Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Mandala Stained Glass Lamp Repair

This gorgeous lamp reminded me of a mandala, a balanced symbol or design that represents the cosmos.  After years of use, the cap disconnected from the dome, taking several piece of glass with it.  Here's how I went about the repair ..

Here's the top of the lamp showing the damage.

When repairing a lamp, its always better to keep the pieces which broke off.  Here are several .. I had to cut only one new piece.

After I cleaned off all the old solder and foil and foil residue from the loose pieces, I added new copper foil as shown here.

Tugging off some of the old solder and foil.  In order to build on existing pieces, the foil and solder always have to be refreshed.

When it can't readily be removed, I melt it off with a hot soldering iron as shown.

Here I'm using one of the original pieces as a template to trace a new one which was missing.  I had some glass in inventory which was a close match in color and in luminosity.

Then I ground the edges ..
 .. And applied new copper foil.  Here I'm burnishing it onto the glass using a "fid" or flat flexible plastic wand.

A view of the top as pieces are being replaced.

I'm preparing for the soldering of the pieces by adding new copper foil around the upper edge of the opening as shown.

A view from the inside of the dome showing all of the glass replaced.  There are a few pieces which extend into the circle.  I nipped them off with "groziers", one of my tools.

 Several of the pieces were still in place but they were a little bit loose.  Rather than take a chance, I removed, cleaned off, and replaced those as well.  My goal is always to do a strong repair.

After I added in all the pieces for the perimeter of the opening, I soldered on a single piece of wire which went completely around it.  This is to reinforce the pieces and support the weight of the dome.

 This lamp has an unusual feature .. Two caps!  One goes on the bottom of the glass, the other on the top.

Since the bottom cap is the one that bears all the weight of the lamp, I concentrated on strengthening it.  Here I'm using a brass brush to clean off the oxidation around the lip.

Then I melted on a thick bead of solder around the lip as shown.  Also shown are short lengths of flat, braided reinforcement wire.  I'm in the process of "tinning" them.  This means I coated them with liquid "flux" and then added a thin layer of solder, which, when melted, will adhere to the lip of the cap.

And here's the cap with the reinforcement wire spaced around the perimeter.  I've added several since these will help support the weight of the dome, along with the wire already in place on the inside.

View from inside the dome.  Note the "legs" of reinforcement wire which stretch into the dome.  These are very strong and supportive.

After I thoroughly reinforced and strengthened the underneath of the cap, I did the same to the top as shown.  I added strong beads of solder around the edge.  These beads connect the cap with the glass.  This solder will not be visible when the upper cap is in place.

Here I'm applying "patina" to the solder.  This is a chemical which turns the solder black.  After that sets, I clean it off and then wax it.  Since this lamp has two caps, I will not be physically attaching the top cap.  It will be clamped to the bottom cap by the screws and finial.

Here's the lamp, strongly repaired and ready for many more years of enjoyment!

Thank you Maomi, Gregory and Kristin for traveling all the way from Queens, NY with your beautiful lamp.  It was a pleasure repairing it for you!
For more information on my other projects, please click here to visit my website.

If you're on FaceBook, please click here to "like" my BoehmStained Glass Studio page to keep up with all the latest projects.  Thank you!

No comments:

Post a Comment