How to Cut Down a Windshield

So you ordered the wrong height windshield, and now you have to sit on a pillow to see over the top Well, good friend, let’s try to fix that. Following is a method we all can use to cut down the height of our windshield , and still make it look “Factory Fresh”.

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Instructions

by Buck
artwork by Mr Tidy
 
 

 

From this… To this
From this... To this...

So you ordered the wrong height windshield, and now you have to sit on a pillow to see over the top Well, good friend, let’s try to fix that. Following is a method we all can use to cut down the height of our windshield , and still make it look “Factory Fresh”.
First, determine the exact amount needed to remove. The best method is to place a “band” of blue masking tape with the top edge where you think you want to cut. Make the band of tape at least four inches high, so that you cannot see under the bottom of the tape.Now take a ride !! A good long one !!Keep the tape on for a few days if necessary. You will find that after a few minutes you “settle in the saddle” , which gives you a more accurate idea of how much to cut. I learned this the hard way and ended up cutting my shield three times before I was satisfied. Mark the shield with tape.
On a piece of cardboard, trace the shield’s top outline.Cut this outline out from the cardboard. Mark the shields curve onto cardboard
Place a 2″ wide strip of blue masking tape on the INSIDE of the shield, centered over where the cut will be.Use the cardboard pattern to trace a “Cut” line on to the tape. Put some tape in the middle of the cut
The shield will be cut with the front side of the shield down on the bandsaw table top. If using a Saber saw, cut from the front side of the shield with the inside down.The curved front of the shield must be covered to protect from scratches. I usually cover with a thin cardboard or heavy plastic bags. Anything to prevent scratched.Many will disagree but almost any type of saw blade will work. Most shields are tough Polycarbonate plastic (Lexan) which does not crack, chip, or scratch too easily. I use a “Six teeth per inch” wood blade on my bandsaw. A finer blade demands less sanding but I am too lazy to change blades. Cut on the line, using as smooth a motion as possible so as to reduce the sanding chore. Make sure you protect the windshield from scratches
Here is a very important hint : Sand the edge round (like the rest of the shield) WITH THE SHIELD STANDING UPRIGHT !! If you lay it down the plastic dust will cause scratches where it contacts the table.Use 80 grit paper in a palm sander then switch to 220 for a “Fairly” smooth finish. This job can also be done by hand using the sandpaper on a piece of wood 2 x 4. Just get a smooth finish with a curved edge that is the same as the rest of the shield.


The final step that produces that “Factory” edge is sort of delicate. If you slip here you will have a spotted shield! Most hardware stores sell M.E.K. (methyl ethyl keytone) as a universal solvent. This stuff “Melts” plastic. Moisten a COTTON rag just big enough to wrap over your index finger. Get it very wet, but not dripping. With a steady motion, wipe the newly sanded edge in one smooth stroke. WOW !!! It turns clear !!If necessary , wait a few minutes and do it again. The plastic dries almost immediately. I suggest you practice the “Wipe” on the piece you cut off. It really is easy , as long as you don’t drip.That’s it ! Simple, but do it right the first time. And don’t sniff too much of that M.E.K.!

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