This is an instructable which helps you make a simple but pretty stained glass lead panel in a cubist style.
Please remember to be careful when handling and cutting glass!
You will need:
- Lead came (6mm)
- Assortment of 3mm thick coloured glass
- solder (grade k)
- Soldering Iron
- Chemical flux
- Glass cutting tool
- Wooden board and panels for support
- Lead knife
- Desktop vice
Step 1: Trace Out Your Design
First, you will need to make a simple geometric design.
Draw this out on paper and label each piece. Then photocopy this so you have two copies. (One copy will be used as a guide and the other will help you cut each glass component.)
Its also a good idea to tape your design onto a board, and use some wood strips to create a right angle that will become useful when putting your stained glass piece together.
Step 2: Cut Out All the Glass Pieces
Use the glass cutter tool to make each of the pieces found on the template.
Its usually a good idea to draw around the paper template of each piece, then score one edge at a time.
Once you have scored a line, make a snapping motion to break apart the two pieces of glass.
I found this video very useful when I started learning to cut glass.
Step 3: Arrange Glass Pieces
Once you have cut all the necessary pieces, arrange them in the order they will appear in your panel.
This will help you check whether you have left any large gaps between the glass, or if there is less than a 1.5 mm gap in between. When creating lead stained glass the came is an H shape, so there is a 1.5 mm thick piece of lead that sits between the pieces.
If any of these issues occur you should re-cut the pieces of glass that are causing the issue to make sure your panel fits together correctly.
Step 4: Stretching and Preparing the Lead Came
Now, you will need to stretch out the lead came. The lead came generally comes folded or bended, and because it is so soft it can be easily dented.
The best way to do this is to grip one end of the came in a desktop vice, and use pliers on the other end to firmly pull the came until it slowly stretches into a long smooth form.
Step 5: Cutting the Came
You will need to use a lead knife to cut the came to size.
Lead is soft so the knife has a curved blade which helps you cut through without squashing the H shape of the came. Its works well when you rock the blade forward and backward slightly as you cut.
Make sure the came meets up neatly at all cross sections.
Step 6: Opening Up the Came
Again, because the lead is soft it can get squashed, which means the H shape can loose its form.
The best way to make sure the glass still easily slides inside it is to reopen it using this plastic tool.
You simply run the thin edge inside the opening to stretch it out.
Step 7: Make Sure All the Pieces Line Up
Now you just need to make sure that all the pieces line up.
A handy tip is to use horse shoe nails to help hold everything tightly in place.
Step 8: Add Solder and Putty
Now you just need to solder the areas where the lead came pieces meet. Remember to apply a small amount of chemical flux to the areas in which you will be soldering to stop it burning and help you apply the solder easier.
Try and do this really neatly as it will make a difference to the quality of your panel.
Then you just need to roll putty into a ball and push it into the gaps between the glass and the came. This will stop the glass rattling around and add strength to the panel.
Step 9: Clean and Admire!
Now all you need to do is clean your panel to get rid of any excess putty and flux residue.
And that's it, you've got a lovely colourful stained glass panel! :)