Hi this is my very first Instructable and I'm going to try and explain to you how I made the stained glass panels for my inside porch door.
About three years ago I bought a house, an old Victorian terrace house with loads of potential and opportunities to make some very special items to fill it with.
My hallway when I moved in was pretty dull and the old plain glass door that divides my hall looked tired and dated. My dad had a load of stained glass tools and materials from him dabbling with it years ago (to no real outcome) so I thought I'd liberate his equipment and have a go at updating my hallway door.
Prior to me attempting this project I'd never made anything from glass before and had no experience using the tools and methods required, but hey if you don't give it a go you could miss out on something amazing and half the fun is getting to grips with new techniques.
I should point out that at any one time I can easily have 3-4 projects on the go (3 currently) so trying to finish one outright around work and other commitments is always difficult and this was no exception. From me starting this project to its completion it took me 8 months, but the finished door looks stunning in my hallway people always comment on it making all the effort worthwhile. If I ever move house it'll have to be to another 17 as I would never leave this door behind.
Hopefully this Instructable will encourage other people to give stained glass a go as you can make some beautiful things and its not to difficult to get to grips with.
Unfortunately whilst completing this project I forgot to take photos of a lot of the processes regarding cutting and soldering so I've recreated these afterward using scrap pieces of glass to try and illustrate how to complete each stage, hopefully they are clear enough and you'll understand.
Step 1: Equipment & Materials
Below is a list of all the items and materials I used to make my stained glass panels.
Tools & Equipment
- Oil Filled Glass Cutter - You can use an non oil filled one I just found it ran smoother with the oil reservoir included.
- Running Pliers - There are many different types out there, I bought a pair of blue plastic ones for £5 online and they've been solid throughout, as good as any of the more expensive. These are essential, I started out without these and it was a nightmare, I broke so many "test Pieces".
- Breaking Pliers - Not a necessity but makes it easier when doing fiddly or small cuts
- Glass Grinding Wheel - This is to smooth and grind away any excess once you've made your cuts. You could probably use a fine metal file or a Dremel type tool with stone grinding wheel attachment instead
- 12mm Tip Soldering Iron - The more powerful the better as it'll melt your solder better, the wide tip also gives more surface area to work with.
- Marker pens - Anything that marks glass will work I used permanent ones so my marks didn't rub off when cutting
- Steel Ruler - Or anything that can help you measure and mark out your glass
- Craft Knife - Any sharp bladed knife will do that can cut through paper or card
- Variety of different colours/textures & types of stained glass - There are so many different glass type and shapes out there to choose from so just pick what you like the look of.
- Copper Foil - There are a variety of different width copper foils I recommend getting one twice the thickness of your glass. So if you have 3mm glass get 6mm foil tape.
- Solder (K Grade 60:40) - Again there are a few different types, I chose K grade as it melts at lower temperatures and gives a rounder looking joint when solidified.
- Flux - The usual choice for stained glass seems to be liquid flux, however this is fairly expensive for only a small amount so I just bought some plumbing flux from a local DIY shop and it does the same job for a lot less
- A3 Paper - This is what I used for templates to mark my patterns out on the glass, it doesn't have to be A3 that was just what I had lying around.
- Masking Tape - This was to join the pieces of paper together. I used masking tape as its easily marked with a pen/pencil when marking out patterns.
I also used some other woodworking tools and materials to get the glass into my door frame. Depending on what you are making the glass for you may also need some other stuff but as this Instructable predominantly focuses on the glass I'll leave those extras out.
Step 2: Setup
Okay its time to finally start this project!
Before getting on with any actual glass cutting and pattern making however you need to set up an area to work in, ideally somewhere flat with a fair amount of space to work in.
Mine was an old workbench in my garage that I fitted with a flat piece of MDF with two fixed batons attached in the bottom left corner forming a 90 degree right angle. This allowed me to mark how big my finished glass panel needed to be and draw a border that all the glass needed to fit within.
It also helps when laying down the pieces of glass using the straight corner as your starting point. I also had another two free moving batons that I could bring in to hold the glass pieces in place when soldering.
The rest of the desk can then used for marking and cutting my glass.
Step 3: The First Template
Okay its now time to start on the glass work, finally!
The first thing you need to do is determine how big the finished panel needs to be once all the individual pieces are soldered together.
