Thursday, March 5, 2015

Yankees Stained Glass Lamp Repair

Another recent repair .. This one is a New York Yankees lamp.  The cap came apart from the dome and there were two badly cracked oblong pieces which required replacement.  Here are the repairs .. Click on any photo to enlarge for a closer look.

This is how the lamp came to me .. With the cap detached, two pieces of blue glass fallen out, and two pieces of the white cracked.

 Here's a close up of one of the two cracked white rectangles.

Before replacing any glass, the borders have to be clear of any residue remaining from old foil or solder.  Here I'm using "Goo Gone" to clean off the border.  I've also added new foil to it.
 The detached blue pieces were surrounded with old copper foil and solder which I removed by hand.

Many lamps such as these do not have ground edges on the glass.  The grinding helps the copper foil to adhere, and it makes the glass much safer for handling.  Here I'm grinding the edges.
 Copper foil is centered on the edge of the glass ...
 ... And pressed into place with a "fid" or a flat, plastic wand.

After the pieces and the border have been foiled, I tape them into place using blue painter's tape.  Its inside the dome, not visible.  Then I brush on liquid flux which enables the solder to flow correctly,

Soldering the pieces back in.

In order to replace the cracked pieces, I score them on both sides and then use the back end of the butter to tap out the remaining pieces.

Here I'm tugging out pieces using needle-nose pliers.

After the glass is removed and the borders are cleaned, I apply new copper foil as shown.  Then I trace the opening onto a piece of Manila folder.  This becomes the pattern for the new piece of glass.

The glass has been scored with the pistol grip cutter (the purple tool).  Now I'm using "running pliers", the blue tool, to snap the straight cut.  I do the same with the remaining two sides of the rectangular piece.

Now the replacement piece is in place, held there by blue painter's tape from the inside of the dome.

Now the two pieces of cracked rectangular white glass have been replaced.

Onto the cap.  The cap is often the weakest part of any lamp because it holds all the weight.  The borders of the circle had not been grinded during construction.  I'm using a hand file to roughen the edges of the glass to prepare it for copper foil.
 My husband Eric made a new copper ring for the cap and soldered it into place.

And here is the finished lamp!  Thank you to Wyckoff Lighting for passing this repair on to me.
Please visit my website to see my custom windows and repairs (click here).  And if you are on FaceBook, become a fan and I'll keep you up to date on all my stained glass projects.  Call me any time at 201-600-1616 or email with your questions. Thanks!

Monday, March 2, 2015

Pendant Lamp Stained Glass Repair

This small pendant lamp is part of a matched set.  One of the four panels of clear seedy glass had cracked from the outer part of the lamp.  Here's how I went about repairing it .. Click on any photo for a closer look.

Here's how it looked with the panel badly cracked and a chunk of glass missing.

After I located a piece of glass to match the existing glass, I tapped on the cracked piece repeatedly to loosen the remaining pieces.  Then I carefully pulled out the glass with a needle-nose plier and with leater-palmed gloves.

Here's the lamp with all the cracked glass removed.  I've added blue tape to the top to strengthen the lamp as I work.

 This was a nice find.  The builder of the lamp inserted lengths of straight wire in the seams, in order to strengthen the construction. I left those in place.

Below, I've applied 7/32" copper foll to one of the sides, and wrapped it around the support wire shown in the photo above.

Now both sides of the opening have been copper foiled.

Below, I'm tracing a piece of Manila folder to make a pattern for the replacement glass.

The pattern is then traced onto the glass with a black Sharpie pen.

Leaning against a flat ruler to "score" the glass with an oil-filled pistol grip glass cutter, my preferred tool.  Behind it is a pair of blue "running pliers" which I use to snap glass such as this which has been scored in a straight line.

After the glass is snapped, I run the edges through a grinder.

Then the new piece of glass is rinsed and dried and copper foil is applied to the borders.  Below, I've taped the replacement glass onto the rest of the lamp. The next step is to apply liquid flux to the copper foil.  Then I went and soldered the sides, top and bottom of the replacement glass.  The soldered areas then receive a thorough cleaning with Kwik-Clean Flux and Patina Cleaner.

After the soldered areas are thoroughly clean and dry, I apply Novacan Black Patina with a metal acid brush, as shown.  This chemical instantly turns the silver solder to black.  After it sets up, I again clean it off with Kwik Clean and allow it to dry.

