The final stage in copper foil stained glass creation is to polish your work of stained glass art using finishing compound. Take a look at this video to see how to do this:
Polishing your solder seams is a great way to make it gleam, and to keep it protected for years. It’s definitely worth the effort…just make sure the piece is properly cleaned before you attempt this final step. You’ll be pleased with the results!
Should you choose lead or zinc came to frame your copper foil stained glass project? Watch this video to learn about a few varieties of lead and zinc came, and which situations are best for each type of border.
Most lead and zinc came is sold in 6-foot lengths, and is available from your local stained glass supply store.
If you choose to use lead came you will need to stretch it in order to stiffen it for use, because it is so soft. You can do this by getting two pairs of pliers and getting a friend to stretch it with you, or you can purchase a lead came vise (pictured below) which clamps onto your workbench. Put one end of the lead came in the vise and pull on the other end using a pair of pliers. Be careful doing this, as lead is so soft it can break off in the pliers and send you flying across the room!
There are so many types of copper foil out there to choose from! It can get a little overwhelming when you are first setting up a studio or starting out with your first stained glass project. So, how do you choose? Take a look at this video, which sheds some light on the mysteries of copper foil shopping for your stained glass art creation…
The main points to consider:
1. Copper Foil Tape Width (7/32″ is standard, 1/4″ is a good choice for thicker or heavily textured glass)
2. Copper Foil Tape Back Colour (Copper, Silver or Black – only important if you are using transluscent/cathedral glass. If you are using totally opaque glass, go for copper backed, which is cheaper and more flexible in application)
3. Decorative Edging (scalloped stuff is available, usually used for fancy edging/decorative soldering on the edges of glass jewelry, picture frames, etc. For regular glass panels, or interior glass lines, just get regular straight copper foil tape).
What kind of a workstation do you need when setting up to begin crafting in stained glass? Actually, you don’t need much at all. There are only two main considerations – take a look at this video to see what they are:
Do you have any thoughts about your experience setting up a stained glass workstation, or do you have any tips to share? Post comments below!
One of the challenges of stained glass crafting for beginners is achieving smooth solder lines. Unless you have a clean soldering iron tip, your solder simply will not co-operate to flow smoothly. One of the BIG mistakes I first made was to try and sand down my soldering iron tip with steel wool in order to clean it. Never do this! Instead, take a look at this video for tips on how to correctly care for your soldering iron:
Lead or lead-free? Keep them separate!
Use a cellulose (not plastic) damp sponge when soldering.
Only have the iron on when you are actually using it!
Tin the tip frequently, and especially before turning off the iron.
Remove the tip occasionally (the size is on the end of the tip if you need to replace it).
You can also purchase a “tinning block” (sal-ammoniac) to clean your tip. This is available at most stained glass suppliers.
Make sure that you have a sturdy stand to hold your soldering iron in place.
Setting up in stained glass takes a bit of a financial commitment at first when purchasing your tools and materials, but there are a few things you can do to save money while making beautiful glass. Take a look at this video for 6 tips on how to be a smart with your cash while crafting:
Tip #1. Use scrap glass.
Tip #2. Use liquid dish detergent.
Tip #3. Make your own hooks.
Tip #4. Stock up on sale metals.
Tip #5. Take care of your equipment.
Tip #6. Plan your supply shopping allowance.
Do you have any other tips on how to save money while making stained glass? I’d love to hear them! Comment below, or share them on the GeekyGlass Facebook page today.
Working with razor sharp glass, hot metal and corrosive chemicals is all part of the stained glass creation experience. Keeping your health and well-being at the forefront of your creative act is of the utmost importance each and every day you work with glass. Take a look at this video: 7 Stained Glass Safety Tips.
Tip #1: Suit Up – wear your safety goggles.
Tip #2: (Don’t) Stay Up – stay focused when working with glass. Never work when you are tired.
Tip #3: Scrub Up – be sure to wash your hands free of any lead, glass dust or other toxins after a work session, and anytime before eating or drinking during a break.
Tip #4: Sweep Up – keep your broom and an empty container handy, and get in the habit of keeping your work area shard-free.
Tip #5: Stock Up – keep a well-stocked first aid kit close by for accidental cuts and burns. They will happen!
Tip #6: Open Up – make sure you are soldering in a well-ventilated environment.
Tip #7: Wait Up – learn to be patient during and after soldering. Remember, hot solder looks just like cold solder, and hot glass looks just like cold glass. If you aren’t sure, give it a few more minutes to cool before touching the glass.
Follow these safety tips, and you’ll be much more likely to have a long and enjoyable time working with this beautiful craft.