Jump to content

Most Liked Content

#49035 Questions As I Begin A 1,700 Piece Monster

Posted by WayneFL on 09 March 2017 - 05:59 AM

I use a smaller than pea size piece of tacky wax on each piece.   Removing the shade is always a concern for the first few you may do.   I use a two stage heating process to make the job easier.   I first heat the inside of the shade as evenly as possible to get the fiberglass warm to the touch.   Let it sit for a couple minutes and then heat the outside of the shade evenly.   For the inside heating, I use either a hot air popcorn popper or a heat gun.    While the outside is heated using either a heat gun or a hair dryer.   


About the glass work:   i follow the traditional method of selecting the glass on a light table which uses the same bulbs as the lamp will use.  As I am finished cutting the pieces, they are placed on a easel which shows how the shading is doing  and at this stage I replace pieces which don't fit the picture (color scheme).    After all the glass has been cut and the glass on the easels has passed the test, I begin fitting the pieces to the form using only a very small amount of wax because the pieces have to be removed in groups to be foiled.   Once the pieces have been foiled they are put back on the form with the 'smaller than pea' size wax.  


Once the shade has been soldered on the inside and most of the clumps of wax have been removed, I use Goof Off to scrub the inside and remove the wax film.   Do that step outside and discard the rags used in this step.  Wash the shade with soap and water and it should be ready for the patina application....

#49063 2 Pretty Books On Ebay....

Posted by Tod Beall on 15 March 2017 - 09:44 AM

1. The huge (coffee table) book "Stained Glass" by Francis Stephens, George Seddon, Lawrence Lee, published in 1992. This one is full of the history of stained glass. Many examples from all eras of cathedral building and other uses. Also chapters on contemporary stained glass and restoration work. It's just $4.00 with free shipping - 208 pages, large format. Stated as "acceptable" condition.

Here's the link:




2. Brian Clarke's large format book, "Architectural Stained Glass". Just under $4 with free shipping. This one is 234 pages and almost entirely contemporary work. Lots of great color photos. Very inspiring and educational especially if you think stained glass is just stiff church windows or the seagull-on-post ornament stuff. This one IS an ex-library book, so a bit more of a risk, but probably OK. Read the description, ask the seller questions if you're interested. Here's that link:




I don't know these sellers and have no financial interest here. My goal is always to share info I think will help & inspire others involved in the craft to more fully enjoy it. - Tod



#47998 How To Add Hooks To Large Mirror?

Posted by Mt_Top on 04 May 2016 - 10:06 PM

I would use copper wire, stranded may be safer & last longer than one solid wire.  On the backside, start the wire near the bottom of the mirror and run along the lead line, about 2/3 the way up.  Make a nice loop and run the wire back down to where you started.  One wire loop on both sides of the project, well soldered will be stronger than just adding two loops.  (See red line in pic below)  Mirrors are often hung with a stranded wire (picture hanging wire) attached to those two loops.


#47940 Iron Frame

Posted by Mt_Top on 05 April 2016 - 04:01 PM

Horseshoes have nail holes in them?  Solder a copper wire to your glass project, run the wire through the hole, solder the other end of wire to backside of project.  2 or 3 wires should be all you need.  Quick & Easy!  

#49089 Homasote Board Or Plywood Board Work Surface?

Posted by Mt_Top on 10 April 2017 - 06:51 PM

Homasote is great for small projects and push pins will slide easily into the board.  Cover the surface with paper to help keep it clean.  Change the paper when it gets dirty or cut.

Plywood is better if you want to solidly attach straight boards along two edges.  Also works better for larger projects where you might need to pick up the board and move it around, less likely to bend.   Doing a panel with lead came and nails..........use plywood or MDF (particle board).

#49084 Novacan Black Patina For Zinc Not Working

Posted by WayneFL on 07 April 2017 - 04:49 AM

Tin the zinc pieces before cutting them for the project.   Then the patina matches the rest of the project.

#49064 2 Pretty Books On Ebay....

Posted by mommasmorelli on 15 March 2017 - 11:23 AM

Thanks, I bought them.

#48527 Foiling Help

Posted by Michael on 09 September 2016 - 10:44 AM

Thanks for the welcoming!


These are my first and second lead pieces, I am self teaching myself so they are not perfect but are coming along. I do find lead easier to work with, we will see how running the beads go for this one.






