After completing my 1st class in stained glass, I decided to make a flower panel. I searched the Internet, and found a pattern I liked.
I keep an inventory of Kokomo glass, so I had dark green, light green, and dark green glass in stock.
I stopped at the stained glass shop in Champaign, Illinois, and bought a sheet of red and cream color.
We only bought the bare minimum of tools in the 1st stained glass I took. I went ahead and ordered the rest of the tools I need to make stained glass projects at home. The most expensive was the grinder at about $150.
Homasote board is a compressed fiber board used for sound-proofing. I found a sheet at Menard's for $28, but it was a raining day and the water would have ruined it. I ordered a 12x12 inch piece online, but it has not arrived yet. I did have a scrap suspended ceiling tile that had a wet spot. I cut a 12x12" piece to use on this project. It worked fine.
The aluminum angles were $50 online, so I bought 2 long pieces for $6.00 from McMaster-Carr and drilled my own holes for the push tacks. I bought a box of push tacks, aluminum, also from McCaster-Carr.
I used a steel square to make sure they were at 90 degrees. I moved the smaller one after the picture above was taken, because you tend to build your project from the bottom, and work your way up.
Here is pattern taped to the ceiling tile........
Patterns for glass pieces
You cut out the paper pieces using special scissors that cut out a small strip, that will later be filled by the copper foil.
You mark around each paper pattern with a special white paint pen, cut the glass, then take it to the grinder for final sizing.
The new grinder worked very well. It did throw out some water spray with fine white glass dust onto the table. Next time, I need to tape some cardboard walls around it so they catch the spray. I also need to order the small plastic table that allows you to use the small 1/4" diameter grinder attachment.
Fine-Tuning the Glass
I made all 17 pieces without breaking 1 and having to do it over
Two years ago when I first tried cutting glass in straight lines, my scrap rate was over 90%. Today is was 0% I like my tight fits with no big holes or gaps. In class, I felt rushed and could not fine-grind the pieces to my liking. This should be a pretty one when it is done!!
I bought a plastic dispenser for the copper foil. It worked much better than trying to stick 2 nails in the plastic sack the foil comes in (we did this in class).
I have some gaps where 15, 16, and 17 red pieces join up, but hopefully I can fill them with solder.
I cut the outside rectangles free-hand using a ruler as a guide. This was before I was aware of the Portable Morton Glass cutter system, which allows you to cut rectangles of exactly the same size. Maybe I will buy one someday, they are about $100 for this kit.
Soldering the Copper Foiled Pieces
Both sides soldered fine. The gaps in the red flower pieces filled easily with solder. I had not problem with solder pooling on the opposite side of the glass. Remember, you don't solder to the edges, because the zinc channel frame has to be able to easily slip over the glass........then you solder the last of the copper joints to the zinc channel.
After I soldered both sides, I applied CJ's flux cleaner and scrubbed both sides with a scrub brush..........
Zinc Channel Frame
You use the plastic fid to open up the channel width, especially at the corners, to allow the zinc channel to fit over the glass, and over each other at the corners.
I made hanging rings from #12 copper wire and soldered them to the zinc frame. I applied flux with a cotton swab instead of the usual brush, to minimize the amount of flux on the project per the teacher's instructions.
I scrubbed both sides again with flux remover and let dry.
I applied black patina using a cotton swab. I first rubbed each solder joint with steel wool and wiped off residue using my shop brush. Your fingers will be permanently stained if you get patina on them.
Unfortunately, the sun was too high to get a really good sun shot illuminating all of the panel. It really is a pretty stained glass project.
The new grinder really worked nicely on this project. I bought the accessories later which included the splash panels, and a special mounting fixture for the 1/4" diameter cutter.
I did not cut my rectangular border pieces exactly the same size using the manual ruler method. I should probably buy the Morton Portable shop system, which is really slick and yields identical size rectangular pieces.
Process wise, I would not change anything. I might make the hanging rings a little larger diameter. I wound 12-2 electrical wire around the flux brush and then cut it with a Dremel. Maybe wind it around something with a bigger diameter next time.
I don't know if the special bottle of flux remover is really needed or not. Many people on the Internet say they just use dish soap and water. For the small number of projects I do, the special bottle is probably ok.