Category Archives: Stained glass designs

Hanging stained glass panels

Polar Bear Hanging Panel.
Dimensions no. pieces glass required.
12-1/4 in wide by 14-1 4 in high 26.
A    3 in x 3 in orange wispy.
B    6 in x 7 in white opalescent.
C    4 in x 12 in w hite wispy.
E    6 in x 12 in amber and white wispy.
E    7 in x 12 in light blue cathedral.
F    7 in x 10 in medium blue cathedral.
G    2 in x 12 in dark blue cathedral.
This quantity of glass is the exact amount needed for the pattern. You may have to purchase more glass. Please allow for matching textures and grain.
Materials:
2 copies of pattern. Newspaper. Wood board. Wood trim. Masking tape. Black-backed copper foil. Safety flux 60/40 solder 1/4 in single channel. U-shaped zinc came 18 to 20 gauge tinned copper wire. Neutralizing solution. Black patina. Wax or finishing compound. Black sign paint. Monofilament line (fishing line).
TOOLS:
Apron. Safety glasses. Utility knife or scissors. Permanent waterproof fine-tipped marker. Cork-backed straightedge. Glass cutter. Running pliers. Breaking pliers. Hammer and nails. Glass grinder 1/4 in drilling/grinding bit Soft cloths. Lathekin or doweling. Soldering iron and stand. Natural fiber sponge. Cotton swabs. Sidecutters or lead knippers. Rubber gloves. Fine steel wool (000) Toothbrush. Tracing brush. Cup hook screws.
Preparing the Pieces:
Follow the construction method for Small Hanging Panel.
NOTE: Grind out the tight inside curve (where the ear piece fits into the front leg piece) with the 1/4 in drilling/grinding bit. Also a wider zinc came is used in this project.
The following steps are in addition to the construction method described for Small Hanging Panel.
By making a hole in the light blue cathedral glass, the piece representing the sun can be placed in the sky without the use of unnecessary solder lines. Trace the outline of the sun onto the light blue glass piece. Wearing safety glasses and using the 1/4 in drilling/grinding bit on the grinder, drill a hole in the center of the traced sun outline on the glass. Once the initial hole is made with the drilling bit, slowly grind the opening large enough for the regular grinding bit to fit through.
Using the regular grinding bit, carefully grind away the glass to create a large enough opening for the sun piece.
Copper foil the edge of the hole created in the sky piece, taking care not to tear the foil when burnishing it to the glass. Trim any excess foil where the 2 ends meet.
Insert the copper foiled sun piece into the opening and bead solder  in place. Care must be taken not to crack the large sky piece by overheating while soldering.
Creating the detail for the Polar Bear’s Ears:
Copper foil the ear pieces. Trace the shaded portion of the pattern on the glass.
Apply just enough copper foil on the glass surface to cover the marked area and overlap the edge of the piece (this will help prevent the foil from lifting off the glass when the pieces are being soldered). Burnish the foil tightly to the glass. With utility knife, trim to match the pattern.
When the panel is being soldered, apply a bead of solder to the foil overlay, completing the detailing for the bear’s ears.
Creating the Polar Bear’s Claws:
The bear’s claws are pieces of tinned wire soldered to the seam of the foot. See pattern for placement.
Attaching the Hanging Loops:
Because there are no solder seams intersecting with the zinc border came along the top of the panel, the loops can be soldered to the top outside corners so that the loops are attached to both the top and side pieces of the border came.
Clean the panel.
Apply patina.
Apply finishing compound or wax.
Creating the Polar Bear’s Facial Features:
Using a tracing brush and black sign paint, paint the facial detailing on the bear’s glass head piece. Allow to dry.
Screw cup hooks into the window frame. Hang the panel, using heavy monofilament line (fishing line). Suction cups are not recommended because they dry out, allowing the panel to fall and break.
NOTE:
Because exposure to the sun’s UV rays can damage the monofilament, check it occasionally and replace as needed.

