Mar 27

You Would Have Done It, Too!

I’m not sure why but I think we all do it. I don’t know if it is just natural curiosity or if something deep down in each of us just enjoys playing detective when a situation arises that does not easily explain itself or is not fully understood. And of course, virtually all of us like to think that we have insights or knowledge that others don’t. Particularly in what we think are our areas of expertise. So there I was, in Las Vegas crossing a pedestrian bridge to get to the Building Envelope Contractors (BEC) Conference that I was covering for USGNN.com when I noticed the broken glass panel, and because of how I have made a living for the last 42 years, I had to stop, take a long look at it and then … because I am just like everybody else … try to piece together what I thought may have happened.

The broken glass panel was about five feet wide and a little over eight feet tall. The thickness of the piece was a nominal ¾-inch overall and the origin point of the break in the tempered piece … the inside piece of the assembly … was easily located. But why did it break? How did it break? And like many within the glass industry would be inclined to do, I just had to spend a few minutes and study the matter, take more than just a passing glance, try to figure it out.

I quickly noticed that the glass panels to both the left and right of the broken piece had deep scratches, maybe gouges would be the better word, in them. Multiple, really deep scratches. Each piece had similar damage but the scratches had no particular pattern to them. Just long sweeping gouges. Mostly horizontal but some vertical scracthing as well.


… the broken glass panel.

So I stood back, took in the scene and started my sleuthing. I quickly noticed that the panel to the left of the broken piece had a couple of large areas that had apparently been polished, as with a scratch polishing machine. If you have ever performed any scratch polishing work or watched it done, you can easily identify an over- polished piece of glass and this particular panel had really been worked on. In fact, it was so deeply polished that the glass was now quite distorted in the zones that had been worked on. Actually, the glass surface had been distorted so badly that it was impossible to now look directly through it and maintain any focus. The panel to the right of the broken one had the scratches and gouges but no sign of scratch polishing efforts. A close re-examination of the broken panel lead me to believe that there was still some polishing residue on the glass surface of this piece. No residue or evidence of polishing on the panel to the right.

The Conclusion

… the badly scratched left panel.

… the badly scratched left panel.

I think the three panels were most likely all damaged (scratched) at the same time. I think the building’s managers or owners hired someone to come out to the site and try to polish out the scratches. I think they worked from left to right and polished the first panel enough to make it even worse than it was and then started in on the second panel. I speculate that the polishers broke the second panel during their polishing attempt (not an unusual occurrence if the techs get too aggresive) and then were called off the job … the first panel looked worse than before they started to work on it … the second panel broke in the process … why even attempt to do the third panel? There you have it. C’mon, tell me a lot of you wouldn’t have tried to figure it out, too. And I believe I’m right, although I guess I’ll never know for sure.

The Chinese Aluminum Extrusion Tariff Thing

A few readers made contact with me after last week’s blog and wanted to know a little more about the Chinese anti-dumping – tariff matter and I am working on getting more information and sharing it herein. I also am planning to do an article for USGlass magazine on this subject in the April issue. I won’t let it slip quietly into the night. This is (as some of you stated) a big deal to the architectural glass and aluminum industry and I plan to follow up on it. Thanks for the encouragement to do so!

A Quick Shout-Out

Got a nice e-mail from Jerry Anderson (legendary Harmon leader) yesterday and it was really nice to hear from him. Many, if not most of his contemporaries would say that Harmon’s growth and ascendancy to the top spot in the North American contract glazing field was due to Jerry’s talent and tireless efforts. He is continuing to enjoy his retirement and I know that many of you (like me) wish him health and happiness. Thanks for checking in, Jerry!

The Sports Thing

It has been pointed out to me that while I have been gushing about my Chicago Blackhawks, another team, the Miami Heat (NBA Basketball) have been on a tear and are rapidly getting to a point where they may set a new all-time record for consecutive wins. To this I say … so what? LeBron James and his high priced coworkers may indeed set a new record but I am not a fan of theirs and will not care one way or the other.

On the NCAA college basketball playoff matter, I am hopelessly out of contention for winning anything in the two pools that I entered. A lot of wrong picks on my part along with some untimely (for me) upsets and now … I have no chance to win! Glad the pools were only $5/each. Some of these things get pricey but I work hard to avoid those.

Four, yes only four more days until baseball arrives. Good news indeed!

The Quotable Thing

This week’s quote comes from Johnny “The Mooch” Rago and is one that I have heard him use on a number of occasions. If any of you might have an employment opportunity for someone like “The Mooch” … he’s quite effective at collections … please contact me.

“When the going gets tough, a lot of people just quit.”

Have A Great Week, Everybody!!!

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