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I taught myself stained glass a few years ago. After becoming familiar with soldering techniques and making a few two dimensional panels and windows, I sought to create an interesting three dimensional project. These twelve point stars not only include an element of geometry, but have a truly elegant and emotional presence.

This Instructable will show you how I made a 5-inch tall star ornament. You may want to learn basic stained glass skills before attempting this project.

Step 1: Let's Talk Safety.

Stained glass is the craft of controlling the shattering of glass. You will be handling very sharp objects in this project. PLEASE take great care to protect your hands and eyes. Clean your work station regularly to eliminate glass dust and tiny shards.

Gently wash your hands after working and refrain from rubbing your eyes. Do not leave food or drink too close to your work area as small chips of glass, flux or lead solder may contaminate your food.

When soldering, use a fume extracting fan or dust mask to protect your lungs from fumes.

And lastly, always remember to have fun. The time spent in working with glass has been truly meditative and stress relieving for me. I hope you find it does the same for you.

<p>How important is it to use solder with lead? Is the type without lead okay? And how dangerous is working with lead and copper solder?</p>
<p>Great Question!! There is a lead free solder, which is used primarily for soldering items that are to be worn as in jewelry, pins, skin contact etc. Lead solder is safe as long as you practice safety when using it: </p><p><em>Use a fume fan when soldering, wash your hands after soldering and don't eat, drink or smoke while soldering. Don't rub your eyes and touch your face or mouth before washing your hands. </em></p><p>Honestly, I work with people who have been doing leaded stained glass for decades. They do have their blood tested once every few years for heavy metals and have never had a problem. If you have any reservations about having that small amount of lead in a decoration, go ahead and use lead free solder. </p><p>Keep in mind lead free solder is a bit more expensive and is a bit more challenging to use. Higher heat is needed to control it. </p><p>I hope this doesn't sway you against picking this up as a hobby, (if you don't already solder for fun or work). </p><p>Here is a link to a publication from Berkeley National<br>Laboratory on soldering safety.</p><p><a href="http://www2.lbl.gov/ehs/ih/pdf/safeSolderingFinal.pdf" rel="nofollow">http://www2.lbl.gov/ehs/ih/pdf/safeSolderingFinal....</a></p><p>Enjoy! I'd be happy to help with any other questions you may have if you give stained glass a try!!</p>
I've dabbled in stained glass on and off for 20 + years, but my soldering skills have always sucked. <br>I LOVE WHAT YOU'VE DONE!<br>I'm going to brave it out and go for it!
<p>GREAT! I realize I didn't write much about the soldering process here. As you see, you only really need to tin the pieces. And then attach them through the &quot;tack&quot; method. (As a stained glass artist, you know what that is, just dabs to keep it together.) If you need any other advise, I'd love to help. I still do quite a bit of glass work. Good luck!! Share your work when you're done!!!</p>
<p>How wonderful! </p>
<p>Thank you! Your Reindeer Instructable is VERY well done! You should do more!</p>
<p>Thank you! I recently bought some copper tape for electronics, now I have another interesting use for it!</p>
<p>Cool. Just curious... what do you use the copper tape for in electronics? I do circuit design as well and would love to find a use for it. One idea I did have was to make circuits on paper to show my niece when she's older. Tape some LEDs down and make a simple light switch. But I'm glad you like the glass thing too!</p>
Making crude printed circuits on plastic, glass, or other non conductive substrates, also can be used to make a small Faraday cage around something. Funny thing is, I bought it on spec, and haven't used any yet, That happens a lot with me.
<p>True Story! I did electronics as a hobby for 10 years until I picked up stained glass, mostly to get myself trough winter. I compiled TONS of componants, materials and printouts for projects that are just sitting there waiting for me to shift gears again. I will soon enough. I cant wait to etch my next PCB and trace out my next circuit. But for now, I find solice in this art form; less headaches, quicker results. I find it funny I actually use some of my elec tools for glass... my panavise holds glass panels VERY well for soldering, and my &quot;helping hands&quot; help me tin copper wire (like the copper hanger wire I used here). I would love to find a way to merge these two hobbys... like... add LEDs to a glass window, use solder as circuit traces etc. </p>
<p>I've always wanted to get into stained glass. Your instructable is just awesome! </p>
<p>Thank you for the kind words. I certainly hope this helps you on your way! </p>

About This Instructable

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Bio: I live in suburban Pennsylvania with my wife and puppy. I pass the time building robots, photographing microbes and directing live TV. I enjoy learning ... More »
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