In my case this was easy as I was just replacing the old panels in my door. The easiest thing to do here (if I hadn't broken every glass panel when removing them) would of been to place it on my flat surface against the batons and draw round it, as it was I just measured the holes the glass came out of and marked the measurements on my MDF.
Once you have the overall size of the panel the next thing to do is make a template that you'll use to cut the individual glass shapes making up your panel.
To do this I used A3 paper cut and stuck together with masking tape to match the size of my finished panel. (If you use paper bigger than your finished panel it'll be easier as you wont have to stick it all together)
Once you have the template made its time to start marking it up with the patterns you want to appear in the panel. As this was my first ever undertaking of stained glasswork I opted for a simple design to start out with.
All I did for this pattern was just draw straight lines coming off of one another until I filled the whole template, I didn't have any design or colours in mind I just drew what came. Once I was happy with my design and number of pieces I went back and numbered each individual shape I'd created, this makes it a lot easier later on once they're all cut out. If you don't number or letter them or have some form of reference you may get in to difficulties.
If you've a specific design in mind before hand it might also be useful to label each template with the colour of glass you are going to use for that template.
Once they're all numbered and/or coloured its time to cut them all out, for this design a craft knife and a steel ruler were all I used to cut along the marked lines until all the shapes were separated. I found it helps if that after you've cut a piece you place that onto your work area where it is going to go in the final panel, this way you're less likely to lose the templates and can see how all the pieces fit together.
Step 4: The First Cut
Now that you have all your templates cut and ready its finally time to move on to the glass.
The type of glass you use here is completely down to personal preference, flat glass is the easiest to cut, textured and layered glass is more difficult. The thickness of the glass also plays a part, for all my panels I used glass ranging from 3-6mm, obviously the thicker it is the harder it will be to cut.
For this first panel I basically used what my dad had left in his garage which was just a mixture of different colours and patterns, but all flat.
Once you've chosen your glass its time to cut. The first thing to do is take your template (I started with number 1) and place it on top of your chosen piece of glass making sure you've a decent amount of excess glass surrounding the template, or if you've a straight edge on both your template and glass sheet line those up to save making an extra cut. Now using a marker pen draw around the outside of the template leaving the outline of the shape on the glass, then place the template back in to where you removed it from in your design.
Next using the glass cutter and steel ruler to keep it straight over the line you've just drawn, start from one edge of the glass and applying pressure score the glass across to the opposite edge, you'll hear a sort of scraping noise as you go. Only score the glass once however DO NOT go back over with your cutter or your cut will not work.
Now using the running pliers with the two jawed side on the top surface of glass where the score mark is, place them on one end of your score mark with it centred in the jaws and gently apply pressure until the glass breaks along your score line. If your score was clean the glass will break evenly, if you've gone over the line again or don't have a continuous score mark the glass may not break correctly or you'll lose edges and points and your shape will be ruined.
Repeat this process for the next cuts on the shape and when its all cut out place it where your paper template is in your design and number it correspondingly.
Carry on drawing round each template on your chosen pieces of glass until you have marked and cut out all of your shapes for the panel. You should now be looking at a sort of overview of what your panel will look like with each paper template you made replaced by a corresponding glass one.
Don't worry if you break a few pieces and make mistakes along the way its all part of it and the glass can still be used later for other shapes or projects and similarly any scrap you get from your cuts also keep as you never know when these might come in handy too.
Believe me I broke a lot of glass making this first panel, as originally I didn't have the running pliers and was trying to break the glass manually with my hands resulting in a lot of snapped off points on my triangles and a great deal of frustration. That is why I cannot stress enough the importance of the running pliers, it makes everything so much easier and cleaner.
When cutting a shape if you find that its too difficult or awkward to get a clean cut without breaking think about making that shape out of two separate pieces of glass instead. Throughout this project I had a few shapes, such as my dinosaurs body where trying to cut it out of one piece of glass was just a non starter, so instead I sliced my template for that piece in half and then made it up from two pieces of glass. There is usually a way round if you're struggling just have a play around until you come up with a solution that works for your design.
