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Replacing A Cracked Piece

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#1 Artsguy

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Posted 16 February 2018 - 09:29 PM

Hello All--

         I'm a long-time maker of stained glass windows, though never as my profession. Brand new to the forum. When I was taught I learned lead, and I rarely do copper foil.

         I have an odd situation: last night as I was applying cement to the first side of a window I'm nearly done with, I noticed a piece that I somehow have cracked. It's about 1 & 1/2 inches wide by about 4 inches long. I need to repair it, and while I've repaired broken glass before I've done it by instinct and trial-and-error. That's worked, but I don't want to risk creating further cracks in this window.

         I've spent a fair amount of time on youtube going through the applicable videos and nothing seems quite like my situation. It's a crack, not missing glass. So I'm going to have to use some kind of force to make an empty space where I can then put a small wrench in and start pulling glass out.. I wondered it using a drill and a small bit, drilling several holes, then taking it from there with care would work. Has anyone done that?

         I've included a picture of the nasty little bugger. If you've a suggestion, I'm all ears. Thanks in advance!



#2 Fox

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Posted 17 February 2018 - 04:52 AM

  Well, this could be filed under Things They Don't Tell You About Working With Lead -- mainly, the quickest fix that actually looks good involves taking apart as much of the window as is necessary to get to the flawed piece, replacing said piece, and putting the window back together. Unless it's leaded foil, in which case you just unsolder the bead and tug it out.

   Bending up the edge of the came to drop a (slightly undersize) piece in then bending it back isn't, I think, very practical with came whose face is less than 1/4 inch, and doesn't work at all if it's rounded. I'm pretty sure people will come up with some quicker work-arounds, but I start by studying the window to see which and how many pieces I have to remove (as few as possible). I cut through the beads with something other than a power tool -- XActo and others make a nifty little saw hobbyists use for cutting metal, but a hacksaw blade (or a broken off section of one) works just as well.

    Once  I've done one side of the panel I vacuum up the inevitable filings and flip it over and repeat the process on that side. At that point the blade tip or something similar can be pushed a bit into the gap the saw blade's made, and with a little twist the joint will come free. At this point it might not be necessary to actually pull things completely apart, just move pieces aside enough so you can pull the cracked piece out and slide another in. Once you're done you can resolder both sides and presumably reputty where necessary.

    This sounds like a horrible amount of work, but since everything has already been cut, fitted, and assembled once, it doesn't take nearly as long as you'd think at the start, and you'll end up with everything looking the way it was intended to look. You can, of course, just solder a strip of lead over the crack and go on to your next project : I've also, I admit, followed this course.



#3 Artsguy

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Posted 17 February 2018 - 08:58 AM

Thanks for the advice...but both sides have been soldered. It's not on the edge either, so it would require a MAJOR dismantling of the window, with dozens of pieces. The good news is there are no curves. 



#4 Artsguy

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Posted 17 February 2018 - 08:44 PM

I'm noticing the picture didn't come through on the original post, so here it is on flickr, if you've an interest.  https://www.flickr.c...tetaken-public/







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