Nice little project showing how to cut curved shapes out of glass.
This wasn't going to be an instructable i was only replying to a question! however i had some spare time and was enjoying the project. So the question was "I have just started getting into glasswork. have any tips for cutting curves? I haven't got the knack for that." and in reply i decided to make a glass camper! So the video is by far the best way to see the process and in fact the video shows the whole project start to finish. But i will also explain a few of the important bits.
Step 1: Design.
Its worth spending a bit of time to get the design correct. It may look like i rushed this bit in the video but believe me i spent some time looking at various pictures before deciding the camper would work well.
When you are choosing your design you need to be thinking about the way you will have to cut the glass to make the design work. Also the number of bits you will have to cut and the number of colours.
Also consider the different type of coloured glass you can get, some types of glass "flow" very well and are good for sky and water. other types of glass are good for flowers.
Step 2: Planing the Sequence
Basically what i mean is don't cut all the bits at once and expect them to fit together at the end. as you can see in the video i started with the 3 center bits and then added the rest section at a time.
In the first picture you can see how i have cut the middle section of glass and before i cut the next two bits i check the fit using the cardboard templates. You can get away with a small gap, but if its too large then you can adjust the next template OR use the bit of glass you have already cut to provide the new curve for the next bit?
Step 3: Cutting and Fitting the Sections Together.
So the technique i use is to draw around the cardboard choosing a good area of glass. If you have two pieces to cut of the same shape then you should try to get the same colour and pattern. next position the glass so you can cut the curve in one nice action. Then starting nearest to yourself push the cutter away along the line. This is opposite to how i cut straight lines but in doing it this way you can see the line you are attempting to follow.
Step 4: Adding the Foil.
I haven't shown how to do this in the video. I believe this is the easy bit. But just in case you are new to this hobby then i will explain how i apply the foil. Firstly before i even start foiling i like to quickly go around each side with the grinder. this gives a nice surface to ally the foil to and squares of the glass for a better fit. If you don't have a grinder then thats not a problem, however f you are going to be doing a lot of tiffany glass work then I believe you would benefit from getting one. And once you have a grinder you will wonder how you ever did without it!.
When you are ready to apply the foil peel of some of the backing then apply to the first corner, carefully work around the whole shape trying hard to get the glass positioned in the middle of the foil. When you get to the end DON'T overlap. I then like to cut the foil in the corners and push down the foil to the faces of the glass. Next i use a wooden icecream stick to push the foil firstly down on the sides and then onto the face.
You can if you wish get a special tool to apply the foil, but I haven't got one!
Step 5: Soldering the Bits.
This is best shown in the video. But i will also explain.
- Flux all joints before soldering.
- Tack the pieces together on the front.
- Turn over and quickly run solder over all the joints on the back. If you go too slow then you run the risk of the solder running through the glass.
- Then turn back over the the front and carefully solder the front taking it a step at a time. you can put a bit more heat into the foil because you have the solder on the other side, but don't dwell in one area to long. If you want to tide up a solder joint then go back to it after it has cooled down.
- Quickly run solder around the front of the foil on the edges.
- Finish of the edges by holding the piece vertical and soldering along the horizontal edge. At all times keep the soldered area horizontal else you will find the solder will run down.
Step 6: Finishing Touches.
Where you have the wheel you have a possibility that it may get snapped of. if this is a problem then you can reinforce the perimeter using copper wire. I use 1mm wire stripped from domestic "twin and earth" then carefully shape it around the edge and solder it down.
The wire can also be used to add bits to the camper like window wipers and mirrors? i also used the wire to add loops to the back to allow me to hang the camper by the window.
The front lights were made using an offcut of mirror i had in the shed. i cut a rough shape then used my grinder to get a good profile. I then foiled around the edge using a crinkle foil. These lights have been glued into place using a silicone adhesive.