Here is the finished lamp ...

And here it is, atop the smaller, secondary part of the fixture.  I also repaired that as well, by adding some solder to the fitting at the top. Its now ready to be re-hung and enjoyed for many more years!
Please visit my website to see my custom windows and repairs (click here).  And if you are on FaceBook, become a fan and I'll keep you up to date on all my stained glass projects.  Call me any time at 201-600-1616 or email with your questions. Thanks!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Donations of Stained Glass for my Studio

Feeling grateful! Three benefactors donated glass to me yesterday. A woman came to my door and offered me a colorful assortment of 12 sheets of glass and a box full of pieces. They had belonged to her sister who no longer works with glass. She wanted them to be appreciated, found me online, and there she was!
Later in the day, I went to visit a fellow glass artist to purchase glass for my current project. She and her husband gifted me with a great cache of rough rolled, seedy, glue chip, !hammered, and crinkled glass.
Thank you all! The glass will be put to good use, and is very much appreciated.

Please visit my website to see my custom windows and repairs (click here).  And if you are on FaceBook, become a fan and I'll keep you up to date on all my stained glass projects.  Call me any time at 201-600-1616 or email with your questions. Thanks!

Friday, February 6, 2015

Changing Colors in a Stained Glass Panel

This next project, completed about a week ago, is to replace the colors in a stained glass panel.  My customer bought the two stained glass panels below at an antique auction.  Notice that although the designs are identical, the one on the left features cobalt blue, medium amber and turquoise glass, while the one on the right features luminescent green, dark amber and turquoise glass.  My challenge was to change the colors so that both panels would have the green color scheme.

Here's how I went about the process of changing glass colors.  This project is primarily not a repair (although one repair was done), but its a reconstruction, which requires different techniques.

In order to do this effectively, I needed to study the construction of the original panels and then duplicate the original process.  I needed to match the glass and use the same width of copper foil so that the solder line width will match. I also wanted to reclaim the original, slightly aged brass frame.  This also required special treatment. Here we go .. (Click on any photo to enlarge).

 Many other of my blog posts cover repairs, so I won't include this one here, but below is a photo of a cracked piece of clear glue chip glass which I replaced before continuing with the glass replacement.

 At this stage, I've cracked out and removed the piece of glue chip shown above.  Since this open area now gives me access to the amber and the turquoise which I have to remove, I took this opportunity to carefully pull it out using needle nose pliers as shown.

Next, I slid a piece of a Manila folder under the cleaned up opening and traced a pattern for the replacement glass.

When working with glass, it is important to notice which side of the panel is the "right" side.  This can be either the side of the glass with texture facing in or facing out.  In this case, I've marked the pattern above with the word "smooth" which tells me how to position it on the glass so that the smooth side is facing up, which will be the correct orientation.

As I go deeper into the panel, I do not have access to the strips that must be replaced.  So here I'm using the soldering iron to melt off the dome of solder which bonds the glass pieces together.  I'm doing this to weaken the bond and make it easier to remove the strips.

Next, I'm working my way down the strip by using a diamond cutter bit on my Dremel tool.  I'm cutting into the copper foil which is wrapped on each side of the glass.  This is a potentially hazardous process because it generates very fine metal dust.  I'm wearing a protective breathing mask and running a fan throughout the sawing process. If you click on the photo to enlarge, you'll see that channel made by the bit.     

After I've cut into the foil seam lines, I'm scraping the old foil and solder with an old plastic ruler which will not scratch the glass.

Left, I "scored" the thin strip of glass by cross-hatching it repeatedly on the front and back of the panel with the oil-filled pistol grip cutter.  Here, I'm tapping on the glass with the brass end of the cutter, on both sides again, to crack the glass.

I then removed the broken glass using needle-nose pliers.  I used the Manila file pattern, to trace and cut a new piece of the darker amber glass.  Below, I'm using blue running pliers to snap off the appropriate size of darker amber needed for that space. (Notice the texture of the brown glass.  One side is textured, one side is flat).

Below, I've applied copper foil to the clear glue chip (on the work surface) and I'm doing the same to the first piece of replacement glass.  I'm using 13/64" foil instead of the more common 7/32" because I want a thinner solder line, which will match the existing panel. The copper foil is self-adhesive and is placed at the center of the edge of each piece of glass.

