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Zinc Came Frame For Strength ?


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#1 GAIA

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Posted 25 January 2010 - 09:17 AM

Hi,
I was searching for zinc came to see the various profiles available. In the search covering the UK I've not found any stockists, so far, perhaps its not widely available, demand enough to stock it. I can try a more extensive search later. It was suggested to me to use 1cm zinc u came as the frame for my sidelights left one size H = 100.80cm W = 18.50cm. I'm intending for 5mm of zinc came to be visable along the edge of the wooden moulding on top of the u came frame.
While I was looking, I came across the following, which says no advantage to using zinc came to add structural strength. I was wondering what other peoples views were on this subject? Also does the cosmetic appearance of zinc and lead came differ?
Ta very much.

Stained Glass - Soldering glass panel to zinc came frame
Expert: Vic Rothman - 4/22/2007

Question
QUESTION: Hi. I have been doing S.G. for 2 years, and would like to know if you ever grind down your solder on the zinc came frames. I don't have a problem getting the leaded panel attached to the zinc came frame, but I would like to have a little neater frame. I would just like to have the solder on top of the zinc frame to be a little less noticable. Do you ever use a dremel tool to grind it down, or would this even work? (My teacher told me I was too much of a perfectionist) I just ran onto your website tonight, and really enjoyed reading it. Thanks for your help!
ANSWER: First off, I NEVER use zinc unless I forced too for a repair job. If your panel is being installed in a building or even a wood frame, then the zinc border will add NO additional strenght once installed.

Yes you can use a Dremel type toool with the barrel sander attachment to grind down the solder. BUT, you run the risk of damaging the zinc and weakening the solder joint.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: OK, now I'm confused. I've taken two JR College courses from two different instructors for S.G. and both said to use zinc U came for framing because of the strength. May I ask what you use, and why? I'm still in the learning mode! Thanks for your help.

Answer
It all depends on what you are making. As I said before, when a panel in installed in a wood frame or into a building, the perimiter frame adds NO entra strenght the panel. There are wood moldings, metal moldings, clips, nails, putty etc that are used to secure the panel. These actual instillaion ideas give the perimiter of the panel strenght. Any border that you add be it zinc or lead is simply redundent. This info is based on the removal and instillation of 100's of panels, any over 100 years old. Out of all these panels I would say that less then 5% add zinc borders. They mostly use lead came, as do I.
Where you really need to consider added strenght is through the interior surface of the panel, not the perimiter.

A 1/2" zinc U is fine for free hanging panels that have no other border. I looks good. But I would still question the added strenght issue. I have made many free hanging panels with lead borders with no problem. There is one such panel hanging in my bathroom for the last 22 years. The panel is about 2'x3' and weights about 25 pounds.

#2 Dennis Brady

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Posted 25 January 2010 - 12:27 PM

Hi,
I was searching for zinc came to see the various profiles available. In the search covering the UK I've not found any stockists, so far, perhaps its not widely available, demand enough to stock it. I can try a more extensive search later. It was suggested to me to use 1cm zinc u came as the frame for my sidelights left one size H = 100.80cm W = 18.50cm. I'm intending for 5mm of zinc came to be visable along the edge of the wooden moulding on top of the u came frame.
While I was looking, I came across the following, which says no advantage to using zinc came to add structural strength. I was wondering what other peoples views were on this subject? Also does the cosmetic appearance of zinc and lead came differ?
Ta very much.

Stained Glass - Soldering glass panel to zinc came frame
Expert: Vic Rothman - 4/22/2007

Question
QUESTION: Hi. I have been doing S.G. for 2 years, and would like to know if you ever grind down your solder on the zinc came frames. I don't have a problem getting the leaded panel attached to the zinc came frame, but I would like to have a little neater frame. I would just like to have the solder on top of the zinc frame to be a little less noticable. Do you ever use a dremel tool to grind it down, or would this even work? (My teacher told me I was too much of a perfectionist) I just ran onto your website tonight, and really enjoyed reading it. Thanks for your help!
ANSWER: First off, I NEVER use zinc unless I forced too for a repair job. If your panel is being installed in a building or even a wood frame, then the zinc border will add NO additional strenght once installed.

