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phantasy
04-25-2017, 09:43 AM
Hi all,

I'm currently stuck on a scene and wondering if you could help.

I did my research on creating a knife out of glass shards, but I'm having trouble with the available materials in the novel for the grip. If my character tore a piece of her pant leg, could the cloth, if wrapped around enough be thick enough to create handle? Or would the glass just tear through it because the character was gripping it so hard?

Also how she could throw glass shards as weapons? Grip them with cloth and throw like a dart? Could that work?

Thanks.

CameronJohnston
04-25-2017, 01:56 PM
Tearing off cloth and wrapping around several times would absolutely work as a grip at least long enough to use it a few times, and given it's glass you'll probably only get one, maybe two uses out of it before it breaks anyway. Gripping should be fine, but any in-hand movement would start glass cutting through cloth.

Glass flung like a dart wouldn't be great. I'll look towards throwing knives and shuriken instead.

phantasy
04-25-2017, 07:00 PM
Thanks!

I did forget to mention that broken glass and cloth is all my character has at her disposal.

JNG01
04-25-2017, 08:11 PM
If the shape of the shards allow it, she could tie them to a strip of cloth to make something like a cat-o-nine-tails.

frimble3
04-26-2017, 01:49 AM
What's the situation? Okay, all she has is glass and cloth (why? Where does the glass come from?) does she have time, or skills? If it's just long pieces of plate glass, if she can find one the right shape, she should be okay with cloth (attached firmly, so the cloth doesn't rub on the glass). If she's got time, she could possibly select or shape suitable pieces, make 'throwing chunks', spears, etc.

Jack Judah
04-26-2017, 03:05 AM
Assuming your character has a very limited amount of time to make her weapon, your simplest solution is to have her wrap her HAND in several layers of cloth, then pick up any old glass shard. She's also less likely to have the shard punch through the cloth this way. Wrapping the shard itself is asking to have one's palm ripped open on the first stab.

blacbird
04-26-2017, 05:19 AM
You could, of course, conduct a laboratory experiment. But I wouldn't recommend that.

caw

phantasy
04-26-2017, 09:55 AM
Thanks everyone for your advice! She'd basically be ripping off a pant-leg for the cloth. She's escaping a glass prison basically.


Assuming your character has a very limited amount of time to make her weapon, your simplest solution is to have her wrap her HAND in several layers of cloth, then pick up any old glass shard. She's also less likely to have the shard punch through the cloth this way. Wrapping the shard itself is asking to have one's palm ripped open on the first stab.

I like this answer the best because she does have a limited to get things done.

--------------

Another question...could exploding glass severely injure or kill you? Even if your back was turned? Does it depend on the type of glass?

Thanks.

Aerial
04-26-2017, 07:54 PM
Another question...could exploding glass severely injure or kill you? Even if your back was turned? Does it depend on the type of glass?

Thanks.

Anything propelled at sufficient velocity can kill you.

The type of glass matters. Safety glass is called that because it shatters into more rounded pieces that are less likely to cause lacerations and bleeding. Also, the shock wave from an explosion can damage internal organs to the point of killing a person without any damage from flying debris. (I'm not sure what kind of explosion is causing your "exploding glass".)

phantasy
04-27-2017, 03:26 AM
Anything propelled at sufficient velocity can kill you.

The type of glass matters. Safety glass is called that because it shatters into more rounded pieces that are less likely to cause lacerations and bleeding. Also, the shock wave from an explosion can damage internal organs to the point of killing a person without any damage from flying debris. (I'm not sure what kind of explosion is causing your "exploding glass".)

An explosion from super powers, so I think it means I can make anything I want to happen.

But considering the circumstances, the glass is probably safety tempered glass and would break into pebbles, rendering it useless to her, I think. Hmm. There goes that escape plan.

Unless -- can you break off a piece of tempered glass and use it as a weapon? Or would it shatter in your hands?

armydillo978
04-27-2017, 04:00 AM
Some glass is pretty tough. I pulled a half inch sliver of glass out of an off road truck tire early this week....the glass had punched through the steel belts and caused a slow leak. The other tire was peppered with glass shards as well. All at least 1/8" thick. So, glass could be an effective weapon.....just like frozen water...icicles. And the hand wrap thing is a good idea. :)

CWatts
04-27-2017, 04:34 AM
An explosion from super powers, so I think it means I can make anything I want to happen.

But considering the circumstances, the glass is probably safety tempered glass and would break into pebbles, rendering it useless to her, I think. Hmm. There goes that escape plan.

Unless -- can you break off a piece of tempered glass and use it as a weapon? Or would it shatter in your hands?

