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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.



#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.

#47649 What About Soldering Irons?

Posted by annabelle on 23 January 2016 - 09:22 AM

I just keep it simple....I work mostly in copper foil construction, and don't solder much else...I was a Weller person for years, until I used a Hakko 456 at the Glass and Bead Expo in Vegas one year...60 watts, ceramic core...Don't know what temp, but as hot, and hotter than I need....heats up , and holds it longer....then cools quickly...I use a rheostat to regulate output......have used it for maybe 7 or 8 years with no problems at all....They no longer make the 456 (RATS!).  It has been replaced with one that has a heat regulator.  A few of my students have them  and love them....

Maintenance?   Not much, really....Just be sure to check the cord for wear. Check the tip for deterioration occasionally....Sorry...I am a 70 year old woman....don't know much about maintenance....

#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. 

#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.

#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. 

#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.

#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.