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Clean Up: After your piece is soldered to your satisfaction, it is ready to clean. Carefully clean the front and back of the piece with hot soapy water or flux remover. An abrasive cleaner and fine grain steel wool is effective for shining the solder lines. Remember, if all flux residue is not removed from the piece, the solder seams may oxidize over time. Oxidation is the crusty white buildup that sometimes appears on metal. Dirty solder seams may also inhibit the coating of patinas.
If you would like your solder seams to be a color other than silver, apply a patina to it. Patina is a chemical that reacts with the solder and changes the color. Popular colors of patina are black and copper.
Thoroughly dry the panel and apply stained glass finishing compound, a liquid wax, to further clean, protect and shine the solder seams.
Wood Framing: Wood frames are available three ways: finished oak frame, 6 ft framing stock, and precut framing stock.
You can buy oak frames with a groove in the back for mounting your finished piece into. These are available in a variety of shapes and sizes and you simply silicone or clip your clean panel into them.
Oak framing stock in 6 foot strips comes sanded and ready to stain. Measure your panel and use a mitre saw and mitre box to cut your stock at a 45 degree angle. Remember to add for the mitre allowance to get the proper outside size to cut the frame. Drill corner holes and insert screws. Hint: to prevent sideways "drift" or "stepping" when assembling the frame, just place a C-clamp covering both mitred edges. Keep it snug but not too tight and insert screw.
To use pre-cut framing stock, which is available in even measurements from 10" to 28", simply slide the wood strips around your panel and insert the screws into pre drilled holes. The framing comes 2 per pack and ready to stain.
Came Framing: Beginning with the smallest hanging panels, simple edge came of lead or zinc is generally used to give a project a smooth, consistent, and attractive edge. Both the lead and zinc come in various sizes to suit the requirements of different projects. Lead can be used on irregular shaped pieces since it is easily formed. Zinc came is stiff and works best on straight edges or gentle curves. To use either, cut the came to length, fit around the project and solder at the corners (or where the ends meet) and at the points where the foil or lead intersect the outside perimeter. When possible, attach the hanging rings at the corners so the vertical lines support the weight. The rings can also be soldered at a point where a foil or lead line meets the outside perimeter.
For a larger window or panel a wider zinc came should be used to finish the edge. An adjustable zinc came allows for thicker panels at the point where a solder bead meets the edge. The adjustable came is easily opened and closed with a lead opener. To a lesser degree the adjustable came will compensate for slightly irregular edges by opening the seam in the center of the channel in order to seat the panel properly. Again, if hanging rings are used, solder them to the corner so the weight is supported by the vertical lines.
Karina FosterThursday, October 27, 2016
@email@example.com Zinc, brass and copper came can all be cut using a metal cutting blade on a saw. If you are only making an occasional cut, a small hand saw such as the X-Acto Razor Saw and a miter box are suitable. If you intend to use rigid metal came frequently, you may prefer a power saw that will make precise cuts quickly such as the Power Miter II Chop Saw or Gryphon Came Saw.
Karina FosterThursday, October 27, 2016
@Bsbruss There isn't an absolute rule about what size of panel requires a rigid came border. The structural integrity of the pattern and the way a panel will be hung or installed can influence the decision. Many glass artists use a rigid came border for projects that are 1 square foot or larger. For projects smaller than 1 square foot, additional options include simply tinning the edge, applying a piece of copper wire or braided copper wire to the perimeter, or soldering ball chain around the border to give a decorative touch and add strength.
@Bsbruss Sorry, meant maximum size you can make without a zinc border
What is the minimum size panel that can be made without using a zinc border? I'm making a 9" square diamond and am not sure if I should use a zinc border or if I can get by with soldering a piece of 20 gauge wire around the outside. Thanks
Karina FosterTuesday, October 25, 2016
When adding a came border to a copper foil project it is easiest to assemble and solder the copper foiled pieces before placing it in the came border. Be sure to stop soldering approximately 1/4" away from the outside edge on the copper foil lines to allow the came to slip onto the edge of the glass easily. After soldering both front and back of the project, add your came border and finish soldering all the copper foil lines to attach the came border to the project at each point a solder line intersects the came.
How do you cut the zinc cane?
Karina FosterMonday, April 11, 2016
Gail, to prevent the copper came from changing color apply a finishing compound (carnauba wax) to both polish and protect your piece. It will leave a protective film which will help slow down the oxidation process of came and solder, but won't stop it completely. It's a natural process. The only way to prevent this is to polish your pieces regularly.
Hi it is me again with rebar questions... I saw in your picture of rebar that it is standing on the outside of the project soldered to the joints.. in my octagon project I am understanding that one rebar soldered to the outside of my project from left to right will reinforce both upper glass and side glass. Am I stating it correctly?