Thursday, June 13, 2013

Peach-Green-Purple Leafy Edge Lamp Repair

This gorgeous lamp, which I'll call the "Peach-Green-Purple Leafy Edge Lamp " sustained damage from being dropped.  There were a couple of pushed-in places at the top and a few pieces near the crown which came loose.  The dome is about 12" deep and 21" wide.  It weighs 13 pounds and was manufactured in China.
About 1/3 of the body of the lamp had become detached from the crown and the owner was concerned about further breakage.  The lamp could not be used because the weight of the dome was not properly supported.  My challenge was to try and smooth out the indentations and re-attach the crown to the body of the dome.  Here's how I went about the repair:  (Click on any photo to enlarge).

Since this lamp shade has these delicate, uneven edges, I was careful to work on it with the edges up, dome down.  Resting the lamp on the edges could weaken the glass because of the weight of the piece.  
 The issue with the lamp can be seen in the section below the crown where a couple of pieces of glass had fallen out.  Less obvious is that there are a couple of indentations on the top part of the lamp from when it fell.  This caused some of the glass to push in, and in a few cases, slide underneath other pieces of glass.
As mentioned, this is a Chinese lamp, so although the glass has been copper foiled, it has not been soldered.  The black substance between the glass is some sort of silicone-like substance.  We don't know exactly what it is, frankly, but it does not hold glass in place as firmly or last as long as solder would. Beautiful as they are, the quality of construction and materials is always an issue with Chinese lamps.
 In order to re-align the glass pieces, I applied heat with a soldering iron to the center of each indentation.  Then I carefully but firmly pushed down on the glass until it re-gained its proper shape.  This caused the off-kilter glass to move closer to its correct position.
Below, I'm using needle-nose pliers to removed the old foil and black substance to prepare for replacement glass to be inserted.
 Since some of the old bonding material did not pull off readily, I used the soldering iron to melt it off.  Notice the ominous white smoke rising from the center of the photo to the left.  This is why I wear a protective breathing mask which filters out poisonous fumes.
 Below, the area has been cleaned out. I placed a piece of manila folder beneath this opening and traced a pattern to cut two new piece of glass.
 The pieces were then cut, grinded and copper foiled as shown.
 Here a piece is in place with copper foil around the edge of the opening as well.  The new glass is a deep purple which is actually very similar to the purple in the lamp, although it looks much darker in these photos.
 Below I'm brushing on flux to prepare for soldering.  Notice that I've moved the lamp shade into a large box full of packing peanuts.  This is to minimize pressure on the lower edge of the dome.  It is also so that the soldering can be done on a plane which is perpendicular to the ground,
 Below, the indentations have been straightened, a few new pieces of glass have been inserted and black patina has been applied.  For added insurance, I soldered a length of braided metal reinforcement tape over the new pieces to provide even more strength to the repair.  The metal reinforcement is under the dome and cannot be seen.  Also, I made sure to extend the solder lines on the glass near the crown so that the crown is soldered directly to the pieces.  Again, this was done to strengthen the dome so that less stress will be placed on the crown.
Below are three views of the repaired lamp, set atop my own table top fixture.  This lamp is actually a floor lamp.

 This view shows off the beautiful edge.  Its a very warm, stunning lamp which I hope will bring many more years of enjoyment to the owner.

 Thank you Sandra, for calling and asking me to repair this for you. I'm so happy that you can enjoy it in your new apartment .. Best of luck!

Here's a nice note that Sandra posted on FaceBook!
Thank you did an awesome job on my lamp!! I just love it and thanks to you I now have it in my new home!! I can't thank you enough for your wonderful work! 

My next project is the design and building of a custom oval window.  Its about 31" high and 19" wide.  Stay tuned as I begin working on it. Thanks!

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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