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Finishing and Framing

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.

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2 Posts
Friday, October 24, 2014
Hi, Somewhere here are there suggestions on what to use to actually "hang" the piece after you've finished the wood frame? I've seen some with eye hooks and chain...Not sure what hardware to buy to ensure it's strong. And...thank you all for the advice above. I was told NOT to use came inside the wood frame. I will do it now as I'd planned :)
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156 Posts
Top Contributor Gallery Artist
Jennifer Bonesteel
Tuesday, July 1, 2014
@John A. the wood frame should only cover the 1/4" or so of your panel that is already encased in rigid came - it should not extend onto the visible glass. Even with a wood frame, rigid came is recommended for added strength and longevity.
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1 Post
John A.
Monday, June 30, 2014
I want to add a wood frame to my stained glass panel, but I don't want part of my bevel edges hidden in the frames slot. I was thinking about soldering some tabs to the edges of my panel solely for the purpose of fitting into the frame. Anyone ever attempted something like that? Any suggestions? Is this a reasonable idea?
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2 Posts
Gallery Artist Contest Participant
Friday, April 4, 2014
@aremartin, The information in the product listing contains the amount to be added for the proper outside measurements.
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5 Posts
Monday, December 9, 2013
@aremartin When it says to take into consideration the "miter allowance" it's referring to the channel where your piece sits. Essentially you need to measure the width and height inside the channel where the panel will sit - don't if you measure the opening or the outside your measurements will be accurate.
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2 Posts
Gallery Artist Contest Participant
Saturday, October 5, 2013
I don't have problems with Zinc framing but have never done wood. I bought the oak wood stock but don't know how to measure to get the miters right. You state "Remember to add for the mitre allowance to get the proper outside size to cut the frame." What do you mean. I know there has to be some type of formula, I believe I got the 2" stock. Do you measure your piece and add 4 inches and then delete what the routed inside measurement is? HELP!!!!
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1 Post
Gallery Artist AGF Winner Contest Participant
Friday, June 21, 2013
I have had problems with this before. I am framing my stain glass piece with zinc and my question is when soldering the corners and where the piece connects with the zinc the solder runs over the zinc. I find it difficult to solder only up to the zinc frame and it doesn't connect so should I put tape on frame to keep it from running all over? sorry if confusing. Should the solder go all away across the zinc?
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22 Posts
Top Contributor
Friday, April 5, 2013
@glasscutter99 Much like you would with a square panel with the exception being the way you trim/cut the ends of the zinc so that the came is flush at all three corners before applying any tack solder to the joints.
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1 Post
Saturday, February 16, 2013
How do you frame a triangle shaped panel in zinc?
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147 Posts
Top Contributor Gallery Artist
Chandra Agostini
Tuesday, January 22, 2013
@Nyssa It would be helpful to see the box you are working with so we could properly advise you. You can send pictures with your questions to
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