Thursday, May 22, 2014

White Lamp with Checkered Edge - New Repairs

If this little lamp looks familiar, its because I repaired it in August.  A darling two year old knocked it over.  Well .. Toddlers being toddlers, the lamp went down again.  This time it sustained more damage than the first time.  No problem!  I can fix it .. Here's how I went about it.  To see the original repair .. Click here.

The lamp came in looking about the same as it did after the first fall .. A bit like a taco, with cracked and broken pieces on two sides.

The dent in the side is clearly visible here.  I've marked the cracked pieces with bits of blue tape.

Wearing gloves and using even pressure, I carefully pulled the lamp outward, back into its round shape.

After assessing the damage, I started removing the cracked pieces of the upper dome.  Here the piece on the right has been replaced and I'm tugging off the old solder and foil on the adjacent piece.  Whenever a piece of glass is replaced, its necessary to remove all old solder and foil and clean off any remaining adhesive from the borders.

After each piece of the dome was removed and the edges cleaned, I used manila folder paper to trace a template for the new glass.  Here I've taped each new template above the areas where the new glass will be placed.

I've applied new copper foil to the inner border.

Now the white pieces of the dome have been replaced and soldered.  Note that the lamp has retained its round shape.  As each dome piece was removed, the lamp "relaxed" into its proper shape.

Now I'm working on the border.  There were numerous pieces of green, white and amber that needed replacement.  They're marked here with blue tape.  I've removed a few pieces of white and green and have foiled the edges as before.

This piece of wire which is soldered to the outer edge of the lamp is a structural element which has to be maintained.  As I opened up this area, I noted that the wire was overlapped.  When I replaced that glass, I re-soldered it in place.

 As I worked my way around the border, it was necessary to remove more pieces of green.  At this point, I opted to replace that segment of wire with a stronger one.

Here all the pieces are foiled and ready to be soldered.  They're kept in place with wide blue tape.  I've set the lamp in a large box of packing peanuts so that I can solder it properly, face up.

Now that the pieces have been soldered, I laid a stronger segment of wire over the newly replaced piece of green glass.  I've taped it down on the edge so that when I soldered it, the wire bonded directly to the edge.  This gives the glass its structure and strength and also maintains its round shape.

Now that all the cracked and broken pieces have been replaced and soldered, I'm applying black patina using a metal acid brush.  After the patina is applied, I clean it off, then wax the entire lamp.

And here it is!  After two bad falls and extensive repairs, its back in action again.  

Mike, I appreciate your bringing the lamp back to me .. Let's hope that little Patrick is bored with the lamp by now .. But if not, you know where to bring it.  Thank you again!
Please visit my website to see my custom windows and repairs (click here).  And if you are on FaceBook, become a fan and I'll keep you up to date on all my stained glass projects.  Call me any time at 201-600-1616 or email with your questions. Thanks!

Friday, May 16, 2014

Repair of Pendant Lamp

This lovely little pendant lamp arrived a few weeks ago.  Its owner was kind enough to wait for me to complete a major segment of a commission before I could repair it.  Here's how I went about the repair:

This is one of a set of pendant lamps.  One of the four sides was very loose and the cap which attaches to the light fixture had failed.

As is the case with many manufactured lamps, the edges of the glass had not been ground.  This is an important step, not only to protect from cuts, but to aid in the proper adhesiveness of the copper foil.  I used a hand file to rough up the glass on the open sides.  Prior to hand grinding though, I carefully tugged and melted off the existing old solder and copper foil which was around these pieces of glass.

Below< I've added fresh strips of 7/32" copper foil to the top and sides of the affected areas.  

Next, I laid the lamp on its side so that I could apply liquid flux, and then solder the joints together.

The ring of course is round at the top.  Part of the issue with the design is that it is attached to the square topped lamp base.  I worked around this by melting the old solder off the ring and then using new foil at the touch points to re-solder it in place.

For extra security, I added solder to 1-1/2" strips of flat reinforced copper wire. Then I placed them under the ring and on top of the square top.  After a healthy dose of solder was applied, the bond became even stronger.

Viewed from the inside of the pendant, I added additional solder at the top corners for more security.