#48509 The Joke Thread

Posted by Acorn on 02 September 2016 - 10:06 AM

Not exactly a joke - well, not intended to be a joke - but these pictures are hilarious.



#48272 Black Patina Stained Glass

Posted by Rebecca on 17 June 2016 - 03:55 PM

Try glass-topped stove cleaner or baking soda paste. 


I would NOT use scouring pad or Comet.  They will scratch the glass and that is pernament.



#48133 Hot/warm

Posted by Rebecca on 31 May 2016 - 01:01 PM

Usually hot is used to mean glass blowing or torch work and warm is used to mean kiln work.



#48000 How To Add Hooks To Large Mirror?

Posted by Knight on 05 May 2016 - 06:37 AM

I would take advantage of the back of the mirror not being seen and run a strengthening copper wire system on all your long verticals and horizontals, using these wires to tie into your chain. I would not rely on the decorative pieces being able to support anything structurally.

#47942 Newbie Pattern Question From Photo

Posted by DebN on 06 April 2016 - 02:38 PM

Hi David,

These are the steps I take to make a picture into a stained glass pattern:

1) Enlarge the picture to the size you want the stained glass panel to be.

2) Use a heavy marker to select the lines you want to use as your cutting lines.

3) Evaluate  and adjust each pattern piece as necessary.  You need to make sure each piece is cut-able, the overall panel is structurally sound, and the design looks good.

4) Trace your final pattern onto a clean piece of paper.


That being said, it will be quite a challenge making your own pattern without some experience working with glass.  Glass is a very particular art medium - it has to behave a certain way.  Some shapes are just not possible to use in a design.  It would help you to study some existing stained glass patterns to see how the design compensates for impossible-to-cut shapes.  It would also be good to take a beginners class or watch You Tube videos - they don't usually go into making your own pattern, but they will help you with the basics of cutting and assembly.


Good luck!  I hope you have a great time!

#47325 Working With Small Round Nuggets.

Posted by stargazer99 on 06 October 2015 - 11:29 AM

I usually solder the face first, then flip the panel over and lay it on a towel to allow the nugets to stick out, or make a cardboard base with a hole cut out for the nuggets.to stick through and solder the back.

#47306 First Stained Glass Project, Two Major Problems

Posted by annabelle on 17 September 2015 - 07:45 AM

A 3-D item as a first project is a little ambitious, but do-able...I have been teach stained glass for 20 years, and have learned a little along the way.

I teach my students to make a full size copy of they project on card stock..Cut out your template from the card stock.  Lay the template on the glass, and trace around it with an extra fine paint pen.  I have students who use a ruler with a cork back to cut straight lines, but caution them about making sure the ruler stays put.  I always cut free hand, right on the line drawn around the template..  There are other ways to mark and cut your glass, so ask questions and watch videos.

Soldering just takes practice to "perfect"...I have had Weller Irons, and been generally pleased with them..They should never glow in use..I use a Hakko, now, and it is the best Iron I have ever used..It is expensive, but worth every penny..

Welcome to the forum, and good luck on your new glass adventure.

#47200 My Second Project

Posted by Mt_Top on 11 August 2015 - 04:33 PM

I don't get it!  Plastic bags, wrapping in tin foil, storing in the freezer, digging a hole in the backyard and burying your foil?  What's wrong with you people......  You should be going through yards and yards (or meters and meters) of foil.  You should constantly be buying new foil because you ran out.  If not, your projects are too small or you just aren't spending enough time in your glass shop.   Get with the program and produce, produce, produce!


There, all done ranting.  Now go dig out that roll of foil from the deep freeze and finish up that last project you started.  And share a picture with us. 

#46590 Ae Pattern Books Going Out Of Style?

Posted by Tod Beall on 08 April 2015 - 07:55 AM

Many, many pattern books for stained glass are available from eBay.

Many pattern-like drawings are available in coloring books.

Many readily available line drawings can be adapted to stained glass work.

Many images, even though they are not line drawings, can be used as sources for stained glass ideas, too.


Ultimately, it makes sense to try to learn how to create our own patterns, either exclusively or occasionally - my opinion, but it can't hurt to try!

