View Full Version : How to make your own Ground Glass

Steve Hopf
30-Jun-2011, 15:31
A quick review of the rules reveals that, apearently, I may post a link to my own article here. This article explains, step by step, how to make your own ground glass identicle to the glass that I sell.

Here is the link:

How to make your own Ground Glass. (http://www.hopfglass.com/how-to-make-your-own-ground-glass)

(Edit: Wow, I didn't realize this was my first post here! Hi Everybody!)

30-Jun-2011, 15:36
Thanks, Steve, and welcome!

30-Jun-2011, 15:36
Thanks for an informative article Steve.

Steven Tribe
30-Jun-2011, 15:42
There is just the problem that the website you link to, has a well developed product order system!!

Perhaps you could make just the text/pictures available without the commercial angle?

Steve Hopf
30-Jun-2011, 15:48

The value in this article comes from the fact that it is a tried and true commercial method for producing ground glass that has been refined for years. My apologies if I accidentaly broke any rules by linking to our site, but if you read the article you will see that you do not need to buy my product in order to use this information. You can use commonly available lapidary grit, you just will not get as good of a result.

Lachlan 717
30-Jun-2011, 15:49
There is just the problem that the website you link to, has a well developed product order system!!

Perhaps you could make just the text/pictures available without the commercial angle?

Or, perhaps you could just thank him for giving way the "secrets" that allow you to make your own version of the product that he sells?

To Steve Hopf,

Thanks for the information!

30-Jun-2011, 16:26
Thanks Steve, I've published a similar article on the net (and a magazine) from 1898 (BJPA) alongside one of my own, both of which mirror yours but with more details :D

I don't think you've given away many secrets because grinding a screen is a balance, and many won't appreciate what that balance is. It's easy to grind a basic screen but how you grind, choice of grits etc makes a huge difference.

Practice makes perfect, but a perfect screen for one isn't perfect for all, and I've only just reach 3 figures :)


Steven Tribe
30-Jun-2011, 16:47
I have given the very short article a real read this time - instead of halting when I saw commercial boxes on the left. There are references to selling within the text, too.

This should have posted in the "New Products" section.

Steve Hopf
30-Jun-2011, 18:22
Offering grit for sale is purely a service to the LF community. I ask $10 including shipping for a 1/4" thick glass pad and enough grit for at least one 8x10 screen. In fact, I am not even sure if that covers costs for the grit, I just scoop some out of the same jar that I use every day. If you wanted to buy the same grit I use from the same supplier, which would not work very well without the other additives, you would be looking at $17.50 for a pound of grit, which is the smallest amount you can buy, plus $15.00 minimum for shipping. That being said, any mod who is reading this, please move my thread to the appropriate forum.

Thanks :)

Jim Jones
30-Jun-2011, 19:24
Thank you, Steve, for a valuable tutorial. Posting such information here seems reasonable to me.

30-Jun-2011, 19:48
Thanks Steve. Great info. Love your GG. Question: is there any truth to the folklore that new glass cuts easier than old glass?

Steve Hopf
30-Jun-2011, 20:38
New glass is usually easier to cut, but it can really be a mixed bag. Ideally, if a new peice of glass was "aged" for a long time (50 years, maybe?), it would slowly destress and become easier to cut, but every time it gets banged or bumped that contributes stress so it really depends on the piece of glass. Some old glass I can't cut for the life of me.

EDIT: I just looked at the screen and it said Steve Hopf! I guess I logged into the wrong account or something because I am Julian Hopf, his son. This also applies to the rest of the thread but for some reason I can't edit the first post.

30-Jun-2011, 21:13
Thanks Steve for sharing. Is new GG brighter than the GG of the old view cameras?

Steve Hopf
1-Jul-2011, 00:25
Most of our customers seem to think that their new screens are better than their old ones. This may be due to poor or dirty ground glass, but the relative worth of a ground glass screen is highly subjective so we can not say our screens will or will not be better than a particular other screen. The only exceptions are plastics screens. We have never heard of a plastic screen that compairs with ours.

1-Jul-2011, 02:18
It's fair to say that most new glass screens are better than older screens, this is mainly due to improvements in the quality of grinding pastes, particularly the consistency of the grit size.

The 20 or so screens on my own older pre-WWII cameras, Agfa Ansco's, British field cameras, German 9x12 cameras etc and a post WWII British monorail (3 backs/screens) all had relatively coarse screens. Where these screens weren't cracked or damaged it was a simple case of a quick regrind, others were replaced with new glass, the results are to all intents and purposes identical but the increase in screen brightness and usability is substantial, equivalent to at least one stop overall brightness.

So answering dopont07's question yes new GG can be substantially brighter than the original GG of an old view camera.


Steve Hopf
1-Jul-2011, 20:16
I also just created the gallery (http://www.hopfglass.com/gallery) for people to share their work. Its empty now, but its open to anyone, just drop me a line if you would like to include your photos.

David Karp
1-Jul-2011, 22:49
Thanks Steve for sharing. Is new GG brighter than the GG of the old view cameras?

I agree with what Ian said. Also, the GG on an old camera can often become significantly brighter if you give it a nice bath in some lukewarm soapy water!

David Karp
1-Jul-2011, 22:50

Thanks for posting this information. Nevertheless, If I need more GGs in the future, I would just as soon have you do them. I am very happy with the glass you made for me.

2-Jul-2011, 00:20
Hi, Steve! Love your glass. It's 'enlightening'.:D

// Wally