Intro: Solder-Framed Glass Picture Necklace
This is a simple stained glass picture necklace. Great for giving or selling...
If you do plan to sell some, talk with your local bead store owners and work out an agreement. For something this size, expect to get $6 a piece. A good way to come up with a price would be to ask the owner what he/she would sell it for, and cut it in half (50 50). Also use local pictures if you live in a tourist town. Good $$ to fuel your projects!
Oh, and don't kill yourself with the soldering iron.
Step 1: What You Need
1) Solder iron that HAS NEVER BEEN USED WITH LEAD SOLDER.
2) Lead free plumbing solder
3) Copper foil tape. Get it at crafty places that sell stained glass stuff, it's for stained glass.
4) lead FREE plumbing flux
5) Thin copper sheeting or wire for the loop.
6) Some kind of clamp and a pair of pliers.
7) Microscope slides.
8) Glass cutter.
Step 2: Glass Windows
Cut two glass windows from the microscope slide. Use the ball end of the cutter to whack the score-line until it fractures.
Step 3: Trim Photo to Fit
I used a ink jet printed glossy photo for this. Just cut and trim the photo until it fits behind the glass with nothing poking out. Sandwich the photo between the two CLEANED glass windows.
Step 4: Wrap With Copper Tape
Use the copper tape to wrap the perimeter of the glass-paper-glass sandwich. Notice that I don't wrap the tape down the middle, but rather allowing less tape on the picture side (uh...see photo...).
Using something smooth, gently fold down the tape to seal the sandwich. Chopsticks work great for smoothing down the foil, but I used a radio antenna instead (because that makes way more sense).
Step 5: Secure Your Sandwich!
Use a tiny clamp (or a clothespin if you're a wimp). MAKE SURE to remove the rubber feet on the clamp, or they will melt...
Be mindful not to crush the thing while tightening the clamp, you oaf!
Step 6: LIBERALLY APPLY FLUX
THIS WILL NOT WORK if you go stingy on the flux. Using lots of flux is the secret to a smooth solder job.
Step 7: Close Up of My Iron
Here is a close up of my modified solder iron. I just scraped away the top layer of black crust and soldered to the iron itself. This makes a little pool of solder that stays on the iron and allows you to solder the border without holding a clamp, an iron, and a roll of solder all at the same time.
Step 8: Soldering, Finally.
It's hard to explain this step and I couldn't take pictures, soooo your'e kinda on you own. You will get the hang of it with practice. Since the clamp covers some the necklace, you will have to stop soldering halfway and re-position the necklace with pliers.
I recomend soldering the necklace with the picture facing down. The solder wants to go down, so it will bead up nicely on the picture side.
Soldering the frame is like painting... you will need practice to learn how fast and smoothly to flow the solder. Starting out slow and testing the boundaries is the best way to learn.
Step 9: Making the Fancy Loop Thing for Hanging
Tin the copper sheeting and bend it into a coil thing (use a screw driver shaft as a mandrel). If there is a name for this part, please tell me.... see the pictures for more detail.
Step 10: Attaching the Fancy Loop Thing
Attach the fancy loop thing. Use pennies to hold it down (or something random, like a padlock). Just solder the tab onto the back of the necklace. See pictures.
Step 11: It's Dirty, So Clean It.
Yeah. Pretty much get some soap and water and remove the flux /mysterious black stuff (burned flux?).
I recommend using a toothbrush and hand soap for cleaning
DO NOT SUBMERGE THE NECKLACE IN WATER. Or even get it overly wet. I have wrecked several of these by getting water under the glass... somehow it can get inside.