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Stained Glass Equipment

Essential Stain Glass Tools

There’s stained glass tools for everything you could possibly want to create, but what do you really need?

Here's a fun video for those who want to know the answer:

Essential stained glass tools for beginners

To help you get your stained glass equipment up together, the list below contains all the specialised tools you’ll need for making stained glass.

* Tools needed for copper foil are tagged with 'C'.
* Lead came tools are labelled 'L'.
* Those essential for both techniques are labelled 'C & L'.
* Desirable but not essential items are tagged 'D'.

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General Stained Glass Tools

stain glass tools ebook
Milly's Stained Glass Tools & Materials eBook

No clue where to start with buying tools? Your worries are over with this comprehensive guide to selecting, understanding and purchasing tools and materials.
Everything you actually need to create gorgeous stained glass is listed and explained.

stained glass kit with grinder
Stained Glass Kits

You might choose to buy a ready-made kit instead of selecting the tools individually. Make it easy for yourself and compare deals on a range of kits here. Make sure you get the best bundle of equipment and don’t pay for things you don’t actually need.

orange and yellow stained glass panel
Stained Glass Sheets C & L

There's a stunning range of colored and textured sheetglass to make your artwork completely unique. Find out all about the different types of stained glass sheets, what they're best used for and who supplies them. Includes fusible, opal and cathedral sheets. With video.

Specialized Stained Glass Tools

 glastar glass grinder
Stained Glass Grinder D

Cut down on waste and achieve precision fits with a grinder that matches your particular needs. Read reviews of different grinders and find out which one comes out top for value and quality. Grinders are verging on the essential for copper foilers.

glass pattern shears
Pattern Shears C & L

These shears have a triple blade that miraculously removes a tiny slither of paper when cutting pattern template pieces. This allows space for the heart of the lead or the copper foil and makes sure that you don't cut your stained glass too big. Some shears are made for both lead and foil, some just for lead and some just for copperfoil. Make sure you get the right ones for your project.

pencil grip glass cutter
Cutters C & L

Enjoy cutting stained glass and reduce breakage by choosing the cutter that suits you best. Includes very helpful video showing all the different types of cutters available.

stain glass grozing pliers
Stained Glass Pliers C & L

Learn all about the different types of pliers essential for stained glass making, and how to use them for breaking and grozing.

weller 100 soldering iron
Stained Glass Soldering Irons C & L

Select the right soldering iron and solder neatly and comfortably. Find out about which wattage you need and the best type of tips to use. Includes amazing stained glass soldering video.

lead came knife
Lead knife L

Your tools kit has to include a lead knife so that you can cut and shape the lead came to size. Cut frustration levels by choosing a specialised knife made solely for this purpose.

leaded stained glass tool called fid
Leaded Stained Glass Tools L

Fid, Lathekin and Oyster Knife. These make up a strange but essential component of your stained glass kit. Find out what these tools are, what they do, and how much time they will save you.

lead came vice
Lead Vise L

There’s lots of expensive alternatives, but the most basic lead stretcher does the job of holding your lead while you stretch it. Just place the end of the lead came in the serrated jaws and pull with pliers.

stained glass lead
Stained Glass Lead Came L

Be creative with your use of lead came. Have a look at all the different widths and profiles available and choose the best one for making your panel stand out. Copperfoilers, you might need this if you want to frame your copper foil panel with lead.

stain glass flux
Flux C & L

Make solder flow easily and neatly by using flux. There are many different types but all do an adequate job. Flux removers aren't essential.

panel using copper foil and solder
Stained Glass Solder C & L

Solder is used to join all your bits of glass together – either on each of the lead joins or along the copper foil seams. There’s lead-free solder and solder with a different ratio of tin/lead solder for leaded (50/50) and copperfoiling (60/40) projects.

black cement for stained glass
Black Cement L

This is the putty that you put under the lead cames to make your panel strong and waterproof. You can save yourself a great deal of mess by buying ready-made black cement, or find out how to mix your own cheaply from my how to stain glass cementing tutorial here.

whiting powder for stained glass
Whiting Powder L

Some people use sawdust – or talcum powder in times of dire need – but whiting powder (chalk dust) is the best. It doesn’t smell and cleans the black cement off brilliantly.

black patina for copper foil
Patina C

This is painted on the solder to change the colour from silver to either copper, brass or black, depending on which colour patina you buy. Make sure you clean your copper foil panel before applying.

copper foil tape for stain glass
Copper Foil Tape C

This is a roll of thin sheet copper that comes in a roll with a sticky back. It is stuck round the edges of your glass pieces so that the solder has something to stick to. It’s available in 1/8” (3mm) to ½” (13mm) widths.

Additional Optional Equipment

taurus ring saw close up
Ring Saws

Do you actually need a ring saw? Decide after you've read about the 5 things ring saws do well. You might find it's the perfect tool for you or you might discover that it doesn't help you make stained glass.

glass drill head

Add unique detail to your art work by engraving and drilling glass. You don't need lots of expensive kit to drill holes. Find out which drill is best for you and how to use your grinder for drilling holes.

glass bottle cutting tool
Glass Bottle Cutter

Transform your used bottles into goblets, bowls or candle holders with this popular and well-reviewed bottle cutter. Detailed instructions on how to cut bottles successfully.

Non-Specialist Tools Needed

Designing Equipment

Pencils, pastels, paints – anything you can make marks with to start you off! – ruler, drawing paper, pattern card, drawing square for the right angles and masking tape

Cutting Tools

Safety glasses. Always make sure your eyes are protected with a pair of decent safety goggles – even if you wear spectacles. Permanent pen for marking – black is fine but there’s a special white one for marking dark glass, scrap lino for cutting on and a sharpening stone for making the edges safe if you can’t stretch to a grinder yet.

Leading/Copperfoiling and Soldering Tools

Wood strips and nails for holding glass while soldering/leading up, a work board (woodchip is fine) small, cheap brush for painting on the flux.

Cementing and Polishing Lead Came Tools

Soft scrubbing brushes, shoe brushes and black grate polish for cementing and final polishing touches to your panel, cleaner and soft rags for foiling projects.

You can buy these items cheaper from a regular store or you may already have them at home.

Stained Glass Tools Suppliers

All of the above tools and materials are available from the stained glass supplies section at Delphi . Their prices are good, they hold a huge range of stock and they don’t make a fuss about returns.
Have a browse and see what’s available, but if you stick to the above list of essentials, you can be sure you won’t be buying items you don’t really need.

Everything Stained Glass receives 10% from Delphi (not you!) for any tools and supplies bought if you click through this site. We never recommend any products we don't rate highly. I hope you find our review and information service helpful.

Helpful Resources

There’s a little bit more information explaining how to use each tool needed for stained glass kits here that you might find useful.

Once you know about each of the tools, what they’re for and how to use them, you’re ready to start making.
You can learn how to make stained glass from my free tutorials. They take each process at a time and are packed with annotated photos and videos. I hope you find them helpful.

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