What was holding the glass in place? If there's some kind of framework could she break off a piece and weaponize that? The glass breaking may cause even a metal framework to disassemble.

Or, going with the cloth idea, could she gather up the glass pebbles inside the cloth and swing it like a sap? Thick glass is heavy.

PeteMC
04-27-2017, 07:27 PM
Or, going with the cloth idea, could she gather up the glass pebbles inside the cloth and swing it like a sap? Thick glass is heavy.

This definitely works - she could fashion a very serviceable cosh that way.

Tsu Dho Nimh
04-28-2017, 12:44 AM
Hi all,
Also how she could throw glass shards as weapons? Grip them with cloth and throw like a dart? Could that work?

Pick it up gently on the flat sides, and just throw it like a dart. You can do that and not cut yourself.


********
If she has access, maybe later, to wood and glue or something similar, look up the Aztex obsidian war weapin. Like a crickrt bat with sharp obsidian shards set into the sides.

Twick
04-28-2017, 01:15 AM
Assuming this is a "glass prison" and superpowers are involved, you can use your own type of glass with, perhaps, it's own superpowers.

Tempered glass in windshields is designed to break relatively easily into pebbly stuff so it doesn't cut you. But that's different from glass used to control a dangerous prisoner. You don't want it to break at all.

As far as exploding glass, I know if I drop a glass on the floor while washing dishes, I get shards, sometimes quite nasty ones, thrown a considerable distance. Again, with a little bit of suspension of disbelief, your prison glass could stab someone on its own.

phantasy
04-28-2017, 06:37 AM
Assuming this is a "glass prison" and superpowers are involved, you can use your own type of glass with, perhaps, it's own superpowers.

Tempered glass in windshields is designed to break relatively easily into pebbly stuff so it doesn't cut you. But that's different from glass used to control a dangerous prisoner. You don't want it to break at all.

As far as exploding glass, I know if I drop a glass on the floor while washing dishes, I get shards, sometimes quite nasty ones, thrown a considerable distance. Again, with a little bit of suspension of disbelief, your prison glass could stab someone on its own.

Wait, what kind of glass would be best to contain a dangerous prisoner? I think I need to clarify. So basically, my mc is part of an experiment and she's in a glass dome. At some point, her powers shatter the glass. I'd like it that when she turned around at point of explosion, for the glass not to cut her too badly. Then I'd like her to escape and use the glass shards against her captors. Which sort of glass would work best?

Honestly that's the thing with suspension of disbelief. I could do anything really. But should I?

And would the baddies really make use a type of glass that turns into shards, even for safety purposes? They're not fools.

phantasy
04-28-2017, 06:38 AM
What was holding the glass in place? If there's some kind of framework could she break off a piece and weaponize that? The glass breaking may cause even a metal framework to disassemble.

Or, going with the cloth idea, could she gather up the glass pebbles inside the cloth and swing it like a sap? Thick glass is heavy.

That sounds cool, but I need the glass to cut material open. Not just harm.

frimble3
04-28-2017, 07:25 AM
Wait, what kind of glass would be best to contain a dangerous prisoner? I think I need to clarify. So basically, my mc is part of an experiment and she's in a glass dome. At some point, her powers shatter the glass. I'd like it that when she turned around at point of explosion, for the glass not to cut her too badly. Then I'd like her to escape and use the glass shards against her captors. Which sort of glass would work best?

Honestly that's the thing with suspension of disbelief. I could do anything really. But should I?

And would the baddies really make use a type of glass that turns into shards, even for safety purposes? They're not fools.
Fools enough to use a glass dome. Maybe overconfident? Or, too impressed by the 'look' of the prisoner in the glass dome to work out the practicalities?
I don't know the term of types of glass, but keep in mind that they build those giant tanks in public aquariums out of it. If it can hold a shark or an orca, and, especially, the weight of the water the shark or orca is living in, presumably it can hold a person, until their special powers manifest.

phantasy
04-28-2017, 07:31 AM
Fools enough to use a glass dome. Maybe overconfident? Or, too impressed by the 'look' of the prisoner in the glass dome to work out the practicalities?

True. Still trying to figure out how far on the suspension of disbelief ones goes with these things. Besides, one can always assume that's what the 'experiment' needed, ha ha.

Tsu Dho Nimh
04-29-2017, 01:53 AM
Wait, what kind of glass would be best to contain a dangerous prisoner?

And would the baddies really make use a type of glass that turns into shards, even for safety purposes? They're not fools.

