Shop Time Today was a Grind

I got a couple more hours in the shop today, working on the stained glass panels for the Dragonfly sconces.  Things went pretty smoothly today, and I’m close to having one of the sconce shades done.

The way my week works is that I’m totally busy with work and family until Saturday, and frankly it takes me a day or two to decompress from work and get in the groove in the shop…at which point it’s Sunday night and time to get organized for work.  I’m feeling a vacation coming on.

My goal for today was to get as much done on the stained glass shades for the sconces as I could.  I’d like to finish these up next weekend (well, I’d rather have finished them up this weekend, but that wasn’t in the cards).  My other goal for toady was to “get in the groove”, and I was able to focus much better today and as a result the parts came out nicer.

My process today was mark out the parts on the glass.  Score them to separate them from each other, then score them as close to the final dimension as I was comfortable with.  Once I had all of the parts for one panel scored and cut I moved over to the grinder and dialed in the shape.  I got a much better fit on the first panel today than the one yesterday, and the second panel I made was even better.  These pics are of the first panel, by the time I was on to the second one I was in the groove and couldn’t be bothered taking pictures.

I didn’t go get a fine point sharpie, I just didn’t want to drive down to town so I decided to make the one I had work.  The layout looks sloppy as a result, but I only use that for the scoring and rough grinding.  After that I’m fitting it into the pattern board and slowly sneaking up on the pattern.

Trace around the patterns with a sharpie.

Trace around the patterns with a sharpie.

Separate the layout from the sheet

Separate the layout from the sheet

Scored lined to separate the parts

Scored lined to separate the parts

Parts separated from each other, ready to score on the layout lines

Parts separated from each other, ready to score on the layout lines

Red parts rough cut, not do the green ones

Red parts rough cut, not do the green ones

All parts cut, ready for grinding to fit the pattern

All parts cut, ready for grinding to fit the pattern

The scoring goes pretty quickly, just a few minutes.  The grinding takes a lot of time.  Grind a little, wipe off the sludge, check the fit, grind a little more…  Eventually the parts will all fit nicely.  There are a couple of gaps on this one that I wish were a little smaller, but it’s plenty good.

Parts ground and fit, ready for copper foil and soldering

Parts ground and fit, ready for copper foil and soldering

I also made the copper parts that will attach the stained glass shade to the lamp socket.  The lamp sockets I got are really nice, cast brass with threaded shells.  They are heavy and substantial, not like the stamped parts from the local big box store.  I got these from Grand Brass for $10 each and I’m really pleased with their quality and service.

To make the attachment plate I used 1/8″ copper sheet and drilled them with a Rota-Broach — it’s basically a fancy hole saw that makes accurate, burr free holes.  I had to use a sanding drum to sneak up on the final dimension as there isn’t a lot of shoulder on these sockets.

Making the mounts for the shades

Making the mounts for the shades

I decided that I’m going to use a piece of plain glass (the same green art glass) for the back as you won’t be able to see if there is a pattern on the back.  So only three more panels to do next weekend.  I’m going to make some sort of simple wood fixture to hold the parts in alignment for the final soldering.

I’m a little concerned about getting the threaded ring in place when I’m installing it s there won’t be much finger room inside of the shade.  I’m thinking of drilling two tiny holes in the threaded ring and making a little spanner to be able to turn it.  We’ll see how things look at that stage.  My friend Fay always says “you start with insufficient information and problem solve along the way”.

Parts for the first shade nearly ready to assemble

Parts for the first shade nearly ready to assemble

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