Several craft ideas come in mind when you have stained glass. Could be you have been admiring premises whose windows have stained glasses. Maybe you want to make a picture frame or even some beautiful ornaments. Whatever you have in mind is possible. The tricky part is when soldering the glass edge. It can be dangerous due to the risk of lead poisoning. If you smoke or eat when soldering the stained glass, you risk ingesting it. Also, if you have an open would, lead can easily penetrate through your body. Don’t get discouraged yet, with the right measures; soldering can be fun. Follow the steps below.
Your desire to decorate your window should not die because you don’t know how to solder the stained glass. Start by correcting the tools below to aid in the process. Those tools include
- 60/40 solder coil
- Liquid Flux
- Wet sponge and heat resistance gloves
- Soldering iron and its stand.
- Adhesive Copper foil
You need a well-ventilated working station. If possible, use a garage or an open space. The solder you are using may contain lead. When exposed to high temperature, it will produce dangerous fumes that can bring asthma and other complications. If you must solder when indoors, open the windows first.
If you have any injury on your hand, bandage the wound. Don’t let the lead to come into contact with the open wound. Avoid smoking, eating or even drinking when soldering to avoid lead poisoning. Your children should not come to your working station. Once you finish soldering, use soap and water to clean your hands. You require heat resistant gloves. After observing safety, get to business.
Are you afraid that you won’t achieve perfect stained glasses after soldering? Don’t worry. Maybe you may fail to get the perfect result. Don’t give up; after a few more trials; you will be amazed. You may even achieve ideal results after following these steps.
Wrap the Edges
After gathering the right materials, plug in the soldering iron, place it on the stand and let it preheat. Note that, solder can never stick on the glass. So you need to wrap its edges with an adhesive copper foil. To avoid unnecessary wastage, line you adhesive copper foil along the edges of your glass and cut the right length. Peel off the sticky copper foil baking. Use the adhesive side to wrap the edges of your glass firmly.
Avoid wrapping without gloves since the glass can injure you. Avoid leaving wrinkled edges if you want a perfect result. Note that, solder never works well with wrinkled edges. Smooth the edges using a pencil. Wrap all the glass pieces you require in your project. You can ensure that the adhesive copper foil and the solder stick permanently by applying flux on the foil.
Do you have metal work tables? That would be a perfect working surface when soldering. Don’t you have one? Relax. Any heat-resistance surface is okay. Start by placing your pieces in their desired position. Don’t hold them close together; leave a little space.
All along, don’t remove your gloves to avoid lead poisoning. Unfold about 4 inches of the solder coil and hold it using one hand. Hold the soldering iron on the other hand. Place the end of the solder coil on the adhesive copper foil and touch the tip using the hot soldering iron. Continue melting the solder coil along with the copper foil gently. As the coil melt, it will join the two glass pieces. Coat the seam with solder coil. If you are too slow, the solder coil may accumulate in one area.
Remember, the tip of the soldering iron is excessively hot. Don’t touch it since you may get a severe injury. Avoid moving the solder in all directions. Follow the same direction until you solder all the pieces.
Do you need to wipe the soldering iron tip? A wet sponge is all you require. Just like any other electric tool, don’t leave your soldering iron dirty after use. Let it cool before cleaning it.
Who told you that the craft ideas in your mind are invalid? Don’t let your fear for soldering the stained glass to hinder you. Take the right precautions. Get a well-ventilated room, wear heat-resistance gloves and bandage any wound on your fingers. If you do smoke, wash your hands first. Gather the right materials and wrap the edges of your glass using a copper foil. That will help the solder to stick. You should preheat the soldering iron. Avoid leaving wrinkles on the edges. Melt the solder coil on the copper foil, not on the space between the glasses. The melted coil will seal gaps. Once you are through, clean the soldering iron.