Tools for polishing lead came
Black graphite polish (grate blackener) available from stainedglass suppliers, two shoe brushes, fid, wooden skewer (or similar), dust mask, latex gloves, newspaper, dustpan and brush.
1. Picking out
How far you go with this process is up to you. Some people spend ages on it, others prefer the ‘softer’ look of a leaded panel that has rounded puttied corners.
Scraping black cement off stained glass with stick
- Trace around the shapes with the wooden skewer.
- Use the fid to remove any hardened black cement that has squeezed through during the cementing process.
Scraping panel clean with fid
- Brush off any dry bits of cement.
- Hold the panel up to the light or put on a light box to make sure you have scraped off all the cement.
Cleaning leaded panel on light box
2. Blackening the leads
- Squeeze a bit of the black graphite polish onto a piece of scrap sheetglass.
- Dab one of the shoe brushes into it. You don't want to get too much on to the panel.
Getting polish on the brush
- Brush along the lead came, taking care to cover the solder joints.
- Leave for half an hour to allow the graphite polish to dry.
Brushing polish on to lead came and solder
Lead panel with black polish before buffing up
3. Polishing the lead came
- Take the other (clean) shoe brush and brush both the stained glass and lead came.
- This needs quite a lot of effort. Work at it until you can touch the panel without getting black fingers.
Before buffing polish (left) and after buffing lead and solder (right)
Finished panel with polished lead came and solder
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