Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Stained Glass Cabinet Panel Made into Window Hanging

This pretty stained glass panel was once installed in a kitchen cabinet.  My customer had the idea of having it re-framed as a window hanging.  She went to three or four other stained glass artisans, each of which told her it either couldn't be done, or they wanted to charge her way above her budget.  As soon as I saw the panel I knew it was able to be converted to a panel and charged her a reasonable fee which was  below her target price.  Here's the process .. Click on any photo to enlarge for a closer look.

Here's the panel as it came to me.  I marked the top front of it with a square of black painter's tape.

The border was partially coated with paint, some rubber adhesive, and some old copper foil and solder.  The first steps are to clean off the border entirely.  Here I'm scraping off the paint with a razor knife.

To nudge the paint further, I'm now loosening it with a cotton ball dipped in paint thinner.

Part of the border had some rubber adhesive, as shown below.  I pulled off several lengths of it.

More rubber shown below.

 Here I'm pulling off some of the old copper foil.  After the entire border was cleaned of all old solder, foil, and rubber, I turned the piece over to my husband Eric for framing.

Below, Eric has attached the thin "channel" or metal frame around the piece.  In order to keep the metal frame in place, he's installed a "fence" or aluminum straightedge around the frame as shown. It is secured by pressing push pins into the work surface.

Here Eric is adding push pins to the outer edge of the frame to hold it in place.

Here, I'm apply liquid flux to the intersection of the frame and a lead line.  This will anchor the frame to the panel.

Shown below, the soldering to the border with the "fence" in place.

After the fence is installed, I "tinned" two brass hanging hooks.  "Tinning" means to apply a thin layer of solder.  For this process, each hook gets a thin layer of flux, then I solder each one as shown below.

The thin layer of solder acts as a sort of metal glue.  When the hook is placed at the appropriate place on the frame and the soldering iron is pressed down onto it, the solder melts and the hook is fused to the frame.  I added additional solder to the bottom and sides for an extra secure attachment.
 After the hooks were installed, I applied Novacan brand Black Patina to the entire frame and to the hooks.  This is applied with a metal acid brush as shown below, taking the patina from the bottle cap so as not to contaminate the bottle.

After applying the patina, I thoroughly cleaned and waxed the entire panel.  Then I added a length of black chain (not shown) to each of the hooks.  Here is the finished panel.
Thanks so much Patty, for not giving up your quest to have your kitchen panel re-purposed into a panel you can enjoy again.  Thank you for your advice on my violins, too!  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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