Monday, May 26, 2014

Protecting Your Suncatcher Patterns

Protecting your suncatcher patterns for future use is a simple task if you don't mind investing in a laminating machine.

When I first got into making stained glass projects many years ago, I ruined a lot of patterns and wasted a lot of time re-cutting when they became damaged or wet from using the grinder.

Through trial and error,  I quickly learned that you can re-use your patterns longer by cutting them out of heavier card stock.

To re-use your favorite patterns  for a much longer period of time, I started using wide, clear packing tape on both sides of the pattern for protection.

This works well, but for using a pattern over and over again without having to pay any special attention to it, laminate your pieces.

This way when using the grinder you can lift the wet glass straight on to the laminated pattern and it will easily slide into place without damaging the pattern.

A thermal laminator is a great investment and is easy to use on almost any thickness of card stock.

The machines allow you to laminate your patterns into various thicknesses.

If you plan to use a pattern numerous times for commercial type applications, laminate your pattern to 10 mil.  A 3 mil or 5 mil thicknesses is sufficient for most hobby work.

Thick card stock can get expensive when you are working on many different types of projects.

You can keep down the cost by going to your local print shop and asking them to keep a box of scrap card stock cut offs for you.

Most print shop operators will not have a problem doing this for you and will most likely not even charge you for it.

When you're working on a project, you can protect your patterns and keep them together in sandwich type to gallon size zip lock freezer bags.

Tape the pieces to the bag as you cut out each piece.  This also protects your laminated patterns from excessive moisture when using your grinder or wet circular saw.

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