Yes you can use a Dremel type toool with the barrel sander attachment to grind down the solder. BUT, you run the risk of damaging the zinc and weakening the solder joint.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: OK, now I'm confused. I've taken two JR College courses from two different instructors for S.G. and both said to use zinc U came for framing because of the strength. May I ask what you use, and why? I'm still in the learning mode! Thanks for your help.

Answer
It all depends on what you are making. As I said before, when a panel in installed in a wood frame or into a building, the perimiter frame adds NO entra strenght the panel. There are wood moldings, metal moldings, clips, nails, putty etc that are used to secure the panel. These actual instillaion ideas give the perimiter of the panel strenght. Any border that you add be it zinc or lead is simply redundent. This info is based on the removal and instillation of 100's of panels, any over 100 years old. Out of all these panels I would say that less then 5% add zinc borders. They mostly use lead came, as do I.
Where you really need to consider added strenght is through the interior surface of the panel, not the perimiter.

A 1/2" zinc U is fine for free hanging panels that have no other border. I looks good. But I would still question the added strenght issue. I have made many free hanging panels with lead borders with no problem. There is one such panel hanging in my bathroom for the last 22 years. The panel is about 2'x3' and weights about 25 pounds.


I believe the argument that zinc adds no structural strength is the kind of antiquated traditionalism that claims all lead should be stretched.

1. Zinc IS structurally stronger then lead. To argue otherwise is bizarre.
2. A zinc border makes it easier to pick up the panel to flip it.
3. A zinc border makes it easier to handle the panel for transportation.
4. A zinc border makes it easier to install.
5. Many artisans (including myself) have seen numerous examples where an H border along the bottom has collapsed and allowed the entire panel to sag.

The only reason I've EVER heard to to rationalize using a lead border is it will be easier to trim it to fit into the opening if you have made the panel too big. My response to that is "If you can't measure accurately enough to make the panel to fit, you shouldn't be making stained glass panels".

The other justification sometimes used is that the "regality" difference between solder/lead and zinc causes deterioration of the zinc. A valid point in itself, but spurious when you consider that it takes about 50 years to even be noticeable and about 100 years to have any serious effect.

With about 30 years experience and probably 1000 stained glass panels, zinc border is ALWAYS our first choice for borders in all panels built in DeBrady Glassworks. The customers of Victorian Art Glass are almost entirely pro artisans that make their living producing glass art. I'd be hard pressed to find even 10% that use lead for borders on windows (even on large church windows) - and 0 percent that are less then 60 years old. Did I mention antiquated traditionalism?

Which is best?
Evaluate the pros and cons of lead vs zinc and make your own choice.

#3 Tod Beall

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Posted 25 January 2010 - 12:41 PM

... and 0 percent that are less then 60 years old. Did I mention antiquated traditionalism?


Dennis: Are you saying ALL of your customers (presumably for the lead vs zinc perimeter supply purchase comparison) are over 60 years old? - Tod

#4 Dennis Brady

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Posted 25 January 2010 - 01:49 PM

Dennis: Are you saying ALL of your customers (presumably for the lead vs zinc perimeter supply purchase comparison) are over 60 years old? - Tod


Nope. Only a tiny percentage. We do supply hobbyists but most of our customers are pros. I have more customers under 30 then over 60 (especially the pros). Of all the pro artisans (the ones that work full time making a living from glass) the ONLY ones that use lead borders on stained glass windows are those 60 or older. Pretty much the same ratio applies to those that use 50/50 solder instead of 60/40.

I believe the use of lead for borders is one of those "We do it this way because we've always done it this way" things. Like stretching lead.

#5 GAIA

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Posted 25 January 2010 - 06:01 PM

I believe the argument that zinc adds no structural strength is the kind of antiquated traditionalism that claims all lead should be stretched.

