Friday, August 10, 2018

Stained Glass Monogram Gift

I was recently inspired to create a personalized housewarming gift for two friends.  I decided to use their initials and then overlap them to represent their bond with each other.  I used blue and red glass for the initials and purple for the overlapping areas.  I chose two different textured glass in clear to complete the design. Here's how I went about it ..

I uploaded a few outline fonts and then input them into my software to create the design.  I printed a few blank designs and hand-colored them in as shown. The dimensions are 7-1/2" high and 9" wide.

Then I went back to the computer and input some potential glass samples.  I chose a rough rolled glass for the blue, unidentified older glass for the purple and red, clear confetti glass for the corners, and a light seedy clear glass for the areas around the initials.

Here I'm tracing the pattern onto a manila folder using carbon paper.  The pattern, folder and carbon paper are held in place with push pins on my porous work surface.  It's made of Homasote which is a sound proofing building material.  Shown are pieces of all the glass chosen for the project.

I cut out the rectangular border with regular scissors.  Then I cut out the individual pattern pieces using stained glass pattern shears.  As shown, these leave a thin strip of paper between each piece.  This allows room for the copper foil which will follow later.

Now all the pattern pieces are cut and laying randomly on the glass.  I'll decide the exact placement later.  I'm just making sure there is enough glass for the pieces.

Here I've used a Sharpie to trace the pattern pieces onto the glass.  I've cut out a few pieces of the blue. I'm using "groziers" to nip off a curve in another of the blue pieces.  

Using an oil-filled pistol grip glass cutter to cut a piece of purple glass.

After each piece of glass is cut, I bring it to the electric grinder to smooth down the edges.  This makes the pieces safe to handle.  It also helps the copper foil to adhere.

Different glass can be more difficult to cut by hand, as was the case with the red.  The hand cutter was simply not sufficient to get the score lines I wanted.  So I decided to use my electric band saw, which is a wet saw. This saw drips water onto the glass to cool it down while the blade does its work.  I've traced the patterns onto the red glass using a silver Sharpie.  Here I'm applying lip balm to the markings so that the water doesn't wash them off.

Working the wet saw.  I'm holding both sides of the glass and slowing moving it along the marked line.

After all the glass was cut, it was time to sign my work.  I etch my name, month and year into each of my custom pieces.  Here I've "tested" a piece of red, purple and clear.  Since the red and purple etchings are so visible, I decided to etch the inside of the lower right corner clear confetti glass.

Here's the back side of the lower right corner, etched with my name, month and year.  Since the front of the confetti glass is heavily textured, the etching cannot be seen from the front. 

Here are the "S" and "D" from the chosen outline font.

All the glass has been cut and my signature is completed.  Each piece of glass has been placed on top of the pattern. I've added four "fences" or metal guards to each side.  These will serve to keep the piece "square" as I continue working.

Here I'm applying adhesive 7/32" black-backed copper foil to the border of each piece of glass.  I'm using black-backed foil because of the clear glass.  After the black patina has been applied to the solder, the inside of the foil will not be visible through the glass.

Each piece of glass has now been foiled.  The fences are still in place.  I'm now applying liquid "flux" to the copper foil.  This is a catalyst which enables the solder to flow freely over the foil.

Next, I'm doing the "tack soldering" whereby I melt on a small dot of solder to the intersections of the glass.  This serves to lock the pieces together.

Now that the pieces are "tack soldered" and securely bonded, I removed the fence and slid the paper pattern (the "cartoon") out from under it.  Since the piece is free from the fences, I can move it around and have more angles from which to solder the front and back.

Here I've soldered the front.  After that's completed, I used a neutralizing spray to remove the caustic liquid flux.

I'm holding a piece of metal "channel" which is a thin "U" shaped length of zinc.  I've measured and cut some of this channel into four pieces and pinned it to the border. Then I soldered the border to the existing solder lines so that they are firmly bonded.

Since the frame is now in place, I've created two hooks using 20 gauge copper wire.  In order to get round circles, I wrapped the wire around the end of one of my pens.  

I applied liquid flux to the hooks and "tinned" them by adding a small bit of solder to the entire hook.  Then I added a small blob of solder below the corner.  I held each hook with needle nose pliers, then sank the hook into the solder using the hot soldering iron.  Here is one of the hooks after the back had been patina-ed.

Here's a close up view which shows the textures of the glass.
Now that the piece has been fully soldered on both sides and thoroughly cleaned, I'm applying black patina to all of the solder and to the frame.  The patina is a chemical which instantly turns the solder black.  After its allowed to set, I sprayed it again with the neutralizer. After the piece is completely dry, I applied "stained glass finishing compound" to the entire piece.  This is a light wax which protects the patina and gives the glass a nice shine.

