Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Craftsman Style Lamp Repair

This beautiful Craftsman/Art Deco lamp was shipped to me from Milwaukee, Wisconsin for repair.  This is a Chinese lamp so its constructed with a black substance that is not actually solder.  Over time, this black substance will give way, either because of excessive heat caused by light bulbs, or by the weight of the lamp.  In this case, all four sides of the lower border had weakened and a corner area toward the top began to separate.

This photo is the "after" image .. Click through to see how I made the repairs.

There are several damaged areas. One of the corner pieces had loosened from the body.  The metal edge became detached at the corner as well.

The blue tape was placed there by the owner, since the border pieces were so unstable.  It served to keep the lamp intact during shipping.  

Another area of damage was this cracked piece.  The silver solder on the corner is evidence of a previous repair.

To replace both the detached end piece, and the cracked piece, I began by tugging off the old copper foil and solder as shown.

As is the case with Chinese lamps, the edges of the glass is not ground.  This is an important step to assure that the copper foil will adhere correctly.  Here I'm using a file to grind down the edge of the glass.

Here I've replaced the old foil with new ..
 Now I'm using a similar glass to cut a duplicate piece of glass to replace the one which cracked.  I'm "scoring" the glass using an "oil filled pistol grip glass cutter" which I rest against an old flat ruler for support.

These blue "running pliers" are used to snap the straight score.

Then I bring the newly-cut piece of glass to the electric grinder to smooth the edges.

Here both pieces have had copper foil applied.  I'm using 13/64" foil for this project.  Its thinner than the norm, and it will match the existing foil.

Now one of the corner pieces is in place. I applied liquid "flux" to the foil.  This is a liquid agent which allows the solder to flow freely.  I melted the existing solder in the corner so that it bonded with the new solder, creating a very strong attachment.

Now onto a side which had almost completely detached as shown .. Notice how the upper metal piece has detached from the corner.

I already replace the end piece on the left side.  Here I'm replacing the center piece.  I've removed the old foil and solder and I'm adding new foil to the borders.  I kept the glass attached to the metal "channel" or edging, to assure that each piece would be soldered at the exact same place where it originated.

Here is the weak side, completely re-foiled and awaiting fluxing and soldering. At this point, all four sides of the lamp have been inspected, replaced, re-foiled and re-soldered to be stronger than the original construction.  I've soldered the corners of the metal borders as well, to assure that they are firmly attached.

Now onto the area near the top of the lamp which became detached.  Its visible at the bottom edge of the row of ivory colored glass.  Only the one side had separated; the other sides were solid and fine.

At this point, I've used a "fid" to get between the glass and I removed the old foil and solder.  This is a view from the inside of the dome.  The new foil can be seen.  I'm holding a length of "flat braid copper reinforcement wire" which I'll use to strengthen the area.

Here I've melted the reinforcement wire onto the inside of the dome, directly on top of the new foil.  I've also added a supporting length of reinforcement wire to the corner.  It reaches from below the separated area up to the edge of the lip above it.  This will serve to correct the separation and prevent a recurrence.

After the reinforcement wire is securely attached, I clean the area thoroughly.  Then I apply black patina, as shown.  After the patina sets, I wash that off as well.  Then the repaired areas are waxed and buffed to a nice shine.

And again, here's the "after" photo .. The lamp is repaired and ready to go back to Wisconsin.

Another view of this beautiful lamp, ready for many more years of service.  Thank you so much, Rod, for entrusting your lamp to me.  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