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How to make stained glass art

Peaks Hanging Panel.
Materials:
2 copies of pattern.
Newspaper.
Wood board.
Masking tape.
Black-backed copper foil.
Safety flux.
60/40 solder.
1/8 in single channel U-shaped zinc came. 18 to 20 gauge tinned copper wire.
Neutralizing solution.
Black patina.
Wax or finishing compound.
Heavy monofilament line (fishing line).
Tools:
Apron Safety glasses. Utility knife or scissors. Permanent waterproof fine-tipped marker. Cork-backed straightedge. Glass cutter. Running pliers. Breaking pliers. Glass grinder 1/4 in drilling/grinding bit. Soft cloths. Lathekin or doweling. Hammer and nails or push pins. Soldering iron and stand. Natural fiber sponge. Cotton swabs. Sidecutters or lead knippers.
Rubber gloves. Fine steel wool (000). Toothbrush. Cup hook screw.
DIMENSIONS NO. OF PIECES GLASS REQUIRED:
14 in wide by 13-3/8 in high 19.
A  12 in x 14 in blue/red/amber streaky
B   5 in x 7 in amber craquel
C   4-2 in x 3 in clear diamond bevels
D   1-4 in clear circular bevel
This quantity of glass is the exact amount needed for the pattern. You may have to purchase more glass. Please allow for matching textures and. grain.

Preparing the Pieces:
Follow steps 1 to 3 for Small Hanging Panel. Omit step 4.
Grind each piece of glass, as required, to fit the pattern. Leave enough space between each piece so that the pattern line (1/32 in wide) is visible between each piece. This will accommodate the copper foil being wrapped around each piece.
Verify that the bevels fit the pattern and grind to fit if they do not . As shown on the pattern, the surface on the 2 in x 3 in diamond bevels has been altered. With the marker, trace  the outline of the “snow cap” onto each bevel. Grind the pattern onto each beveled surface by holding it at an angle and lightly grinding, using the 1/4 in drilling/grinding bit on the glass grinder. Practise on a piece of scrap glass first.
Follow step 7 for Small Hanging Panel using black-backed copper foil.
Assembling the Panel:
Tape a copy of the pattern to a wood board (slightly larger than the panel). Arrange the foiled pieces on the pattern and tack solder together. If there is concern about the pieces moving around while tacking, hold them in place with pieces of masking tape or push pins or nails around the perimeter of the panel.
Tin all exposed copper foil on the interior seams. Solder no closer than 1/4 in to the lower circular-shaped outside edge to allow ease of fitting the zinc came border.
Continue following steps 10 and 11 for Small Hanging Panel.
Cut a 23-1/2 in length of zinc came border, to be used on the lower circular-shaped edge only. This provides support to the panel. Trim the ends at an angle to correspond with the adjoining solder seams.
Being careful not to kink the zinc came, slowly fit it around the lower edge of the panel. Start at the point where the circular bevel intersects with the lower outside edge. If the glass is thicker than the channel in the came, use a lathekin to widen the channel. This makes fitting easier. Use masking tape to hold the zinc came in place until it is soldered to the panel. Trim any excess zinc off the end of the lower left-hand corner.
Solder the zinc came in place at each point that it meets a solder seam on the panel and at the 2 ends. Repeat on the opposite side of the panel seams.
Tin the remaining outside edges. Bead solder  each edge-make sure the solder cools before turning the project to bead the next edge.
Follow step 15 for Small Hanging Panel.
On the back of the panel, position the loop on the solder seam indicated on the pattern and solder securely in place. The loop is meant to be as inconspicuous as possible. Do not solder the loop to an outside edge.
Clean the panel.
Apply patina .
Apply finishing compound or wax .
Use heavy monofilament line (fishing line) to hang the panel. Screw the cup hook into the window frame and hang panel. Suction cups are not recommended because they dry out, allowing the panel to fall and break.
NOTE: Because exposure to the sun’s UV rays can damage the monofilament, check it occasionally and replace as needed.

