Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Turquoise Dragonfly Lamp Repair

This beautiful lamp sustained damage in a fall which I was able to repair. Here's how I went about the process ..

Although one piece was cracked through, many others near it were impacted and cracked.

The challenge with older lamps is to locate a match for the glass.  Relying on my sources, I was able to locate a match, as shown.

The inside of the dome, showing cracked pieces and broken dragonfly wings.

Here I'm tugging off the old solder and foil with needle-nose pliers.  The old materials around the border must always be replaced before adding new foil and solder.

Now the border is cleared.  I've prepared a manila folder pattern by tracing it behind the opening, as shown.  It says "in" so that I can cut glass appropriately and position it correctly.

These are stained glass pattern shears which are double-bladed. They remove a thin strip of paper with each cut.  This allows room for the copper foil which will follow.  Here I've used these shears to separate the four pattern pieces.

Tracing the pattern pieces onto the glass.

At this point, I've soldered in the four pieces shown and I've traced two more.  I've labeled them "left" "right" and "up" to save time when I replace them into the lamp.

With glass such as this, which has so many nuances of color, I'm using a wet ring saw.  This machine gives me precise cuts with very little waste.

After I cut the pieces with the saw, I'm grinding the edges once more.  This helps the copper foil adhere better.

 Now those two pieces have been cut and foiled and are ready to be soldered in place.  Before soldering, I brush the foil with liquid flux.  After soldering, I clean off all the chemicals.

Now that whole area has been replaced and soldered, both inside and outside the dome.  Now I've removed another cracked piece.  I've also cleared out the border of old materials.
 Now that piece and the one below it have been replaced.  So now, all of the cracked blue/green pieces have been replaced.

Here I've replaced the top wing with a new piece of clear textured glass.  The clear that is used in the lamp is made in China, so I used something similar.  Since it is inside the lamp, the different glass will not be noticeable.
 Now both of those wings have been replaced and soldered in place.  Now I'm removing pieces from the third cracked wing, using needle nose pliers.  I follow the same steps to replace that wing as well. This view is inside the dome.

Now I'm brushing on liquid black patina.  Its a blue chemical which instantly turns the solder black.  After it sets, I wash it off completely.  After it dries, I apply stained glass finishing compound to the newly repaired area, then to the entire lamp, inside and out.  This is a light wax which protects the patina and makes the glass shine.

Here's a view of the repaired side of the lamp.

And another view of the repaired side, lit from below.  This photo was taken prior to waxing. Thank you for entrusting your lamp to me, Robert.  It was a pleasure repairing it for you and Lydia. Happy Holidays!
Thank you Robert and Lydia for your comments!
"Thank you again for bringing life back to the stained glass lamp shade.  I just want you to know you stood out above the few artists that work with glass to create such wonderful pieces of art.  I am thrilled as is my wife with the wonderful repair you made to the blue dragonfly lamp shade.
Happy Thanksgiving"   -  Robert 

"This is my lamp. I could not be more pleased with the results! Thank you for making it better than new!" - Lydia

For more information on my other projects, please click here to visit my website.

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