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2nd Massey Harris 44 for my Brother

The 1st Massey Harris I made was the 2nd piece of stained glass I ever made in my life, and the 1st one I designed myself. I was not really happy with the way it turned out. The steering wheel, smoke stack, and air intakes were messy, and barely visible.  The fact I used 1/4" copper foil on even the small pieces like those, made them hard to see.

Original Design



I used the Glass Eye software to improve the design so the small pieces would be more visible.

The steering wheel is thicker, the smoke stack and air intakes are also thicker. I actually combined #29 and #30 smoke stack into 1 piece when I cut and ground the glass.

I also use thinner copper foil tape on the 2nd design. I used the thinnest on most pieces, except I used 3/16" on the sky to give the panel more strength. I also used a fancier type of zinc border, that my instructor's professional shop uses  on their projects.

Improved Design Ready to Solder

One problem with the Glass Eye software is that when you print out the paper pattern, you must glue 2 pieces of 8.5x11 paper together.  The gluing together part is ok, except the software puts a line on the glue joint. You can get confused which line is actually a border and not a glue joint.  You should trace the pattern with a #2 pencil to make the borders heavier.  I made a mistake on the vertical joint that is supposed to be above the steering wheel.....I made it to the left of the air intake.

Improved Design After Soldering


The improved design looks much better than the 1st design.........

The 1st design is on the LH side, and the improved design on the RH side. The steering wheel, air intake, and smoke stack are much more visible on the improved design.  The solder joints are thinner also because I used thinner copper foil.

 Improved Finished Design in the Western Sunlight

Lesson Learned

It takes some practice and experience to design stained glass panels. I learned that you must over-size small pieces, to account for the solder thickness hiding the small piece.  Using narrower copper foil also helps to accent the smaller pieces better. If you paper pattern lines are not dark enough, or get confused with the glue joint seam, use a #2 lead pencil to darken the actual border lines.


I initially just soldered on 2 round copper rings, to hang the project. I decided to unsolder the rings, and make an oak wood frame.  With the oak frame, I can put my initials and date, because I hope this stained glass panel gets passed on to future generations from my Brother.

I went online and found a lady that sells wood frames and the hardware to go with it. Northern Hardwood

Her frame design is based on using 3/4" thick oak that has a 5/16" wide groove that is 3/8" deep to hold stained glass projects............

She varies the width of the frame depending on big the stained glass project is (1", 1-3/8", and 2").

You secure the 4 corners using wood screws. You can glue and screw the bottom 2 corners, but you don't glue the top to allow installation and removal of the stained glass.

You hang the wood frame using hooks that screw into the side of the frame....


 You screw them into the side versus the top piece of the frame, to avoid the top piece pulling away from the frame.

With this design, you can view the stained glass from either direction, because the frame appears the same.  In my case, I am going to electric burn in my name and date on the back of the oak frame, so you should only view it from the front.

This frame design is much simpler than the design I used to frame the Wood Ducks project. It has much less pieces to make (no 4 thin pieces to hold the art), and no grooves for the chain.

This design has 4 radii on the groove.  I searched the internet, but could not find a router bit that would put in the 5/16" wide by 3/8" deep groove and the 4 radii. I decided to just leave out the radii and make the groove only.

I have several 1/4" carbide straight router bits, but no 5/16" straight router bits. I bought a 5/16" straight router bit from MLCS woodworking online to make this type of frame.

I set up my router and did a couple of test runs using 3/4" pine, to center the 5/16" wide groove. Somehow, when I went to route the actual white oak, my groove is a little off-center (maybe the fence slipped a little?). As long as you keep the 4 frame pieces in the right orientation, it doesn't matter if the groove is off-center.

I use 8 by 1-1/4" steel screws first, then used brass screws with paraffin for the final screws. I chose to leave the brass screw heads exposed versus filling the hole with a dowel. I have learned to use steel screws first, to establish the threaded hole. If you use brass first, the slot head strips out before you reach full depth.

I used a teak stain on this frame.

This is a darker stain that I used on the 1905 Reproduction Oak Lamp project.

Hanging Hardware

Final Installation into Frame


I drilled the 4 screw holes for the 2 side hangars after the frame had dried from the 2nd coat of polyurethane. Then I removed the 2 top brass screws holding the frame together, which is shown in the photo above.

Finished and in Frame

I can't display and shoot a photo of the framed art in the bright sun today, all clouds!

Final Thoughts on Framing

I much prefer the Minnesota lady's method of framing stained glass. Using her side hangars eliminates the 4 separate retention pieces of trim on the back, there is less router set-ups to make the frame material, and no slots must be cut for hanging. Using her method, you can display the art from either side of the frame, since the back frame looks like the front.

The only Lesson Learned was to make sure your router set-up is correct with respect to having the 5/16" side groove centered in the 3/4" stock.  I set-up and verified with a pine scrap piece, but somehow my groove is a little off-center. The good news is, this design lets you have it off-center and it doesn't really make any difference.






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