Introduction: How to Repair a Broken Hinge on Your Glasses - NerdVision V1.0

Picture of How to Repair a Broken Hinge on Your Glasses - NerdVision V1.0

So I sat on my glasses a couple weeks ago, and although they didn't break then (even after bending/reshaping them), five days ago, amidst putting them on, they fell, and one of the arms broke off, right at the hinge.  Other than buying a replacement arm for I dunno, $20-30 maybe, but that's if I could read the worn-off label (and my glasses are a few years old and probably no longer made), our hero decided once again to 'go nerd or go home '. (well, this is technically my first instructable, but let's not get technical...)

And it took about 15 minutes.  Well, say 45 minutes, taking pictures and getting superglue everywhere. I'm actually typing this one-handed whilst my other hand is stuck to my desk (yeah yeah, withhold your dirty jokes).

Anyway, parts needed:

1. Super glue (or super gel, 5 minute epoxy, etc)
2. Pocket knife
3. Sandpaper, 150 grit or so
4. wire cutters
5. needle nose pliers
6. shrink tubing (black) multiple sizes are nice but not necessary
7. Carbon Fiber strip
8. Soldering Iron
9. Busted glasses (though you could beef up your undamaged glasses, for that uber nerdy look)

The carbon fiber can be purchased at any RC Plane hobby store.  Just ask for carbon fiber spar material.  The stuff I used was about $7.00 for a 24" strip, and it's about 1/8" wide, and maybe 1/16" thick. Sorry, I misplaced my calipers.  And no, I didn't go buy this, I had it on-hand because I have an RC plane hobby (YouTube 'intrepid1' for my in-flight videos...)

I picked up the shrink tubing in a whole kit of sizes from Harbor Tools for like $10 a few years back.  Handy for RC planes. and fixing glasses apparently.

Optional: Accelerator (Loctite 712) that I use. (helps superglue set faster)

NOTE: This instructable will not allow your glasses to fold up.  This is simply a (hopefully) long-term solution to repairing your glasses!

Step 1: Preparation of the Glasses and Supplies

Picture of Preparation of the Glasses and Supplies

The first thing I did was take the sand paper and rough up my glasses frame where I thought I would be applying the superglue.  Nothing fancy, just taking off a bit of the finish.  This help the super glue bond to the frame and the carbon fiber 'splint'.

I also took the time to clean off the solder and melted plastic from my soldering iron before I got it hot.  You aren't supposed to use a soldering iron for shrink tubing, but everyone does.  I wanted the shrink tubing to actually be black when I was done shrinking it, and not have random melted bits of lead (gasp!) solder stuck to it, so there ya go.

Next I cut a piece of carbon fiber to the size that I thought would work.  Not too small, you want to have as much surface area as possible for the superglue to adhere to. I used just over an inch long. 

I also cut a piece of the shrink tubing, a little bit longer (1.25") to cover said carbon fiber.  Now we are ready to put things together.

Step 2: Superglue!!!

Picture of Superglue!!!

*Note: if your temple tips (the part that goes behind your ear) are too big around to slide the shrink tubing on, be sure and slide the tubing up on the arm before you superglue the arm on.

This was actually my second try.  It is far easier to superglue the carbon fiber strip to the arm first, and then attach it to the rest of the frame.  Nothing fancy here, just slather the glue on to where you sanded down the finish, and put on the carbon fiber strip.  Care should be taken to make sure the carbon fiber strip is indeed straight, or you'll have crooked glasses, and nobody likes a nerd with crooked glasses. 

Once the proper amount of time has passed and the glue has set on the arm (30 seconds, or 5 with accelerator), put more glue on the frame part, and then carefully place the arm up to the frame and hold for a minute or so (15 seconds with accelerator).  Blowing on it helps pass the time. So does breathing. Breathe!

When the glue is dry, you could actually leave the glasses as is, but if you were like me and got super glue everywhere, you want to hide the evidence with shrink tubing.  Now is the time to turn on the soldering iron to heat it up.

Step 3: Hiding the Evidence (shrink Tubing)

Picture of Hiding the Evidence (shrink Tubing)

So I had a few sizes of shrink tubing, which turned out to be a good thing.  Because of the hinge, you have to use a fairly large diameter shrink tubing piece, which didn't blend well with my super-small arm (the part that goes from the hinge to your ear, not my scrawny man-part between my shoulder and wrist).

First, slide the shrink tubing up the arm.  If your glasses have super-small ear holding on things(aka temple tips), it's no big deal. Otherwise you should have slid on the shrink tubing prior to super gluing.

The shrink tubing slides up and over the carbon fiber and hinge, and you want to get it up as far as possible.  It should completely cover the carbon fiber 'splint'. Note: my shrink tubing had white writing on it, so I put that on the inside where it couldn't be seen.

Next, I took the soldering iron, and, carefully pressed it against the shrink tubing.  Don't use the tip of the soldering iron, it's too hot, and will usually melt through the shrink tubing.  Use the area just beyond the handle where it isn't so hot.  Or maybe you have one of those nice soldering irons where you can dial in the temperature all fancy-like. Like a Weller.  Damn I hate you, I'm so cheap.

*Note:  If you have a frame this is not metal, i.e. plastic, DO NOT hold the soldering iron to the shrink tubing for longer than half a second in any one place at a time, and press VERY LIGHTLY on the shrink tubing.  Otherwise you'll have a bendy arm, and I'm not taking responsibility.  (Is there a disclaimer I should put in here somewhere?!?)

Lightly press the soldering iron over all the shrink tubing, twisting it around to get all the surface of the shrink tubing for a uniform shrink.  The shrink tubing will shrink and hold the carbon fiber splint secure ( I know, imagine that).

As I used my soldering iron, I found that the white lettering came (read: melted) off, so it didn't really matter that it was on the inside after all.

One final step...

Step 4: Wrapping It Up (in Shrink Tubing)

Picture of Wrapping It Up (in Shrink Tubing)

Once again, this step isn't really necessary, other than to make your glasses more (or less, depending on how you SEE it - hahaha) aesthetically appealing.

With my super-skinny arms, my shrink tubing, even shrunk, was way too big, and had a gaping hole at the end opposite the hinge.  I decided to use the next smaller size tubing and cover up this too large 'sleeve'.

And that was even too big for my arm, so I ended up putting an even smaller piece of shrink tubing on.  If you are actually going to follow this step, you'll want to use the soldering iron to shrink the tubing before you put the next size on.

Your final finished product should look like this.  You are now ready to impress the nerd-ladies or nerd-men. Go git 'em tiger!

Note: remember to unplug your soldering iron.


I welcome questions, comments and suggestions.  This is my first instructable and was long overdue (not fixing my glasses, but revealing my genius, bwahaha)

6/10/2011
1:13am

Comments

autokymatic (author)2011-06-10

Cool. My solution years ago to never deal with loose and lost screws was to feed uninsulated steel cable that fit tightly through the hinges, cut both sides' cable to the same length, then nicely wrap the excess around the arms. Never broke, always high friction.

satx7 (author)2011-06-10

Liked your humor and the part I will take away is where to get the carbon fiber
strips. Thank you. Good job.

Phil B (author)2011-06-10

A clever fix. Thank you for posting. It is too bad you no longer have the hinge so you can fold your glasses up, but you restored their normal function.

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