copper foil window
I enjoyed the last stained glass class I took so much, I decided to take the next one which teaches the copper foil technique instead of lead came. We are making small fans that can be put infront of a nightlight, but I didn’t like any of the patterns that were offered so I figured out my own. It was between Captain America’s shield or Captain Marvel’s crest. I told the teacher that I was cheating in the last class because almost all my cuts were straight lines, so I am paying my penance this time. This first image was from cutting during the first night and the one below was the aftermath. (I normally try to produce much less waste, but it was important that the grain of the glass all radiates from the center, so I had to lose a little bit more.)
copper foil aftermath
The last two images are from the foiling process, which I did mostly at home. Next step is to spot solder the joints and then solder over all the copper tape.
The last night of class I had my second window all ready to go for soldering. The two major steps in the process that I don’t have my own tools for are grinding and soldering, so I was happy to get this step done on the last night.
First pieces of lead
Since I only have two classes left to try and get this window finished I had to do as much work at home as I could. I got through a good chunk of the leading before I found that a few of the pieces would need some work at the grinder to get it all to fit. It also didn’t exactly line up with the cartoon underneath because of my eyeballing the cuts earlier. But the error is at least consistent across all the pieces. By the end of this week, I was able to grind everything to fit and get it ready to solder during the last week.
down the side
lead all assembled
So I was able to finish my first window on the 6th week of class after getting is all soldered together in week 5. The last steps I got to complete was to pack in putty on both sides between the glass and the lead, and then take the thing outside to temper the putty and polish the glass panes with this stuff called “whiting”. It also displaces small amounts of lead and makes the solder and the came blend in together.
starting to mud
both sides puttied
new window template layout and count
With three weeks left of class and being almost completely done with my first window, I’ve been working on a second window for our front door that will use the left over blue glass. My wife and I played around with the layout and pane arrangement until we found something we liked.
paper cartoon templates
logan glass cutter
I cut some templates for different pane sizes on my silhouette cameo, and then figured out how many I would need of each type of glass. I also bought the glass cutter for my Logan mat cutting board, which made perfect sized straight cuts super easy.
cartoon print parts (4 pages)
cartoon printed and cut
second window cut
The last thing I was able to get done was printing out the cartoon for this design, which spanned across four sheets of paper. It’s difficult to tell with the glass laying on the cartoon, but the clear pieces are a mix of transparent and warbly (I think I just made that word up) privacy glass. I also changed up the layout ever so slightly at the far ends after I had printed out the cartoon, so I just changed it in red pen. So now that I have all the panes of glass cut, I can start putting the lead in this window as soon as I’m done with my first one.
Oh, I also built a new board for this window since it’s three feet long. It would have gone right off the side of my old board.
This week in class, I was able to finally get my window all soldered together and put some loops on to hang it. I didn’t have enough time to do the final step of filling all the gaps with putty, buffing all the solder and lead to blend them together, and cleaning up all the glass. I should be able to finish all of that next week and get started on my next window! Only three weeks left.
This week was all about leading, and I got the whole thing laid up on the board. Next week will be soldering, adding paste, and clean-up.
First three panes
Full Bottom Side
Starting the Center
All Done Leading
This week in class I spent most of my time at the grinder, which ended up with all my pieces slightly smaller than the last time you saw them. At the very end of the night I was able to start laying out the lead came that will frame and hold together all the individual panes of glass in the window. I should take lots more pictures next week when I start putting it all together.
The second week of class I showed up with all the different types of glass I was going to use in large sheets, and the design all traced out onto the oak tag template. The first step I did this week was to cut out the template pieces using these crazy double bladed scissors that actually cut a slim strip of paper out between the two sides to make room for your lead came. I believe I have devised a way to do this without those scissors with an exacto knife or probably my silhouette cameo machine, but I will try that out on a future project.
Once we had the template pieces cut out it was time to trace them onto the panes of glass and start cutting. Paying attention to the direction the “swirl” of the glass (or I think grain as a woodworker) is important if you want it to be uniform across the piece. Originally I had numbered the design as having a longer height than width, but I envision it hanging on it’s side. So I started drawing arrows that meant “up” or “North” on the final piece to me before the instructor had addressed the subject. She is used to drawing the arrow in the direction on the swirl, so we had several short conversations where I had to reassess and affirm that they makes sense to me and are correct. The student next to me did a completely different reasoning for her arrows, much to the instructors consternation. We would have made it much easier for her to keep us on track if we had done them all the same way.
stained glass cut
I was actually able to get all my glass cut this week, but did not have enough time to move on to the next step (See the arrows all worked!). Week 3 will be small amount of grinding and then laying out the panes with lead came on the board I made. I’m super excited!
stained glass cartoon
Our local art center was offering a class on stained glass window making, so my wife signed me up as an early birthday present. It’s one night a week for 8 weeks, so I thought I would document some of the process on my blog. The first week we learned about all the steps in the process, the tools involved and tried our hands at making different styles and shapes of cuts on scrap pieces of glass. Towards the end of the class we got to pick out a “cartoon” of a design we liked, and duplicate it with carbon paper onto a sheet of oak tag like paper. I originally considered trying to do a custom design, but thought I’d stick to one of the designs the teacher brought for my first attempt. This was the design I liked the most.
stained glass board
One of the things on the extensive list of supplies we needed to get in the first week was a board which we would be doing all the layout and assembly on. We could purchase one, but I took this as homework and just made one. It’s 1/2″ plywood with about a 3/4″ high right angle border. The lines I just added to hopefully reveal if my angles start going wonky.
The other thing I did was digitally recreate the design from the cartoon in Inkscape so I could quickly try out lots of combinations of colors to fill the panels. Eventually I settled on this design. Now I need to head to the local art glass studio to buy some glass ahead of the next class. Then I get to start cutting.