Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Beveled Panel Repair

This repair is not copper foiled stained glass, but since I have the tools and materials, I did it as a gesture for our bird sitter.  Its a glass panel which fits into a small coffee table. Its made with brass channel, which are straight lengths of "U" shaped metal which are soldered in place around bevels and rectangular pieces of clear glue chip glass.  Here's the process of the repair ..

Here's my customer's photograph showing the panel in place and missing corner piece.

Another view which shows the whole panel.

In order to access the corner, I needed to start by melting off some of the solder on one side. The channel had become tarnished due to age, so here I'm using steel wool to get back to the bare solder.  This will make the melting the solder an easier process.

After I melted off much of the connecting solder, my husband Eric gently sawed through the bond using a special bit on a small electric drill. After the separated the bonds, I detached the side of the panel.

Now the side of the panel is gone.  A few of the solder joints on the interior of the panel had split, so I used steel wool again to refresh the solder, then I added a dot of solder there to melt the metal back together. I used push pins to press the panel together while I completed the soldering,

Here I've traced a simple paper pattern from which to cut the replacement glass.

Using an oil-filled pistol grip cutter to score the glass.  Then I use another tool to snap the glass in a straight line along the score.

Grinding the edges of the glass, to make it safe to handle and to allow the copper foil to adhere strongly.

I slid the new corner piece of glass back into the panel.  Then I replaced the side piece of metal channel and matched up the old solder joints.  Here I'm applying liquid flux to the connection points.  Then I re-soldered that side channel back in place, on both sides.  Then I gave it an overall cleaning.

And here's the panel with a new corner piece, ready to go back into the coffee table. Thanks Jennifer, for taking such good care of our birds when we travel!  If you're in northern Bergen County, NJ and need a pet sitter or dog walker, please contact Jennifer, she's fantastic! Please visit her website http://www.worryfreepetcare.com/. Or give her a call: 201-652-6350. 
For more information on my other projects, please click here to visit my website.

If you're on FaceBook, please click here to "like" my BoehmStained Glass Studio page to keep up with all the latest projects.  Thank you!

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Fruit Lamp Repair #12

It seems no two fruit lamps are exactly the same.  This one gets the prize for being the heaviest though!  These lamps are always heavily soldered and strongly built.  In this case, the lamp had been incorrectly installed in the kitchen ceiling and was hanging (for two years!) by only the electrical cord.  It should have been hanging by the chain.  It unexpectedly fell and landed on a centerpiece on the table.  Amazingly, the only damage was to a single slumped pear at the border.  Here's the story of the repair.

Here is the large lamp showing the damaged pear at the border.

Close up of the damaged pear.

As mentioned in the previous post which covers fruit lamp repair #11, the Worden Company was the only manufacturer of the slumped (dimensional) glass apples and pears.  Just by chance, I had one large pear left in my inventory which I used for this repair.  These fruits came in two sizes and with different colored glass.  I had a smaller pear for the previous repair, but the glass was not a good match, so I opted to create a flat pear instead.  (Click here to see previous fruit lamp repair).

I used needle nosed pliers to crack out the pieces of broken glass. Then I used a hot soldering iron to melt out most of that thick black solder around the border.

Now most of the solder has been melted out from around the border.  When the pear came out I was surprised to see that there was no wire below it.  These lamps traditionally have a wire running along the entire lower border.  Here I’m using a hand file to take off the patina so that I can insert a length of wire which extends beyond the borders of the pear. This is for added overall strength of the lamp.

I affixed 7/32” copper foil around the border of the replacement pear.  Here I’m using a “fid” to burnish the copper foil onto the glass.
 The pear is held in place with painter’s tape. Then I applied liquid flux to the foil and the outer border.  The flux is a catalyst which helps the solder to flow freely.

Now I’ve applied liberal amounts of solder around the pear to lock it in place.  I applied solder to the backside of the pear as well.

Here I’m inserting a thin wire along the bottom edge of the pear.  I’m using strips of painter’s tape to hold it in place as I flux and solder it in place.

Now I’m applying a blue liquid called black patina.  This turns the solder black instantly.  After it sets, I use a neutralizing spray to clean off the residue. I also applied patina to the edge of the pear and to the interior of the shade.

And it’s done!  After the patina was clean and dry, I applied stained glass finishing compound to the area. This is a light wax which protects the patina and gives the pear a nice shine.

And here it is, repaired as good as new, ready to be installed back in the ceiling (the correct way), to provide many more years of enjoyment.  Thank you Joan F. for bringing your lamp to me!
For more information on my other projects, please click here to visit my website.

If you're on FaceBook, please click here to "like" my BoehmStained Glass Studio page to keep up with all the latest projects.  Thank you!

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Fruit Lamp Repair #11

This is the 11th fruit lamp repair I've done so far.  These were very popular in the '60's and '70's and have great sentimental value.  This lamp had several challenges.  The wiring assembly had become detached, the crown collapsed during the repair process, and the slumped pear had to be replaced, as well as seven piece of cracked flat glass. Here's how I went about repairing this little gem.

This view shows a crack in one of the large upper panels, as well as a broken pear at the border.

