Saturday, April 9, 2011

Repairing Stained Glass Suncatchers

Repairing stained glass suncatchers can be done relatively easily using some basic tools and a bit of patience.

Nothing is as disheartening as a beautiful stained glass suncatcher that falls from its perch and breaks.

Fortunately, broken stained glass suncatchers can be repaired with some matching glass and a few basics that you should already have in your toolbox.

You will obviously need a soldering iron, soldering flux and solder.

In addition you should have available some stiff business card paper, a pencil, a pair of scissors, a waterproof glass writing pen, a glass cutter, pliers, foil, patina to match the existing piece, some soap and water.

  1. Using the stiff paper, draw a pattern of the area where the broken piece of stained glass is located. Follow the existing solder lines as close as you can.

  2. Cut out the pattern and make sure it matches up to the area where the broken glass is located.

  3. Lay the pattern on a new piece of matching glass and outline the pattern on the glass using your waterproof marking pen.

  4. Cut out the replacement piece of stained glass with your glass cutter and break off any excess with your pliers.

  5. Break out the cracked piece of glass and remove all the old glass using your pliers.

  6. Using your soldering iron, heat the solder that held the old broken glass piece into the stained glass suncatcher and gently scrape as much of it away as possible.

  7. Using your pliers, gently pull away the rest of the stained glass pieces along with any remaining foil that held the piece in place.

  8. Wrap the replacement piece with foil, brush on some flux and replace the broken piece. Make sure you brush flux onto the adjacent pieces of the suncatcher pattern so the solder will attach itself more easily.

  9. "Tin" the outside of the replacement piece, place it into the hole where the broken piece was located and tack it into place.

  10. If the replacement piece looks O.K., solder a seam all the way around the project on both sides.

  11. Clean the stained glass suncatcher with soap and water, then thoroughly dry out the project.

  12. Brush on patina and let it set long enough for it to match the existing pantina of the repaired suncatcher.

Stained glass is created by combining colored glass pieces into a mosaic type of display and dates back over a thousand years. You can be sure that during it's existence, millions of projects have been broken through daily use or other accidental occurrences.

This does not mean they are totally useless.

Repairing stained glass suncatchers has been done successfully for as long as they have been in existence using these basic steps and will continue to be done until we stop making stained glass projects.

The trick to repairing stained glass suncatchers or any other stained glass project is to take your time, go slowly and be patient.


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