Step 6: A stack of glass

Picture of A stack of glass
You may be thinking;  "shouldn't the glass pieces be glued together?"  This opens up a BIG can of worms.  First of all just stacking the glass up works perfectly fine and how often are you going to move it anyway?  To dust it you simply remove the top piece and clean it.  Sadly it is not easy to glue the pieces together because you get bubbles in the glass which ruins the look of the light.  Many types of glass glue as well as transparent silicon were tried along with several methods of clamping, nothing really worked.  There is a way but it involves the building of a special containment cage as well as a specalized UV curing glass.  You may even want to design some sort of copper wire containment cage or ?????  This light has been in use for 4 months without incedent but we have not have an earthquake either.   
phevtron4 years ago
wouldnt be as cool as glass but something like plexiglass or any other plastic imitation of glass would do. i think.....
stormthirst4 years ago
If you have children in your house - not even your own children - anyone's children then you will figure out a way to stop 1ft of glass shards from doing some serious damage.

Personally I'd build a cage around the glass - perhaps out of copper like the base - or maybe steel and then copper plate the steel. Copper plating is ludicrously easy with copper sulphate, though it won't be shiny or flat
A solution for this problem would be to take a gas burner to round the edges

(... is this proper english?)
mrmerino trustr4 years ago
yes, but is the burner supposed to melt the edges together?
trustr mrmerino4 years ago
it's worth a try :-)
when you burn the edges the whole thing could stick together

but you have to consider the tension of the glass when it's cooling down
You trying building the stack in a mould and pouring an epoxy resin around it
what if you spread a very thin layer of epoxy between the layers as you build?
trustr mrmerino4 years ago
hmmm... why epoxy, i think the adhesion of oil (I dont know how fast water evaporates between two layers of glass) would do it, too

could somebody try it? i dont have enough glass tiles at home and I dont want to break a window ^^
i think this is the best idea for keeping the original look, though this method would take away the off-set edges and make it flat on all four sides. it would still look nice.

my first thought was to glue the glass together and use it to cast a mould, then use resin to create the actual lamp design. perhaps the center could be hollowed out by inserting a tube 3/4 of the way through the mould, which would decrease the overall weight as well. however, casting resin is pretty expensive which makes my idea sort of unrealistic... some nice ideas here in the comments, and the original is wonderful, of course.
Buskieboy4 years ago
Excellent light, very eye catching. I agree if you put it in a minimal copper frame it would stablize it but not take away anything from the look. It could be made to look like a seafarers lamp? In keeping with the theme?
Anyway, I'm curious, even though it doesn't get moved, how much does this thing weigh? It sounds very heavy.
imboox24 years ago
Hobby shops have a good choice of materials to use as a frame. I would use 1/4" brass or copper 90 degree angle material. You can solder it. The brass you'd have to use an acid core, the copper a rosin core.
spikes05774 years ago
It looks great! I think twisting the glass panes could apport interesting effects to light
Zovits4 years ago
Maybe if you just stacked all the glass tiles and spread glue on the sides of this tower, it would hold them firmly enough for regular use.
imbignate4 years ago
since copper is part of the theme I would simply frame the glass with 8 vertical copper rods, soldered at the base each about 0.5" from the edge and soldered at the base. It would add a ton of stability and have no impact on the quality of the glass.
Clarkus124 years ago
"This light has been in use for 4 months without incedent but we have not have an earthquake either." Knock on wood.
I really like the idea of a copper wire cage. I, too, am concerned about the stability of the lamp. If you have grandchildren or pets, you will understand. The copper wire can be formed with ease. Do not go too light with the wire. I would think less than 12 ga. and more than 20. With all of the clean glass, I would first form the cage, flux, and solder where the wires meet. I might also suggest that two wires wrap on either side. Leave the loose ends to solder to the base. If you don't. like the silver of the solder then before installing you can clean off the flux and patina with copper patina or copper nitrate. The copper patina in stained glass stores. DON'T get the patina on your clothes or the glass. DON'T drill holes in the glass. Unless you are very proficient you will have at least 50 broken 3X3" squares of glass. DON'T grind the edges of the glass. This will kill the beauty of the light. And now for something totally different. Go to your local stained glass shop and get some clear transparent colored glass. Have fun!

It seems that the hardest part is breaking the glass! This comes from a stained glass artist.
mfcds Clarkus124 years ago
Knock on wood.
This glass lamp was sitting on that wood.
Your hand is now taking a shower of glass.
nzlemming mfcds4 years ago
And you have been eaten by a Grue...
Eleventy4 years ago
What about drilling a hole through the center of all the pieces and stacking them on an acrylic or glass rod? Maybe you leave the top piece undrilled and just glue that one on to the top of the rod (to minimize where you have bubbling issues).
The LED is in the center, so it would be difficult to mount a center rod. Two rods in the opposite corners could work too, and wold be easier to mount. The tricky part for both is making the holes even on every tile, and without breaking any tiles (unless you have a cheap/easy supply of tiles).
dezertdude4 years ago
you would think just a small bit of silicon or superglue in each corner as you stack would do the trick
Spakman4 years ago
The only problem with the coaster idea is that they would be sharp is there any way to blunt the edges? Its a good idea though
cjolmsted4 years ago
glued = stable
unglued = coasters!