Introduction: Stained Glass Showcase

Long time needed glass display case for my small sculptures. We also needed more than the little single shelf for the many glass items my wife and I bought, so I finally bit the bullet and made the jump into my first glass build!

Step 1:

Direct to the business. The glass panels were first wrapped with adhesive copper foil. Since my glass is 2mm thick, I chose 6mm wide copper ribbon (you have to have a similar copper rebate on each side as the glass thickness). Here all the panels are laid-out on the working table. To protect it while soldering, a thick glass top is placed on the table.

The side panels are soldered side to side, beginning by the corners: a small solder drop on each side locks them in place, and then the full fillet is soldered. Same for the other side of the assembly, and for the back panels. I originally intended to silver-coat the back panels to have a mirror back, but I didn't have enough silver nitrate at the ready, so I will do it later.

Step 2:

Once the back panels are assembled, I started to bring the showcase to the third dimension by soldering the bottom panel, using a square to make sure it was at 90 degrees to the back. I used spot-soldering again, made the same with the first side assembly, and then filled the joint wilth solder. You saw in the prev steps that the side and back panels were made up of three pieces: that allows to have a place to solder the glass shelves to! I thus similarly spot-soldered then filled the shelves, checking for proper alignment.

Step 3:

Oce everything was soldered, it was onto the doors. I made the hinges by cutting 2cm lengths of 3mm brass tubing, having an adequate brass rod that can rotate inside of it: for hinges, you need it to be able to move!

I first stuck the brass rod in the tubes, placed the whole ass'y at the junction between the doors and the sides, soldered the *bottom* side of each hinge to the side panels and the *top* side to the door. Putting all hinges together with a single rod aligning them helps, well, to have the hinges aligned and work properly afterwards ;)

Care must be taken with that step since the solder can seep into the tube and make a permanent bond with the rod, you don't want that. Also take care as the solder flux will basically do the same thing and seep into your tube. I needed to hammer out the left rod after soldering the thing, because the flux had stuck it inside one of the tubes!

The lock was made the fast way, with no retainer: it's a pair of tubes, one soldered to each side, and a small bar length, with a loop at the top. After the fact I realized that without a retaining tube soldered to the body of the showcase, the door remains slightly open. I'll have to add two small rare-earth magnets to make it stay closed. Oh, well, this was my first try.

Step 4:

And here is the finished showcase. I still have to add a means to screw it to the wall, because the weight of the doors is enough to make it tilt forward when both are open. I really need to mirror those back panels, ugly wall is ugly. Well there you have it! I'll make more of these in the future when time permits, if a better tutorial is asked for I'll take way more pictures and close-ups.

Cheers from France!