Repair Broken Glasses Hinge





Introduction: Repair Broken Glasses Hinge

About: So many things to learn and make, so little time! I like things that are cool, useful, efficient, well crafted. Subscribe to me! If I inspired you, share it and you'll get a patch.

Due to poor mechanical design, the spring hinge of my glasses broke twice. Once while still under warranty, and it got exchanged for free. Then once again now, but the warranty is over. Being self-darkening prescription glasses, they were not cheap. Gosh...

So I decided to repair them using 1mm thick steel string (*) to form a hinge and temple in one single piece.

This method may not apply to any glasses. It depends on how the hinge is made.

(*) that is used in RC models to transmit the force from servos to controls.

Step 1: Make a New Hinge

  1. With pliers, make a loop with the steel string. You can use a small screwdriver to roll the string around.
  2. The internal diameter must correspond to the original hinge screw.
  3. Cut out the excess string, and hammer the loop flat.
  4. Adjust the loop so that it turns smoothly into the hinge, with proper angular limitation. This is the only tricky part.
  5. Assemble using the original hinge screw.

Step 2: Shape the Temple Tip

Determine the proper temple length, and bend the string to form the tip. Cut out excess length.

This repair was so much more stable than the original design that I decided to also replace the other, non-broken temple.

Step 3: Done

Now the glasses can be used again.
For more comfort the tips could be coated with Sugru or similar.

Final note
I know, this covers the functional and structural aspects, and does not give a very fashionable look.
But wait, I have added some definitive coolness in my next Instructable!



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    15 Discussions


    11 months ago


    I bought a cheap, 12 dollar, pair of foster grants that had similar temple piece as my glasses. the spring hinge made the holes not line up closely so temporarily used just a piece of paper clip. I googled a bit and found some good help instructions on youtube and also a new product called Snapit screws that have a long extension on the end of the screw to help guide it in the hole then you break off the extension part.

    and this

    This instructable is the one that inspired me to buy the How to Fix Anything book from Instructables. Thank you for your creativity!

    1 reply

    Interesting and creative. Maybe you could develop your own line of spectacles. Or, anyone that relies on glasses for near vision could get the new KARMA Inlay. It's a procedure that repairs your near vision so that you don't need glasses anymore.

    Kudos! I like the idea not to give something up just because they are broken. A little tip if the ends are scratching: Old wire-insulation or shrink tube over the complete end! And a good source for steel strings: old bike spokes, if the are to thick at the beginning: a hammer and file will do it!

    I've thought about different ear pieces for my glasses, and now I wonder how easy it would be to just fashion my own forms that I can swap in and out depending on my needs.

    Every day I find people hacking things I never would have considered "hackable" it's very inspiring!

    2 replies

    In the follow-up, I covered the steel temples shown here by lego bars.

    But: I would not do this with undamaged glasses! It takes a lot of time to adjust the glasses so that they sit comfortably, and with the proper optical angle!

    Gotcha, I'll take that under consideration. Maybe there's a more minor way I can modify them to achieve what I'm going for

    Thanks for this instructable.
    Im wondering if it would be possible to grind out a slot along the inside edge of the old arms and then cut off the new spring steel arm shorter and glue (epoxy or hot glue) the old designer arms over the new spring steel arm ?
    Then your glasses will look perfect to everyone else.

    1 reply

    It really depends on the old temples. You will first need to grind off the remains of the old hinge. Then, the new steel bar's outer side would align to the old temple's inner side, so making a grove would unalign the old temple. Or, the groove's depth would progressively increase, from zero at the hinge, to maximum at the earpiece...

    A temple is subject to much constrains and torsion, so you would probably need to stick the old temple to the steel bar up to some portion of the ear piece, and use epoxy, at least. Hot glue will not hold.

    Also, keep in mind that modern hinges are quite sophisticated and incorporate a spring, allowing to go over 90°. When gluing the steel bar to the old temples, you should make sure to allow the exact angle needed to comfortably wear the glasses.

    That's a pretty nice solution for the hinge. If you want to reuse the original temple, apply your hinge design but cut the "temple" end to a much shorter length, maybe 3/4-1 inch. Use an appropriate sized and colored heat shrink tubing to attach that to the original temple.

    Thanks for sharing this information! It will be handy when I need it.

    Thanks for this, it's great. I've a lot of broken specs but kept the lens part, too good to dump. This has given me an idea too and if it works I'll post it.