Sunday, March 8, 2015

Repair to Stained Glass Floral Square

This lovely piece was made by my customer's mother.  It sustained cracks in the upper corner piece.  Here's the process to repair it.  (Click on any photo to enlarge for a closer look).

Here, you can readily see the cracks in that corner piece of clear glass.

Scoring the glass with an oil-filled pistol grip glass cutter.
 Pulling out the cracked pieces with a needle-nose pliers.

Here I'm using my soldering iron to melt off some of the more stubborn old foil and solder.  In order to make a strong repair, all of the old materials need to be removed.
 Once the old materials are off, I'm cleaning off the old adhesive using Goo Gone.

Then I line the cleaned border with copper foil.  The foil is centered at the edge of the glass, pressed by hand down the sides, and then burnished with a "fid" or flexible plastic wand, which can be seen in the background, top right. 
 Now that the corner has been cleared of old material and old adhesive and has been copper foiled, I'm tracing the area onto a piece of Manila folder.  This will become the pattern for the new piece of replacement glass.
 Tracing the pattern onto the glass.  I hand-cut the piece using the oil-filled pistol grip cutter shown earlier.
 I fit the new glass in place after the edges were ground.  Prior to that, I applied copper foil to the edges of the new piece as shown.  Here I'm using a metal acid brush to apply Blu-Glass Liquid Flux on the copper foil lines.  This enables the solder to flow properly.  I placed blue painter's tape beneath the foiled seams in order to prevent solder from leaking through, and to hold the glass in position.
 Here I'm soldering the new glass onto the rest of the piece, using 60/40 lead/tin solder.
 This is an older piece and the copper patina has aged somewhat.  In order to match that aged look, I added a bit of black patina to the copper for a uniform look and a good match.

And here's the repaired panel, ready to be enjoyed again by the family.  Thank you Gwen, for entrusting your mother's art to my care.  May you enjoy it for many 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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