I find that I never have the "right" size lens for a light. It's usually a little small or a little big. I find there are glass cutters made for cutting circles and the process is not hard. I have cut glass before, for windows and such. I just don't know where I would find the glass. The glass in windows is not good glass. At least it's not coated and not tempered. Now I can buy tempered glass, but it's still not coated and when I get to UCL or AR coatings, I find no sources for that stuff at all. I guess, in the long run, if I can't find "reasonably priced" coated glass, any glass is better than plastic.
Anyone do any glass cutting or have any sources for "budget glass"??
I’ve been using Abrasion Resistant acrylic. It has a coating on one side that resists scratches that you would get from cleaning. It’s not perfect and it doesn’t like heat (from a hotwire incandescent), but, it’s almost as good as UCL in light transmittance and I can cut it on my mill to whatever size I need. I bought a large sheet of it last year for $10 and have made a few lenses from it so far.
This Ebay seller sells stock pieces of coated glass. He did mention to me, if I understood correctly, he can cut circular glass lenses either up to 70mm diameter, or only 70mm diameter and above. Either way, it’ll at least show you’re on the right path and it can be done.
No doubt that there are lots of places to buy lenses, but buying from China takes a month each time and I don’t want to pay to “stock lenses”, just cut them as needed. Other people like flashlightlens.com can make them, but they are usually more than the light themselves. They are very proud of their stuff.
I hope you can find a way & source to do that!! Although I keep several different sizes, I am always building a light that I don't have a lens for!! I'll be a steady customer...... if you want customers!!!
Maybe worth the time to stop in at a couple smaller glass dealers . . you might also want to see what they use to polish the edges.
Lowes has been kind to cut and give me scrap clear acrylic pieces (haven’t tried for round) for no charge from stuff going into the round bin. Never thought to look to see if they had something for lenses. Don’t even ask at HD.
Hi O-L, Would it be feasible to buy a piece of polycarbonate bar stock and turn your lens to suit you? Easy enough to polish the exposed side before parting off the desired thickness, wouldn’t think it’d be all that difficult to polish off the cut side. Onlinemetals.com has machineable polycarbonate rod in various dimensions…the link is for 1.5”