Friday, March 11, 2011

Beautiful window repaired as new

My next project will be a 28-3/4" x 16" water lily themed window.  While I'm waiting for the glass to be delivered, I completed a complex repair.

This lovely, small window hanging, 11" x 13", was created by my customer's out-of-town family member as a special gift.  Evidently, workers in her home dropped it without her knowledge and caused extensive damage to 6 pieces as shown.  (Click to enlarge, use back arrow to return).

This project required some research in order to match the glass exactly.  The existing blue glass resembled Spectrum Artique, but had small air bubbles throughout.  After checking my sources, I discovered that this was not Spectrum glass, but hand blown glass from Germany.  By a great stroke of luck, I was able to locate a good match for the blue, and purchased enough to complete the repair.  And with even more luck, they had the perfect green in stock, as well.

When I do a repair, I'm always careful to remove pieces in a way which will maintain the stability of the piece.  Looking at the 3 cracked pieces in the center of the window, I removed the top and bottom piece first, and left the green cracked piece in place, to maintain that stability.  After the top and bottom pieces were replaced, I removed and replaced the cracked green piece.
How are cracked pieces of glass removed?  Very carefully. Wearing safety glasses, score the cracked piece and tap on it repeatedly until it crumbles. Using needle nose pliers, pull out all the bits of glass.
Then, using the soldering iron, melt the solder along the borders of the cracked piece.  As the solder melts, wedge the tip of the iron between the copper foil of the broken piece and the adjacent piece and carefully pull it away.  (Be careful to tilt the window in such a way that the dripping solder lands on the homasote work surface, not on you.)

Trace the inside edge of the opening onto a manila folder, then cut the replacement glass accordingly. Below is the manila pattern and the glass, ready to be cut.  When using dark glass, outline the pattern with a silver Sharpie pen. 
Be aware of the plane of the replacement glass.  If the glass does not sit flat on your work surface, you may need to make a template out of corrugated cardboard to place beneath the replacement piece to raise it to the level of the rest of the window.  This is what I did with this project.

Here's the replacement glass, foiled and ready for soldering.  After all 6 replacement pieces were soldered in place, the window was cleaned, dried, and waxed.
And here is the repaired window .. Just like new again!
Do you have a cracked, copper foiled window in need of repairs?  Do you have an idea for a custom stained glass window for your home?  Call me at 201-600-1616 and we'll get started.
Click here to see more stained glass at Boehm Stained Glass Studio website.

No comments:

Post a Comment