Super Easy Glasses Repair





Introduction: Super Easy Glasses Repair

About: depotdevoid is short for The Depot Devoid of Thought, the place where you go when you lo...

I bought a pair of relatively expensive flexible frame glasses about a year and half ago.  I'm really rough on glasses which is why I splurged on the expensive but forgiving frames.  Sadly, I seem to have picked the wrong retailer and ended up with frames that looked nice but were very poor quality!

The first set of frames snapped right in the middle of the bridge about three months after I got them--still under warranty though!  The second pair snapped in the same place a couple of weeks ago, and I've been running around with broken glasses ever since.  I hate spending money on something like this, especially since the prescription is still fine and the lenses are in pretty good condition!

I've come up with a simple way to make these work until I've got a new pair, and I thought I'd share it with you all.  

Step 1: Materials and Tools

All you'll need materials-wise is your old pair of glasses (as long as the lenses are still good) and a pair cheap reading glasses from the dollar store.  Get the "Rimless" kind of reading glasses, where the bridge and arms are connected by screws drilled right through the lens.

For tools, you will need:
  • Mini screwdriver set
  • Dremel or drill
  • 1/16" drill bit
  • Fine tip sharpie or very sharp awl

Step 2: Disassemble the Glasses

Remove all the screws from the lenses of the dollar store glasses and set them aside.  Do the same for your broken glasses.

It's important to keep track of which lens is left and right!  Most people have a slightly different prescription from eye to eye.  On the edge of the lens, in a spot I knew would be covered by the new frames, I put one hash mark for left and two for right (see the last picture below).

Thanks to my daughter for acting as photographer for this step!

Step 3: Mark and Drill the Old Lenses

With a fine tip sharpie and/or very sharp awl, use the lenses from the dollar store glasses as a template to mark your old lenses.  Most likely your lenses won't be exactly the same width, but you can get a good general idea of where (and how far from the edges) to place the holes.

Carefully drill the holes.  If you've got a good sharp awl it will really help you to avoid the drill bit "walking" on the lens, which could really do some damage.  Also, drill a test hole in the cheap lens to get a feel for what you're doing!

Step 4: Reassemble

Now take the cheap frames and attach your good lenses!  It's pretty straightforward, though on mine I did find that I had put one of the holes too far from the edge and had to widen it. 

After everything is put back together, you'll likely need to bend the frames into shape.  One of the nice things about these cheap frames is that they bend really easy, and all it took me was five minutes in front of the bathroom mirror to fix everything up!

Step 5: All Done!

Thanks for reading, and I hope this helps you out!  These will do nicely for a couple more weeks, and then I'll have broken down and gone to an optometrist.  After I've got my new specs, I'll put these away as my emergency glasses for the next time I break them (and believe me, I will).

If you enjoyed this or found it helpful, post a comment, leave a rating, and/or subscribe!  I love hearing from people and I've always got more projects in the works.  Also, if you post a before and after picture of your repaired glasses in the comments, I'll send you a patch!



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    Thank you for the help. I've had to go to the Lens Doctor to have glasses repaired for me and family about five times. It costs about $45 each time we go. This is very helpful.

    1 reply

    Thanks for doing this instructable. If you don't profit from it you have nothing to worry about. If those folks that are worried about seeing right don't do it. Take them to to your local optometrist.
    I like this myself.

    1 reply

    Thanks, I'm glad you like it! I don't know what the big deal is anyway, it's not like I'm recommending this as a permanent replacement for professionally made glasses.

    If you are using a dremel you may be going to fast. A slow speed is better for these types of themoplastics. To properly drill you should practice a few holes with a HSS drill bit, starting with about 350 rpm and playing with how much pressure you apply until you get long spiral chips. Once you can get these chips to form regularly you should be ready to drill you lenses without them fowling up the drill bit. I hope this helps!

    1 reply

    Interesting, I didn't realize slow was the way to go. My prior experience with drilling hard plastics has always lead me to believe that going slow tends to be bad, but I'll take your word for it. Next time I have to do this, I'll try it slow!

    This is a fair solution for folks without astigmatism but I'd caution against this for astigmats. I can tell you a lot of people have astigmatism and a lot of astigmats have no idea they have astigmatism. For astigmatism, the lenses must be rotated to the proper degree or "axis". Your Rx will have a prescription in algebraic form such that there will be a diopter value for "sherical", a diopter value for "cylinder" and a degree value for "axis". If your prescription only has values for "sherical" diopters, then this solution may work for you. Otherwise you're an astigmat and if the axis is off, this could result in distorted vision, an inability to focus, fatigue and headaches. For a quick and easy check to see if you've got astigmatism, take your glasses off, hold them in front of your face, focus on an object you can see through a lens and rotate the glasses clockwise or counterclockwise slowly. If the object you're focusing on begins to distort in shape, you're an astigmat. Be sure to check both lenses independently as some folks may have astigmatism in one eye only. For the record, I'm not a licensed optician but used to be one while going through college.

    Dude you better watch yourself with that design. That came out in the late 70's by Mr. Navin R. Johnson , it's called the Opti-Grab. 

    2 replies

    LMAO That's all I could think of when I saw the glasses.

    Good thing it's OK to copy a patent as long as one doesn't profit from

    Oh my God . . . I can feel my eyes crossing just thinking about it.  I smell a lawsuit!

    Good fix. I was trying to match the my original lense shape to some cheap sunglass frames. It wasn't a perfect match...but I wasted $15 on this repair. I'll try this method. Thanks for sharing.

    1 reply

    Thanks, I hope it works out for you! Post a picture when it's done and I'll send you a digital patch.

    I tried using JB Weld... of course it's not for this type of thing.... Never thought of doing this.... but am heading to a Dollar Store soon!!  Thanks!!

    1 reply

     One reason why everything from Epoxy to solder wouldn't hold could be if the surface was not clean enough or was too smooth. Solution: sand the area with fine grit sandpaper and wipe it clean with a micro-fiber cloth. The dollar store has some good deals on micro-fiber cloths. I like the small ones that are two for a dollar.  Only expensive paper towels don't leave behind lint, but a dozen micro-fiber cloths can replace a year's worth of paper towels, saving you money as well as being nicer to the environment. 
    I wonder why the expensive flexible frame glasses wouldn't have the same flexible material for the bridge? Oh, I know why. Manufacturers design a weak point in all products. They need their products to break so you will have to buy more from someone. The Tucker car was too good, so he went out of business. I had some flexible frame glasses that had a flexible bridge, but they broke at the hinges. On the other hand, I've had a pair of nylon frame sunglasses since I was a kid (more than 25 years) that have been stepped on and abused, but they aren't broken! Go figure. 

     If you want really cheap glasses and don't mind the work you can buy two pair of very cheap glasses, one with the prescription lenses that match one eye and the other pair that match the other eye. Make sure the frames are both the same.  Take the left lens out of both pairs and put the left lens that is good for the left eye in the pair that has the good lens for the right eye. hey presto a good pair of really cheap glasses.
    If you buy glasses that have the screw together lens holders, the only tool you will need is a jewellers screwdriver.

    Thanks steliart, glad you liked it!

    sweet thanks, my glasses are getting pretty weak and will probably break soon so i'll have to do this