When the copper foil is in place, I use a "fid" or flexible flat plastic wand to press the foil onto the glass on all sides.  This prevents any chemicals from seeping underneath.

I have a large stock of glass shards from a variety of projects through the years.  I was able to find this one piece of turquoise Cathedral glass which is a good match to the existing turquoise in the panel.

Here, one piece of the amber strip has been replaced, as has one piece of the turquoise. (Note also the new foil around the repaired piece of clear glue chip glass).

Next, I apply Novacan Blu-Glass Liquid Flux to the copper foil lines and then I solder both front and back.

Moving along, Now three pieces of amber are replaced as well as two pieces of turquoise.

 Here's an area where an amber glass strip has been removed.  Before I prepare it for the replacement glass, I melt and scrape off any old foil and solder.  I also use Goo Gone to remove the old adhesive, then wipe the borders down with a clean paper towel.  This will assure good adhesion for the new copper foil.

Here I'm applying a strip of adhesive copper foil to the inner border.
 And here it is, in place.  Notice the wide blue tape on the underside.  That will keep the piece flush with the rest of the panel.  I will now continue to melt the old solder, peel off old foil, break the glass bond and score, crack and remove the amber pieces until all of them have been replaced with the darker glass.

Now all of the dark amber has been replaced in the panel. I'm now removing the metal hooks at the top of the piece.  I'm melting the solder bond with the iron and then sliding off the hook with the needle nose pliers.  Whenever I solder, I am wearing a protective breathing mask and I run a ventilating, filtered fan.
 After the hooks are successfully removed, I melted the solder at the corners of the brass frame and carefully tugged it away from the panel as shown.
 The brass frame is soldered to the panel at several places along the lengthwise side of the panels.  In order to break those bonds, I sawed through them using the Dremel tool.  Then I melted whatever solder was remaining.  After a lot of coaxing, I was able to pull off all four sides of the brass frame without bending or damaging any of them. 

Now the original brass frame has been completely removed and all the amber strips have been replaced.
 My next challenge is to remove the cobalt blue border glass.  I used the same technique as before, melting down the solder and scraping away the old copper foil.  In the photo below, I'm rocking the end of the panel up and down at the edge of my work station in order to loosen the glass.  Eventually, I was able to bend it to 90 degrees and remove it.

In order for copper foil to adhere properly, the edges of the glass needs to be ground down.  In this panel, as in many others of its time, the original artist did not grind the glass.  Therefore, I'm using a hand file to sand down the glass to prepare it for new copper foil.  (The blue tape is on the glass for reinforcement as I work).

To assure a perfect fit for the new green replacement glass, I've numbered each piece of the blue and I'm using them as patterns.  Below I'm tracing the green, getting ready to cut it.

Using the same rocking technique against the edge of my work surface, as mentioned above, I was able to remove all four sides of the cobalt blue border.  (Blue tape is in place, for reinforcement).
 In the photo below, all of the blue glass has been removed and the green glass has taken its place.  I've also re-installed the "jig" or fence around it, to secure it in place.  At this point, I apply liquid flux to the copper foil and then solder it alll, front and back.

Next, my husband Eric is re-fitting the brass frame to the new border. After he got the frame back in place, I soldered the corners and the appropriate spots along the lead lines.  Then I soldered the hooks back on and gave the entire panel a good cleaning with "Kwik-Clean Flux and Patina Remover".

At this point, all of the glass which needed replacement has been replaced.  The original frame has also been put back on, as well as the hooks.  Here I'm applying Novacan Black Patina with an acid brush.  This chemical reacts instantly with the solder, turning it black.  After the solder has been patina-ed on both sides, I let it set for a bit, then clean it thoroughly again with Kwik Clean.

Then I cleaned the second panel and applied Stained Glass Finishing Compound to both sides of both panels.  This serves to protect the patina and it gives the glass and the frame a nice shine.  The panels will only need an occasional dusting from this point forward.
 On the left, the original pair of panels .... And on the right, both panels in the requested color scheme.  Now they are a matched pair and will look wonderful as they greet visitors to my customer's home.  Thank you, Philip, for the opportunity to turn your auction finds into an integral part of your home .. May you enjoy them for many years to come!

Please visit my website to see my custom windows and repairs (click here).  And if you are on FaceBook, become a fan and I'll keep you up to date on all my stained glass projects.  Call me any time at 201-600-1616 or email with your questions. Thanks!