Monday, June 24, 2013

Fruit Lamp Repair

This gorgeous, hefty fruit-themed lamp spent many years in the owner's kitchen overseeing all the meals that were prepared as she and her siblings were growing up.  After spending some time in storage, three of the red petals above the dome became detached.  Here's how I repaired them:  (Click on any photo to enlarge):

See below the three pieces which had become detached.  Although I do have this exact red glass in my inventory, fortunately the owner still had the 3 pieces which saved time in having to make a pattern and cut new glass.

Here I'm holding up the 3 pieces to become familiar with how they fit and are attached to the lamp.

 With an old lamp, its best to go slowly and "do no harm".  I decided to leave the old copper foil and solder on the top edge of each of the pieces.  In this way, the pieces will retain the old "feel".  Since the foil and solder was still firmly attached, there was no need to remove it.
However, I did need to remove the old foil and solder where it attaches to the neighboring piece.  Here I'm using needle nose pliers to pull off the old foil and solder from the bottom of the first piece.

And here I'm removing the old foil and solder from the sides.  Notice the dried, old adhesive on the side.

Below, I'm taking the old solder and foil off of the other pieces.

Since these two pieces were firmly connected and at the proper angle, I decided to keep them that way.  I just melted off some old solder using the iron, to further clean it up.

 Goo Gone is a good product to seek out for the removal of old adhesive.  Here, each piece is getting a once-over to loosen and clean the old glue off.

 I discovered that none of the pieces had been run through a grinder.  Copper foil generally will not adhere properly to glass which is not grinded, so I did so at this step.  Then I went back with more Goo Gone and removed all remaining old adhesive.

 With all the pieces cleaned and dry, I appled copper foil to the centers of the sides and bottom as shown below.

 The foil is being pressed on with a "fid" or flexibie plastic wand.  Notice how the curved top keeps the original foil and solder.

Here I'm cleaning off the side of the piece which is still attached to the lamp.
 These red pieces are really just tacked to the metal rim around the top of the globe.  Its a rather precarious attachment, so I added more solder to each side for extra reinforcement.  Notice that I've moved the shade into a large box filled with packing peanuts.  This is necessary so that all the soldering can be done on a plane even with the floor.  The packing peanuts allow me to position the dome in any direction without putting pressure on it.

Here I'm tacking on additional solder for added strength.

 The first piece is ready for soldering.  Here I've used a long loop of blue painter's tape to hold the piece in place while I brush on liquid flux.

With the tape still in place I'm soldering the pieces together.

Now all three pieces are taped in place awaiting soldering. 
 After the outside has been soldered, I begin soldering the inside.  Notice that the textured side of the red glass is facing in.  The entire lamp has been constructed this way, with the smooth side of the glass facing out.  Its a very common choice.

The next step is to clean off the flux using Kwik-Clean Flux and Solder Spray and a fresh towel.

Below I'm applying Novacan Black Patina to the solder using an acid brush.  The patina instantly turns the patina black.  I let the patina set, then I clean it off again with the spray.

After the red pieces are soldered securely, I began the process of cleaning the entire dome.  Since this was in a kitchen, I used a few different cleaners to loosen the grease.

After a good overall cleaning, I went into the edges with multiple Q-Tips to remove even more to get it as clean as possible.

As a finishing touch, I applied Clarity Stained Glass Compound to the entire dome.  This is a light wax with small grains of pumice.  It serves to protect the patina and bring a nice shine to the glass.

Here are the 3 red pieces, back in place.  All of the red pieces have been more strongly secured to the top of the dome.

And here is the finished lamp!   Thanks so much, Danielle, for bringing your family treasure to me for repair.  As your own children grow up, I hope it will remain a family heirloom for many more yeas to come!
I've just received the go-ahead for another window commission.  This one is a beauty and features bevels and gems.  Stay tuned as I begin the pattern making process and begin cutting the glass.

To see repairs of another fruit lamp, please click here.

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!

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