Step 5: Foiling
Now that you have all your shapes cut out its time to start the process to join them altogether. They're are two methods to do this, one uses lead came and involves stretching and pulling the lead. The other one and the one I used here is copper foiling. Both have their merits and look equally as good when finished, I chose the copper method as its was my first go at this type of thing and seemed the easiest when starting out. (plus my dad had all the gear ready and waiting collecting dust which helped)
Looking at your pieces laid out on the table you may notice they don't all fit together tightly and some have gaps between them. Don't worry, to begin with we're going to need to remove any sharp edges or splinters of glass you may have around your shapes from the cutting stage causing these gaps. The easiest way to do this is to use a glass grinder as it allows the glass shapes to be sat flat and the edges to be ground smooth removing any sharp edges or grinding down any mistakes you may have made cutting. My grinder has a water bath underneath which lubricates the glass as it grinds away and makes the whole process smoother and easier to grind. An alternative here if you've not got a glass grinder could be a fine metal file or a Dremel type tool with stone wheel attachments fitted, just be careful you don't break your glass this way or slice your hands on sharp glass, gloves are recommended as there was a lot of red at various stages when I was working on my panels.
Once you're happy with all your shapes edges fit them together again on the table and any gaps you once had should now be gone, or at least minimised. By no means were all my panels tightly fitting like a jigsaw there were some imperfections just due to how the shape was cut and my own limitations, after all this is my first outing and I was just happy at this stage I had something resembling a window, Plus the solder can hide a multitude of sins making even the rougher cuts look good.
Right on to foiling!
As I explained earlier its best to get foil the width that is twice the thickness of your chosen glass, as the overlap of foil on the glass surface determines how wide your finished solder joint will be.
Firstly make sure your glass is clean and free of dust, If like me you marked the glass with marker pen when cutting use some white spirit or other cleaning agent to remove it, then dry off the glass with a clean rag or kitchen roll.
The easiest way I found to foil my glass was to unroll say 20-30cm of the foil tape (don't cut it off the roll just yet)and peel off the protective backing, then starting at one corner of my glass run the foil around the outside edges of the glass until you're back at the starting point. Then cut the foil from the roll leaving a little overlap tail to stick over your starting point. Now go around your shape again folding down the sides of the tape onto each side of the glass surface, apply a good amount of pressure when doing this so the foil sticks to your glass nice and flat, pay particular attention to corners where the foil will overlap. A tip I learned here was to use something like a piece of wood or the marker pen to run over the foil to get the even pressure you need and stick the foil securely. (I've since learned there's a special tool for this called a Fid but to be honest my marker pen worked just as well and it was no extra cost).
Continue to foil all your remaining pieces of glass, this can take some time and is at times a fiddly process depending on the size and complexity of your shapes. Once they're all done though your window will look so much better when all laid out on the table all those rough cut edges transformed into nice straight shiny ones. Don't worry if you've a bit of tape out of place like in one of my images you can either trim it off with the craft knife or hide it with the solder later on.
Step 6: Soldering (Front & Back)
Now that all your glass shapes look clean and nice its time to join them together in union so as to become your finished window, exciting!
The best way I found to do this after I'd winged it on my first panel is to build the simple workstation as outlined in step 2. This allows you to keep all the glass nice and tightly together and avoid movements that may result in gaps between your glass shapes. Unfortunately I didn't manage to take photos at every stage for every panel but you can see in the images one of my other windows (the No 17 one) foiled and sat In this workstation with surrounding batons keeping everything where it needs to be tight up against one another.
Now switch on your soldering iron and get it heating up, we're not going to solder this window all in one go straightaway, but rather in stages.
The first thing we're going to do is to only solder where the corners of the glass shapes meet, so at every point in your window where 2 or more corners meet apply a small amount of solder flux to that area. Make sure you only use the tiniest amount and wipe off any excess, as when you apply the solder if too much flux is present it boils with the heat and causes bubbles and voids to appear in your solder joint, not only does this weaken it but it also doesn't look very nice. If you're using liquid flux only flux as many joints as you can comfortably work on at once as this will of evaporated by the time you finish if trying to do all joints at once. I used plumbers flux which works just as well and was a gel consistency so I didn't have this problem.
Once all your joints are fluxed take your soldering iron and choice of solder (I used K grade) and with your soldering iron positioned over your first joint introduce the solder stick to the tip of the iron until you see it start to melt, with a steady hand run the melted solder over the copper foil at your joint using the iron to keep it hot and liquid and watch as it flows evenly over the coppers surface and begins to harden. Make sure all of the pieces of glass at this point are soldered together before moving on to the next joint. Repeat the process until all the places where corners meet are soldered together. Theoretically now you should be able to pick up your window without any loose pieces of glass falling away. Please don't try this though as I'd hate for your creation to end up on the floor at this late stage.