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How to make stained glass panels

Small Hanging Panel.
Materials:
2 copies of pattern.
Newspaper.
Wood board.
Wood trim.
Masking tape.
Silver-backed copper foil.
Safety flux.
60/40 solder.
1/8 in single channel.
U-shaped zinc came 18 to 20 gauge tinned copper wire.
Neutralizing solution.
Wax or finishing compound.
Monofilament line (fishing line)
Tools:
Apron. Safety glasses. Utility knife or scissors. Permanent waterproof fine-tipped marker. Cork-backed straightedge. Glass cutter. Running pliers. Breaking pliers. Hammer and nails. Glass grinder Soft cloths. Lathekin or doweling. Soldering iron and stand. Natural fiber sponge. Cotton swabs. Sidecutters or lead knippers. Small square. Toothbrush. Cup hook screws.
DIMENSIONS NO. OF PIECES GLASS REQUIRED:
7-1/4 in wide by 9-1/4 in high 13
A 5-1/2 in x 7-1/2 in lilac wispy
B 3 in x 5 in grape cathedral
C 3 in x 4 in clear textured
D 2-1 in x 2 in clear rectangular bevels
E 2-1 in x 6 in clear rectangular bevels
This quantity of glass is the exact amount needed for the pattern. You may have to purchase more-glass. Please allow for matching textures and grain.
Preparing the Pieces:
Make 2 copies of the pattern on page. Use one copy as a guide for cutting and breaking the glass pieces. Use the second copy for fitting and soldering the panel together.
NOTE If you use opalescent glass make a third copy and cut out the required pieces to use as a template.
Using the marker, trace  each pattern piece on the glass to be cut.
Cut each piece of glass required, making sure to cut inside the marker line. Use the cork-backed straightedge to assist in scoring straight lines.
Make a jig to help fit the glass pieces together accurately.
Grind each piece of glass, as required, to fit the pattern. Remember to leave enough space between each piece so that the pattern line is visible between each piece (1/32 inch in width). After each piece is ground, rinse under clean water to remove any grinding residue and dry with a clean cloth.
Verify that the precut bevels fit the pattern and grind to fit where they do not.
Choose the width of copper foil appropriate for the thickness of the glass (7/32 inch is most common). Wrap each glass piece with the copper foil, crimp, and burnish down the edges with the lathekin or a piece of doweling.
Arrange foiled pieces on the pattern in the jig and tack solder  the pieces together.
Tin all exposed copper foil on the interior seams. Remember to solder no closei than 1/4 inch to the outside edge. Space mus be left along the edge to allow for ease of fitting the zinc came border.
Bead solder  the seams of the panel. Achieving a half-round raised seam will strengthen the panel and finish its appearance.
Turn the panel over and repeat steps 9 and 10 Since there is no right or wrong side to a stain ed glass panel and it is viewed from both sides strive for even solder seams on both sides.
Using a pair of sidecutters or lead knippers, cut a length of zinc came for each side of the panel. Use the pattern as a guide for the length required. Cut the end of each length at a 45° angle.
Fit the zinc came onto the edges of the panel. If the glass is thicker than the channel in the came, use a lafhekin to widen the channel. This makes it easier to fit the came around the edge of the glass. Use masking tape to hold the zinc came in place until it is soldered to the panel.
Solder the zinc came in place at each point it meets a solder seam on the panel and at each of the 4 corners. Repeat on opposite side of panel.
To make the hanging loops for the panel, wrap the tinned wire around a small cylindrical object (doweling or pencil) several times to form a coil. Slide the coil off, and using a pair of sidecutters or lead knippers, cut individual loops off the coil.
Place loops so that the panel hangs properly and safely. Attach the loops to a solder seam that meets with the border to prevent the border came from pulling away.
Clean the panel.
Use heavy monofilament line (fishing line) to hang the panel. Screw the cup hooks into the window frame and hang the panel Suction cups are not recommended because they dry out, allowing the panel to fall and break.

