Let' start with cutting the glass:
- You have to allow for the 1/2" the width of the cutter head when measuring for strips using a straight edge as the wheel is in the center of the head.
- When using a straight edge, stand to the side with the arm holding the cutter in line with the straight edge & pull the cutter towards you. (If the straight edge is in front of you, as your elbow goes sideways around your body the cutter will follow it & try to curve away from the straight edge. A BIG no-no!)
- When tracing pattern pieces, push the cutter using the groove the cutter's wheel is located in as a sight & make it follow the edge of the line facing the piece you are wanting. After running the score you should have almost no line on the piece you are wanting & almost no unmarked glass on the edge of the piece left over. This will eliminate almost all of the grinding.
- There is lots more to say about cutting glass but this should get you started.
Applying flux, whether using liquid or gel flux things to remember:
- Cut off 1/2 of the bristles of your flux brush. This will help to control the amount of flux you apply.
- You only need a light coat of flux on the foil. This will help to cut down on the amount of fumes. If applied heavy it will sputter/boil out of the seams making it harder to get a nice solder line.
- If you are struggling with getting a nice solder line & have to go over it numerous times, the adhesive can work out from under the foil. The key is to learn to solder efficiently limiting the time spent. There are several videos on YOUTUBE covering soldering.
- Reapply flux before going back over solder lines .
- When soldering the edge, yes you want it to have a bead. Hold your project on edge with the edge you are applying the solder to horizontal to prevent the solder from dripping or running down hill. Rotate the project as you go to keep the edge being worked on horizontal.
- If you have a nice bead on all the foil including the edges, you can use a small brush such as nail brush to clean the flux off. If using dish soap & water, you can add a little baking soda which is a base to neutralize the acid of the flux.
- Apply a polish to help control oxidation. (Carnauba car wax, furniture polish, ...)
Getting a glass grinder should be high on your list. Working without one can take some of the fun out of working with stained glass. Check Craigslist & some art glass stores have a consignment area & may have used ones for around $50.
Keep us updated.