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Brass Reinforced Lead


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#1 jpb

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Posted 22 May 2016 - 07:53 PM

I would like some input about using reinforced lead. I read on a website that it shouldn't be cut, and it is therefore running across a panel as a hinge joint! This can't be right, can it? I have used it before, but I cut it and ran it in a way that I would use restrip in a foil panel; intersecting, and from edge to edge.  I haven't found much info about this product, so any advice and experiences are appreciated.



#2 Boris_USA

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Posted 25 May 2016 - 03:10 PM

I would like some input about using reinforced lead. I read on a website that it shouldn't be cut, and it is therefore running across a panel as a hinge joint! This can't be right, can it? I have used it before, but I cut it and ran it in a way that I would use restrip in a foil panel; intersecting, and from edge to edge.  I haven't found much info about this product, so any advice and experiences are appreciated.

 

That doesn't make sense to me. No one uses lead came, or brass came, or zinc came that you should not cut. Much like saying a square foot of glass should not be cut.  It would be interesting to know where this site is, and why they claim that, since it makes no sense.
 



#3 Tod Beall

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Posted 26 May 2016 - 08:04 AM

Reinforced leads (includes hollow-heart into which you can insert steel reinforcing bars) must be cut but it is intended to run from one edge of the panel to another, in the straightest line possible. Some shaping is possible but not much, especially for the styles into which you would insert the steel!

 

While there are some aesthetic benefits (no bars on the surface), these leads tend to be a bit wider than others.

 

Finally, the traditional & smart way to plan & design your stained glass panels includes solving the structural issues very early in the process so you are not blind-sided by a weakness spotted later or have to use an ugly structural solution as an after thought.

 

For some interesting viewing & reading about how stained glass, especially panels over a couple square feet, visit Debra Coombs website. She discusses the importance of teaching craftsmanship and has some good videos about the process.

 

I know this type of info is not relevant to everyone making glass decorations, but I also know that some folks are looking for ways to take their interest in stained glass further than the small work and learn more about history and traditional methods which may act as a foundation for expressing their personal ideas in glass.

Don't forget to have fun! - T



#4 jpb

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Posted 26 May 2016 - 10:44 AM

Yes, I'm struggling to grow. Such a visual person, please show mercy if I seem to not get it the first time! So, if the reinforced lead runs edge to edge, this is essentially a hinge joint.  Am I reading you right? That there should be no design line that crosses the reinforced came? Is this not counterintuitive to good design? Why/when do this?

 

I agree it's better to figure it all out first, which is in part, why I am asking. I guess I am trying to accumulate as much information as I can, in order that I don't overstep my proficiency level. Thanks for understanding.



#5 stargazer99

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Posted 26 May 2016 - 01:42 PM

If using the reinforced lead on an inside border or glass frame, you must run it in a straight line. Try to think of it as interlocking (more or less) for your main pattern. An extreme example might be a brick or cement block wall. Ever notice how the joints are staggered?  Granted, you can't go to this extreme when laying out your pattern. Try to think of it as somewhat interlocking and avoiding weak areas.



#6 jpb

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Posted 29 May 2016 - 06:35 AM

I'm still struggling. I understand that you have to cut it, and not have to use the full 6 ft length!  Let's assume there is no border, it is not a geometric design, and the foremost reason for considering reinforced lead is to provide more support while hiding reinforcement.  This wouldn't be an afterthought to correct a weakness, but a strategic placement from the outset. You would have to plan a hinge joint, yes? I'm still not understanding the advantage of this material if it has to be used in this limited way.



#7 Tod Beall

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Posted 29 May 2016 - 10:08 AM

Yes, you're right about the hinge. The design will incorporate crossing lines/pieces from the outset.

I don't think you should get hung up on using the reinforced came; it has to fit the design and your vision for the best structure.

 

BTW: Is your "brass reinforced" came the same as "brass-capped"? Or does it have brass inside it? I believe brass-capped can be shaped a bit using a came bender.



#8 jpb

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Posted 29 May 2016 - 03:14 PM

Cascade makes the brass reinforced came.  It is inside the heart and lthe rest is regular lead came.  I assumed, evidently wrong, that using it in "the normal way" one uses lead, that you could weave these cames to add extra support.  Evidently, it isn't made to be used that way.  It just perplexes me. I guess I must be missing something.  Geez.



#9 Tod Beall

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Posted 29 May 2016 - 04:26 PM

I don't see why you couldn't weave with it. Cutting is cutting - sort of. If it crosses alternating lines, it would add strength. It seems to me that it might be especially helpful in stressful situations like door-lites. However, substituting it for a nice 3/8 flat H, tucked & woven, wouldn't seem to add much strength for any typical situation.

 

Does Cascade have info online about why they make it?



#10 jpb

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Posted 29 May 2016 - 06:17 PM

Funny you should ask.  They don't, so earlier today I emailed them asking for information on how they recommend using this came.  So, we shall see! Thanks for your input.



#11 Mt_Top

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Posted 29 May 2016 - 07:48 PM

I think a little picture might help.  Reinforcement is easiest when done in straight lines, side-to-side.  In this example, the 3 horizontal lines would be reinforced came or rebar (flat or round bars attached by wire or solder to the lead lines).  The reinforcing will be the strongest if run from one side to the other side with no cuts or breaks in the rebar material.

Example_Reinforced_Came_Window.JPG

Note: Example shows a rectangular window with blue design element.  Window is reinforced horizontally with 3 rebars or lead came with a metal heart insert as discussed above in this thread.  Normally the 3 rebars would be supported on the ends with a wood or metal window frame 



#12 Tod Beall

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Posted 30 May 2016 - 08:31 AM

I did visit Cascade's site.

