Using Finger Fids for Foiling


Foiling and crimping. Most glass people either hate it or love it. Its one of those jobs that just has to get done one way or the other. Foiling glass is a no brainer, and the technique can be mastered in a matter of minutes, but crimpingwell , lets just say that it has its variations. One method that I picked up from the productions shop I first worked in has always proved to be the quickest and most efficient: Finger fids.

Whats a finger fid?

What youll need:

1. Masking tape

2. Your fingers

Step One:
Extend the thumb, index and middle fingers of the hand you usually crimp your foil with; or if you use a fid, the hand you usually hold your fid with.

Step Two:
Cut about ten short strips of masking tape approximately 3 long.

Step Three:
Beginning with any one of your fingers, wrap the tape over the tip of your finger and press it onto the sides. Wrap a second strip over your finger tip at a right angle to the first. Finally wrap a third strip of tape around your finger covering the two tape ends.

Step Four:
Repeat for your middle finger and thumb (Suggestion: you might want to put an extra layer of tape on your thumb since that finger usually works harder while crimping.

Step Five:
Your finger fids are now ready to crimp foiled glass. Your fingers have a nice hard surface to run against the edge of the glass without risking and cuts or abrasions, and if your fids are seeing a lot of service and wear down, they can be easily replaced with new layers of tape.

Crimp to your hearts content.

This article courtesy of Joe Porcelli and
Glass Craftsman magazine.

Eileen S.  •  December 09, 2017
thanks for the suggestion....I have had many cuts.
Bill S.  •  August 27, 2015
I would only make one small adjustment to this good idea; Personally I like the plain old fashioned white surgical tape. It lasts longer than masking tape, altho on the down side, the sticky stuff is harder to get off at the end of the day. My brand of tape is Leukoplast... the backing is rubber. Made in France from a German owned medical supply company, sold here in Australia and used by this American -- truly an international affair. Bill
Joe Porcelli

Joe Porcelli

Publisher, producer, instructor and artist Joe Porcelli, author of The Lampmaking Handbook and Jewels of Light, a history of stained glass, has always believed that information, and the sharing of that information has been a defining characteristic of the phenomenal glass movement of the last 30+ years. In response to that, his company Arts & Media, Inc. reaches beyond the publication of Glass Craftsman into book publishing and the latest digital technologies, i.e., video/DVD production (The GCTV Productions catalog of glass videos), to keep the flow of information in tune with readers’ preferences.