1. Zinc IS structurally stronger then lead. To argue otherwise is bizarre.
2. A zinc border makes it easier to pick up the panel to flip it.
3. A zinc border makes it easier to handle the panel for transportation.
4. A zinc border makes it easier to install.
5. Many artisans (including myself) have seen numerous examples where an H border along the bottom has collapsed and allowed the entire panel to sag.

The only reason I've EVER heard to to rationalize using a lead border is it will be easier to trim it to fit into the opening if you have made the panel too big. My response to that is "If you can't measure accurately enough to make the panel to fit, you shouldn't be making stained glass panels".

The other justification sometimes used is that the "regality" difference between solder/lead and zinc causes deterioration of the zinc. A valid point in itself, but spurious when you consider that it takes about 50 years to even be noticeable and about 100 years to have any serious effect.

With about 30 years experience and probably 1000 stained glass panels, zinc border is ALWAYS our first choice for borders in all panels built in DeBrady Glassworks. The customers of Victorian Art Glass are almost entirely pro artisans that make their living producing glass art. I'd be hard pressed to find even 10% that use lead for borders on windows (even on large church windows) - and 0 percent that are less then 60 years old. Did I mention antiquated traditionalism?

Which is best?
Evaluate the pros and cons of lead vs zinc and make your own choice.

Hi Dennis,
Thanks for the clarification, I will use a zinc frame. On one site I landed on it explained the various came profiles. Did not realise such a large variety. Mentioned the heart width and antimony/alloy added to the lead in varying proportions adds to the structural strength.
Ta.

#6 Dennis Brady

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Posted 25 January 2010 - 06:54 PM

Hi Dennis,
Thanks for the clarification, I will use a zinc frame. On one site I landed on it explained the various came profiles. Did not realise such a large variety. Mentioned the heart width and antimony/alloy added to the lead in varying proportions adds to the structural strength.
Ta.


You can also get brass and copper channel in most of the same profiles.

Lead with added alloy significantly adds strength. For leaded panels, you might also look at "reforce" lead that has a thin brass strip imbedded in the heart. In many designs it allows you to completely eliminate unsightly external reinforcement.

#7 GAIA

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Posted 26 January 2010 - 06:14 AM

You can also get brass and copper channel in most of the same profiles.

Lead with added alloy significantly adds strength. For leaded panels, you might also look at "reforce" lead that has a thin brass strip imbedded in the heart. In many designs it allows you to completely eliminate unsightly external reinforcement.

Thanks Dennis,
I'll keep a note of what you say and put it in my SG forum advice folder.
Cheers,
Peter.

#8 Stephen Richard

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Posted 26 January 2010 - 12:43 PM

Of course, you should realise that Dennis is just as opinionated as Vic is.
Vic defined where Zinc is better than lead.
Vic explained why in an installation into wood or stone it does not matter whether you use lead or zinc on the perimeter.
Lead is cheaper than zinc.
Pearsons Glass of London, Liverpool, and Glasgow sells it.
steve

#9 Rebecca

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Posted 26 January 2010 - 02:58 PM

In addition, I have seen many old windows (I do repairs) that were made entirely or partially of zinc. The ones that were made entirely of zinc often fail at the solder joints. The ones made partially of zinc (as in a leaded window with a zinc border) fail at the joints where the zinc and lead are soldered together. These joints (in both) are eaten away by the galvanic action between the two metals. The zinc becomes thinner and thinner until there isn't enough metal left to hold the window together and it just falls apart.

Rebecca

#10 Dennis Brady

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Posted 26 January 2010 - 04:02 PM

In addition, I have seen many old windows (I do repairs) that were made entirely or partially of zinc. The ones that were made entirely of zinc often fail at the solder joints. The ones made partially of zinc (as in a leaded window with a zinc border) fail at the joints where the zinc and lead are soldered together. These joints (in both) are eaten away by the galvanic action between the two metals. The zinc becomes thinner and thinner until there isn't enough metal left to hold the window together and it just falls apart.

