Stained Glass for Beginners – Part 4: Foiling and Soldering

Stained Glass Here we are, the fourth and final installment of the Stained Glass for Beginners – 4 part series. If you missed the last three posts, go ahead and check them out before you read on.

Stained Glass for Beginners – Part 1

Stained Glass for Beginners – Part 2

Stained Glass for Beginners – Part 3

Like I said before, stained glass assembly has three basic steps, cutting, foiling and soldering – now that we have covered the cutting process we can talk about the basic foiling a soldering process:

  1. Wait…Stop! Before we go any further, let’s make sure our hands and glass are immaculately clean; otherwise the foil won’t adhere correctly!
  2. Copper foil is sticky like tape, its best to peel back the lining of the tape as you cover the edge of the glass so things don’t get out of control! Your foil should wrap around the edge of the glass and have an even amount on either side and make sure your go all the way around the edge of the glass and overlap the starting point by at least ¼”. Slowly fold down the foil over the glass.
  3. Next you will be able to burnish, which is the process of smoothing foil against the sides of the glass. Using your fid, rub the foil down the side of the glass removing bubbles and ensuring a nice seal!
  4. The next step is applying flux, for this step you can use liquid of paste form, and with you flux brush you will kind of paint the flux over the copper foil.
  5. Assemble your pattern and hold the outer pieces together using horseshoe nails or metal pins. Once your pattern is laid out, you are ready to solder. Check out this nifty video  – you know how they say a picture is worth a thousand words, well a video is like a novel – watching this will help you much more than  I can say.  
  6. Once all of your pieces are soldered, flip it over and solder the other side.
  7. When you have soldered both sides of your stained glass piece you can add pretty decorative solder or you can pigment the   solder by brushing patina over it – these techniques are a little more advanced – I would definitely recommend taking a glass or picking up a book on decorative solder!

Don’t forget, you can find some really great free stained glass patterns, check out the Diamond Tech Creative Corner and to find Diamond Tech stained glass supplies in a store near let our store locator be your guide.

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Weekender Project: Cute Pumpkin Pendant

Pumpkin Head Fused Glass PendantHalloween is only days away! If you’re lacking in the Halloween accessory department, we’ve got the perfect project for you! This My Little Pumpkin Head Fusing Project makes the perfect pendant or pin and it’s a project that you can finish in an afternoon, that’s the beauty of the Fuseworks Microwave Kiln! Find the instructions for this fun little pumpkin accessory here and for more great fusing projects visit the Diamond Tech Crafts Creative Corner.

What Can I Use To Decorate a KraftyBlok

 

Glass Crafting BlockThere are so many things you can do with a KraftyBlok, I posted our top five a while back.  With all of these great ways to use a KraftyBlok  how in the world can you decorate it?

 I’ll go over some materials you can use to decorate your KraftyBlok.

 

 

  • Applying a Photo/Image with Image Art – I recently posted instructions to permanently set an image on your KraftyBlok, for instructions check out this post on how to apply an image to a KraftyBlok
  • Mosaicing – Applying a mosaic is a great way to embellish your KraftyBlok, especially if you’re aiming to make a nightlight or a lamp, the light shines through very nicely – we featured a KraftyBlok nightlight not too long ago, for instruction check out this post
  • Applying Vinyl – this is a very cool technique we found searching the internet one day, the great thing about vinyl is that its applies smoothly and is easily removed, so if you don’t like your design you can remove it very easily
  • Stamping and Embossing – if you like embossing on paper, you’ll love the look of embossed designs on a KraftyBlok
  • Decoupage – one of the easiest ways to decorate a KraftyBlok is to decoupage it, although it’s not as permanent as the KraftyBlok Image Art, it’s a great way to add design and texture with paper.
  • Etching – Who doesn’t love an etched design, and you can get that great look on your Kraftyblok with etching cream
  • Painting –some of my favorite projects we have done over the years has involved paint whether you paint on your design or make an image pop after using the Image Art method, paint is always a great decorator
  • Ribbons, buttons, trinkets… well really anything you can get your hands on!

Be sure to check out the Diamond Tech Creative Corner for project ideas and instructions.

  

Stained Glass for Beginners -Part 3: Cutting and Shaping Stained Glass

So now you know all the basic tools of the trade, I am going to let you in on the tricks of the trade.

Do you remember the cutting tools I explained in Part 1 of this series?

