Thursday, April 2, 2015

Beveled Sun Catcher Repairs

This unique sun catcher resembles something that M. C. Escher may have created.  Its composed of several square bevels which are joined at 90 degree angles.  When its in the sun, it casts bright little rainbows all around.  It was purchased many years ago by my customer in Sugarloaf, a New York State craft village.  Here's how I went about repairing it.  (Click on any photo for a closer look).

Here's the starting point .. Four bevels detached from the hanging.  It took several minutes to figure out the exact positioning for the repair. 

Here I'm tugging off the old copper foil and solder to prepare for the repair.

Melting off the hanging hook.  

As is the case with many stained glass pieces, these bevels were never grinded.  Here I'm using a metal file to grind the edges of the bevels.  This enables the copper foil to adhere better, giving the repair a longer life.

Cleaning off the old adhesive.
 Using a "fid" to burnish the copper foil onto the edges of the bevels.

 Here I'm using a "Professional Boxer" to maintain a 90 degree angle for each of the replaced bevels.

I taped the bevels in place to prepare for fluxing and soldering the joint between the two bevels

Now the pieces have been re-attached.
 The edges of the bevels on this piece were never completely finished.  The sides showed the old copper foil which is not the optimal way to create it.  Therefore, I used steel wool to brighten up the old foil.  Then I fluxed and "tinned" the edges, meaning that I applied a thin coating of solder.  Adding that extra solder on the edges will also serve to strengthen the piece.
 It's coming along well now.  I've added additional foil to that center piece.  The solder on top will add strength and a better look.
 Here I'm soldering the foiled sides.
 Now the sides of all the bevels have been tinned.  I'm applying black patina with a metal acid brush for a uniform look.
 The hanging hook is a very small piece of bent wire.  Here I'm cleaning it with steel wool.
 Now the hanging hook has been melted back onto the piece and I've patina-ed it as well.  After this step, I applied Liva Stained Glass Finishing Compound to the entire piece to give it shine and to protect the patina.

And here it is, complete and ready for the sunlight.

When this piece is in the sunlight, it throws dancing rainbows all around.  Beautiful!

 Another view of the finished piece.
 Thank you, Dawn, for bringing this to me for repair.  A fun challenge!  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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