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How to Foil and Solder Stained Glass

Foiling can be done for stained glass or fused glass. Proper foiling the edges of the glass will insure success when soldering pieces together or to a frame.

Step 1: Foiling the Glass - Using the 7/32” copper foil, position the glass in the center of the foil, wrapping the entire piece. Overlap the foil where the ends meet about 1/8”. If using a frame, also foil the inside edge of the frame so the glass and the frame can be soldered together.

Step 2: Burnishing the Foil - Use a fid or Lathkin to burnish the foil. The definition of Burnishing: the rubbing the fid across the foil until it smooths the edges of the foil and adheres the sticky side of the copper foil tape to the glass. As you finish covering the entire edge for each piece of glass put them into position to insure a proper fit. If there are multiple pieces hold them in place with push pins before soldering.

  

Step 3: Fluxing the Panel - Using a flux brush, apply the flux to the copper foil edges on the side you will solder first.  Then turn over and repeat. Flux comes in a liquid or paste form, both can be applied with a brush. The flux etches the copper foil surface and allows it to accept the solder.

Step 4: Soldering the Panel & Cleanup - Tack-solder at the joints to keep the pieces of glass from moving. Run a smooth, rounded bead on the front and back of the panel. Solder the entire panel or to a frame.

Step 5: OPTIONAL - You can Solder a Ball Chain Edge with a Tack-solder at various points around the glass panel pulling the ball chain tight before each tack. After the ball chain has been tacked to the panel, fill in open spaces with solder between the panel and the ball chain to form a nice frame. If desired, attach hooks and a chain for hanging.

Step 6: Cleanup the entire soldering project with Flux Cleaner and dry. Now you are ready to use any Patina coloring and apply to the solder.

6th Jul 2021 Ann Sanborn

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