A friend offered me his iPad that had a badly broken screen for free. He knows that I'm pretty handy with woodworking, so he thought I might give a try with electronics. He had covered it with packing tape, and it was still functional, but it would make some errors recognizing touches, swipes, taps, and such. With a free iPad in my hands I figured it was worth investing a little money into it just to have the experience, even if I ended up ruining it.
I have an iPad supplied by my employer, and this was going to be for my wife and kids.
I didn't want to buy a new front panel if I ended up destroying the iPad in the dis-assembly process. So I actually removed the broken glass before ordering the new parts. The fact that I am writing this now is proof that the removal went okay (it was a little harder than I expected) and while I had no way to be sure if it was still working, I had not done much visible damage.
The only thing I damaged was the wi-fi/bluetooth antenna, but it looked like it was only damage to the part that holds it in place--I thought it would not impair the function. So I ordered the front panel, and waited for it to arrive. It came faster than expected! (Well played, iFixit. Well played.)
In case you are seeing that I ordered the home button assembly--the button bent a little when I peeled it off the old glass, and probably would have been okay after a touch of flattening. But I tought it might be weakened and, therefore, fail sooner rather than later. I decided to order a new home button assembly just for good measure, because I don't want to have to open up this iPad again.)
When the front panel and home button arrived the assembly on that part was really easy. When I got it back in place enough to test, it turns out that the wi-fi antenna needed some help. It was working, but clearly getting a weak signal (only 1 bar, standing 3 feet away from my Time Machine tells me there was a problem.) So I ordered a new wifi antenna, and my wife and the kids got frustrated that they were going to have to wait for another delivery. But it also came faster then expected! (Bravo, iFixit.)
Putting the wifi antenna in required removing more internal parts, which was a little nerve-wracking, but I got it in, and went to test - Success!!!
Wear eye protection when removing broken glass. Covering the whole glass front with tape would probably be a good idea. I had tape on part, but not all, of the screen--it made a noticeable difference.
Take seriously the warnings about the location of the wifi antenna.
The tools that come withe the front panel assembly kit seem like they would have really helped the removal process. I would have been better off ordering the part in advance.