The process of repairing lead glass windows is possible, but not easy as such. Lead glass repair is a daunting process that needs you to exercise high level of patience and tactical skills. You must possess skills in working with both glass and toxic materials, since the product is more than just lead and can harm you on the job. The process can also equip you with some soldering experience. In a nut shell, leaded glass repair process is not for the faint-hearted, but can achievable. This guide will help you perform the right steps and successfully complete the repair project.
Assess the Level of Damage
Take a closer look at the stock of what you have to work with. Simple leaded glass windows are obviously simple to repair. However, complex patterns designed with many curves may require more dexterity to achieve the job. Your assessment should also identify the specific faults that must be addressed in the repair process. Some of the problems include missing panes, cracked glasses, bowing solder joints, and broken lead.
Prepare your Working Area and Materials to be used
You may choose a sizable piece of plywood and lay it on a worktable to offer a comfortable place of work for your lead window.
Liberate your Lead Glass Window
All glass operations do well on flat surfaces. Therefore, remove the window from its frame and lay the glass on the plywood supported by your worktable. You will need a putty knife to loosen the window from its frame, and gently slide it onto the work surface.
Create a Template
For cases where you have a missing pane of leaded glass, you may create a template to help you make the replacement piece. You may also lay it underneath your window on the worktable to act as a guide for your replacement piece. A piece of paper large enough to cover your window and a pencil will help you draw the right size of template for your replacement window.
Solder the Lead Joints
Fresh lead must be exposed either by scraping its joints using a box cutter or a wire brush. Make sure you wear a face mask for this job due to the scraps and dust produced. Use a shop vacuum to clean up the dust. Proceed by placing the solder near the joint and melt it uniformly with iron. Move the iron across the joint in a circular motion to smooth the solder across the joint. The iron should not be left for more than three seconds as this could melt the solder.