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#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!  

#49218 (Micro)Workspace In An Apartment?

Posted by Mt_Top on 29 June 2017 - 08:41 PM

If you work neatly, stay organized and keep the projects limited to smaller items........It's very doable.  My "shop" is in a carpeted spare bedroom, takes up one wall.  Have not needed any special ventilation, do sometimes use a small van to move the air around.  I only do copper foil because I don't want to deal with the mess of cementing leaded windows.  Can you do that part outside? 


#49064 2 Pretty Books On Ebay....

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

Thanks, I bought them.

#49007 Finding Pattern Help

Posted by MARGARET on 27 February 2017 - 11:08 PM

Abales -

The project I plan to work on is going to be donated for a fund raiser auction.

The design I chose to copy carries a statement, “subject to copyright”. 

Legally, therefore, in this case the answer to your question should be, “Yes”.


#48670 Need Tips On Changing Grinder Bit

Posted by Knight on 02 November 2016 - 08:54 AM

Before I put a new grinder head on when I am replacing a worn out one I smear a nice heap of Tube Wax Lubricant from CR Lawrence inside the head. I find that later on down the road when I want to change it this helps in the "speedy" removal of the crusty old one. 


This doesn't help you in getting the one off that is stuck on, but it might help with the next one.

#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.



#48221 Handy Tools For Your Stained Glass Shop/studio

Posted by WayneFL on 09 June 2016 - 06:07 AM

I measure the openings at various places and draw the pattern in that shape.  The three lines Todd mentioned is the way I have found to work efficiently over the  years.   The outside line is the final part of the window and includes the extra space needed allow the window to slip in.  The second line is the absolute end of the glass.  If this one is not adhered to, there will be problems.   The third and inside line I use when designing the pattern so that I how the pattern ends inside the border metal.  


#48185 Stright/shape And Oil/dry Cutters. What's The Best Chice?

Posted by Rebecca on 04 June 2016 - 08:33 AM

Yes, "personal preference" is very much a matter of ergonomics.  It depends on the size, shape, and strength of your hand.  I use many different cutters and when I had a glass shop, I encouraged students and customers to try ALL of the cutters I had.  If you can find a shop with a patient proprietor, maybe you can do that, too.


I had more than one person come in with a cutter they had bought somewhere else, complaining that the cutter didn't work.  I would take them back to the scrap glass and show them how to use a cutter and let them practice with the one they came in with and also with ones I had on hand.  Usually all they needed was a little "hands on."  So if you are having trouble with cutting glass, you might need to see an experienced person do it.  It's a little hard to get all the nuance from a book or video.



#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!

#47707 Tacky Wax Vs No Wax Vs Sticky Tape

Posted by Mt_Top on 04 February 2016 - 06:16 PM

I don't know how you Pro's build a shade in a week.  Every step is time consuming, but it sure feels good to see some progress now and then.




Still have the bottom green border to add.  Then solder, solder, solder.  Add the brass wing filigree, solder some more.  And then clean, clean, clean. 

#47651 What About Soldering Irons?

Posted by stargazer99 on 23 January 2016 - 02:29 PM

I started out with a Weller 100 and used that for a couple years. I heard so much about the Hakko that I tried one out. (456). Been using that for quite a few years and it beats everything else out.

It's very light on required maintenance.  I seldom clean and tin it  with a sal amoniac block and flux.  Wipe it clean once in awhile while I'm working with 0000 steel wool. The tip is plated so don't use anything more abrasive. I also have a couple irons with smaller tips. I do a lot of small boxes and find it's easier to grab another iron than change tips.

#47082 Framing The Edges Of Suncatchers

Posted by Tod Beall on 15 July 2015 - 02:36 PM

The accepted way to finish the edges of smaller foiled items is to "bead" them. This involves building a rounded bead of solder on the edge, all the way around. It's a bit tricky as every spot where you're heating and applying the solder must be very, if not perfectly level. Remember that hot solder is a liquid. So, the piece must be constantly adjusted to allow the melted solder to freeze mostly smoothly. Then, the next bit of solder is grabbed with the iron tip and applied to the edge of the ornament and allowed to freeze in place. Practice will eventually allow you to make a fairly good-looking, pretty smooth bead all around and this will add lots of strength to the edges.

Another solution, closely related to "regular" foiling, is to use a slightly wider foil around the perimeter (or on the outside edge of each piece, even!!). This still should be beaded all around but adds a little heft to the outside line value and a little more strength.

The use of small lead or hard metal cames is another option as is adding copper wire around the perimeter.


And as Mt_Top says, "What's it worth?" In some cases, you should or could try some of the options and see how difficult they are and what they add to the project. The hard metal cames are tough to use on small. irregular ornaments. The small lead is much easier but can look bulky & inappropriate in some cases.


Good question.

#47026 Can't Keep The Tip Clean

Posted by Boris_USA on 03 July 2015 - 10:47 AM

Thank you for the response, Mr Lampman... and with one exception I'll do my darndest to follow your lead. The only place I'd have problems is the advice to turning the iron off if stopping for 20 seconds. Wow. Here I am, adding pieces to my lamp shade form, one at a time. Guess if I learned to use a sticky wax to hold the foiled pieces and then solder all at once it'd work... but right now I'm cutting them all, foiling a few, soldering them to hold in place and then foiling the next few. But to progress without destroying my iron tip I guess I'll have to change. 

Ah, well..... Thanks heaps.


I understand what your saying. Waiting on reheat can take a lot of time, but irons are not made to run idle without being used to get rid of excess heat.  It destroys tips.  By all means figure out a way to do several pieces at one time, tack them at one time, and then do the soldering.


If I am doing a shade, and replacing a bunch of pieces, I sometimes get out the old Weller Soldering gun, like the ones you get from a hardware store with a trigger.  It heats quick, and I use it only to tack a piece into place.  Its all you need to tack pieces. Then you can use the good iron to do the finish.

#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!

#43389 Transferring Your Pattern To Your Glass

Posted by Gary Steimle on 29 November 2012 - 10:43 AM

When I first started cutting glass, the use of a light table for cutting was common and taught in a number of classes.  To me, it was inaccurate and did not take into account the need to grind for fitting the piece.  I decided to try a system using contact paper.  It is really simple, buy some contact paper and spray the back of your finished pattern with 3M adhesive and stick the pattern to the finished side of the contact paper.  Once on the contact paper, cut your pattern out with pattern shears and place it on your layout copy as you would normally do.  When cutting simply peel the cover sheet off of the contact paper and stick it to your glass then cut your piece.  Leave it there throught the grinding process and you will find things are a lot easier.

#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


#40033 Awkward Clean-Up Of Glastar Grinder Water Tray

Posted by Dawnt on 07 February 2011 - 06:18 AM

I line my grinder trays with aluminum foil, then after draining most of the liquid, just lift the solids out on the foil and throw away. I used to use the paint scraper method, but this keeps things a lot cleaner around the edges.