Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Frank Lloyd Wright style Lamp Repair

This gorgeous lamp sustained two cracked pieces after a fall.  Here's how I went about the repair.  (Click on any photo to enlarge).

The lamp shade fell on the corner, cracking two pieces as well as the bending the framework.

Here I'm tugging out the cracked pieces using needle nosed pliers.

 The cracked glass has been removed and I'm filing down the glass on the exposed side.  I've also bent up the supporting wire which was soldered to the edge.  Filing the glass will help the copper foil to adhere more securely.

 Another view.  When I do a repair I always follow the "do no harm" principle.  I don't disturb any more of the original structure than is necessary.  Here I've left the wires above and below the opening.

Tracing the pattern for the replacement glass.

Using an oil-filled pistol grip glass cutter and a ruler to score the cut.  I tap the front and back of the score with the metal end of the cutter until the two pieces break free.  Or I use "running pliers" to snap the score.

Next, a trip to the electric grinder.  The edges of each piece are ground for safety in handling and for better adherence of the copper foil.

Applying copper foil to the outer edge of the replacement glass.  I used a thin foil for this repair, the same width as was used originally.

I've also foiled the inner border of the opening.  I've used blue painter's tape to secure the bottom wire to the inner side of the glass where it had been placed originally.

Now the replacement glass is in place and taped, ready to be fluxed and soldered. Flux is a liquid agent which promotes the even flow of the molten metal onto the foil.

The replacement glass has been soldered in place, front and inside.

Now I'm pulling out the cracked glass from the adjacent corner.

Using a separate pattern for the other piece, I've cut, ground, foiled and taped it into place.  Then I applied liquid flux to the copper foil and soldered it in, front and back, making sure to trap the wires under the solder, for stability. After each fluxing and soldering, I thoroughly clean the area.

Now that the soldering is complete, I'm applying black patina to the solder with a metal acid brush.  After letting the patina set, I clean it off.  The final step is to wash the entire lamp and give it a nice coat of wax to protect the patina and give it a nice shine.

And here is the lamp, newly repaired and ready for the family to enjoy for many years to come!  Thank you Kathy for bringing this to me, and best wishes for a wonderful vacation!
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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