Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Fruit Lamp Repair - Apples

I recently completed repairs on this classic fruit-themed hanging lamp from the 1970's.  There are several variations of this lamp which features glass in the shapes of apples and pears.  This lamp fell from the ceiling to the floor and four of the five apples got crushed.  Here are photos of the repair process.  (Click on any photo to enlarge .. Click on the "X" in the upper right corner to return to the post).

This lamp is heavy and therefore a bit difficult to move around.  I kept the lamp resting in a large box filled with packing peanuts.  I did this to protect it from further damage and to allow for easier access to the parts I needed to repair.  Here you can see that three of the apples have been cracked.  A fourth one, on the left side, is also cracked.


Another view of the damaged apples.

The first step is any repair is to remove the broken glass.  Here I'm using needle nose pliers to carefully extricate the glass.  

Below, all the cracked glass has been removed.  I'm carefully pulling off the old copper foil and solder.  In a few spots the solder did not come off easily.  Rather than risk cracking nearby pieces,  I used a soldering iron to melt off the remaining old solder and foil.

 Now the border is cleared of old solder and foil.

One of my suppliers was able to locate the exact apples from the 1970's to do the repair.  Its good to have connections .. These are not readily available.  Here I placed the apple in for size.  Its a perfect fit.

Below I'm lining the border with new copper foil.  I used a combination of 7/32" and 1/4" to assure a good bond.

Another view of the interior of the border with the new copper foil.

Below, I'm pressing the solder onto the edge of the apple using a "fid".  Pressing the foil flat onto the glass prevents flux and other liquids from working under the foil and interfering with its adhesive properties.

I'm holding the apple in place from the back by using blue painter's tape.  Since there are gaps around the apple, the tape helps to confine the solder.  Before starting to solder the apple in place, I repositioned the lamp so that the apple is facing up, level with the floor, so that the solder will flow evenly.

Here's a view of the inside of the bowl of the lamp which shows the interior of the apple soldered.

After the soldered area has been cleaned off, black patina is applied with a craft brush as shown.  The patina instantly turns the solder black.  After waiting a few moments, the excess is washed off.  I use "Kwik Clean Flux Cleaner".  I repeated this process with all four cracked apples.

After all of the apples have been replaced and cleaned, the next step is to liberally apply Clarity Stained Glass Finishing Compound to the lamp.  This protects the solder and gives the glass a nice shine.

And here is the finished lamp.  It is ready to be picked up.  I look forward to seeing Carol's reaction!  Thank you Carol for bringing me your family lamp .. May it bring you many more years of enjoyment!
To see repairs to 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!

No comments:

Post a Comment