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Intermediate

Stained Glass Shapes

Supplies
  • MAKERX Wood & Metal Crafter
  • Chiseled Soldering Tip
  • Permanent Marker
  • Ruler
  • Glass in colors of choice 
  • Glass Cutter
  • Running Pliers for Glass Cutting
  • Copper Tape, silver-backed (at least ¼” wide)
  • Lead-Free Solid Core Solder
  • Water-Soluble Flux
  • Flux Brush
  • Needle Nose Pliers
  • Sponge
  • Heat-resistant surface, old cutting board, or piece of smooth plywood
  • Jump Ring or Wire
  • Safety Goggles
  • Gloves 
  • Optional: Fine Steel Wool for cleaning, Paste Wax for polishing, Small piece of wood, like a dowel or popsicle stick to smooth copper tape with, Running Pliers, dowel

Step by Step Instructions

Cutting the Glass

Wear goggles and gloves throughout cutting glass.

1. It is helpful to cut the piece of glass into smaller pieces before getting into the details of the cuts. Using the glass cutter and ruler, firmly score your first line, in one motion. A thin line should appear (you may hear the glass ‘crackle’ as you move the cutter along, this is good!).

2. To complete the cut, running pliers are the best options:

  1. To use a set of Running Pliers start by lining up the center of the pliers with the etched line, as demonstrated. Gently apply pressure to the pliers until the glass snaps apart.
  2. If there are any jagged bits of glass, you can use the notches on the glass cutter to carefully remove them.

3. Begin cutting out different shapes. Straight edges are easiest to work with.

NOTE: Anytime you’re cutting glass, it may result in some unplanned breakages; you always have the option to embrace these surprises, which add even more individuality to your finished piece!

4. When all pieces are cut, be sure to label them with a permanent marker. It’s also helpful to take a photo to use later as a reference. 

5. Clean your workstation off to prepare for soldering.

Soldering the Pieces Together

1. Carefully apply the copper tape evenly around the edge of each piece of glass, folding it over the edges. Burnish it smooth against your work surface, or with the piece of wood if needed.

2. Turn on the soldering iron so it has time to heat up, be mindful of placing it somewhere you won’t bump into it.

3. Arrange the pieces back together, to check for fit, and make any adjustments to your plan. You’ll be tacking them together in the next steps. (You can work in sections if that feels easier).

4. Apply flux to the copper tape all the way around each shape as you begin to solder them together.

5. Using the soldering iron, melt a small amount of solder onto the iron, and apply it to the fluxed area. Remove the soldering iron from the piece once the solder flows to the copper tape.

    1. As you work, the solder will build up on the iron, roll it on a damp sponge from time to time to clean it off.

6. Once the pieces are tacked together, begin to cover the foil and any tacking with solder to make a smooth bead line. Don’t let the iron rest too long in one spot, it may damage the glass or foil.

7. Repeat until all seams on this side are covered evenly with solder.

8. Let the piece cool down. 

9. Flip it over, and repeat the soldering steps, covering the foil with flux, and then smooth solder bead lines (no need to re-tack).

10. Let this side cool down, then apply flux to the sides, and cover with solder as well.

Finishing the Piece

1. Once the piece is cool, solder a jump ring to the top of the piece, using pliers to hold it in place, let cool before cleaning.

2. Examine the entire piece, smooth out any sharp solder areas.

3. Gently clean the piece with a soft brush, soap and warm water (an old toothbrush works great).

  1. If you still have excess flux on your piece, a bit of fine steel wool can be used with more soap & water to remove it. 

4. If desired, polish with paste wax (like what you’d use on a car).

5. Hang your new stained glass piece in a window, and enjoy your hard work!

NOTE: Always use the Wood & Metal Crafter in a well-ventilated area.