Methods For Repairing Broken Stained Glass
Fixing broken stained glass is a necessary evil. With glass as a material breakages are inevitable. You know the scenario; you’re happily soldering away on your latest piece only to turn it and realise there’s a crack in the glass. And you don’t have enough art glass to replace it. This is what happened to one of my readers Ken Keith. He wrote to me asking for suggestions to fix it.
Luckily, there is a way to fix this broken stained glass without dismantling your work and driving 75 miles for replacement glass.
You can see the crack in close up here:
Milly’s Quick Tip For Fixing Broken Stained Glass
Rather than having to undo your work there is a simple fix:
- Find a spare piece of interior lead came longer than the crack
- Cut the top face/flange off a this piece of lead came with either a lead knife, nippers or lead angle cutters
To do this, I use a SHARP lead knife or for this job I particularly like these Lead Angle Cutters ( affiliate link from Amazon) in the US. If you’re in the UK I found a pair here from UK Amazon (affiliate link) – at a very reasonable price considering the price I paid for mine!
- Shape the flange to fit over the crack and trim it to butt up to the adjoining lead
- Solder it at either end to hold it securely in place
- Turn over and repeat on the backside
- Cement, clean and polish as normal
Adjusting The Design
As this is a geometric panel, I suggested add matching ‘false’ leads on the other side of the panel to even the design up visually. You can see how this balances the design below.
If you’re new to using lead came as a technique I would highly recommend you give it a try. It will add a great deal to your skill set and give you the best of both stained glass worlds – foil and lead.
If you don’t have a local class my Leaded Stained Glass Artistry course has taught many people – even those who have never used lead before – how to make a stained glass panel using lead came. The course is self-paced and online so you can learn this lovely technique even if you are unable to get to a class. You can find out more about it here Leaded Stained Glass Artistry.
The client loved the finished stained glass window. I don’t know about you, but I think the additional ‘false’ leads actually ADD to the overall design! They give it a nice bit of detail in the centre.
This is a very good method for lead came when the broken stained glass window doesn’t have to be weather proof. If the window is an external window and DOES need weather proofing, you’ll need to remove the piece of glass and replace I’m afraid.
PIN IT FOR LATER!
There are different solutions for panels that have been constructed using copper foil. I’ll add to this page later with those so keep checking back 🙂
If you struggle with cutting accurate angles in lead came there’s a page for you here.