#43948 Glass Different Thicknesses

Posted by TR Biddle on 19 February 2013 - 02:06 PM

The issue will become more complex as you add bevels, jewels, globs, etc. to your work, as these are definitely thicker than your standard glass.  Usually, with these, you want the extra thickness on the front, so you must solder front side first.  So, what would you do about variable thickness in the rest of the glass then?  I don't think 1.5 or even 2x variability is worth worrying about.  Just makes the soldering job a little more challenging.  I solder a lot of fused and formed pieces into my work, and these pieces have a lot of depth, like sometimes up to an inch.  I like that my panels aren't flat. I like when people touch my panels just to be sure they aren't really flat. I usually put the extra depth either in front or back, depending on how I want the piece to look, but sometimes I have extra thickness in front AND back, which makes assembly tricky!  

#43945 Best Ring Saw

Posted by TR Biddle on 19 February 2013 - 12:45 PM

I'm weighing in a little late on this, but I use saws a lot in my work, and I've had experience with the Taurus 3, the Apollo, the Revolution XT, plus the Diamond Laser 5000 band saw.  I use a lot of fused and formed glass pieces in my panels, which are very iffy to impossible to cut with a regular glass cutter.  I have a T3 and the XT in my shop, and both work very well.  The XT is MUCH faster, especially when cutting thicker glass, plus it's nice having the larger ring so I have more room to cut before bumping into the back of the ring.  I've had quite a bit of opportunity to use the Apollo, and I've been very impressed.  I can use the same thin ring as the T3, but the blade is installed in a module that offers much better support for the blade than the T3 does, which I liked. Plus you can use the same type of flat ring with sintered diamonds that the XT uses, which is very stable, fast and more consistent over time than the thinner electroplated wire ring. I'd say if you just planned on doing occasional cutting on 1/8" glass, the T3 is a good choice with a much lower cost.  If you anticipate doing any warm glass work where you might be cutting thicker glass, I'd recommend the Apollo or the XT.  The Apollo is a little more versatile since you can use the wire ring for very intricate work, but it's surprising how much you can do with the XT, and it is just so-o-o-o nice to work with.  The band saw...well, let's just say I would not make that purchase again.


My 2 cents on the utility of a saw is that it really depends on the nature of the work you do.  Obviously, for me, the ability to cut thick pieces is important, and a saw is the only tool I can use for that.  Also, when I am cutting pieces of sheet glass to fuse, I sometimes cut impossible, intricate shapes ... pieces that I would never try to lead into a panel by themselves, but have no problem fusing together with other pieces to form a component for my panel.  Otherwise?  I agree with Rebecca that it's unwise to use a saw to cut pieces that are likely to break at some point down the road. But not all pieces that are difficult or impossible to cut with a glass cutter are  necessarily destined to break.  A lot depends on the size of the panel, how well reinforced it is, where and how it is installed, how large the piece you are cutting is, and the character and design of the other pieces in the panel and of the panel itself.  All these factors influence the stress your 'impossible' piece will experience over time, and it's stress that breaks glass.  Shape determines susceptibility to stress, but other factors determine whether and how stress will be applied.  I spent ten years doing nothing but repairs, and I've seen plenty of simply shaped pieces break in poorly designed panels.  Certainly, if a piece cannot be cut without resorting to a saw, you should think twice (or three or four times) about how it will fare over time, but it may be just fine and worth the time and effort of sawing if it contributes significantly to the aesthetic value of your work.  Also,  I will say that although I have been cutting glass of over 35 years, and when I started, no one I knew ever thought of using a saw or even a grinder, there are times when I will use a saw to do a cut that I could make (very probably, ALMOST certainly) with a glass cutter.  I spend a great deal of time selecting glass, and when I find just the sheet I want, one chance may be all I have to cut out the exact piece with that gorgeous figure I'd like to see in my panel.  If I see anything about a cut I need to make to get that piece that give me pause, heck yeah I'll cut it on a saw.  Some glasses simply do not break as well as others, and sometime a good score can just go bad. In these cases, I see having a saw at hand sort of like having an insurance policy.  There's a cost involved, but you can eliminate risk.  If you need to borrow someone else's saw to cut a piece, the time and effort required to use it may be going up quite a bit, and you won't when you shouldda! Bottom line, while saws may be used inappropriately by some, they can be a useful tools to extend creative possibilities and to help insure success when making some critical cuts. 

#43253 Soldering

Posted by Stephen Richard on 22 October 2012 - 06:16 AM

It may be that the information about soldering in these tips will help:

This is a series of 4 on soldering tools and techniques that may answer a number of your questions