Following the soldering, I cleaned the flux off the lamp with spray Kwik Clean.  Then I applied Novacan Black Patina to the solder, as shown, with a wire craft brush.  The patina reacts instantly with the solder.  After letting it sit for a few minutes, I cleaned it again with Kwik Clean and applied Livia Stained Glass Finishing Compound to the lamp.  This gave it a nice shine and will serve to protect the patina.

And here is the repaired lamp!  Thank you Heidi for bringing it over to me.  It was a pleasure meeting you, your sister and your parents.  Keep up your good work~!

Please visit my website to see my custom windows and repairs (click here).  And if you are on FaceBook, become a fan and I'll keep you up to date on all my stained glass projects.  Call me any time at 201-600-1616 or email with your questions. Thanks!

Repair Billiards Pool Table Lamp

This beautiful billiards lamp came to me for repair after a fall when the ceiling fixture gave way.  Unfortunately the lamp is constructed using metal channel, which is a product generally used for framing smaller stained glass pieces.  The issue with metal channel is that once its cut, it compromises the strength of the lamp.  Also, the glass cannot be inserted directly back into the channel unless all the channel around the cracked piece is removed and replaced.  Its a Catch-22.

With instructions to "do the best I can", I set about replacing the most obvious cracks to three of the larger end pieces.  Here's how I went about the repair:

Here's the lamp.  Notice the beautiful design which employed tinned wire to accent the handles of the cue sticks and to indicate the "8" on the 8 ball.  It's approximately 30" long and 18" wide and very heavy, with two individual light fixtures inside, each holding two round bulbs.

The bottom left white panel on one side was badly cracked in the fall.  Here I'm starting to remove the broken glass.  I begin by scoring the cracked piece with a pistol grip glass cutter, then I pull out the glass with needle nose pliers.  I wear safety glasses throughout this process, as glass can fly in any direction.

Below, the glass is cleared out of the space.  Now I'm ready to apply copper foil to the inner border of the opening and prepare a pattern for the replacement glass.

Notice the detail in the "8" for the eight ball.  Very creative!

As with other manufactured lamps, the glass was not grinded before it was foiled.  This affects the adhesiveness of the foil and can affect the overall strength of the lamp, making it easier to break.  Here I'm hand-grinding a corner piece of green glass.  Notice that I've applied 7/32" copper foil to the perimeter of the opening.

I've made a pattern for the new glass by placing a piece of manila folder on the back of the opening, then tracing it onto the paper.  After cutting it out, I lay it on the glass and make a tracing with a black Sharpie pen.  Below, I'm using an oil-filled pistol grip cutter to cut the glass inside the curve.

The correct way to cut a curve is in slender pieces as shown below.  Cutting a long deep curve such as this usually results in the glass cutting straight across.  Not what you want.  By cutting in smaller segments as shown, the glass has a much higher success rate with cuts.  I use the grozier pliers shown to snap off the slivers as I go.  After each piece of glass is cut, I bring it to my electric grinder.  This smoothes out the edges of the glass, making it safe for handling, and ready to accept the adhesive copper foil.

Here I've cut a new piece of matching glass for one of the cracked corners.  Its held in place by the use of wide blue painter's tape on the inside of the lamp.  This will stay in place until after the seam is fully soldered.

 I've applied liquid flux to the copper foil which is a soldering agent.  Then I soldered the copper foil, inside and out, and cleaned it carefully with a spray cleaner called Kwik-Clean.  While I'm soldering, I wear a protective breathing mask.  I also run a carbon filter fan to clean the air.
After the solder has been cleaned, I wipe the area down with a clean towel.  This process removes any caustic chemicals and beads of solder which inevitably form.

Next, I apply Novacan black patina to the solder with a metal acid brush as shown.  The patina reacts instantly with the solder.  I then follow up by spray cleaning the area again with Kwik-Clean.  These chemicals are caustic and potentially dangerous.  Safety first.

I repeated this process three times, once on one end, twice on the other.  The lamp is not "perfect".  There are some cracked pieces which are "trapped" inside the aforementioned metal channel.  But it has come a long way from when I received it.  It will soon be ready for the family to enjoy again.

Here's a view of the end which I repaired.
 And here's a view of the other end which I repaired.

The lamp, ready to go home with its owner.  Thank you Frank, for bringing your lamp in to me.  It was a pleasure working such a unique piece!

