Does Copper Foil Add Size To A Project

Copperfoiled pieces tacked with solder

Copperfoiled pieces tacked with solder

I am making a copper foil door insert and have a finished measurement of 31.5 ” x 13.25″. Will the copper foil add size to the project and if so how much should I allow for it.

Milly’s reply: This is a good question. Cutting glass is tricky, and how ever accurate you are – even taking into account the help from your grinder – there will always be small gaps in between pieces.

Add to this the copper foil on both edges, and you can see how your project is going to increase in size unless you’re careful.

Unfortunately I can’t give you a set figure to allow for this. The way to look at it is that your glass must end up the size of your finished measurement, so if your cutline is accurate I would suggest cutting each piece of glass a tiny bit smaller – 1/32″or 1-2mm – to take the two copper foil thicknesses into account.

Finish cutting all the glass pieces first and lay them on your cutline all at once to make sure they fit together within those finished measurements – you can see how my glass pieces above fit into the required lines of the shape.

You can’t be too precise and careful at this stage. If necessary use your grinder to make sure each piece fits, and start putting on the copper foil only when you’re sure. Because of the 1-2mm or 1/32″ gap you should be fine.

I’d like to see your perfectly fitting masterpiece when it’s finished, post them on the site if you remember.

Comments for Does Copper Foil Add Size To A Project

Sizing a project – Lisa

I would suggest framing your pattern with Morton Lay Outs, making the inside dimensions match that of your finished project. I’m making the assumption that the project is linear and not circular. The lay outs will help keep your project from growing during the process. As you begin foiling your pieces you will be able to see where you may need to do some more grinding to make the pieces fit your set dimensions. Hope this helps and good luck with your project!

Milly says: That’s a great tip, thanks Lisa. I’ve since written a whole new page, giving an illustrated instruction to make stained glass copper foil right from cutting to soldering – it might help too.


2 thoughts on “Does Copper Foil Add Size To A Project”

  1. When using a copper hoop does it need to be soldered before using? I have never used a hoop before and I’m not sure if the pieces will attach to the hoop. Thanks.

    • Solder sticks to copper and brass so you don’t need to tin it (tinning = covering with a thin layer of solder). If you want to patina the hoop and you’re using a different colour to copper patina, you might want to tin the hoop so that it can match the colour of the rest of the piece. Hope that a. makes sense! and b. helps.


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