Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Large Butterfly Dome Lamp - Repair

This 22" wide dome lamp is a Chinese-made piece which has been "soldered" with their common, unknown, black substance which resembles black silicone.  The dome is a heavy one and the weight of it, combined with the sub-standard glass bonding substance, caused the dome to collapse without any of the glass breaking.  My task was to reconstruct the loose pieces and re-attach the cap.  Here's how I went about it .. (Click on any photo to enlarge).

This is how the lamp came in .. The center cap had collapsed along with five pieces of the glass which surrounded it.

First, I cleaned off the old copper foil adhesive using Goo Gone, which needs to be cleaned off thoroughly since its very oily.

Here I've applied copper foil to two pieces of adjoining glass, soldered them together, and added a piece of wire reinforcing strip to the edge.  

The reinforcing wire between the copper foil will add extra strength to the repair.  I've numbered each of the pieces of glass to make it easier to return them to their proper places around the cap.

 In addition to the five initial pieces of glass, four more were loose around the cap, so I removed them as well.

Here I'm melting off the 10 or so soldering points along the edge of the cap.

I've positioned the cap into the dome and am in the process of replacing all of the glass around its rim.

Here I'm trimming the copper foil with an Exacto knife.  For this project, I used a combination of 3/16" and 7/32" foil.

Below, applying 3/16" copper foil to the cap.  This foil will be pressed against the new glass and then soldered for a very strong bond, stronger than the original construction which was done with individual beads of solder.

Now that all of the pieces of glass have been replaced around the cap, I'm cleaning off the flux with Kwik-Clean Flux and Patina remover.  

Below, applying Novacan Black Patina to the solder using an acid brush.  Note that I'm using a small supply from the bottle cap, rather than risk contaminating the bottle.

And here's an view of the inside of the dome with the cap and all the loose glass replaced.

Another view fo the completed lamp.  Notice that the cap sits directly on top of the glass.  It is very sturdy now and reinforced to last many, many more years.  Thank you for finding me, Edith.  It was a pleasure working on your lamp!

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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