558 N. Main St., Prineville, OR 97754 | (541) 447-6205
Rob Pangelinan prepares a pane of glass for installation. He has been a glazier for the past 32 years, 20 of which has been as the owner of Accurate Glass.
What do you get when you combine a hammer and a pane of window glass?
The result for most of us would be predictable — lots of little pieces of window glass. Not so for Rob Pangelinan. He routinely uses a mallet to firmly seal an aluminum frame around a piece of glass, thereby preparing it for installation as a window pane.
“Installing glass with a hammer,” he mused. “People like that part.”
It’s one of many skills Pangelinan has acquired during his 32 years as a glazier, the last 20 of which has been as owner of Accurate Glass, Prineville’s only full-service glass shop.
“We do commercial, residential, tables, picture frames, mirrors, all those kinds of things,” he said. “About the only thing we don’t do is auto glass insurance work. We do cash auto glass and a lot of insurance work, just not auto.”
Pangelinan acknowledged that the last few years have been difficult, given Central Oregon’s economy. With so much of the glass work related to new construction, several glass shops in the tri-county area went under.
Not Accurate Glass.
“We have very good contractors that have been around for a long time,” he offered as one reason they’re still in the game. “We get busy enough that we do have to let some things go sometimes. With that being said, that’s probably good for our business in the big picture, because we do have the good work.”
Pangelinan said that along with recurring work for local businesses — the mills and property management companies, for example — he goes to Eagle Crest quite a bit, and also to west Bend, where new construction has remained. He’s also busy replacing windows through weatherization rebates — very busy.
“Right now we’re doing three nursing homes in the area,” he explained. “We’re changing almost 100 windows per nursing home. So we actually have some pretty good work going right now.”
It’s been said that variety is the spice of life. If so, Pang’s life is well-seasoned. He’s worked with everything from production cutting in a large commercial shop, to a helicopter windshield. Along the line there was glass in fire lookout towers, mirrors in riding arenas and karate studios, and commercial automatic doors. Lately, he’s done upper-end shower “doors” costing in excess of $4,000 — some with a 13-panel design.
“It’s a really involved trade, and that’s what’s kept me interested,” he said. “Every day’s a new brain puzzle for us. We can take this window out — we know that — but what do we have when we get inside this structure that’s 50 years old? How are we going to re-install it? So there’s a lot of ‘McGyvering,’ making things happen. In a small area like this, you can have a total smorgasbord of things to do.”
Accurate Glass is located in the same building that housed Cecil’s Glass, beginning in 1979, Pangelinan said. He and then-partner, Bob Frisbee, purchased Cecil’s in 1993. Frisbee retired three years ago but still comes in and helps a bit.
Recently, Pangelinan took on two new partners — Susan Barnes and Michael Hill — each with a 10 percent interest in the business. Hill does his share of the glass work along with Pangelinan, including providing quotes for prospective jobs, but it’s Barnes you’ll see just beyond the shop’s front door.
Her 25 years as a florist and training as a health information technologist didn’t exactly prepare her for her new role as the glass shop’s office manager and bookkeeper.
“There’s always something, every day, to learn, and it’s exciting,” the ever-smiling Barnes said. “It’s definitely not a boring job. I like people. I like the people that come in, and learning new things about glass. It’s a big jump compared to what I was used to. I love it.”
It’s good that she loves people because she’ll likely to see more, since Pangelinan noted that business is “absolutely” picking up.
Barnes is content working in the office, and has no desire to work with glass, she said. Pangelinan’s answer to the expected question as to if he ever gets cut, may have had something to do with her contentment.
“I did have an accident,” he replied matter-of-factly. “I cut my right bicep completely in half. It healed very well. It was just a muscle wound. No big deal after it healed.”
He explained that he was taking a large piece of scrap glass to the dumpster — a two-person job he tried to do by himself — when it “just blew up on me.”
“But 32 years in the trade, and I’ve been cut bad once, by glass,” he elaborated, not counting the innumerable nicks, or the rips and tears caused by automobile frames and the like. “It bit me pretty good. I’ve got an upside-down smile on this bicep.”