Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Fruit Lamp Repair - Top and Sides

This is the fourth fruit lamp to come in for repair in recent months.  They were very popular in the 1970's and are very well made.  This lamp fell and ten pieces cracked, one on the top and nine on the sides.  Here's how I repaired it.  (Click on any photo to enlarge).

One of the top pieces cracked as shown.

The nine pieces that cracked on the sides were previously marked with "X's".

After determining the order of replacement, I used my pistol grip cutter to score the first piece of cracked glass.  With some tapping and tugging with needle nose pliers, the cracked glass came out readily.

After the cracked glass is removed, I'm using needle nose pliers to remove the old copper foil and solder.

Below, I slid a piece of manila folder under the glass and traced the opening which I use as a pattern for tracing and cutting the replacement glass.

Before replacing the glass, the border is covered with adhesive copper foil as shown.

The borders of all stained glass lamps have an "invisible" wire soldered on for strength.  I always keep that wire intact and use it as my outer edge when tracing the opening for the pattern.

Using a Sharpie fine point pen, I trace the pattern onto the glass and then cut it using a pistol grip cutter, running pliers and/or grozier pliers.

Then the edges of the piece are ground.  I'm wearing rubber fingers found at Staples to protect my fingers from the sharp glass.

Here I'm applying liquid flux to the copper foil from the bottle cap to prevent contamination of the bottle.  The flux prepares the copper foil for soldering.

Several pieces of glass have been replaced at this point.  Here I've outlined most of the opening with copper foil and will be removing the remaining old copper foil and solder with pliers.

Another piece of glass is foiled and set in place for soldering.  The piece is held in place from the back with wide painter's tape.

When all of the pieces were replaced on the side, I tackled the top.  The glass was missing and the wire detached from the adjoining piece, as shown.

I made a manila folder pattern for the missing piece, cut, ground and foiled a new piece and set it in place as shown, with blue painter's tape holding it in place while I soldered it.  I held down that wire with pliers as I soldered a few beads on it to hold it in place.  Then I went back and soldered another piece of wire on top to replace the short length of wire that was missing.

And after cleaning and applying Novacan black patina to the top, here's the finished repair.

Here I'm applying black patina to the sides of the lamp.

And here is the lamp, completed and ready to go back home with John.  Thanks again John for the pleasure of repairing your lamp!  I appreciate the opportunity and hope you and your family will enjoy it for years to come.

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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