You can now go back with your flux and cover all the rest of the copper joints at edges and the outer rim of your window. Again only flux as many joints as you can handle at any one time.
Using the same process as before start at one end of an edge or shape with your iron, introduce the solder so it melts then slowly follow the copper joint along with your iron feeding in the solder sticks at an even pace so it flows in to the joint and you can no longer see any of the copper foil exposed. If you get any bubbles where excess flux has been present don't worry simply press your iron on to it to re-melt the solder and work it along the joint again until all the bubbles have disappeared. If you have any solder on the glass where you don't want it just wait for it to cool and harden then it will easily wipe off, any joints you're not happy with can simply be re-heated with the iron and run along again to even them out.
On my first window I had a few spikey areas in solder where I'd lifted the iron off and a few bubbles with excess flux, but this is to be expected and the iron easily rectifies these problems. As with anything the more you practice and have a go the better you will get and more confident in doing larger areas and more complex shapes.
Once all your joints are edges are done and cooled you should now have a finished looking window with no copper foil showing anywhere, but instead smooth silver joints running between each glass shape. However we're only half way done with the soldering, you now need to carefully flip over your window and solder on the reverse side.
When you turn the window over you might notice some of the solder from the front side has run through the joints, this is okay as you can re-heat this and use it to run into the joints on this side. As the shapes at this stage are already all joined together there's no need on the back to solder all the joints where corners meet first and we can simply move on and start soldering anywhere where copper foil is showing. The process is exactly the same from the front side, start by fluxing all your joints and wiping away any excess, then beginning with any solder than ran through from the front place the iron and wait for the solder to melt then run it along that joint, introduce more solder as needed for each joint and edge until you can no longer see any copper foil.
Leave your window for a few minutes for the solder to cool and harden, you've now finished your first stained glass window panel and should be able to pick the whole thing up no problem. Hooray!
Step 7: Clean Up and Admiration
At this stage your window panel is probably quite dirty from flux, finger marks, solder and general dust and dirt. The best thing to do is give it a clean off using a sponge or rag and some warm soapy water, maybe a stiff bristle brush too if you've any solder stuck on glass where you don't want it. You can be quite robust at this stage as you're window should be fairly stable and well held together. Dry it off with a cloth or some kitchen roll and you can now see your work in all its glory.
Its a good idea here to check over all your joints and edges to see if there's anything your not happy with, if you find a joint you don't like simply heat up your soldering iron again and run it along that joint until the solder melts then you can then re-finish it until you're happy with it.
Your panel is now complete and if you hold it up to light source you'll see all the different colours and textures of your glass come to life. I put a lamp behind my individual panels as I completed them to see how each one looked and admire my accomplishment.
Step 8: Lets Crank It Up a Notch
For this particular project I needed 5 of these stained glass panels to complete my door, so now I had one panel under my belt and riding high I jumped straight back in designing my second one.
As you'll see from the images of my completed panels with each window I went more and more complex and tried cutting a variety of different shapes and curves. As the first panel was just an array of triangles all my cuts were straight lines which was pretty straight forward, but now things get more difficult and the chances of breakage is much higher, plus at this point I'd used the majority of the glass I got from my dad and had to source more.
Unfortunately for me my nearest glass supplier is over 100 miles away and over the course of this project I had to go back 3 times for materials. Yes there's plenty of online retailers for glass and supplies but I like to see the glass and get an idea of how it'll look once in place with light behind, you just can't get that with images on a website and the selections of glass they had and the patterns I found made it very worth while, especially the unique layered glass they made themselves. (For anyone interested its a place called Kansa Craft in Elsecar and they have everything you could ever need).
Step 9: The Circle
As I said my panels now become more complex to cut and fit together. Instead of going through how each panel was made like I did for the first one I'll just go through some of the techniques I used to create the more difficult cuts and shapes.
The process of foiling and soldering is the same no matter what design you come up with it'll just take longer for more intricate patterns, so if you can foil and solder a simpler window like my triangle one you can foil and solder anything.
Okay lets get cracking.
