Monday, December 30, 2013

Daisy Tree Lamp Repair

My current project is Fruit Lamp Repair #6.  As I work toward competing it, here's a post from a lamp I repaired in September.  Its owner called to say it fell again, so I'll be posting the new repairs in the new year.  Here goes ..

This beautiful ceiling lamp's cap became detached from the dome.  This is a rather common problem. My challenge was to re-attach the cap and make any other necessary repairs which occurred as a result of the weakened cap.  Here's how I went about the repairs.

Before starting any repairs, I do a full inspection of what may have caused the issue.  Here, the inside rim of the cap is gunked up with old solder and old foil.  Its unable to attach to the glass, since the copper foil adhesive has broken down.  Note that I've marked each piece along the border of the dome with a number and an arrow pointing to the cap.  I also took photos of the other side so that I would have a record of where each piece of glass belongs as I begin to dismantle the top edge of the lamp.

Below, I've used needle nose pliers and a hot soldering iron to clean out most of the old solder and foil.

 Here I'm inserting new 13/64" copper foil into the channel inside the cap.  This will give a new surface for the glass to adhere to after soldering.

 I set the cap issue aside temporarily and focused on a very loose piece of glass which was sitting in the spot in the middle of the border, below.  The copper foil adhesive had deteriorated and was no longer strong enough to hold the glass.  Stained glass lamps are commonly constructed with a wire soldered to the outside edge of the entire border.  This wire serves to strengthen the lamp and prevent the loosening of these outer pieces.  This lamp, unfortunately, was not constructed with this wire.  Therefore, as I was working on it, I found three more border pieces which were very loose.  I repaired them all.

 I removed the loose piece and sprayed a solvent on it to clean off the old adhesive.  Then I applied copper foil to the edge.  Below, I'm using a "fid" to press the foil onto the glass to prevent any chemicals or liquids from getting underneath it.

 As for the space which was occupied by this piece of glass, I used needle nose pliers and a hot soldering iron to remove the old copper foil and solder.  Then I lined the space with new copper foil, as seen below.  Using wide blue painter's tape, I secured the piece to the back of the lamp.  Then I applied liquid flux to the seams and soldered the piece in place.

I then reinforced the border piece by adding a length of wire to the top border as shown.  I extended the wire to the adjacent pieces, so that all three pieces will be strengthened.

 After the piece was secured in place, I cleaned it thoroughly and then applied Novacan Black Patina to darken the solder.  I then cleaned off that chemical and went back to the cap issue.
 Below, I've cleaned and prepared the space and two pieces of glass.  I secured them both to the back of the lamp with blue painter's tape.  Notice that there is a thin piece of braided copper reinforcement wire between the edge of the glass and the rest of the dome.  This tape is excellent for adding strength and stability to stained glass pieces.  I inserted this reinforcement wire to three separate areas, for all-around strength.

More pieces have been replaced .. A few more to go.  A total of 17 pieces of glass were replaced.

At this point, I've removed and cleaned and re-soldered 13 pieces of white glass.  Shown is the interior of the dome before it was soldered.  With a bit of muscle and by coaxing some glass to tilt a bit, I was able to work the cap back into place inside the dome.

 Now the cap is securely in place.  Instead of being soldered at a handful of points around the edge, I've soldered the entire edge to the dome to assure that it will stay attached for many more years.
Below, I'm applying Novacan Black Patina to the solder.  I waited a short time for the solder to set, then I washed the lamp, dried it, and applied a light finishing polish.  This protects the solder and gives the glass a nice shine.

 And here is the repaired lamp.  I set it up temporarily on my own lamp stand.  Thank you, Constantine, for bringing your wife's favorite lamp to me for repair.  My husband Eric and I enjoyed 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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