Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Cap repair to Stained Glass Lamp

This pretty, autumn colored stained glass lamp came to me with a loose cap and several small pieces of glass about to give way.  Here's how I went about repairing and strengthening it.  (Click on any photo to enlarge)

Shown below, the cap of the lamp had loosened, as did some of the small pieces of glass, as far down as the second row.

I started the repair by carefully melting off the solder around the cap and removing it from the base.

Then I melted off the old solder and copper foil around the edge with a hot soldering iron.

Several small pieces of glass were still firmly anchored to the cap.  I decided to leave them in place.  Here I'm melting off old solder and foil.

To further clean off the edges of the glass, I'm using a metal file.

At this point, I've cleaned off the old solder and foil and re-applied fresh foil where shown.

Here I'm burnishing the copper foil with a "fid" or flexible plastic wand.

In order to protect the repair and add strength, I've cut a length of flat, braided reinforcement wire and soldered it to the top of the second row of glass as shown.

To promote the adherence of the solder to the cap, I used a Dremel tool to clear off the patina on the inside of the cap.  This is a temporary measure.  I'll patina it black again when the repair is completed.
 Now I've replaced the three loose pieces of glass in the second row and re-fitted the pieces onto the top of the lamp.
 To further strengthen the repair, I'm "tinning" two pieces of thick gauge wire.  Tinning is a process whereby I coat the wire with liquid flux, then apply a thin coating of solder.  This will enable the wires to instantly bond with the solder on the inside of the dome.

Below, I've soldered the pieces and integrated the two wires along the lines inside the dome.  About half of the wire covers the cap, the other half extends onto the dome.
 Here I've applied black patina which reacts instantly with the solder.  I applied a generous amount of solder throughout the edge of the dome to ensure a solid attachment.
 Now the dome is repaired and ready for use again.
 And here it is!  Thank you Ed, for bringing the lamp for repair.  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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