Friday, July 19, 2013

Oval Window with Bevels and Gems - Soldering, Framing and Patina

Here are the final steps in creating this custom oval window.  We are so thrilled with how it looks and we hope our customer is equally pleased!  Here's the process of soldering, framing and applying patina to the window:  (Click on any photo to enlarge, then click "X" in upper right of your screen to return to blog).

Safety first.  Here is the 3M breathing mask I wear whenever I solder.  Its surprisingly comfortable. The model number is clearly noted on the right. 

While the window is still thumb-tacked in place, I apply liquid flux to the joints, then add solder.  This is called tack soldering and is a preliminary step to prepare for the actual soldering.  I work on only one side at a time. Until the frame is in place, the window will not be strong enough to withstand being flipped over.

Tack soldering.

After all steps involving chemicals, I spray the entire window with Kwik-Clean and towel it dry.

And here's the window, soldered on the front side.

Next, I'm applying Novacan Black Patina to all the solder lines with a metal acid brush. This chemical works instantly.  I always let it set for 10-15 minutes before washing off.

Here's the window after black patina is applied.

We used a product well known to the leaded glass world for the framing.  This is flexible lead "U-came" which comes as long, straight lengths or coiled.  We purchased enough coiled U-came to encircle the oval.  Note that the interior of the came is open.  The outer border of the glass fits inside that opening.

My husband Eric does all of our framing.  Here, he slid the template back beneath the window to re-establish the lines of the outer border.  Using push pins, he's encircled the oval with the lead U-came.  He also soldered the frame to the lead lines on the front of the window.

 Again, applying patina to the lead U-came.  I always work out of a bottle cap to eliminate the risk of contaminating the whole bottle.

Since the window is now framed, it is noticeably stronger.  I carefully turned it over and did the same process as on the front with the exception of the tack soldering.  Below, I'm applying liquid flux to prepare for soldering.  After the flux and solder is washed off and dried with a towel, I applied black patina. As a final step, I applied Clarity brand Stained Glass Conditioner to both sides.  This product is a light carnauba wax which has a bit of pumice in it.  It brings out the shine and protects the patina.  No further maintenance will be required, except for an occasional dusting.

And here it is!  This lovely 19" x 31" oval will soon be installed in its newly renovated bathroom  Stay tuned for one more post when we install it!

One more .. The computer rendition (left)  and the actual window (right):

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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