Soldering Stained Glass – How to make a smooth seam

Soldering stained glass
Smooth solder seam

One of the things I get asked about most is how to make a smooth solder seam. Here’s some suggestions:

Question: I was wondering if there is a better way to make my solder seams look better.  I always have a chopped up look to my seams.

Milly’s Answer: “Chopped up seams” (nicely put!) could be a couple of things:

1. you’re going too fast so the solder doesn’t have time to melt

2. your soldering iron isn’t hot enough and again isn’t melting the solder sufficiently

3. or you are using the ‘hold and lift’ method but going too slowly, so the solder in one area hardens and leaves a visible line where the newly molten solder joins.

Soldering ‘Hold and Lift’ method
The ‘Hold and Lift’ method

60/40 solder is better for  soldering copper foil as it runs well, so it could be that you’re using 50/50 which makes a smooth line a little more tricky – although certainly not impossible.

I’ve got a couple of pages on my site that go through the process, the first link here has a video at the end that might help:

How To Solder Stained Glass

Soldering Beaded Edge

And then there’s this YouTube video that’s very helpful here for ‘running a bead’. She does seem to put quite a lot of flux on, so be careful you don’t put too much on as it can splatter and pop.

Soldering Your First Stained Glass Project

It’s 18 minutes long but the nitty gritty starts at 5 minutes if you get impatient easily!

Running a bead looks easier than it is and can be disheartening for beginners or refreshers if you haven’t given yourself enough time to practise with the feel of how the solder behaves.

I hope these resources help.

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http://everythingstainedglass.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/33.jpghttp://everythingstainedglass.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/33-150x150.jpgMilly FrancesCopper Foil ConstructionFAQStained Glass TutorialsQ+A,Soldering Copper FoilSoldering Stained Glass - How to make a smooth seam One of the things I get asked about most is how to make a smooth solder seam. Here's some suggestions: Question: I was wondering if there is a better way to make my solder seams look better.  I always have a...Create beautiful things. I'll show you how.