In materials engineering, things can be strong but brittle ... cast iron for example. Really strong but hit it right and it shatters. Pre-stressed materials - Corelle dinnerware for example - hit it wrong and the release of the stress not only breaks it, but the shards continue to shatter for a long time afterwards. Sometimes just installing it with tension not quite evenly applied slowly adds uneven stresses and then kablooie ... you tap it and it's busted or you hear a noise and it was your shower door and it's in a million pieces because the installer had it unsquare in the frame and stressed it.

"Post-tensioned" concrete is way stronger than regular, until something happens to the tension cables and then the slab flies apart if the failure is sudden enough.

Also, maybe the tested the glass against "powers" and it worked beautifully, but they were applying pressure towards the curve of the dome from the outside. And she's inside, pushing out.

Or they had tempered glass and her powers un-tempered it and made it brittle.

Beanie5
04-29-2017, 09:52 AM
wrapping cloth around a shard of glass will give you an ordinary stabbing weapon substandard as throwing maybe if you caught them in the eye

Twick
05-01-2017, 06:23 PM
Notice that we don't currently house dangerous prisoners in glass domes. Even experimental animals are kept in metal cages most of the time. So, there's probably not a current glass that's ideal for this.

Doesn't mean that you couldn't develop something serviceable if people have superpowers and for some reason glass is the best choice. But then you'd have to technobabble why this glass was necessary, and why your MC is able to break it unexpectedly.

WeaselFire
05-01-2017, 11:50 PM
Wait, what kind of glass would be best to contain a dangerous prisoner?

Steel glass. :)

Ceramic maybe. How about obsidian? Or diamond? Or super glass? Or magic crystal? It's your world, create it.

By the way, I've never bought into a world where a glass prison was a thing. Any intelligent species would use something better.

Jeff

King Neptune
05-02-2017, 12:44 AM
Wait, what kind of glass would be best to contain a dangerous prisoner? I think I need to clarify. So basically, my mc is part of an experiment and she's in a glass dome. At some point, her powers shatter the glass. I'd like it that when she turned around at point of explosion, for the glass not to cut her too badly. Then I'd like her to escape and use the glass shards against her captors. Which sort of glass would work best?

Honestly that's the thing with suspension of disbelief. I could do anything really. But should I?

And would the baddies really make use a type of glass that turns into shards, even for safety purposes? They're not fools.

If I were building a dome of glass that would hold a number of human prisoners, then I would use glass blocks. Glass blocks are made in various sizes, and are used to make building sections that are well illuminated and as windows that aaren't going to break readily. The blocks often have irregular surfaces, so they can't be seen through, but there also are clear blocks. They aren't technically unbreakable, but they are not easy to break, and there are some that are slightly soft or malleable; although that is a specialty item. The blocks are cooled very slowly to keep them from cracking at that stage. The blocks are 3 7/8 inches thick, so shards would be thick enough that they could be worked into a grip.

https://www.qualityglassblock.com/loose-glass-block/premier-3-7-8-series-glass-block?mm_campaign=FECB856D024462DF2B30BFDFFC3317F2&keyword=glass%20block%20sizes&matchtype=e&sncid=13&adgroup=glass_block

While most commercial glass blocks are of a standard thickness, the blocks could be much thicker, say the sixe of concrete blocks 8x8x16 or other sizes.

phantasy
05-02-2017, 06:08 AM
So what basically everyone saying that the concept isn't realistic anyway, so imagine as you please, lol. And I will. As there's no way superhero/paranormal powers are plausible either. Not in this version of reality anyway. :)

Aerial
05-02-2017, 04:44 PM
So what basically everyone saying that the concept isn't realistic anyway, so imagine as you please, lol. And I will. As there's no way superhero/paranormal powers are plausible either. Not in this version of reality anyway. :)

Assuming silica isn't a necessary component that makes it possible for the MC to do whatever she does to escape, you might avoid some of the suspension of disbelief issues just by calling the material something else. Transparent plasticrete or whatever. Then you don't have to fight the reader's knowledge base about glass and its properties in order to make the scenario believable, or at least not glaringly unbelievable :-)

King Neptune
05-02-2017, 10:49 PM
So what basically everyone saying that the concept isn't realistic anyway, so imagine as you please, lol. And I will. As there's no way superhero/paranormal powers are plausible either. Not in this version of reality anyway. :)

That wasn't what I wrote in my last post. If the glass building is of realistic materials, then finding a suitable shard is not out of the question, but plate glass wouldn't work.

E. Steve
05-07-2017, 04:10 AM
I've made knives out of obsidian (volcanic glass - exactly the same chemical composition - SiO2). I would use them to skin or butcher animals, and as long as I dulled the edge or edges that I'd be holding (rub back and forth against any rough surface for a few seconds - e.g. cement) you hand won't be cut.