  1. If you are using the pencil or pistol grip cutter, you’ll want to fill the cutter with four to five drops of oil before cutting – if you choose to use the steel wheel cutter – skip this step!
  2. Use a sharpie to draw your guide line or pattern either freehand or with that handy ruler (can also be used as a guide when scoring!). Oh and if you are working with a pattern you will want to make a couple of copies, one of them will serve as your template beneath the glass and the other you can cut up to guide your cuts. You should number the pieces of the pattern, it makes the process that much easier.
  3. Score the glass – when cutting, the score line should run from one end of the glass all the way to the other end – when cutting glass use a continuous motion and never go over the same score twice Your score line should resemble a very fine hair when cut correctly and the glass should make a hissing sound – sort of like very faint nails on a chalkboard. To see these tools in action check out this video.  
  4. Using running pliers, break the glass, to do this place the running pliers at one end of the score – with the score lined up with the line in the breaker squeeze the breaker, were you wondering why these are called running pliers? A run refers to  the break that is made from a scored piece of glass
  5. If you are cutting a piece of glass that is so small that the running pliers won’t work or if your run didn’t break the whole score line you will need your breaker/grozer pliers to remove  flares, nibs and small pieces from the glass edge
  6. Lastly you will want to smooth the glass, if those stubborn nibs and flares didn’t break nicely, using your handy scythe stone
  • If you invested in a grinder and/or a saw you can use those to cut and shape your glass pieces. Such a time saver and well worth the investment, especially if you like to work with curves! See how easy it is to use a grinder in this video.

Oh, one last thing…here are some tips to keep you safe and sane!

  •  How awesome are your feet and legs? I think mine are pretty swell and I want to keep them that way– so when working with glass, protect your feet and legs by wearing pants and closed toe shoes.
  • When working with textured glass, always score the smooth or shiny side
  • Have fun and get creative with your design!

For some really great free stained glass patterns, check out the Diamond Tech Creative Corner and to find Diamond Tech stained glass supplies in a store near let our store locator be your guide.

Stay tuned, next week we will close the series with the foiling and solder process.

Weekender Project: Percy the Pumpkin KraftyBlok

Who doesn’t love a glowing jack-o-lantern on Halloween? What’s even better? A jack-o-lantern that you can re-use every year save yourself from making  a crazy pumpkin mess. With a few simple steps and just a little time you can create a special jack-o-lantern to display for Halloween – no knives, no gooey pumpkin guts all over your hands and best of all no stinky rotting pumpkins! Find the instructions for this fun Halloween KraftyBlok project here and to find KraftyBloks in a retailer near you, check out our store locator.

Tips for Cutting Stained Glass with a Bandsaw

Diamond blade band saws can help you create beautiful cuts for your stained glass pieces and help you avoid a lot of hand cutting, grozing and grinding. Keep these helpful tips in mind when you are cutting stained glass pieces with a band saw.

 

 

  1. When cutting most materials, the highest blade speed will usually result in fast and smooth cutting. Use a slower speed when working with delicate materials or a very tight turning radius.
  2. Always have an even flow of water to your diamond blade when cutting glass.
  3. Do not force glass into the blade. Ease the materials into the blade, turning as you go to create your pattern. Avoid twisting the blade on tight curves.
  4. To back out of a cut, turn the saw off and ease the glass away from the blade.
  5. Use a waterproof pen to mark your pattern on your glass. For added protection allow the ink to dry and use a Chap Stick over line before cutting. A little bit of alcohol or vinegar will take that waterproof marker right off!
  6. Two or more pieces of glass may be cut at the same time by stacking them together and using “tacky wax” or double sided tape to hold glass in place. If using glue or tape, always clean your diamond blade after use by running a clean piece of glass or tile through blade.

Stained Glass for Beginners – Part 2: Foiling and Soldering Tools

Welcome to Part Two! Now that you know all the basic cutting tools (if you didn’t catch my last post read it here Stained Glass for Beginners – Part 1) I’ll tell you about the basic tools you need for the foiling and soldering process.

The bonding agents:

Copper FoilCopper Foil: this is essentially copper tape; available in different widths and thicknesses. It is wrapped around the outside of a piece of glass and then pressed into place along the sides later to be covered with flux. Copper foil is also available in different colors to give your designs a different effect. If you need some help selecting your foil check outFid my post on How to Choose Foil for Stained Glass Projects.

 

Fid: a tool used to adhere copper foil to glass, you could use a pencil or craft stick, but most fids are grooved and specially designed to burnish best

Flux: a paste or liquid that is applied to copper foil just before soldering, kinda like the cutters, the type you use is up to you and what you are comfortable with 

Flux Brush: used to apply flux to copper foil, like a heavy-duty paint brush

Soldering Iron: a tool used to heat solder to liquid form

Soldering Iron Stand with Tip Cleaning Sponge – a clean soldering iron tip is a happy soldering iron tip a stand with a cleaning sponge is essential to maintaining a clean solder tip

Solder: mostly lead/tin (lead free available) based material used to adhere pieces of stained glass together and finish the piece. Kind of like the glue that holds the piece together.  If you need some help selecting your solder check out my post Choosing Solder for Stained Glass Projects .

Heat resistant/homosote board: essential for protecting your work surface, I mean we are dealing with heat here

 

So you know all of the basic tools and supplies for the foil method of stained glass, aren’t you excited!!!

For some really great free stained glass patterns, check out the Diamond Tech Creative Corner and to find these stained glass cutting tools in a store near let our store locator be your guide.

Stay tuned, next week we’ll go over some basic cutting procedures  and I’ll take you through the basic steps of making a stained glass piece.