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How to Replace Cracked Pieces of Glass

Sooner or later, every stained glass artisan has to replace a cracked piece of glass. Here’s how to do it:
1 Remove the broken piece using method A or B.
METHOD A a) Apply a hot soldering iron tip to the solder seams surrounding the broken piece. As the solder becomes molten, draw the iron tip across the solder seam, pulling the solder off the seam with the iron tip. Wipe excess solder off the tip onto the water-moistened sponge used for cleaning the tip. Repeat until the solder seam is flat.
b) Applying the hot iron tip to one of the seams, use a strip of aluminum (cut from a soda pop can) and try to wedge it between the broken piece and the one beside it, causing the solder to separate between the 2 pieces. Wrap the end of the aluminum strip that you hold with masking tape to prevent burns or
cuts.
c) When you get the aluminum strip through the seam to the other side of the panel, pull it along the perimeter of the piece, heating the seams with the iron as you go.
d) When you have separated all the solder seams around the broken piece, it can be removed easily.
METHOD B a) With a glass cutter, make a number of scores on the broken piece in a Crosshatch pattern.
b) Tap the scores gently on the underside with the end of the cutter, being careful not to crack the glass piece next to it.
c) Once the scores begin to “run” and break into small pieces, remove them with a pair of pliers.
2 When the broken glass piece Has been removed, go around the entire opening with the soldering iron tip, smoothing away excess solder and pulling out any foil left behind from the broken piece with a pair of pliers.
3 Place a piece of paper beneath the opening and trace the outline of the empty space. Cut out this pattern inside the line.
4 Place the pattern on a new piece of glass and cut with a glass cutter. Grind to fit and wrap with the appropriate copper foil.
5 Position the replacement piece in the opening and tack solder into place. Proceed to bead solder on both sides of the project.
6 Apply patina to match the rest of the project, if required. Clean the project and apply a finishing compound or wax.

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Stained glass the finished project

Applying Finishing Compound or Wax.
To keep solder seams bright and shiny and help prevent oxidization apply stained glass finishing compound or a quality car wax. Place a small portion of the liquid wax on a soft cloth and apply a thin layer over the solder seams. Avoid getting wax on heavily textured glass because it may be difficult to remove. Allow the wax to dry to a powdery consistency and buff the seams with a dry cloth until shiny. Use an old toothbrush along seams and crevices.
Maintaining the Finished Project.
Clean the project with ammonia-free commercial window cleaner. If the seams have been treated with patina, they can be touched up if the patina wears off. Solder seams left the natural silver color can be rewaxed if they appear tarnished.

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How to finish the project stained glass

HOW TO FINISH THE PROJECT.
Solder seams can be finished in a number of ways-left as they are (shiny silver) or lightly rubbed with steel wool for a pewter look, or color altered by applying a black or copper patina. Apply patina after the project has been soldered and cleaned for best results.
Applying Patina
1 Cover the work surface with a layer of newspaper. Wear rubber gloves and a work apron to protect your hands and clothing from the patina. Wear safety glasses.
2 If the project sits overnight or you have decided at a later date to apply patina, remove the oxidization on the metal’s surface by rubbing fine steel wool (000) across all solder seams. By rubbing across, not lengthwise, any cooling lines in the solder will become less visible and give the appearance of a smoother line.
3 Use a soft cloth to brush off any traces of steel wool onto the newspaper. Roll the newspaper up and discard. Place a new layer of newspaper under the project.
4 Pour a small amount of patina out of the bottle into another container. This will prevent the risk of contaminating any unused patina. Apply the patina to the solder seams with an old toothbrush, cotton swabs, or soft disposable cloth and rub gently until you achieve an even finish. Try not to get patina on the glass. Because of metal oxides in stained glass, some glasses will incur a rainbow-like hazing where the patina touches the glass. Though it is not very noticeable, it is best to try and avoid it.
5 Clean the project thoroughly with warm water and a neutralizing solution and dry with a soft cloth.
6 If there is any patina left that was poured out of the original bottle, dispose of it. If a toothbrush Was used, rinse it in clean water. Dispose of the newspaper and any cotton swabs or cloths used to apply the patina. Because the black or copper color is the result of a chemical reaction with the surface of the solder, the patina can be removed if you are not happy with the outcome by rubbing with fine steel wool (000).
7 Apply finishing compound or wax.

