Solder-Framed Glass Picture Necklace

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Introduction: Solder-Framed Glass Picture Necklace

This is a simple stained glass picture necklace. Great for giving or selling...

If you do plan to sell some, talk with your local bead store owners and work out an agreement. For something this size, expect to get $6 a piece. A good way to come up with a price would be to ask the owner what he/she would sell it for, and cut it in half (50 50). Also use local pictures if you live in a tourist town. Good $$ to fuel your projects!

Oh, and don't kill yourself with the soldering iron.

Step 1: What You Need

1) Solder iron that HAS NEVER BEEN USED WITH LEAD SOLDER.

2) Lead free plumbing solder

3) Copper foil tape. Get it at crafty places that sell stained glass stuff, it's for stained glass.

4) lead FREE plumbing flux

5) Thin copper sheeting or wire for the loop.

6) Some kind of clamp and a pair of pliers.

7) Microscope slides.

8)
Glass cutter.

Step 2: Glass Windows

Cut two glass windows from the microscope slide. Use the ball end of the cutter to whack the score-line until it fractures.

Step 3: Trim Photo to Fit

I used a ink jet printed glossy photo for this. Just cut and trim the photo until it fits behind the glass with nothing poking out. Sandwich the photo between the two CLEANED glass windows.

Step 4: Wrap With Copper Tape

Use the copper tape to wrap the perimeter of the glass-paper-glass sandwich. Notice that I don't wrap the tape down the middle, but rather allowing less tape on the picture side (uh...see photo...).

Using something smooth, gently fold down the tape to seal the sandwich. Chopsticks work great for smoothing down the foil, but I used a radio antenna instead (because that makes way more sense).

Step 5: Secure Your Sandwich!

Use a tiny clamp (or a clothespin if you're a wimp). MAKE SURE to remove the rubber feet on the clamp, or they will melt...

Be mindful not to crush the thing while tightening the clamp, you oaf!

Step 6: LIBERALLY APPLY FLUX

THIS WILL NOT WORK if you go stingy on the flux. Using lots of flux is the secret to a smooth solder job.

Step 7: Close Up of My Iron

Here is a close up of my modified solder iron. I just scraped away the top layer of black crust and soldered to the iron itself. This makes a little pool of solder that stays on the iron and allows you to solder the border without holding a clamp, an iron, and a roll of solder all at the same time.

Clever, huh?

Step 8: Soldering, Finally.

It's hard to explain this step and I couldn't take pictures, soooo your'e kinda on you own. You will get the hang of it with practice. Since the clamp covers some the necklace, you will have to stop soldering halfway and re-position the necklace with pliers.

I recomend soldering the necklace with the picture facing down. The solder wants to go down, so it will bead up nicely on the picture side.

Soldering the frame is like painting... you will need practice to learn how fast and smoothly to flow the solder. Starting out slow and testing the boundaries is the best way to learn.

Step 9: Making the Fancy Loop Thing for Hanging

Tin the copper sheeting and bend it into a coil thing (use a screw driver shaft as a mandrel). If there is a name for this part, please tell me.... see the pictures for more detail.

Step 10: Attaching the Fancy Loop Thing

Attach the fancy loop thing. Use pennies to hold it down (or something random, like a padlock). Just solder the tab onto the back of the necklace. See pictures.

Step 11: It's Dirty, So Clean It.

Yeah. Pretty much get some soap and water and remove the flux /mysterious black stuff (burned flux?).

I recommend using a toothbrush and hand soap for cleaning

DO NOT SUBMERGE THE NECKLACE IN WATER
. Or even get it overly wet. I have wrecked several of these by getting water under the glass... somehow it can get inside.

The End

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    22 Comments

    Don't let your soldering iron get black like this!  Use a wet sponge to wipe it clean frequently.  A piece of brass tubing can also be used for the bale...easier than forming that roll of metal!  I make picture frames like this often and use alcohol to clean the flux off. It's got a waxy base that's hard to remove completely.  Then use paste wax to protect the whole thing.  Hope this is useful...I make a living doing stained glass.

     Hmm, irons are so cheap these days that I let mine get pretty bad...LOL
    Steined glass? I have a question: I have come to own about 10 rolls of lead came and about $200 worth of colored glass sheets (bought in the 1970's by some relatives, and stored unused in the basement). I want to make steined glass, but I don't know if the lead came is safe. What do you think?


    Good irons are NOT cheap!!!  Not at my house...
    Yes I think the came will be just fine!  Be sure to stretch it before use. Have you taken a class in stained glass....would be advisable!

     So lead came is ok? The iron you see in this 'ible is my junk one. I have a great big iron for doing steined glass.

    The loop thingy that holds the pendant to the chain or cord is called a "bail."
    Looks like the Avatar?

    Its avatar! yay i win. where are my Kudos?  

    Hi! I love your project & plan on gathering the stuff to make it this week...
    wanted to let you know that this 'fancy loop thing' is called a 'bale' :)
    thanks!

    So it's a bale! I would have never known! ty!

    If you ever need anything in this 'ible, or need any assistance, I would love to help you!

     This is cool! :D Plus, Avatar is a great movie.

    Yay! I loved Avatar! It was the most epic movie ever!!!!!!!