Saturday, March 28, 2009

Update on Window Restoration Project

Progress is surely being made with this unit.

But let us follow through the process:
First let me say that the artisan of yesterday, who ever he was, he did a fine job of cutting this glass.
He didn't have the nice pivotal easy handled cutter we can use today.
Nor did he have an electric grinder for smoothing the edges. His was a file for smoothing the edge, lots of hand work!
His only choice for holding the glass together was the lead method.
Two choices today.
The lead method: by which strips of channeled lead are stretched to make rigid, then soldered at the meeting points once wrapped around the glass, and cemented.
The copper-foil method introduced through Louis Tiffany, which has been greatly modified and improved since introduction! The foil, now with adhesive on the back, wraps around each piece of glass, then is soldered into place. Lots of steps are eliminated, plus for me it is a lot easier to reinforce. I use a flat metal that slips in between the glass, giving the total unit added strength.
All this now explained.
After I trued up the pieces of glass, they were cleaned of their cement deposits, then foiling begins.
Just as you imagine the foil is wrapped around the glass then smoothed with a fid (straight stick) so it is adhered well.
The whole unit ready to solder

These are the tools that I used to cut or break the glass to fit and then foil.
These are the tools I traded to begin soldering. The solder iron, its rheostat, flux, and solder. Now I begin soldering the unit together. Reinforcing it for strength at the same time.


mary schweitzer said...

I have to tell you, I am in awe of this whole thing! It is so impressive. And the fact that you are doing it, and beautifully, makes me in awe of you.

Mar said...

such a wonderfully generous comment sure made my tired morning!
but what i do truly isn't anything awesome
anyone working in stained glass can restore a panel
it is just a time consuming job...honestly there isn't any talent needed..
but thank you for thinking nice thoughts
and thank you for taking the time to come and look at my updates

Anne said...

Hi, Mar! The window looks so FABULOUS all cleaned and copper foiled and ready to solder. You're doing an amazing job at this restoration work! :-)

Dianne said...

this series of photos was very educational for me as I've never tried stained glass...I didn't know about the changes in technique either! the window is beautiful, what a complex project and you are explaining and illustrating it in a great way. Stunning work!