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Rabbicoon 5x8 Stained Glass Box

A gentleman has a very good Youtube video on how to make stained glass boxes. Here is a the video.........

After making about 5 of the #5 box design from Ed Sibbett's book, it was interesting to contrast and compare the designs and processes.

In the Youtube video, his typical box is 5x8x1.75 or 5x8x2.0 inches.  His design guideline for determining the glass sizes of the 6 box sides is.......

-top is full size or 5x8

-all 4 side pieces are 1.75 inches tall

-length of the 2 short sides will be nominal - 2 x glass thickness of 1/8"...........or nominal minus 1/4  = 5 - 1/4 = 4.75 inches.

-length of 2 long sides will be nominal - 1/4 = 8 - 1/4 = 7.75 inches

-bottom will be nominal - 1/8 .............5 - 1/8 = 4 - 7/8 and 8 - 1/8 = 7 - 7/8"

-bottom to have slight radius on each of 4 corners, to prevent sharp edges at bottom corner.

-on 1 design, he uses a 4x7 bevel.......which AnythinginStainedGlass carries in inventory.

-he fills in solder on 4 corners until it is rounded

-he solders inside corner seams before he does the outside seams, prevents glass from cracking too high of temp

-after box sides are assembled, he drops solder on top of 4 sides until rounded

-he uses a lower melting temp 63:37 solder and 1/8" dia soldering iron tip, to drop little decorative beads of solder on the lid joints.

-he says a 5x8 box takes about 1 square foot of glass and should take 2.5 hours to make. That sounds  awful quick, will have to
   try it out and see it if is really that fast.


I entered his standard 5x8x1.75 inch box design into sketchup, and added the 4x7 bevel on the lid.........

Ordering Supplies

I decided to order some special 63:37 solder, and a 1/8" small tip for my Weller soldering I ordered some 4x7 bevels.....from

I went to order Professional Boxer plastic fixture and some wedgies from $20 shipping brought total to $62..........which I thought was way too high.  Will use my wood 90 degree method versus paying too much!!

1st Box Using Rabbicoon Method

I have a lot of Hobby Lobby yellow/red glass, so I decided to make the 1st box using this glass.

I don't have any diamond bevels yet, so I decided to make the lid an x-pattern with a red gem in the center.

I followed Rabbicoon's method, except for the bottom.  I like the method used on the Kokomo box, of wrapping the bottom in Hobby Lead, then only soldering on the outside of the box. If you use Rabbicoon's method, you have to solder down at the bottom of the box where where the mirror meets the side walls.

[You can see the Kokomo box bottom construction method here. ]

I also sealed my mirror with finger nail polish on the edges, to prevent mirror discoloration.

I built the box in about 2 hours, but I need to:

-solder on the hinge

-solder on a clasp on the front of the lid to open it

-apply patina

Here is my box after 2 hours.......

The only thing I don't like is the foil seems a little fragile, or it can pull away easily from the edges of the lid. I went back to the rabbicoon video, and he does apply a little solder to the edges of the lid.  I used just enough solder to tin it, which is less than he used.  Maybe I will try adding some solder to my lid edges.

I am also concerned the fragile foil will pull away from the front of the box, if I solder a clasp on to open it..............and in the back where the tube hinge is soldered on.

More Solder Beading on lid edges

I went back and dropped little beads of solder all around the lid edges, to give the foil more prevent it from coming loose from the lid.  This made it stronger, but not as strong as I like.

Lid Clasp or Handle

I used a small brass corner left over from a previous project to make the front lid Clasp or handle.  I tinned it first, holding it with pliers.  I only soldered it on the bottom.  It seems like it will hold over time, but it is still a little fragile.

Tube Hinge

I used blue masking tape to hold the tube in place while I soldered it.

I cut (2) pieces of brass rod, 2 inches long, then bent them in half at 90 degrees, for the ends of the hinge.

I also used blue masking tape to hold the bent brass pins in place while I soldered them.

I messed up on this, because you need to make the tube as long as possible.  If there is any clearance between the end of the tube and the bend of the pin, the lid will slide sideways too much.  Rather than dis-assemble it and make a longer tube, I carefully put a drop of solder on the brass pin on each end, to keep the lid from sliding sideways.

On the next project, I need to make the brass tube as long as possible to prevent excessive sideways movement of the lid.

I soldered the tube about 1/2" on either end, and put a drop of solder in the middle, per the Rabbicoon video guy.

I applied patina to the whole box and washed it.  The center part of the brass tube stayed a bronze color because it is not soldered.

I will have to add a chain at a later date, when I have some small chain.

Finished 1st Box using YouTube Rabbicoon method

Closing Thoughts on This Project

My first box using this method probably took 3 hours, versus the Rabbicoon YouTube video guy's time of 2 hours.

This is a fast way to make boxes, but I don't like how fragile the copper foil is on the edge of the lid.  Opening and closing the lid using the handle or clasp, may also work the foil away from the lid over time.

Possible improvements include wrapping pre-tinned reinforcement wire around the lid perimeter, and soldering it.  Another option would be to switch to using lead versus copper foil on the whole box. Since the top lid design is simple, it would be easy to do the top in lead versus copper foil.

The 90 degree bent pin method worked ok for the tube hinge, as long as you remember to make the tube as long as possible to prevent excessive sideways movement of the lid.  Blue masking tape makes it pretty easy to do.


March 15, 2018 Update

My local Ace hardware did not really carry the small chain needed for the lids on these types of boxes.  So, I found some at Hobby Lobby in Joliet to try out.....

This small chain turned out to be easy to solder.