Rebecca


The argument that regality differences between zinc and lead create destructive galvanic action is routinely trotted out by the artisans that want to convince everybody to use lead exclusively. The reality of this regality difference is that the degree of galvanic action would be barely perceptible in a person's lifetime. Virtually all metals in contact with each other will be subject to some degree of galvanic action. The degree of reactivity between zinc and lead is considered insignificant.

Refer to table 2 for reference:
http://www2.mtec.or.th/th/research/famd/corro%5Chowmetals.htm

#11 Boris_USA

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Posted 27 January 2010 - 12:17 AM

The argument that regality differences between zinc and lead create destructive galvanic action is routinely trotted out by the artisans that want to convince everybody to use lead exclusively. The reality of this regality difference is that the degree of galvanic action would be barely perceptible in a person's lifetime. Virtually all metals in contact with each other will be subject to some degree of galvanic action. The degree of reactivity between zinc and lead is considered insignificant.



This argument may be "trotted" out routinely, but to suggest that the reason is to get everyone to use only lead is absurd. For what purpose? Silliest thing I have heard. Rebecca is correct in her observations, and Vic is correct in his statements. Anytime you add zinc in an equation with dissimilar metals, you are adding a sacrificial metal unintentionally. It is the most willing metal to dissolve in the presence of galvanic action. Thats why its called a sacrificial anode when installed in places where corrosion from dissimilar metals occurs.

To make it short, and uncomplicated. metals have an anodic index assigned to them. Since we care little about iron, steel, and other metals, they are not that important here. We do know about lead/tin solders, and they are about a 0.60v and lead is about a 0.70v on the index scale. Zinc is about a 1.20v on the scale. So when zinc and lead or lead solder are joined (soldered) together, and exposed to the elements , oxygen, moisture, airborne acids, and such,( including acids present in wood frames) the difference between the metals should not be over 0.15v, to have a harmless co-existence. In a room, such as in your house, in a controlled environment, where its a protected area, a difference of 0.25v to 0.40v may be acceptable, and corrosion may or may not occur, depending on humidity and conditions. Fact, not opinion. What one considers "insignificant" and the time lapse involved to obtain damage to a piece, would be best observed and commented on, by one who actually does repairs on a regular basis, and has seen these material interact, over and over again. I may not be an authority on metals, even as much as I work with them, but I do know a Little about them, and I see the same things.

I am sure this is not all that important in a production oriented shop, either, since longevity is not an issue, and no one worries about what happens down the road. Sales rule.

Maybe we should check to see if Vic has purchased a "lead" company, and thats why he is pushing lead use... Oo..oO Oo..oO Come on Dennis, Admit it, he is right.

#12 Dennis Brady

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Posted 27 January 2010 - 11:48 AM

This argument may be "trotted" out routinely, but to suggest that the reason is to get everyone to use only lead is absurd. For what purpose? Silliest thing I have heard. Rebecca is correct in her observations, and Vic is correct in his statements. Anytime you add zinc in an equation with dissimilar metals, you are adding a sacrificial metal unintentionally. It is the most willing metal to dissolve in the presence of galvanic action. Thats why its called a sacrificial anode when installed in places where corrosion from dissimilar metals occurs.

To make it short, and uncomplicated. metals have an anodic index assigned to them. Since we care little about iron, steel, and other metals, they are not that important here. We do know about lead/tin solders, and they are about a 0.60v and lead is about a 0.70v on the index scale. Zinc is about a 1.20v on the scale. So when zinc and lead or lead solder are joined (soldered) together, and exposed to the elements , oxygen, moisture, airborne acids, and such,( including acids present in wood frames) the difference between the metals should not be over 0.15v, to have a harmless co-existence. In a room, such as in your house, in a controlled environment, where its a protected area, a difference of 0.25v to 0.40v may be acceptable, and corrosion may or may not occur, depending on humidity and conditions. Fact, not opinion. What one considers "insignificant" and the time lapse involved to obtain damage to a piece, would be best observed and commented on, by one who actually does repairs on a regular basis, and has seen these material interact, over and over again. I may not be an authority on metals, even as much as I work with them, but I do know a Little about them, and I see the same things.

