Friday, January 27, 2017

Repairs to Stained Glass Rainbow Panel

This rainbow design stained glass panel was damaged when it fell over.  My customer wanted this to be repaired as a gift for his daughter.  See how I repaired it ..

Cracks can be seen in the blue sky, the center sun, and in the orange, red and amber rainbow.  I planned to repair it while it was still in the frame, but it decided to pop out of it.  So, I did the repair without the frame, and my husband replaced it afterwards.

I decided to begin by repairing the round sun.  Here I'm using the brass end of my glass cutter to smash up the glass in that space.

Now all the glass is removed and I'm using needle-nose pliers to tug off the old solder and foil.  For the parts I can't get off with the pliers, I melt off with a hot soldering iron.  The surface needs to be cleaned of all old solder, foil and adhesive to prepare for the replacement piece.

Here I'm tracing the opening onto a piece of a Manila folder.  This will serve as my template for cutting the replacement glass.

After measuring the diameter of the circle, I used a glass circle cutter to get it the exact size.

After the circle is "scored", I scored additional lines along the sides of the circle.  Then I used these blue "running pliers" to snap off the sides of the circle.  Then I used another tool called "groziers" to nip off the remaining glass around the circle.

After the glass is cut as closely as possible, I bring it to my electric grinder.  Grinding the edges of the glass makes it safe to handle and allows the copper foil to adhere.

Now the circle is cut and ground. Now I'm pressing the copper foil down onto the sides of the circle.  After its pressed down, I burnish the foil with a flat plastic wand called a "fid".  Then I apply new copper foil to the inner border of the circle.  Then I apply liquid "flux" to the foil.  This is a catalyst that enables the solder to flow freely.  Then I solder the front and the back and clean the area thoroughly.

Now the new sun is in place.  I used the same process to repair the cracked piece of blue that was to the left of the sun.

Now I'm moving onto the rainbow.  Here I'm tugging off the old solder and foil.

I wanted to keep as much of the original glass in place as possible.  Therefore I only repaired what was necessary and what worked with the design.  Here the outer orange rainbow has been replaced.  I've removed sections of the red and the amber to prepare for their replacement.

Following the same process, I made templates for the missing pieces, cut the glass, ground the edges, foiled them and applied liquid flux to prepare for soldering.  After I thoroughly cleaned the panel, I waxed and buffed both sides.  Stained glass looks very different in different lighting.  Here is a view of the finished panel on top of a large light box.

And here it is against a white wall.  It's still outside the frame here.

And here it is against the same wall, with light on it, and the frame secured back on.  (Note that you can see the thin hanging wire in the upper right.  I suggested that my customer replace this with a stronger wire).  Thank you so much, Rich, it was a pleasure meeting you.  I hope your daughter loved her gift!
For more information on my other projects, please click here to visit my website.

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