Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Geometric beveled stained glass window - Copper foiled

The window is moving along nicely!  The entire window has now been copper foiled. Click on any photo to enlarge ..

For this window, I chose the most popular width of copper foil, 7/32".  There are six widths from which to choose, but this size works for almost all projects.  The foil comes in a roll as pictured below and is self-adhesive.  Just peel back the paper backing in small lengths .. it tangles easily.

 Why am I using "black back" foil instead of the regular foil which is copper on the other side?  In the photo below, you can see the black foil showing through the clear glass.  Once the window is soldered, the black will practically disappear.  Regular copper foil (not black back) is perfectly fine for an opalescent (non-Cathedral "see through") glass.  As soon as clear glass, wispy glass, or bevels are introduced into a design, black back becomes the foil of choice.  (Silver back foil is also available if the solder will be left silver, without patina).
Applying the foil takes a lot of dexterity.  Here I'm holding the glass and peeling off the foil with my left hand and holding my camera in my right!  Notice that the foil is applied dead center to the edge of the glass.
 Sharp scissors are a must to cut the foil as well as a razor knife to trim any overlaps.  After the foil is applied, a "fid", or flat, flexible plastic wand, as shown below, is used to press the foil onto the glass.  Be sure to use new foil.  Its important that it adheres firmly to the glass.

Foiling is completed one piece of glass at a time.  As each piece is removed from the pattern and foiled, it gets replaced back in.  The fit of the pieces is important .. Not too tight and not too loose.  At several points during this process, I brought individual pieces back to the grinder to give them a little more "breathing room."
 In order to strengthen the piece and keep the straight lines straight through the colors, I've inserted braided wire invisible reinforcement as shown below.  (Click on photo to enlarge).  I've also added braided wire at the intersecting corners, to interrupt those straight lines or "hinges" that travel from one side of the window to the other.  These lines could buckle over time but the reinforcement wire will prevent that.  You'll also notice that I changed the pattern slightly from the original which had many lines that go from one side to the other.  I did this intentionally to further strengthen the piece.

 And here is the window with copper foil applied.
The next step is the soldering and application of patina.  My customer has chosen bronze patina, which will be a wonderful compliment to the these colors.  Next posting, I'll show how to custom mix bronze patina using black and copper patina as a base.

Thanksgiving is almost upon us!  I will be back soon to show the window soldered.

In the meantime, please visit my website (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.  Thanks!

No comments:

Post a Comment