I am sure this is not all that important in a production oriented shop, either, since longevity is not an issue, and no one worries about what happens down the road. Sales rule.

Maybe we should check to see if Vic has purchased a "lead" company, and thats why he is pushing lead use... Oo..oO Oo..oO Come on Dennis, Admit it, he is right.


"True art is ever progressive and impatient of fixed rules.
Because a thing has always been done in a certain way
is no reason why it should never be done in any other."

..... Louis Comfort Tiffany-

"Progress is the antithesis of tradition."

..... Dennis Brady

#13 Rebecca

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Posted 27 January 2010 - 11:59 AM

"True art is ever progressive and impatient of fixed rules.
Because a thing has always been done in a certain way
is no reason why it should never be done in any other."

..... Louis Comfort Tiffany-

"Progress is the antithesis of tradition."

..... Dennis Brady



Neither quote can change science, chemistry, and the laws of nature.

Rebecca

#14 Dennis Brady

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Posted 27 January 2010 - 12:43 PM

Neither quote can change science, chemistry, and the laws of nature.

Rebecca


Nor can antiquated traditionalism prevent progressive improvement.

#15 Rebecca

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Posted 27 January 2010 - 12:53 PM

Nor can antiquated traditionalism prevent progressive improvement.


If science and antiquated traditionalism agree, I will go with them both. If progressive improvement is to be made, it will be with a metal other than zinc.

Rebecca

#16 Dennis Brady

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Posted 27 January 2010 - 01:45 PM

If science and antiquated traditionalism agree, I will go with them both. If progressive improvement is to be made, it will be with a metal other than zinc.

Rebecca


The same "science" that claims stretching lead increases its strength?

#17 Boris_USA

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Posted 28 January 2010 - 12:27 AM

The same "science" that claims stretching lead increases its strength?


Same "Science" that told you stretching lead served no purpose other than removing kinks. Science is Science, and trumps opinion every time. Can you provide us with a "link" to a scientific statement that stretching lead makes it stronger? You can't belittle science in one statement, and then quote science in another statement when it fortifies your opinions. Doing "flip flops" confuses new folks to this hobby, and serves no useful purpose. As quoting Tiffany about progress has little bearing on how metals react, which is established, tested, and factual physics, not Tiffany philosophy. I find it strange that you would even quote him, since I seem to recall a recent post where you said Tiffany was a crook and a fraud, or some such nonsense.

I did like your post on "Antiquated Traditionalism." Especially when all of us participate in it, including you. Its hardly "cutting edge" production when the only differences between working procedures is "not stretching lead" and "not cutting out templates." Fact is, my "Hobby Shop" is more advanced in tooling and capabilities, than your production shop, and its a "HOBBY" shop,so thats not saying much. Chill out a little. You can't be right all the time, and you did not invent stained glass. Your in an "Antique" trade, born of antiquated methods, and material, which we all still use today, and everything all of us do, has been done before we where even born, and these Craftsmen paved the way for all of us, including you, and what we all know, we owe mostly to them. All we have done is take what they had provided for us, and improved it a bit. We did not invent this trade, and I take a little offense to disrespecting "Traditional" Craftsmen, methods, and works, that produced work that neither you nor I, could ever achieve. These people deserve respect, not ridicule.

#18 Dennis Brady

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Posted 28 January 2010 - 09:27 AM

Where some artisans have acquired 20 years experience,
others have acquired 2 years experience and repeated it 10 times.

If glass artisans had allowed themselves to be locked to traditionalism, we'd all still be soldering with irons heated in hot coals and attaching butt ugly iron bars to panels for reinforcement.

#19 Rebecca

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Posted 28 January 2010 - 04:14 PM

You're slipping, Dennis. It doesn't sound like you are paying attention to the conversation; just offering worn out platitudes.

Rebecca

#20 Dennis Brady

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Posted 28 January 2010 - 04:30 PM

You're slipping, Dennis. It doesn't sound like you are paying attention to the conversation; just offering worn out platitudes.

Rebecca


Some platitudes are timeless and never wear out.




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