Friday, January 25, 2013

Waterglass Ribbon Window Repair Completed

Since my last post, I've been busy cross-hatching, tapping and removing cracked pieces and then preparing patterns, cutting, grinding, foiling and re-soldering new pieces.  All told, 37 pieces of cracked glass were replaced on this window.  Here are the final steps ...

Below, all of the repairs have been made and the window has been soldered on both sides.  I've laid the window on the tile floor on top of rubberized shower mats.  Then I've sprinkled on powdered cleanser and, using an old dish brush, sponge and bucket of water, I scrubbed and washed both sides.  This removed any stray Sharpie markings and small beads of solder, as well as the caustic flux used in soldering.

Below, the window is rinsed in the sink.

 And here it is, repaired and soldered, ready for its new frame.

 You'll recall that this window originally had a thin wood frame around the thin channel border, which we removed.  Our customers wanted stronger metal channel framing installed instead. Below you can see the original thin channel border alongside a piece of the thicker, more sturdy channel.
For structural purposes, the best way to substitute a stronger channel instead of a weaker one is to install it right over it.  Below, Eric is using a Dremel sanding tool to flattem down beads of solder to make it easier to install the strong channel.
Below you can see the stronger channel in place, held in by a metal fence or "jig".  While the jig is in place, I add a bead of solder to each corner of the frame on the front of the piece.  Then I carefully lifted the window out of the frame, turned it over, set it back inside the frame and soldered all of the back side lead lines to the frame.  This assures that the frame will be firmly attached and it leaves a cleaner finish to the front side.  I also soldered on two hanging hooks to outer corners of the back of the frame.

Here, I'm brushing all of the solder lines, both the old and the new, with black Novacan patina.  After the lead lines are done, I applied patina to the metal frame. Then, I turned the piece over again and applied patina to the entire back side and the frame, followed by rinsing in cool water.

After the patina is dry, I applied Stained Glass Finishing Compound, which is a light carnauba wax, to both sides of the window and frame.  This brings out the shine of the glass and the solder and protects them.  It won't need any further attention other than an occasional dusting.

And below is the repaired window!  We hope our customers will enjoy it again, for many years to come!   Thank you Jerry and Jeanne!
My next project is a lamp repair, starting shortly.  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!


  1. This is such a great blog, i've always wanted to try this one..i am always looking for some videos on how to make this one..i love the style..

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  2. Thank you Bianca! It is a pretty style, isn't it? The original artist created a beautiful design and I love the choice of glass as well. It was a great project to bring this one back.