Monday, April 18, 2016

Fruit Lamp Repair #8

Through the years, I feel like I've repaired more than eight fruit lamps .. I know them inside and out by now!  They've graced the kitchens and dining rooms of many homes and they bring back fond memories.  Here's a posting to document the replacement of a cracked pear and the minimization of a missing purple grape.

I gave the lamp an overall cleaning before starting my work.  Here is where the cracked green pear was once situated.  It had fallen out prior to my receiving the lamp.

The first step in replacing the glass is to remove any old solder and copper foil from the borders.  Here I'm using needle nose pliers to tug it off gently.

Next, I apply 7/32" copper foil to the borders of the pear.  Here I'm burnishing the foil onto the pear.  I also clean the area which had the old solder and foil, and I line that with fresh copper foil as well.

I apply liquid flux to the copper foil and begin melting the solder onto it, as shown below.

Now the border of the pear is fully soldered.  I also added some new wire to the border and soldered that in place, to assure the stability of the lamp.

Here's the view of the newly soldered pear from inside the lamp dome.  Its now black because I brushed black patina onto the solder.  After waiting a short time, I cleaned off the work area and then waxed and buffed it.

A single grape was missing from the opposite side of the lamp.  In every repair, I often need to make judgement calls about how much to repair and how much to modify.  My decisions are always made for the structure and longevity of the lamp itself.  As you can see below, there is a great deal of solder around each of these glass grapes.  If I tried to replace one of the grapes, I would need to melt out so much solder that the other grapes would loosen.  Therefore I opted to just melt out enough solder for a smooth line between that upper right hand grape and the white glass on the left.
To assure the stability of the lamp, I again replaced the wire that runs along the edge, on top of the copper foil which is then coated with solder.

Here I've cleaned the border and added new solder.  Then I patina-ed it and waxed it, as I did with the pear.

And here is the finished lamp!  It's now ready to create more memories.  Thank you Adela, for bringing this sentimental piece to me for repair.  It was a pleasure meeting you!
For more information on my other projects, please click here to visit my website.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Adding Hooks to Stained Glass

I've been away from my blog while I recover from my double knee replacement only 8 weeks apart.  I've returned to my studio this week .. Great to be back!  There are several projects in the works .. Stay tuned.

To add hooks to a stained glass window or panel, be sure the hooks are strong enough to support the weight of the piece. You may use purchased hooks which are specifically designed for stained glass panels. Or you may make your own, as I've done here.
First cut off a short length of wire in an appropriate gauge. Then, holding the ends together, carefully and tightly wrap it around a pencil or acid brush (shown here) or other round object which will accommodate the chain to be attached later. (February 25, 2016)

 Next, "tin" the hooks by coating them with "flux" (available in liquid or paste .. Here I'm using liquid flux). Then coat the hooks lightly with solder. This solder acts as the glue which bonds it to the frame.

 Using fine steel wool, sand off the patina in the area where the hook(s) will be affixed.
 Flux that area and lay down a thick bead of solder as shown.
 Lay the hook onto the bead of solder using needle nose pliers. Then press on the "legs" of the hook with the hot soldering iron. After a short time, the hook will melt into the solder and become encased in it. Liquid solder is very slippery. You may need to keep a firm hold with the pliers and you may need to reposition it as the solder cools.


And here is the attached hook, covered with solder. Next, using Kwik-Clean Flux & Patina Cleaner, wash off the area. Then apply patina to match the frame. Then clean again, apply wax, and buff.
For more information on my other projects, please click here to visit my website.