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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
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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