Please visit my website to see my custom windows and repairs (click here).  And if you are on FaceBook, become a fan and I'll keep you up to date on all my stained glass projects.  Call me any time at 201-600-1616 or email with your questions. Thanks!

Stained Glass Backyard Wild Birds #2

Earlier this week, I completed the first part of a 2-part commission for a customer in Omaha, Nebraska.  She is an avid birder and my husband and I are bird lovers as well.  A good match!  Here are more photos as I continued working on the 15 bird panels which were installed above her kitchen cabinets, making it a very unique space!

At this point, I've created a Downy Woodpecker, Hummingbird with Grosbeak, Chickadee, Oriole, Junco, a pair of Cardinals, a pair of House Finches, a Titmouse and a Northern Flicker.  Here are a few photos of these panels in various stages:  (Note: ALL IMAGES ARE COPYRIGHT ©BOEHM STAINED GLASS STUDIO .. May not be used without express permission of artist).

As noted earlier, I've been shipping the birds to Nebraska four at a time.  Here are some of the birds in their new home!

For the past few weeks, I've been working on the Towhee, Nuthatch, Lazuli Bunting, Golfinch pair, two Blue Jays (one facing right, one left).

Here are a few more photos of the process:

These bird panels are only 5-1/2" tall so some of the glass pieces are exceptionally small.   Some of them also require intricate cuts which cannot be done by hand. I use an electric glass saw, an Omni Gryphon 2 which is very loud but works exceptionally well (with a lot of practice).  Below, I've traced the patterns for the white breasts of the Blue Jays, and one for a Downy Woodpecker.  The saw blade moves very quickly and therefore must be kept wet by the water supply which flows onto the glass from a tube behind the blade.  To prevent the pattern markings from washing off, I coated them with lip balm as shown.

Here I'm wearing rubber fingers to protect my hands from cuts and to get a firmer grip on the glass.  I'm slowly cutting on the black line using the Omni saw.

This gives an idea of the size of the pieces for the birds.  In order for them to fit well on the patterns, sometimes multiple trips to the grinder are needed.

Some of the birds required that parts be painted on, such as with the feet of the Towhee, shown below.  I drew the feet onto the pattern, then copied it onto the glass using PEBEO Glass Paint.  After the paint is applied, it must have 24 hours to dry, then it is baked in a 325 degree oven for 40 minutes.  Then the paint is permanent.
 The painted glass is placed on a cookie tray while the oven is cool.  The 40 minute baking time includes the time for the oven to warm up to the correct temperature.  Then take the tray and glass out and let it cool to room temperature before attempting to apply copper foil.
And one more tip about the eyes.  I always use gray (or blue) cathedral glass for eyes, whether its for birds or any other animals.  (See my Dolphin and Manatee windows, for example.)  Adding that bit of gray for the eyes really gives them life.  Here's how to do the tiny eyes of a bird ..

Using a Sharpie marker, draw small circles on a sliver of gray cathedral glass.  Cut them apart.  Put on your rubber fingers and grind of the corners to create circular eyes.  Mark the glass above and below the eye and hold it up to the small grinder as shown, and grind in a half-circle.  Do the same for the other side of the eye.  Keep at it until the eye will fit after its been foiled.  

A final look at the pair of Blue Jays.  This pattern is from Canadian artist Chantal Pare. With the exception of Chantal's wonderful Blue Jay, Chickadee, Nuthatch, and Oriole patterns, I designed the other birds based on actual photographs.  You may purchase Chantal's "Backyard Bird" patterns by clicking this link.
 My computer rendition of Chantal's design.
Finished panels.
Please contact me if you have questions about the patterns or if you would like to have one or more custom made stained glass birds in your own home.  Connie, thank you SO much for this commission!  Its been a true joy creating the birds that we enjoy right outside our windows.

To see a short video featuring all of the birds, please click here.  All designs are copyright © Boehm Stained Glass Studio or Chantal Pare.

My next commission, also for Connie, is a larger window which features Mountain Bluebirds which are common near her home in Nebraska.  Stay tuned!

Next, I'll be posting a couple of lamp repairs which I've completed recently.

Please visit my website to see my custom windows and repairs (click here).  And if you are on FaceBook, become a fan and I'll keep you up to date on all my stained glass projects.  Call me any time at 201-600-1616 or email with your questions. Thanks!