Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Entryway window glass soldered, framed and ready for installation

After a day or so off to celebrate Christmas, I went back to working on this lovely little window.  Since this window will be in a front door, I wanted it to be extra strong.  See below that I snaked some flat braided reinforcement tape randomly throughout the window.  (Note that there is a brand called Strong Line Internal Steel Reinforcement which I do not recommend for a small window.  Its not bendable). See below (You may have to click on the photo to enlarge for a better look).
The next step isn't pretty, but its necessary .. tack soldering the piece.  This entails brushing flux (soldering liquid) to all of the copper foil. Once that's been done, tack solder together the pieces at the joints and randomly along longer lines.  Tack soldering needs to be done to the front side only. (See below).

Now its time to release the window from the jig.  Take out the push pins, remove the metal "jig" (fence), and slide out the "cartoon" (paper pattern) underneath.  Then proceed with the "real" soldering, first the front side, then turn it over carefully and solder the back.  Since this window will be viewed from both sides, extra care was taken to neatly solder both sides.

Next, the window gets washed with powdered cleanser (Comet), rubber gloves and an old dish brush set aside for this purpose. Now you can see the window's beautiful colors.
Last night my husband Eric measured and cut some thin channel (metal frame) for the window.  After the frame was cut, he put it back in the jig to prepare it for me to solder this morning.
I soldered the corners of the frame, and then soldered the lead lines from the window onto the frame, for added strength.  The next step, applying the patina, is shown below.  Black is the traditional patina and that is what we decided to use on this window. I use Novacan Black Patina for Solder.  Fill the bottle cap with a small amount and simply brush it on for instant results.

Then bring the window back to the sink, rinse it off with cool water, let dry, and apply Clarify Stained Glass Finishing Compound to wax and protect both sides of the window.  Since this window will be exposed to the elements, we will advise the homeowner to wax the window at least once a year when the weather is mild.  For an indoor window, re-waxing may be done far less frequently, if at all.
And now for the "big reveal"!  Here was the computer rendition created on December 10.
And here is the finished window as seen against this afternoon's overcast sky.  The texture of all the glass can't truly be seen in this light, but the colors certainly are brighter now.  We made some minor tweaks to the design to accommodate the door, and I'm very pleased with the results!

The next blog update will show Eric installing the window.  Stay tuned ..

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Friday, December 23, 2011

Entryway window glass foiled

The next step for the window in the entryway door has been completed.  Black-backed copper foil has been applied to the outer edge of each piece of glass.  Black-backed foil was used on this window because the cathedral glass is somewhat transparent and the inside of the foil may show through the glass.  Since we will be patina-ing the solder in black, the inside of the foil will blend in with the patina when the window is completed.

Below is a photo of the application of the self-adhesive copper foil onto the center of the edge of the glass. (Click on photo to enlarge).

After each piece is foiled, it is smoothed onto the glass with a "fid" or plastic wand, as shown.  The razor knife is used to trim any excess foil at the overlap points.
And here is the window, foiled and ready to be fluxed and soldered. Notice that it is still in the "jig" to maintain its proportions and to be sure the glass doesn't shift.  It will stay there until it is tack soldered.
I'll be back to show the finished window and its installation soon after Christmas Day.  Happy Holidays to all!

To visit our FaceBook page, please click here and "like" us .. and to see more of our projects at the Boehm Stained Glass Studio website, please click here.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Entryway window glass cut

All of the glass for the entryway door window has now been cut.  Using the manila folder patterns, each piece was traced with a black or silver Sharpie as shown below. (Click on any photo to enlarge).
Here are some stained glass tools, shown clockwise: Toyo brand pistol grip glass cutter, (blue) running pliers for cracking glass in a straight line, groziers to trim and snap off small pieces, silver Sharpie for marking dark glass .. and the purple rough rolled glass with manila folder patterns.

After each piece was cut and trimmed, the edges were ground on the electric grinder as shown below.
I'm wearing rubber fingers purchased from Staples.  They come in 4 sizes .. Find them here. They are invaluable for avoiding glass cuts and protecting your manicure.

The purple sponge shown in the photo above draws water from the reservoir which is below the grinding surface.  The water serves to cool the spinning grinder.  To enhance the effectiveness of the water and to protect the life of the grinding wheel, I recommend adding E-Z Grind Advanced Formula from Glastar to the reservoir.  For more info on this product, click here.

Most of the glass chosen for this window was cathedral, but we decided to add one piece of translucent wispy pink glass as a point of interest.  Here it is, below, with the pattern laid on top of it.  Also, I hoped to locate flat red one-inch wide marbles for the "eyes", but alas, they were nowhere to be found. Instead, I cut some brilliant red cathedral glass as shown below, with the pistol grip glass cutter.

And here is the window after the glass has been cut. The paper pattern or "cartoon" has been pinned to the homasote work board and a metal bumper, or "jig" is placed around the perimeter.  The jig serves to hold the glass in place until after the entire piece is tack soldered.
Note that the grape rough rolled glass for the "heart" appears dark when on the homasote work surface.  All of the glass will "come alive" when its in the light.

Next step: Applying copper foil to the borders of each piece of glass.  Stay tuned ..

To visit our FaceBook page, please click here and "like" us .. and to see more of our projects at the Boehm Stained Glass Studio website, please click here.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Entryway window for Tudor home

After shooting several recent photography gigs (click here for blog), I'm happy to back in my stained glass studio, designing, making patterns, and cutting glass.

My current project is a 13" wide diagonal window for the front door of a Tudor home.  It is a replacement for the existing window which is the initial of the surname of the previous family.  Here it is .. (Click on any photo to enlarge).

My customer was in need of inspiration for a new design, so I suggested she look around her home to see if there was anything that caught her eye.  Yes .. There is a beautiful stained glass light fixture in the kitchen which she and her husband both liked.  We decided to go with it.
After two meetings, we worked together to choose the glass, which will be primarily cathedral (clear) glass. This glass will provide privacy for their front foyer but will also enable them to see who is at the door.  Below is the design. 
We chose a mix of clear glue chip, clear artique, and blue, grape, and yellow rough rolled glass, all of which will work together for a gorgeous, one-of-a-kind window.
I then prepared the pattern .. See below.  My husband Eric took the measurements of the existing window and made a paper template on which he traced the design.  Using carbon paper, I then traced the design onto a manila folder.  (See below)
Note those 1-inch wide blue "eyes", actually flat marbles. The search is on for red ones in the same size.
I then cut each pattern piece using double-bladed pattern shears which give some "breathing room" between each piece, as shown.  This will accommodate the copper foil and reinforcement tape which will follow.

Next, each pattern piece will be traced onto the glass using a black marker.  All of the glass for this project will be cut by hand.  Stay tuned for the next update showing the glass cut. 

To visit our FaceBook page, please click here and "like" us .. and to see more of our projects at the Boehm Stained Glass Studio website, please click here.