Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Beveled Stained Glass Window

Bevels are a beautiful component of many stained glass windows.  Most use them as accent pieces, at the corners, or as a cluster in the center of the window.  This project is a window made almost entirely of bevels.  The challenge with bevels is that the glass is softer than traditional stained glass.  It is also very heavy.  Therefore, this window required some special treatment.  Here's how I went about the construction ..

Here's my customer's window.  Its in his newly renovated modern kitchen.  At this point, he has applied faux stained glass lines as shown. He removed it prior to our installation.

Here's a sample triangle bevel.  The center top is raised and the sides slope down.  The bevels do not require grinding along the edges, as other stained glass requires.  

Something else different about the construction of this window is that I do not make a computer rendition of it beforehand.  My husband Eric made a template of the kitchen window to get the exact dimensions.  Then he calculated the largest size diamond bevel that could use up the most surface.  In this case, it was a 4" x 7" diamond. Then we added 1" rectangular bevels along the border.

Applying the copper foil to one of the many diamond bevels.

Bevels are made of a softer, more scratchable glass, than stained glass.  Therefore, I'm resting them on a piece of soft packing paper.  Here I'm burnishing the foil onto the bevel using a "fid".

Examples of the reinforcement used in this window.  One is Flex-Bar which is a flexible reinforcement.  The other is Re-Strip which is a solid, harder to bend reinforcement, appropriate for the many straight lines in this project.

I've taped down the areas where the reinforcement has been placed between the glass.

Adding more braided reinforcement tape.

The tape marks where all of the reinforcement lies.  I was very generous reinforcing this window.  It weighs 14 pounds.

Here I'm "tack soldering" the joints between the diamond bevels.

Now the entire front of the window has been soldered.  I'm cleaning it with "Kwik-Clean" spray, then letting it dry thoroughly,

My husband Eric is now measuring the sides of the window to give me measurements for the border glass which will be attached here.

I'm using a pattern to mark the border pieces, which are made of hammered clear glass.

Here I'm using an oil-filled pistol grip cutter to cut strips of the border.

After tapping repeatedly, front and back, along the score lines, the glass "loosens" and splits evenly,

Now the border pieces are trimmed to the correct size and placed outside the window as shown.

Another view of the newly cut border glass.

I placed braided reinforcement between the border glass and the rectangular bevels.  Then I soldered it together.  The fence is back on to keep the glass from shifting as I work.  The green liquid in the cap is "flux" which is the liquid catalyst which helps the solder flow freely over the copper foil.

Here my husband Eric is measuring for the frame, which is a thick strip of zinc.

Here's the window, soldered and framed.

We used a thicker frame at the top and bottom.  Here I've soldered both to the lead lines.

After the frame is in place and cleaned, I'm now applying "black patina" to the solder.  It reacts instantly and makes the solder a deep black. 

Here's the window, still wet with patina, but almost ready for installation.  After the patina dries, I coat it with "stained glass finishing compound" which protects the patina and shines the glass.

We did this installation at night, so I don't have a daytime view.  But here's the window, installed by Eric in this newly renovated kitchen in Belle Mead, NJ.  Thank you Chris, for finding us and having us create this for you!
For more information on my other projects, please click here to visit my website.

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