Leaded Stained Glass Techniques

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When soldering stained glass using lead cane, it is advisable to start in one corner of the design and work inward across the pattern. Find out how to use quarter-inch lead cane to solder a piece of stained glass with helpful instruction from an experienced glass artist in this free video on glass crafts.

Part of the Video Series: Stained Glass Techniques
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Video Transcript

Hello, my name is Yurgen Grauer, and my background is in glass. I've been trained in Germany in commercial glass and I've been working in the glass industry for about twenty years. I've been here at MCMow Glass for about seven years. And today I'm going to demonstrate how to build a leaded glass window with lead cane. This material is one hundred percent lead, so if you work with this, it's probably a good idea to wear gloves. Don't eat or drink or smoke while you do this because it contains lead. Now my material I have is a lead extrusion and it's very soft and flexible. The lead comes in different widths and different shapes. Here is the, hear is the difference, you see this is a one eighth, goes all the way up to one inch. Most commonly used, what I'm using today is a quarter inch lead. So the lead is basically the backbone and the structure of my panel here. I'm basically putting the pieces of lead in between the glass. I use these lead dies or lead cutters to cut the lead like this. I've already prepared my beginning. We always start in one corner when we start building. And I use little wood strips and nails, I hammer these down so they're nice and tight in here. I check them also with a level to make sure we're nice and straight here. After I do that I nail everything in completely and then I start building from the corner. I've already started a little bit here and basically it's a sequence of, of different steps. This is the corner I'm working on right here. And you know, when you make yourself a pattern you can blow it up to a specific size. Like I say, this is about an eighth inch scale. So, basically my next step here, I already started on the corner here. One of my next steps will be to put some more lead in here. So I measure my piece and I use a lead knife to mark where I'm going to cut. Then I'll take my pliers and I'll do that cutting. And I have to be really careful when I do my angles here, then I lay it back in here. I also, I use these little nails and stop pieces, little scrap pieces of lead to hold my project in place so it doesn't wiggle around. That's very important. But when I add the next piece of lead in, I have to remove one of them, so I can put that in here. And then I have to mark the length. The better you build and the firmer it is, the easier it is to solder and the solder will not flow in between here. After I'm done with cutting one piece, I have to put my stop back in and nail it in temporarily until I do the next piece. So this is the principle of how you build a stain glass panel.


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