And here is the finished gift, before the wax has been applied.  It's against a white background.  

And here it is, finished and in the sunlight.  Now the beauty, textures and true colors of the glass can be seen. Congratulations on your move, good friends!  I'm so happy for you!
For more information on my other projects, please click here to visit my website.

If you're on FaceBook, please click here to "like" my BoehmStained Glass Studio page to keep up with all the latest projects.  Thank you!

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Mission Stained Glass Lamp Repairs

This project is to make three cracked lamp shades into two usable ones.  My customer has had these for a number of years, during which they each sustained cracks.  The one on the left has one cracked piece, the middle one has two, but the third has the most damage.  Since she needed only two lamps repaired, we decided to have the most damaged lamp be the "donor" for glass to the other two.  Here we go!

Here's a photo of the three lamps on the light box.  The blue tape squares mark damaged pieces.  The one in the far right is the donor.

Close up of the lamp with one crack.  Each of the two lamps I'll be repairing had cracks to the lower corner pieces.

These are Dale Tiffany lamps which are made in China.  Replacement glass can be very difficult to find, so having the donor lamp saved a lot of time and searching.

Here's the donor lamp, the one with the most damage. I'm in the process of extracting a good corner piece to use in the first lamp.  I've melted off the solder points for the metal channel, or frame, which runs along the border of the lamp.  I'm using needle nose pliers to tug it off so that I can gain access to the piece.

In order to remove the piece without cracking it, I'm scoring and removing the adjacent piece first.  Here I'm using an oil-filled pistol grip glass cutter to score the piece.  Then I'll use the metal end of the cutter to tap repeatedly on the glass and then carefully some of it.

I've taken off some of that adjacent piece.  I've also used the hot soldering iron to break through the solder on the corner.  Since the metal border is removed, the only contact point is the upper border.  I took hold of the piece and gently bent it up.  While doing that, the old solder and foil gave way and the piece came out readily.

After I cleaned off the old adhesive, I ground the edges of the piece.  This will help the copper foil to adhere better.

I dried the piece thoroughly and added 7/32" adhesive copper foil to the border.  Here I'm using a "fid" or flat plastic wand, to burnish the copper onto the glass.

Now I'm working on removing the cracked piece from the first lamp.  I use the same process of scoring the piece with the cutter, and then extricating the pieces with the needle nose pliers.

Here I'm using the hot soldering iron to melt off the remaining foil around the edges. Then I used a generic cleaner to get rid of the old adhesive from the copper foil. Then I added new foil to the borders.

After melting out the corners and doing some tweaking, I fit the donor glass into the space where the cracked piece used to be. Perfect fit.

Then I brushed on the liquid flux in order to prepare for soldering.  The flux acts as a catalyst for the solder, allowing it to flow freely onto the copper foil.

And here's a view from inside the shad which shows the completed soldering.  I turned the shade over the soldered the outside as well.

Then I used a neutralizing spray to clean off the flux. I followed up by brushing on black patina as shown. The patina instantly turns the solder black.  After I let it set, I used the same spray to clean it off.

And here's the first lamp with the new replacement piece in the lower left corner.

Moving on, I'm melting off the solder in the next piece of the donor lamp.

The donor piece is removed.  Just by bending the adjacent piece back, the two will readily separate.

Now I've removed two pieces of corner glass from the donor lamp.  I'm using a generic cleaner to get off excess adhesive from the old copper foil.

This second lamp was slightly askew, so I square it up and soldered on a length of wire to reinforce it.  The photo shows one side rough soldered into the seam. I then soldered the other side to the interior of the cap, cleaned up the soldering and applied the black patina.

Cleaning off the border to prepare for the insertion of the replacement glass.

After I soldered the new piece into the second lamp, I reinforced the corner by adding a short length of wire as shown.

Now I'm applying patina to the back of the new piece.

Then I moved onto the second cracked piece.  Here I've scored it and I'm removing the glass using the pliers.

Another length of wire goes into this corner for reinforcement.  Note that the replacement piece has been soldered at the corner.  I went back and completed soldering the rest of the inside as well as the outside.  Then I applied the patina and repeated the cleaning process between each step.

And here are the repaired lamps!  They are not exactly the same colors which I think makes them really interesting.  I love the color palette and the blue which they have in common.  Thanks so much Pat for entrusting me with your lamps.  It was a pleasure repairing them for you!
For more information on my other projects, please click here to visit my website.

If you're on FaceBook, please click here to "like" my BoehmStained Glass Studio page to keep up with all the latest projects.  Thank you!