Glass for Sconces Almost Done

I got a couple of hours in the shop this afternoon, and am very close to finishing the glass for the sconces.  All of the parts are cut, ground and fit together.  The next step is to add the copper foil to the edges, solder, clean and apply patina.  I completely finished the panels for one scones and they are ready to install.  I should be able to foil and solder the other panels pretty quickly tomorrow, then I can do the final assembly on theses sconces.  It’s taken a long time to figure out the scale, the joinery and the stained glass, but I’m happy with the results.

One of the things that was a bit of a struggle was cutting the darker glass colors for the sconces.  I couldn’t really see the pattern through the glass.  I tried gluing the pattern to the glass, but with only mixed results.  I used a glue stick, and the pattern didn’t stay in place very well.  Maybe a different glue, or maybe if I let it dry for 20 or 30 minutes, but that’s pretty inefficient in practice.

Gluing patterns to the glass

Gluing patterns to the glass

A light table is the usual way people do this I think, but I don’t have one.  Oh, wait… I used to have a light box for when I took pictures for articles I wrote for hot rod mags.  After a pit of searching, I found it buried in a closet.  And there was happiness and dancing in the streets.

Light box with the amber glass

Light box with the amber glass

The light box really helped.  I find tracing the pattern onto the glass with a fine point sharpie helps  me score the glass.  I found some instructional pages on scoring glass, but mostly it comes down to practice for me.  I tend to push too hard, which kills any control (or finesse).

Light table with the dark red glass

Light table with the dark red glass

Last side panel cut out and fit

Last side panel cut out and fit

All the parts for the sconces cut, ground and cleaned.  Ready for foil,

All the parts for the sconces cut, ground and cleaned. Ready for foil.

Once all of the parts were cut and ground so they fit nicely  it was time to put copper foil on the edges.  The copper foil is thin copper strips, 3/16″ wide in this case, that is adhesive-backed.  You apply it to the edge and fold it over both faces.  Big pieces are pretty easy to do, small and irregular pieces were a little tricky, but after doing several of them it was starting to go a little more smoothly.  In my (extremely limited and nearly nonexistent) experience, the fit between the parts and the evenness of the foil that overlaps onto the surface are with dictates how tidy and even the solder seams will be..

First part foiled

First part foiled

First part soldered

First part soldered

Next two parts ready for soldering

Next two parts ready for soldering

After I soldered all the parts I cleaned them with flux remover, and soap and water.  The next step in the process is to apply a black patina to the solder, then wax the parts.  And that’s as far as I got today.  Tomorrow morning I’ll solder the other three panels, and then start assembling the sconces.

All parts for one sconce soldered and ready to apply  black patina.

All parts for one sconce soldered and ready to apply black patina.

Patina and wax applied, ready to install.

On the light table

On the light table

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: | 3 Comments

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3 thoughts on “Glass for Sconces Almost Done

  1. Was there food and libations to be had with the dancing in the streets?
    No lead channeling on the glass? I did not know that you could assemble glass like this. That would explain why the joints between them are so tight.

    • I made a big batch of cookies, does that count? The dancing is here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QmJj6LZogms.

      There are two methods for doing stained glass assembly that I’m aware of, the copper foil method and lead came. I’m not totally sure when your would choose one method ofer the other, but my understanding is that the glass in the cabinets, sconces and lights in G&G houses was done with this method. I don’t really know when you would choose one method ofer another, but mu quess is that for larger pieces you would choose lead came. I’ll have to ask, it’s been on my mind too.

  2. Jose Santiago

    Outstanding!! This might be another rabbit hole in which to explore for me. I’m looking forward to the end result.

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