My second window deign was my sunburst pattern and as you might of guessed the hardest shape to cut here was the circle in the centre. You can buy a special circle cutting tool which I have since bought, however at the time I made this window I didn't have this kit so I'll tell you how I did it using only the equipment listed above.
Again as with all my windows I first made, numbered and cut out all of my individual paper shape templates, from here I then transferred the shapes onto the glass by drawing round them. Once I had the circle drawn on my piece of chosen glass the first thing to do is score around the outline of the circle, I did this free hand slowly rotating the glass sheet with one hand and pulling the cutter along the line with my other. Don't lift the cutter off until you've finished the complete circle, an easier way would be to use something to score around like a wooden blank, a glass or a plate something like that maybe. However you score though make sure you only do it once and don't go back over your score lines.
The next thing to do is make a series of straight cuts along the edge of the circle to remove all the excess glass, this will leave you your circle with a few ridges around the edge. To remove these ridges use a combination of the breaking pliers and the glass grinder. Where you have larger ridges place the breaking pliers curved jaw side down on the ridge with the end of the jaws just in front of your circular score line, holding the glass firmly in one hand pull the pliers down carefully with the other hand until the ridge breaks off along your score line cut earlier, repeat this for any other ridges you have, don't worry if it doesn't all break away we can now use the grinder to take off remaining smaller ridges and imperfections.
Place your glass on the grinder table and with the spindle running gently introduce your work piece, where you have ridges and glass in excess of your circular score mark feed in and rotate the glass to grind away down to that score mark. Depending on you grinders cutting head, quality and thickness of glass this can be a slow process as it was in my case, continue on however until all you're left with is a nice even circle.
Believe it or not I managed to do this in one go on my first attempt, I was so worried beforehand as I'd only bought enough yellow glass for the pieces I needed with no mistakes. But I took my time and was very happy with the outcome and if I can do it having never tried before you can as well.
The rest of the shapes for this window were pretty straight forward cuts like in my first window, the only differences where the small curves where the 'rays' meet the sun in my design.
To make these once again mark up your shape on the chosen glass and make any straight cuts first. Now score over your curved line freehand, take the breaking pliers ( curved jaw side down) and with the jaws up to your score mark pull down to break off and remove the small curved piece of glass. I repeated this for every ray where it would touch the sun. Tidy up any rough edges and breaks on the grinder so all your pieces fit nicely together, now its all ready for foiling and soldering again.
Step 10: Other Cuts and 3D Elements
All my remaining panels were cut and made using techniques I've already explained. However as you can see some of the other panels have far more curves and intricate pieces in and the techniques do vary slightly and other methods are needed with different kinds of glass.
This section just goes over these remaining methods I used so that you are able to get the same results if you give it a go.
The first one and easiest one is my added 3D elements on my final window, the one with the flowers and yes a dinosaur, because why not I wanted a dinosaur in there.
My 3D glass is just a couple of large glass beads in place where the flower centres are. These are the kind of things you use to decorate vases and other things in your home with, treat them the same as the rest of your flat glass and run copper foil around the outer rim at the widest point of your beads or chosen 3D element. The other glass can then be cut to match the outline of this shape and soldered together in the same way as normal. These beads on my final window add another element and make it stand out, adding to the overall effect and making it look more impressive.
Long Sweeping Curves
For areas such as the sea and sand in my number 17 beach window ( I live at No. 17 on the coast) the glass shape compromises of a large flowing curve. These are really straight forward to cut and use the same method as for straight cuts.
Once you've marked the curve on the glass start at one end and use your cutter to score as closely as possible along the line freehand to the other end, now using the running plies (two jawed side on the top surface) place your pliers centrally at the score line and apply a steady amount of pressure. Your glass will break along the curved line leaving you the two separate halves of the glass ready to grind if necessary before foiling.
Deeper Curved Cuts
I've already covered cutting shallow curves on my sunburst window, however on the remaining ones the curves are steeper and deeper on some pieces.
The process is essentially the same for these cuts as before except we do the cut in stages removing small pieces of glass one at a time.
Mark up your glass in the usual way and cut any straight or flowing curve cuts first. Now where you have your deeper curves marked, mark some graduation lines away from the curve parallel to it.
The best way to describe this is like digging a hole, rather than removing all the soil in one go with a massive spade you dig down gradually a bit at a time until you reach the depth you need and the same applies here.
