Lace Soldering Project

by Suzan McKenzie
(Quebec, Canada)

What materials do I need to do lace soldering and how is it done?

Milly's reply: Wow, this is an unusual question. I'm taking it that by 'lace soldering' you mean trapping a piece of lace between two layers of glass to use as pendants or decorative pieces?
If so, you need to buy some micro-thin glass - either from a specialist stained glass supplier or a scientific company that supplies glass for microscopes - yes, that thin!
Then you have to copper foil this together to join the glass and to keep the lace in place. Assuming you get the glass pre-cut, the very least you'll need is: a roll of the thinnest copper foil you can buy - 3/16", a Soldering Iron, liquid flux and a stick of solder. You need patina if you want to blacken the solder.
Clean the glass and stick the copper foil around the edge. Solder the corners together as suggested on this page, and then carefully add more blobs of solder along one edge at a time - not too much - before joining them together by melting them with the soldering iron. Clean, and brush the patina over the solder to blacken the solder.
NB: be very careful of the fumes. It's best to do this outside, or with efficient ventilation procedures in place.
A bit of a crash course, but good luck!

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What do I solder first?

When putting together a panel that will be in a frame, do you put it in first, or do your soldering then put it into the frame?

Milly's reply: You don't say whether you mean a wooden frame, or whether you consider the outside lead to be your 'frame'. If you mean wood (or another material apart from lead) you would solder the stained glass panel first before putting it into a frame.
The outside lead 'frame', however, is part of the leaded panel, and is done at the same time as the rest of the leading. I hope this answers you question.

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Stained Glass Box Hinge Problem

by Pooja
(New Delhi, India)

I was making boxes and the problem I faced was that I could not fix brass hinges to make the top of the box workable.
Whenever I fix a hinge there is a big gap in between the lid and the box walls.
I have tried many times but it does not come out neat... can you help please.

Milly's reply: Thanks for your question Pooja. Am I right in assuming that the four sides of your stained glass box are absolutely accurately cut and soldered before you start with the lid?
If so, it's best to tape the lid onto the box to hold it in place. If you're using a hinge that's like a tiny door hinge, open it right out so it folds in on itself and put some flux on both sides of the hinge. Don't get any on the knuckle!
Soldering it on is the hard bit - try putting a bit of stained glass solder on your iron, and introducing it to the hinge like that. It should be as straight as possible. Then do the lid side. Then repeat for the second hinge.
Take the tape off and check the gap. I hope this helps. You could always try holding the hinge with tweezers - it's all very fiddly! Good luck.

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More Lace Soldering Comments

by Suzan McKenzie
(Quebec, Canada)

I've seen some lace soldering and was wondering if you could tell me how it's made. It's like lace created with solder and joins 2 pieces of glass in a project. There is actually a space between the glasses and they can replace a piece of the pattern in the project. I would think that there must be a wire that is used to create this lace with the solder. It is very lovely and artistic especially in glass panels.

Milly's reply: I've never seen this before, it sounds fantastic. As solder sticks to copper wire, perhaps you could make a pattern with the copper wire, then solder over it? It wouldn't be easy, but it might work. Sorry not to be of more help, but if there's anyone else out there that could help, it would be great!

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