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Cleaning the stained glass project

Cleaning the Project.
Once the project has been soldered together, clean thoroughly to remove any flux residue. If not removed quickly, flux solutions, because of their corrosive nature, will cause the solder seams to oxidize resulting in a tarnished look. To clean, apply a small amount of cleaning solution to your project. With a soft cloth or an old toothbrush moistened with warm water, rub the cleaner over the entire project. Rinse under warm running water until all traces of flux and cleaner are removed. Do not immerse project in water. Dry with a soft cloth. Commercial stained glass cleaning solutions are referred to as neutralizing solutions. They are formulated to counteract the effects of flux as they clean. Household liquid dish detergent can also be used effectively when mixed with a small amount of sodium bicarbonate.

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Soldering problems stained glass

Common Soldering Problems.
Soldering can be a difficult technique to master. Here are some problems and tips to correct them.
1 THE molten solder is not bonding TO the copper FOiL-Apply flux and try again. If you have already been soldering on this seam and had applied flux, it probably has evaporated. If your glass pieces were foiled some time ago, the copper foil may have a layer of oxidization on it. To remove oxidization, gently rub fine steel wool (000) lengthwise along the foil. Apply flux and try soldering again.
2 Solder melts through seams-The soldering tip has probably been held too long in one place. Solder in another area of the project until the seam cools and try again.
3 Melt-through is occurring because of
large gaps between pieces —Cutting glass
pieces accurately to fit the pattern will prevent many soldering problems. Large gaps between pieces can be responsible for melt-throughs, especially in 3-dimensional projects. By tinning 3-D projects with 50/50 solder and then bead soldering with 60/40 solder, solder will not melt through as quickly. Placing masking tape on the underside of the gap will help hold the molten solder in place long enough for it to cool.
4 Copper foil is lifting from the glass during soldering stag e The copper foil may have been overheated during the soldering stage. To prevent the foil from lifting
• make sure the glass is free of oil and grinding residue before applying copper foil;
• start and end the foil on the glass piece on an edge that will not be on the perimeter of a project; the point where the foil overlaps should be on an inside seam;
• burnish the foil tightly to the glass;
• do not draw the soldering iron over a seam time after time without letting the seam cool occasionally;
• be sure adhesive backing on the copper foil has not dried out and lost its stickiness.
5 Solder seams have peaks and valleys Reapply flux and touch up the seam with your soldering iron. Hold the tip to the solder long enough to start melting it and then lift the tip up and repeat the melt-and-lift motion along the seam, smoothing it out. Add solder, if required.
6 Too much solder on a seam-Excess solder can be removed by melting the solder and quickly dragging the iron tip across the seam, taking excess solder with it. Immediately remove the excess solder from the iron tip by wiping it on a moistened sponge.
7 Solder is spattering and creating small pits in the solder seam-You may be using too much flux. Use a safety flux formulated for stained glass work and use it sparingly.
8 Solder is not flowing properly, resulting in uneven solder seams-To prevent this
• The tip of the iron may be dirty. Clean iron tip on a natural fiber sponge moistened with water or if spots develop that will not disappear when tip is wiped on the sponge, retin the tip.
• The tip is not hot enough or the tip is too hot causing the solder to melt through the seams. On irons that have adjustable temperature controls, try different settings until you find the one that works best for you.
• Flux needs to be reapplied.

