The Technique on Stained Glass

  1. Prior to actual fabrication, a cartoon or actual sized blueprint is produced. This becomes the road map for production. All the details are meticulously noted so that little is left for final interpretation. At this stage, it's there or it doesn't become a part of the end result. Lead lines, framing and rebar (where necessary) are detailed as well.

  2. Cutting the glass is the next most critical step. With an exacting technique, nearly surgical in nature, the glass must be cut to match the blueprint. Tolerances are measured within a millimeter. Accuracy at this stage produces a strong, stable and uniform panel. This is also the last stage where changes, such as glass selection, can be made.

  3. We produce panel using three methods: lead came, metal channel and copper foil. Lead came are extruded lead strips that are precisely cut to fit around the glass, which will later be joined together at their intersections. Metal channel is either brass copper or zinc strips, formed to a specific profile. Copper foil is a method of wrapping the edge of the glass with a very thin copper foil "tape" and then soldered.

  4. The intersections of lead came or metal channel are joined by solder on both sides of the panel. With the copper foil method, a bead of solder is then run on both sides of the entire panel around all pieces. The result is a very strong and stable panel.

  5. Cementing a completed panel is done only when the lead came or metal channel method is used. This special stained glass cement (which has no Portland cement in it) is used to weatherproof and firm up the panel. This fills the voids between the irregular properties of the glass and the lead came. Whiting or a chalk powder is used to finish the process.

  6. Installation is typically one of the quickest steps of the entire process. This may involve some carpentry, especially when insulated glass units are produced. Although in most residential cases, only special stained glass fittings are needed to install a panel. This is especially true when panels are placed against modern double pane windows or doors.


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