crack when doing this process. John Watson had 4 windshields cut at the local glass fitters shop and everyone of them has cracked from the heat produced in the cutting process.

    In my opinion, it is best to do what MADMIKE is putting together for some of us. He is producing a part that utilizes a stock windshield and custom windshields surround that bonds to the car and accepts the stock glass. You may want to try something like that if you can locate a glass that is close to fitting into your project.

    If you're not confused, you're not paying attention.

  10. #10

    Thanks For The Replies!

    Thank you very much for the replies!

    While I knew windshields were laminated, I didn't really understand the complexity involved in cutting one or making a custom one. I remember seeing somewhere on the internet a website (from Canada, I think) where the owner (of the site) was building his own custom-designed sports car. If I remember correctly, he actually had used a saber saw (yes, you read that right) to cut his windshield to fit. (Talk about things that make you go hhhmmmm!!)

    On that sandblasting technique, does that take quite a long time to do? Seems like it would.

    Again, thanks for everyone's replies.

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