Friday, August 23, 2013

Frank Lloyd Wright style lamp - Repair

An exceptionally beautiful Frank Lloyd Wright style lamp came in recently for repair.  Its owner was referred to me by a valued contact who also provided me with the iridescent glass with which to repair it.  (Thanks again, Judy).  Here are photos and narrative about the repair.  (Click on any photo for a closer look, then click on "X" in upper right corner to return to the blog).

Here is the lamp showing three obviously cracked pieces.  It wasn't immediately evident until I started working on it, but the two pieces to the right were also damaged.  I repaired those as well.

The view from inside the lamp dome, below.  Here I've removed the cracked glass by cross-hatching it with my glass cutter and then tapping on it firmly with the brass end of the cutter.

Here I'm carefully pulling off the old solder and copper foil with needle nose pliers.

At this point, the borders have been cleaned up and I've made a manila folder pattern for the replacement glass.  Its in the center of the photo.
 Below, I've scored and cut a strip of iridescent glass.
 Here I'm using running pliers to snap the glass on the pattern line.

Grinding the glass.
Using a "fid" or flexible plastic wand to press the copper foil onto the glass.

Using an acid brush to apply liquid flux to prepare the lines for soldering.

View from outside the dome showing the new piece tack soldered in place from the inside.   Note that I've moved the lamp into a large box full of packing peanuts so that the area to be soldered is face up.

Now the piece is soldered and I've traced the pattern for the adjacent piece of glass.
 At this point, two pieces of glass have been replaced and a thin, green piece on the left has been copper foiled and is ready for soldering.
 Below, I've replaced the piece to the right of the center piece and have prepared another thin green piece for replacement.  Notice the blue painter's tape which I use to secure each new piece in place as I'm soldering it.  I thoroughly wash off the flux using Kwik-Clean Flux Cleaning Spray.
 Below, the last two pieces have been soldered in.  I'm brushing on Novacan Black Patina which works instantly.  After I let that set for a few minutes, I clean the entire lamp and apply Clarity Stained Glass Finishing Compound to protect the solder and give the glass an even nicer shine.

Below, the repaired lamp showing the five pieces I replaced.

Here's the view of my work table at the end of the project.

And here's the lamp, back in action again.  What a beauty!  Thanks again Judy for sending Ralph my way .. And Ralph, may this lamp bring you many more years of enjoyment.  It was a pleasure meeting you!
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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