Protecting Stained Glass from the Elements

How-To

I want to make some copper foil and lead projects for use outside. How do I protect them from the elements?

If you construct your project using the lead technique, there isnt anything else you need to do. The cementing process weatherproofs the project.

If you use the copper foil technique, you will want to make sure that there is something to prevent the copper foil from pulling away from the outer edges of the project when it gets wet. This can be accomplished by using a rigid metal channel (zinc, copper or brass) or by soldering a reinforcing wire around the perimeter of the piece.

Another thing you should consider is using mosaic techniques. Either the direct or indirect methods are great for outdoor projects. Your supplier will have information on these techniques if you are unfamiliar with them.

Whatever technique you choose to employ, it is best to bring your projects indoors for the winter if it gets cold enough to freeze in your area. While some projects may survive freezing, its better to be safe than sorry.

Reprinted with permission from Stained Glass News. All rights reserved.

2 comments
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Leslie S.  •  August 25, 2010
We suggest using a soft bristle brush to scrub the pieces with your flux remover as well as when washing with soap and water. Because of the slightly raised solder seams flux can hide in the joint between the raised solder and the glass so a brush is the best way to remove the flux which cuases the oxidation. Seal and shine with a polishing product - Simichrome Polish (5524). If you continue to have new pieces oxidize make sure your flux remover is still potent or try a different brand of flux remover and clean as before. IF you are still having issues with new projects oxidizing shortly after finishing, after scrubbing your piece with your flux remover use distilled water to wash the piece instead of tap water – this is not a “guarantee”, but it can’t hurt – finish off with polish.
Jeanne B.  •  August 24, 2010
I am making lawn ornaments for my garden and have been experiencing some white or green oxidation to the solder after having only been outdoors 24 hours. Is there anything I should be doing differently, I.E. sealing the solder or using a different kind of solder? nyone wiht any suggestions?
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Stained Glass News

Stained Glass News

Stained Glass News is a full-color newspaper which has been dedicated to informing, entertaining and inspiring stained glass hobbyists for over 22 years. Each issue features: • information on new books, tools and glass • quick tips & hints and Q&A's • columns on stained glass, mosaics, and hot glass by industry experts • photos of our readers' projects in the Readers' Gallery • glassworking hints from our readers on The Readers' Page • a photo and information about a glass workshop belonging to one of our readers on The Readers' Page • other information that makes working with glass easier, more fun and more rewarding SGN is published five times a year (on the first of January, March, May, September and November). The current issue is SGN #90 (May, 2010).