Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Octagon window in the light

Here is the completed Octagon stained glass window, off my work bench and in the light.  (Click to enlarge any photo).
Here's a close-up showing the beautiful textures of the clear and blue glass. (Click to enlarge).
All that's left to do now is to wax it, sign it and install it.  I unobtrusively etch my name with the date (month and year) into each window. 

Stop back this weekend to see the installation process, and it see where it will "live" for the next maybe hundred years.  And stay tuned for my next project in the works .. Details on the way.

Boehm Stained Glass Studio website and FaceBook site.

Octagonal window completed

Just about four weeks after we started, the 27" wide octagonal stained glass window is completed.  After the most recent post, I soldered the back of the window.  Here it is, back in the jig, with the metal channel frame that my husband custom cut for each of the 8 sides, which are slightly different lengths. (Click to enlarge any photo).
After the channel framing was cut, I soldered each joint and linked it to the lead line, as shown below.
This adds a great deal more strength and stability to the window, which now weighs 7-3/4 lbs.  After soldering all the joints on one side, I carefully turned it over, soldered the back, and removed the jig.

Then, wearing rubber gloves, I scrubbed each side of the window, one section at a time, with powdered cleanser and an old dish brush.  This removed all the caustic flux, the soldering residue, and the markings used in construction. 
Here is the window just after being washed.  It is now being left overnight, laying flat on a towel, to dry completely before waxing. (Click to enlarge).
 Here's another view of the completed window.
Now you can see the different textures of the clear glass, and the brilliant blue waterglass which will complement the colors in my customer's kitchen.  (I'll post more photos of the completed window tomorrow).

Next, I'll paint the quarter-round wood molding that my husband will use to mount the window in the wall opening.  Check back to see the window in its new home. We'll be doing the installation this weekend.  

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Octagonal window half soldered

More progress.  The front of the octagonal window has been tack soldered, meaning that the copper foil on the front side was brushed with liquid flux and soldered lightly at the joints, for stability.  Then the jig was released and the paper pattern was carefully slid out from underneath.  Here it is. (Click to enlarge any photo).
As you can see, the blue glass looks different on the homasote board than it did on the white paper pattern.  It will look different again when its freed from the table and in the light .. a lovely bright shade of medium blue. 

Once the window was freed from the jig and the pattern, I soldered the entire front side.  I use 60/40 solder (actually 63/37 representing 63% tin and 37% lead).  Its dangerous.  To protect my lungs, I use a Sperian P100 Respirator for Lead Removal as found in Home Depot for $12.98.  Its like having your own personal humidifier, something you get used to, and very effective.
Liquid flux is very caustic so I am always careful not to bring food into my work area, and I wash my hands immediately after use.

This window is approximately 28" across, and with all the glass and the solder, it will be a weighty piece.  Its a good design, balanced and well structured, but I wanted to provide an even longer life for this larger window.  I added lengths of Braided Wire Invisible Reinforcement between the glass pieces at several random places.  At $2.75 for 10', its also a worthwhile purchase.  Find it here.
See the silver braid between the copper-foiled piece of glass.  It becomes invisible when the solder is melted into that space.

Next, my husband will custom cut the metal "channel" framing around the border which will add strength and stability.  Then I'll carefully turn the window over, solder the back, clean it and wax it.  Stay tuned .. Construction to resume on Monday.  (We're off on a camping trip).

Boehm Stained Glass Studio website and FaceBook site.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Octagonal window foiled

Moving along .. The approximately 27" wide octagonal window has now been foiled using 50' of 7/32" silver-backed adhesive copper foil.  After taking great care with the custom pattern and the cutting, each piece of glass fits nearly perfectly in place. To prevent the pieces from fitting too snugly and possibly cracking during soldering, I removed some of them and ground them down a bit.  (Click to enlarge photo).
Since this window is primarily clear, my customer and I decided to leave the lead lines the natural silver color of the solder.  Also because of the transparency of most of the glass, I used silver-backed foil as shown below.  (If you look "inside the glass", you'll see a thin band of silver).
The silver-backed foil will become practically invisible once the copper foil is coated with flux and soldered.  That's the next step .. stay tuned.

Boehm Stained Glass Studio website and FaceBook site.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Octagonal window glass cut

Back on track after a surgical procedure sidelined me for a couple of days this week.  Full steam ahead from here!  All of the glass is now cut for the octagonal window. (Click to enlarge photo).

Thanks to careful cutting, each piece of glass fits nicely after some minor trimming here and there.  Each piece has a tiny bit of "breathing space" in between, to allow for the copper foil which will follow.
Notice that the jig is still in its original position, to contain the glass until after it is tack soldered.  As is the case with all stained glass windows, the true beauty of the window can't be seen when its laying on the pattern.  The blue will be much more rich and transparent and the clears will glow as soon the window is lifted from the pattern and placed in the light.

The cuts on this design were mostly straight with a few soft curves, so I did all of the glass cutting by hand.

Tip:  Grinding glass requires that it be held firmly against the grinding wheel, which is wet by a damp sponge as it spins.  To protect your manicure, and to safeguard against glass cuts, always wear Staples Cosco Rubber Finger Pads.  At $2.29 for a dozen, you can't go wrong .. And they come in two different sizes.  Find them here.

The next step will be applying copper foil to the edges of each piece of glass.  I'll post an update as soon as that process is complete.

Boehm Stained Glass Studio website and FaceBook site.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Octagonal window pattern cut and glass cutting started

Back from vacation, back to work.  Using pattern-cutting shears which allow a small amount of space between the pieces, I cut out the manila folder paper pattern that was seen in the previous post.  I then organized the pieces into envelopes by glass texture and color, clear or blue in this case.
The next step is the addition of the metal jig, seen above. (Click to enlarge photo).  Each section of the jig is securely pinned into the homasote board.  The jig serves to hold the glass pieces inside the outer border until the glass pieces are foiled and tack soldered.  I use jigs in different lengths to accommodate various shapes and sizes of windows. This window is approximately 28" across.

I've already cut the outer row of clear glass, as seen above.  Its a clear rough rolled glass with a nice texture.  I'll be working my way toward the center of the octagon, cutting the glass in order, segment by segment, by type of glass. The next row will be medium blue rough rolled glass, followed by clear glue chip, then hammered clear for the larger petals, then more blue rough rolled, and a clear crystal ice center. 

The window will come to life as each area of glass is cut, grinded, and placed onto the pattern.  Stay tuned ...