Here is another cracked piece, between the leaf on the left and the first red marble cherry. There were several other cracks on various sides, mostly to the amber colored glass.

An important part of repairing lamps is being able to match the existing glass.  This amber glass is made in several shades and textures by several different glass manufacturers.  Its a very popular glass for lamps because it gives a warm, glowing light.  Here I've assembled a supply of amber pieces so that I can choose the best match for the project.

Stained glass looks differently in the light, therefore I'm doing a "luminosity test" here, using a light box.  I eliminated a few pieces of amber and chose others that were spot-on.

Here's a view of three more cracked pieces, one to the left of the flower, one below, and then the green stem.

I've cracked out the corner piece and will clean off the old adhesive from the original copper foil. This will assure a clean bond to the neighboring pieces.  I'll replace one piece at a time, waiting to replace the cracked bottom piece until after the top replacement is done.

After making a template of the opening, I've traced it onto the glass.  I'm using an oil-filled pistol grip glass cutter to score the line as shown.

After the replacement glass is cut, I bring it to the grinder.  This will smooth the edges of the glass, allowing the copper foil to adhere strongly and making the glass safe to handle.

Here I'm using a hand file to grind the edges of the opening.  Rough, uncut glass will not accept the foil as well. The pieces in these older lamps were not ground so I take care of that as I do the replacements.

I've added new copper foil to the borders of the opening as well as to the borders of the replacement piece. Then I applied liquid flux to the copper and then soldered it in place.

I ran a length of thin wire along the upper edge of the piece and onto the adjoining pieces.  This wire will serve to reinforce and strengthen the corner of the lamp.  Here I'm using a hot soldering iron to melt out some of the old foil and solder to prepare the bottom piece for replacement.

I prefer to cut glass by hand. I do occasionally use an electric ring saw as shown, for some curvy pieces.  Glass can be temperamental.  It doesn't always cut well by hand. 

Here the two cracked pieces above and below the flower have been replaced and soldered.  I'll apply patina to them later, in order to blacken the solder.

Onto the next replacement.  I'm using the metal end of the glass cutter to tap repeatedly on the cracked area.  Eventually the pieces will loosen and fall out.  I'll use needle nosed pliers to remove any remaining glass pieces.

After the glass has been removed, I'm using the needle nosed pliers to tug off the old foil and solder.

Now the area is free of old solder and foil and the old adhesive around the borders has been cleaned off.

Checking to be sure the paper template for the replacement is a good fit.  It is.

Here's the replacement piece completed.

 Holding the new green stem for the flower. It was foiled and soldered in place soon after.

Onto the cracked pear.  The Worden Company, which manufactured these dimensional fruits (pears and apples) for 42 years, went out of business about a year ago. The fruits are no longer made and are difficult to find elsewhere unless they are custom-made at high expense.  Therefore, with the lamp owner's permission, I created a flat pear for the lamp.  I chose a textured amber glass very similar to the original pear as well as to the border shown here.

Template is traced onto the glass.

And here it is soldered in place.

Now the cracked pieces along the bottom of the lamp have all been replaced.  Now I'm cracking out the large piece on the top part.  Notice how three of the crown pieces are missing.  During the course of the repair, all six became detached.  The upper edge had never been reinforced with wire, as is customary for lamps. And the foil was so old it could no longer hold them together.  I repaired and reinforced the crown after the side was completed.

 Using the needle nosed pliers to tug off more of the old foil and solder.

A view inside the lamp which shows the paper template made for the replacement.  I cut and ground the glass for it and set it aside.

The metal bar which supports the lamp wiring was soldered inside the crown, at the tops of the side panels.  It had detached and needed to be more strongly bonded to prevent a recurrance.  Here I've cut short lengths of zinc and brass "channel" which will clip onto the ends of the side panels.

Now I've soldered short lengths of metal channel to the ends of the top panels.

View from inside the lamp showing the new side glass and the metal channel reinforcement around the opening. (Notice the beautiful new pear).

Onto rebuilding the crown.  Here I'm using a razor to scrape off old adhesive. After each of the crown pieces was clean, I added new copper foil to all of the borders.

 To strengthen and reinforce the crown, I've taped a length of thin wire to the border as shown. Then I soldered the wire in place.

One of the final steps in the repair is to go back and apply patina to each of the areas which received solder.  Here I'm brushing on the blue patina which instantly turns the silver solder black.  After it is allowed to set, I clean it off with a deneutralizing spray.

This is the metal bar which holds the wiring for the lamp.  Both ends on both sides were badly rusted.  My husband Eric used an electric buffer/grinder to remove the rust to get to the bare metal and prepare it for soldering.

Here I've used copious amounts of solder to attach the metal bar to the metal channel.  Its a very strong bond.  I applied solder to the other side as well. Every effort is made to assure that the repairs will not fail and will stay in place for years to come.

The repaired lamp, featuring the new pear! (Photos taken prior to lamp fixture reattachment).

The flower and apple side.

And finally, the cherry side!  Thank you Joan for bringing me another repair.  It was a pleasure to bring this one back to life for your customer.
For more information on my other projects, please click here to visit my website.

If you're on FaceBook, please click here to "like" my BoehmStained Glass Studio page to keep up with all the latest projects.  Thank you!