The brass inside the leads (although not specified) looks pretty thin/cutable - probably with dykes, but I'd use my second-best ones! However, it seems that you could use standard lead and just insert restrip in the channel(s) as needed.

 

That would eliminate buying & stocking a separate style of lead which is undoubtedly more expensive than "plain" lead. The restrip reinforcement can be added to virtually any lead. Restrip is typically .010" thick, so is easy to plan for while designing. You can shape the strips easily for curves and even corners (although you would loose some strength on corners, I think).



#13 jpb

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Posted 31 May 2016 - 02:00 PM

The feedback I got from Cascade is somewhat muddy.  First response: "Can be used like regular lead came. It is best used in continuous lengths so avoid cutting it in small pieces, this will reduce its strength..." Second response: "It doesn't really make sense to cut and intersect reforce lead in a panel, this kind of defeats the purpose the the brass inside. It is best used in long lengths throughout a panel....If you want extra strength, in smaller pieces of came then I recommend our extra strength lead, 4% or 6%."

 

I don't know what is considered "long length", or "small pieces." My question about hinges wasn't addressed. So, maybe it is best used in s curves or such, across the panel. I can't imaging designing a single lead line across the panel just so this lead can go side to side. Thanks for all the food for thought...still thinking.



#14 Boris_USA

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Posted 31 May 2016 - 10:24 PM

The feedback I got from Cascade is somewhat muddy.  First response: "Can be used like regular lead came. It is best used in continuous lengths so avoid cutting it in small pieces, this will reduce its strength..." Second response: "It doesn't really make sense to cut and intersect reforce lead in a panel, this kind of defeats the purpose the the brass inside. It is best used in long lengths throughout a panel....If you want extra strength, in smaller pieces of came then I recommend our extra strength lead, 4% or 6%."

 

I don't know what is considered "long length", or "small pieces." My question about hinges wasn't addressed. So, maybe it is best used in s curves or such, across the panel. I can't imaging designing a single lead line across the panel just so this lead can go side to side. Thanks for all the food for thought...still thinking.

 

 

I am with you. See no practical purpose for it that can't be done Traditionally with less effort and less cost.



#15 WayneFL

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Posted 01 June 2016 - 06:08 AM

There are two different concepts being discussed.   The old method Todd described  did use rebar slipped inside the lead and it was really too difficult to bend, thus the limited use by most.   The newer idea being discussed has a thin, but hard, piece of brass inside the heart of the lead.   This new concept is the best it gets.   You use it the same way you use regular lead came.   All good practices and rules apply to this lead as well.   I cut through the lead with the knife or dykes but stop at the brass.   I use standard diags to cut the brass inside.  It is an additional step but it preserves the cutters.  

 

In addition to this type of lead, I use a lot of alloyed lead.  It is stiffer but not too stiff and is great for door inserts.



#16 jpb

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Posted 01 June 2016 - 02:57 PM

Great, you use this stuff! So you are cutting it as you would regular lead? Are you using it in longer lengths? "All good practices and rules apply" means you are weaving this, although Cascade guy says no? Please share your experience, cuz I'm still fuzzy on this.  Also am interested in the other lead you are using...4 - 6%? Usage & results? Sorry, different topic, but overall, reinforcing.  Thanks.



#17 WayneFL

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Posted 02 June 2016 - 04:43 AM

I use the reinforced lead the same way I use regular lead.   That being said, you have to be careful on extremely tight bends and things because it is tough to bend that way.   I do have the 4 and 6% lead and use it when I feel the need to add additional support.  I  use it a lot with the reinforced lead and tight spots.  The 4/6% lead is much harder on the finger tips though!    Remember, the choice in lead in no way will compensate for a bad design which entails hinges and design weaknesses.   I always suggest that one works with and fixes if necessary a design before executing it.   The above materials reinforce a great design.

 

I just remembered that I used reinforced lead and one of the alloyed leads in the wisteria window in my gallery.   That door insert also uses a lot of foil work and plating all working with the lead.



#18 jpb

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Posted 02 June 2016 - 05:15 AM

Thanks for the helpful info. The door is gorgeous, by the way. I'll have to research the 4/6% lead as I've never used it. Rightly or wrongly, when I used the reforce lead, I cut it with a bandsaw with a blade for metal. They were pretty simple, straight cuts, so much easier.



#19 hacker

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Posted 03 November 2018 - 09:53 PM

I used Cascade RF-45 (Flat 3/8 brass reinforced,)  for 16"W x 61"H  panels (6"x9"diamond bevels w/ a 1.5" border. 70 bevels per panel, 22 panels in all,  for 11 french style double steel casements with complex bronze hardware. That was about 12  or 15 boxes of came if I remember, about 15 years ago. I found this forum to see if anyone had any recommendations, because I am going to do a door for the same project.  

 

Due to the dimensions of the panels, I did not weave the diagonals. With all of the hardware in there, it wasn't really worth it. The glaziers clips were 5 per side, 3" wide steel L stock with brass machine screws.

 

I rough cut the lead, and then ground them on a large disc sander to the proper angle. Straight cuts are no problem with new cutters, I went through 4 or 5 pairs on this project.  A little angle is okay, more than 35 deg, not so.

 

For this project, I cut all of the long angles in one direction, and cut all of the spacers in the other. You can push and pull the brass though short pieces of the lead if you like, so the spacers have a little brass proud of the lead into the long lengths, and you can taper it into the joint. There are little marks on the brass to let you know how you are doing, and to help grip the lead to the brass? I dunno. But they are handy. I never got any advice from Cascade either. 

 

This is for an Irish cottage high atop the Cliffs of Moher, facing the mighty Atlantic winds. So, I used "Ultimate" solder, whatever that is. I'll see if I can post photos. 






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