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:
- 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!
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
- Once all of your pieces are soldered, flip it over and solder the other side.
- 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.