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How to solder stained glass

How to Solder:
1 Choose a well ventilated area and a level work surface. Wear safety glasses and a work apron.
2 Plug in soldering iron (we recommend 100-watt style with built-in temperature control, chisel-style tip, and stand).
3 To wipe the tip clean while soldering, moisten a natural fiber sponge with water and place in the holder on the soldering iron stand.
4 Lay out 60/40 solder and a safety flux.
5 While the soldering iron is heating up, assemble the copper foiled pieces on the project pattern.
6 the pieces together by dabbing flux (using a cotton swab) onto the copper foil at a point where at least 2 pieces meet. Then unwind several inches of the solder wire from the spool. Grasp the soldering iron handle like a hammer, in your writing hand, and remove from the stand. Melt a small amount of solder onto the tip of the iron and apply it to the fluxed copper foil. Hold the iron tip on the copper-foil only long enough for the solder to melt onto the foil, joining the pieces together.
7 Working your way around the project, flux and tack solder all the pieces together, making sure to tack wherever 2 or more pieces join. If a piece is tacked in several spots, it will not move out of position when the finishing seam is being soldered. At regular intervals, wipe the tip of the soldering iron on the moistened sponge to remove flux residue.
8 Once all the pieces have been tacked together, the exposed copper foil must be coated with a thin, flat layer of solder. First apply flux along the entire length of a foiled seam. Then holding the soldering iron in your writing hand, place the flat side of the iron tip on the fluxed copper foil and, grasping the spool of solder in the other hand, place the end of the solder on the tip. As the solder melts, pull the tip along the seam, leaving a thin coating of solder over the foil. Fill in any gaps between the stained glass pieces with solder.
9 gives seams a rounded and even finish. To do this reapply flux along one seam. Place the narrower side of the iron tip onto one end of the seam (the flat side will now be in a vertical position), keeping the tip in contact with the seam at all times. Holding the solder to the tip, slowly draw the iron along the length of the seam allowing the solder to build up only enough to create a slightly raised, half-round seam. When the solder begins to build up more than necessary, pull the strand of solder away from the tip. Draw the tip along the seam until the molten solder levels out more evenly. It will take a bit of practise to determine how quickly to move the iron and how much solder to apply. Because glass can crack if it is heated too much, don’t go over a solder seam too many times. Allow the area to cool while you solder another seam. Flux and bead solder the remaining seams.
10 Turn the project over and tin and bead solder each seam on the reverse side, as described in the steps above.
11 To finish the outside edges of a project that will not be utilizing a rigid metal border (zinc or lead came), flux and tin all exposed copper foil on both sides. Holding the project in a vertical position, bead the edge by applying a small amount of solder and then lifting the iron off the foil long enough for it to cool before adding more. Use a touch-and-lift motion rather than drawing the iron along the edge. This will prevent the copper foil from becoming too hot and lifting off the edges of the glass. Repeat around the outside perimeter of the project. (Other methods of finishing the outside edges will be demonstrated in various projects throughout the book.)
12 Remove excess flux residue quickly to eliminate oxidization and a tarnished look.

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How to apply copper foil

1 All pieces of glass must be clean and dry before being wrapped in copper foil or the adhesive backing will not stick to the edge of the glass.
2 Choose the backing and width of foil best suited for the project. Use regular foil (copper-backed foil) if seams are to be treated with copper patina, black-backed foil for black seams, and silver-backed foil for silver seams.
NOTE:
We often use black-backed foil regardless of the color of the seams because it gives the appearance of a shadow and is quite unnoticeable.
Copper foil is available in various widths-1/8 in to 12 in-the most commonly used are 3/16 in, 7/32 in, and 1/4 in. For most projects in this book, 7/32 in foil is required. When a single piece of glass varies greatly in thickness, use a wider foil and trim it evenly with a utility knife.
3 Peel 2 in to 3 in of the paper backing away from the foil and lightly grasp the foil between your thumb and index finger. The adhesive-covered side should be facing upward. With your writing hand, center the edge of the glass on the foil, leaving an equal amount of foil showing on either side of the piece. Fold the edges of the foil over and press firmly to the glass. Foiling should be started at a corner of the piece that will be positioned towards the center of the project.
4 Hold the glass piece in your writing hand, perpendicular to the work surface. See photographs. Press the foil onto the glass by sliding the middle
and ring fingers of your opposite hand along the edge. Let the foil slide through the thumb and index finger, automatically peeling the backing off the foil. You should have a clear view of both sides of the glass as the foil is being applied. Continue wrapping the foil around the entire piece, making sure to keep it centered.
5 Once the entire piece has been wrapped, cut the foil with a utility knife or scissors, overlapping the starting edge approximately 1/4 in. Crimp (fold and press) the edges of the foil onto the surface of the glass, using a lathekin or a piece of wooden doweling.
6 Burnish (press and rub) the foil firmly to the glass along the perimeter of the piece and the edges of the foil. This will ensure proper adhesion to the glass when heat is applied to the copper foil during the soldering stage.
NOTE:
Orange peelers, pencils and pens, popsicle sticks, can be used successfully to burnish foil.
7 Trim excess or overlap with a utility knife.

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