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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 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?
Thank at has been very helpful.. What Im hearing is I need a solder line that goes from one side to the other with a rebar inserted
Jennifer BonesteelFriday, April 3, 2015
@ladylinda321 if it's an interior window either method is acceptable. A panel that large will require reinforcement or it can buckle or warp over time. I spoke with my resident expert in stained glass and she said one piece of rebar running across the panel in the center (18") would suffice. The rebar would need to run from the outside edge of the frame on one side to the outside edge of the frame on the other.
it will be an interior window with a 44x44 as the exterior I didn't understand the rebar caoomnt
Jennifer BonesteelThursday, April 2, 2015
@ladylinda321 if your window is an exterior window it should be done in lead. Lead flexes where soldered copper foil is rigid - any change in temperature could cause your glass to crack. It should be framed with zinc came - at least 3/8" or 1/2" for strength unless you're putting it into a wood frame - then you could go smaller. At 36" you will need to reinforce your window with zinc rebar - probably three strips running side to side in a vertical window or up and down in a transom.
I am working on an octagon 36" window and am wondering if I can do it in the tiffany style or do I have to lead it? If Tiffany is ok is there anything I should know about framing it?