Mark shallower curves above your original mark and one at a time score these and break away the glass using the breaking pliers until you get down close enough to where you want your final curve. Score this mark and use the pliers one last time, or if possible use the grinder to get the desired final shape.
In my example images I've marked 5 cuts but I managed to do it in 3 it all depends how big the curve is and how confident you are.
Straight / Flowing Curve Cuts on Thicker & Layered Glass
On some of my windows such as the beach scene the glass used for the sand, sky and sea is a unique layered glass made up of lots of different colours and as a result has a rough surface finish and is very thick. To cut this glass scoring and using the running pliers isn't enough as you'll break the pane and ruin your shape.
In order for me to get the shapes I wanted there is a slight variation in the method. First mark and score your glass as you would normally take extra care when scoring here though as because the glass is rough surfaced its harder to keep the cutter on the pen mark. Hold the cutter as tightly as possible as close to the cutting wheel as possible and move very slowly along the pen line end to end.
Once you have your score mark find a soft surface or use a mat/towel (I used and old offcut of carpet) and place your scored glass panel face down on the soft surface (ie the score mark is touching the soft surface) Now you're going to tap on the glass along where your score mark is on the opposite side. I used my glass cutter to tap the glass as it has a brass finial at the end of the handle ideal for this process. If you have a different cutter the handle of a screwdriver or shaft of a small hammer works just as well.
Tap along the glass carefully using heavier taps as necessary, what you are looking for is a crack to appear along the same path as where your score mark runs on the opposite side. Its effectively pulling through your score mark from top to bottom. Some occasions you'll get a clean breakthrough with this method and the two glass halves will separate. If not when you've the cracks appearing through on the bottom side flip the glass back over carefully and now use the running pliers to finish off and make the break.
I recommend tapping on a soft surface as if you don't there's a chance you could just shatter the glass panel with your taps as there's nothing to absorb the harsh shocks. Clean up the break on the grinder as normal, with layered and textured glass your are more likely to have rough edges using this method.
You can also use this tapping method on other cuts you make such as on smaller deep curves and acute angles you may have before using the breaking pliers, as it will help reduce the amount of force you need when using the breaking pliers and reduce your risk of unwanted breakages
Step 11: Final Assembly
Okay we're getting there now, I think I've explained everything I did to be able to design and cut out all my panels. As I said this took me over 8 months to finish so trying to remember all the details is difficult writing this.
I now have my 5 stained glass panels and I couldn't be happier with how they all came out and look,the only thing left to do now is put them in my door frame.
Now as this Instructable is mainly about the creation of the glass panels I'm not going to spend long with the ins and outs of how I put it all back together as a door, below are the basic steps I took from finishing all the panels to having a working door again:
- Decide which panel goes in which location in the door frame, shave the door frame with a chisel to fit panels in where tight if necessary.
- Strip off the old paint from the door frame using various sanding machines and a heat gun.
- Cut new window edge beading from 2.4 m lengths I bought new at a DIY store to hold the glass in place.
- Paint the whole door and cut beading strips,gloss white in my case, give it 2-3 coats.
- Re-hang the door without the glass in (it weights a tonne with it in).
- Insert each individual glass panel one at a time and secure by nailing beading in place around the edges.
- Touch up any areas where the paint work was damaged during installation.
- Fix new door furniture and handles
For my door handle I wanted something that complemented my glass work, so after looking around I came across and old Victorian blue glass door knob which matched perfectly. I paired this with some old brass door plates I also found online (sadly both from the USA). Once they were on the door was finally finished and I could at last keep the draft from the front door at bay once more having suffered it for 8 months.
Step 12: Finished Door and Shots of All Panels
Although this project took me 8 months to complete it was well worth the wait and all the hard work, it is by far and away my favourite piece in my house and everyone that comes round comments on it and can't believe I made it myself.
If I hadn't had work and other commitments after starting this project I probably could of had it all done within a month but you can't plan for these things.
I eventually hope to replace all the surrounding plain glass panels with stained glass ones as well, but for now my door will do.
I hope you've enjoyed reading through my first Instructable and hopefully its given you some ideas or the confidence to have a go yourself, remember before this project I'd never worked with stained glass in my life!
Below are some shots of the finished door and each individual glass panel, thanks for reading through the copious amount of words above and I hope to see you on another Instructable soon.