Archive for December, 2013

The Secret to Perfect Solder Lines

Stained Glass Soldering

Solder is used to hold the various pieces of stained glass together in a stained glass panel. To achieve a professional quality, solder lines need to be smooth and uniform. This can be achieved by following basic steps and using quality tools and supplies.

The tools and supplies needed for soldering include a soldering iron, solder and flux. The soldering iron should have a ceramic heating element with either a built in temperature controller or plugged into a separate temperature controller unit. The solder used needs to be a 60/40 mixture of alloys for the majority of your soldering. For decorative soldering, an alloy mixture of 60/37 solder is recommended. An odorless non-smoking liquid flux is the preferred flux.

Basic Steps for Soldering

    1. Heat the soldering iron to 68 on the temperature controller
    2. Use an abrasive pad or wet sponge to clean the iron’s tip before you begin and periodically as you work
    3. Lightly apply flux to a section of the stained glass project you are working on
    4. Using 60/40 solder, unroll it to a manageable length, and then lightly touch the area to be worked on
    5. Place the solder on the tip of your iron and move both the iron and the solder at a slow constant rate following the fluxed copper foil seams
    6. When you need to end or stop, do not just move the iron vertically off, but rather slide the iron towards the glass
    7. Don’t solder out to the perimeter of your stained glass piece, leave approximately ½ inch along the edge. This will allow the zinc came to fit over your glass

When finished with one side of your stained glass piece, carefully turn it over and repeat the same process on that side.

How to Avoid Common Problems

    • Pits or bubbles in solder lines – Too much flux causes pits and bubbles
    • Portions of copper foil visible – Using too little flux, portions of the copper foil will remain visible
    • Lumpy lines – The iron is not hot enough, turn the temperature up in small increments
    • Glass breaks – Either the iron was too hot or it was held in one place too long
    • Solder spits and sputters – Too much flux was used
    • Lines flat – The iron was moved too quickly or not enough solder was used
    • Solder bulges – The iron was moved too slowly or too much solder was used
    • Peaks in solder – The iron was not hot enough
    • Solder seeps through to the other side – The iron was too hot
    • Copper foil lifts up when soldering – This could be a result from too hot of an iron, moving too slowly, too much flux or a bad foiling job.

While patina will mask some inconsistencies in your solder lines, others will still be noticeable and take away from the professional look of your piece. With patience, practice and the correct tools and supplies, you, too, can have professional solder lines.  Also please watch the video to the right of this post.






How Stained Glass Works

How Stained Glass Works

­Making stained glass is an ancient art that can be traced back to the early Egyptians. Although the first colored glass may have been used as jewelry or even currency, we probably know the art form best from seeing stained glass in the windows of churches. These windows are really paintings that use light, glass and a metal framework to create a design.

The earliest stained glass windows were created for the Roman Catholic Church, and often told Bible stories in pictures. This was at a time when most people couldn’t read, so these luminous paintings were one of the few representations of the glory and transcendent nature of their spiritual beliefs. At a time before television, radio or even pictures painted on canvas, stained glass windows wer­e probably one of the most dramatic, instructive and important works of art most people were exposed to.

­Many of these ancient masterpieces have been lost as a result of religious upheavals and political strife, but many still remain, like the stained glass windows at Chartres Cathedral in France, or at Canterbury Cathedral in England.

Changes in taste and innovations in glassmaking hav­e made working with stained glass easier than ever before. Because colored glass is now cheaper and good designs and tutorials are easy to find, the hobby is steadily gaining in popularity. With some practice, patience and a few important tools, creating art with colored glass is a hobby that’s available to almost everyone




Stained Glass Artwork: Tools and Techniques Used by Artisans


Stained glass artists are talented and proficient craftspeople who specialize in bringing every type of designs to existence. To supply art which is sturdy and aesthetically pleasing, artists make use of many tools and techniques on the trade. Here is often a quick (and simplified) summary from the process stained glass artists use to create the colorful styles noticed in churches, federal government buildings, and private residences.

Building a Template

Earlier than an artist brings a do the trick to existence implementing minor and good sized pieces of colored glass, he or she primary provides a detailed drawing with the complete picture. This drawing will need to be precisely the same dimension as the window opening or other area where by the art can be shown. Items of glass will ought to be joined with result in develop the last work, so lines to indicate exactly where this main will go also ought to be integrated while in the template. As compared to the last piece, this template is relatively rather simple in look.

Cutting the Glass Items Desired

Glass cutting is usually a process that should always be mastered by all stained glass artists. They may use various tools to lower glass in to the sizes and shapes required for stained glass styles. A carbon steel glass cutter is an excellent decision when accuracy is very important, when diamond glass cutters can be utilized on even exceptionally arduous glass. There may be also a specialized instrument stained glass artists use once they will need to lower glass into best circles. It works in a good deal exactly the same way as a compass in the math set. A suction cup is utilized to mark the center on the circle and an arm is then rotated to score the glass.

Smoothing the Pieces

To be sure all pieces will match collectively neatly and the design would be reproduced exactly as it is depicted inside the template, the artist should clean the edges on all items. The artist might probably polish the edges by using a special form of sandpaper or an electrical grinder. A brush is then implemented to remove any particles through the edges.

Inspecting the Reduce and Sanded Items

This may very well be considered of since the top quality handle step in the procedure. The artist will examine each piece to make sure it’s the same exact size as indicated in the template as well as right shade.

Becoming a member of the individual Pieces Collectively to Recreate the Template

This is certainly the stage at which the style and design is definitely introduced to life. Every one of the particular person items are joined utilizing copper foil or lead arrived to provide the final operate of art.

Installing the Art

Finally, the effort is installed inside a window opening, ceiling region, or other area. The artist is absolutely not automatically associated with this portion of the procedure. Relying to the size and weight of the work, more supports might really need to be extra to the opening.

Of course, designing stained glass artwork can be a complicated and labor-intensive process. For your individuals who cherish the warm glow and traditional elegance of stained glass art, all the same, the last result is perfectly really worth the work and cost.