I'm decorating old bowling balls with old mirror parts. What is the best way to break an old thick mirror and the best way to attach it to the bowling ball? Thanks.
Hardiness Zone: 7b
Bonnie from Lascassas
Either use tape - tape the ENTIRE mirror - or contact paper and cover the back side. Lay mirror side flat on a sheet, place 2 to 3 layers of old towels on back, taped side and gently hit with a large pan or hammer, preferably a rubber or wooden mallet. Handle carefully.
You'll need to wrap the mirror in a towel, blanket or paper bag then hit it with a hammer. Even though you have your mirror wrapped up, be sure to still wear safety glasses! (you can get a pair at the $1 store). Most people use a product from the hardware store called "mastic" to attach glass or tile to mosaic work (you'd need to sand your bowling ball to give it "tooth" before you start). But because it's a bowling ball, instead of mastic, I'd recommend a glue called E-6000 or GOOP to attach the mirror pieces. You might even be able to use a calking gun with construction glue. Also, to get the best looking results, you should grout your project after waiting several days for the glue to set up. If you decide not to grout, I'd recommend a coat of silver or gray paint after you sand the ball & before gluing the mirror pieces down. This way in between the mirror pieces, you'll see a color that more closely matches the tiny mirrors.
* If you're making this as a "garden ball" be sure to seal the grout & make sure your glue, etc is acceptable for outdoor use, so it will hold up to the elements. If you don't grout your ball, you could have a safety hazard because of the sharp pieces, so keep children & those on blood thinners from handeling the mirrored-ball! ... Also, when you work with mirror pieces, be sure to wear 2 pairs of latex gloves, especially when you grout! (so you don't cut yourself)
---> If you live in a dry area & you set your mirror-ball in the garden, remember that the sun will hit the mirrors & could bounce off of them on to dry grass or leaves, which could start a fire. I once road in a truck over loging roads with a Washington State Forest worker, & she told me that a significant amount of forest fires are cause by the sun hitting pieces of glass (from old bottles) which can then magnify it, causing grass fires in dry areas, which can turn into forest fires... Anyway, not to scare you, because the chances are remote, but just use care where you placing your ball, if you live in a drought prone area.
I'm really curious what you are going to use a mirrored bowling ball for.
Another alternative-My neighbor did that project using pieces of broken cds.
If you are wanting same-size pieces, you might take the mirror to a hardware store and have them "score" it for you so that it can be broken at the score marks.
I made a gazing ball out of a bowling ball and mirror. First I filled the holes with expando foam. I had experience working with stained glass so I just cut my mirror into small 1" square pieces. You can do this with a glass cutter. It takes a bit of practice scoring and cutting the glass. I'm sure you can find instructions on the internet. I also added some colored stones to my ball. I attached the pieces with Liquid Nails (you can buy that stuff at Lowes or Home Depot). I have also used the tile mastic that is used to attach ceramic tiles in bathrooms. When you are finished covering the ball with mirror you need to grout it. It really turns out beautiful if you take your time. Good Luck
Enclose the mirror in brown paper and hit it with a hammer. This gives you uneven pieces. For glue, I would try silicone, you can buy it at any hardware store.
I've used a simple glass cutter (one used to cut window panes or mirror tiles) as well as a glass breaker (a pliers shaped tool used by stain glass workers). To affix glass I've found super glue and/or epoxy to work best.
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