Adventures in Dangerous Art
I'm learning the art (or is it a craft?) of stained glass. At this weblog, I record progress, note useful links, and document flesh wounds.


The Art League
Where I took a lead class and a 3D construction class.

Weisser Glass Studio
Where I buy supplies, and where I took a foil class.

Virginia Stained Glass Co.
Where I buy supplies if I happen to be in Springfield and if they happen to have what I want.

Great prices on supplies, a lively and helpful Glass Chat message board, and excellent Technical Tips on stained glass tools and techniques.

Glass Galleries Links List
A list of Glass Chat users who've uploaded photos of their work.

The StoreFinder: Stained Glass Store Front
Lots of articles. Tutorials
Even more articles. Particularly recommended: "Anatomy of a design" and "Wood frames."
Courtesy of Google Groups.

Nancy's Beginner Tips and Tricks
Scoring, breaking, soldering, finishing, and more.

Splinter Removal Tips

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Someone out there is using XML for something... right?

Movable Type
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It's a glass cutter.
December 13, 2002: Ain't Playin Around
All seventeen pieces of my first transom are cut and ground. I had thought at first I'd build all three transoms at the same time but then I thought that perhaps it would be a good idea to build a first one as a proof-of-concept.

So far, it's looking more or less as I had planned:

Ooooooh, shiny.

In this picture, all the pieces are reversed so that you can see the glass rather than just the pattern paper which is still glued in place. The next step will be the soaking off of my pattern pieces, and after that, the leading begins.

And soon. Don, feeling some antsiness due to the winter weather that has kept him away from his half-built picket fence for some days now, is taking out his frustrations on our transoms. He took down one of the old ones of plain window glass a couple of nights ago, and after studying it thoroughly, has come up with a proof-of-concept of his own for the construction of the frames for my new transoms.

Top: one of the old transoms. Bottom: the pieces of lumber that are coming together to form frames for the new transoms.

Detail of the construction on the new transom frames.

This is, apparently, what heaven looks like to a guy with a brand-new table saw.

You can see a sweet little groove all around the inside of the frame pieces, where the stained-glass panel will just slide in nice and neat-like. A little bit of skinny weather-stripping on the insides of the grooves should provide some insurance against the panel's rattling around in the frame.

You can also see that Don has a sort of pinwheel construction going, with each of the four sides of the panel being notched above on one side and below on the other. I have been going on and on about how the frames need to be able to come apart in the event of some tragedy necessitating repairs to the stained glass, so I think his plan is to drill screws in through the overlapping notches at each corner. Should be good and sturdy. When I have some glass to put in there, that is.

Discussion is ongoing with regards to how to affix the transoms to their frames in the door jambs. The hardware for the old transoms is just a pair of sort of spring-loaded metal pins set through the vertical sides of the transom frames; the pins serve as both mounting and swiveling mechanisms. But even if I could find those neat little pins on any restoration hardware site on the web---and oh, I looked---they won't work for the new transoms. The zinc frame of the stained glass panel will take up much more of the total depth of the transom than the old window glass did, leaving not enough room for swivel pins. So, with the help of the Van Dyke's catalog, we're looking for some nice little hinges and chain, maybe. Or maybe something else yet. We're not sure. Stay tuned, though. Don's all hopped up to do this thing, so now it's no longer my project but rather our project... I dunno, something tells me the schedule just got moved up considerably.

Posted by Michelle on December 13, 2002 06:02 PM

If you (OK, well, Don) have a question of that kind, I think my cousin's fiance Michael can help out. He designed + built a bookcase that we recently purchased from his (Michael's) store, and it contains an antique leaded bevel glass pane that he bought at auction. If you want his contact info, just email me.

Posted by: Kim on December 13, 2002 08:21 PM

Ooh, that sounds purty. I'll pass the offer on to Don (thank you!) but I think we're okay with framing the panel itself... s'just a matter of how to get the transom back in place in such a manner that it still moves. It won't rotate on a central axis anymore, which makes me a little sad, but if we can find hinges tiny enough to fit onto the door jamb, then I'll take it. As Don says, people will be too busy looking at the glass to notice that the hardware mounting the transom isn't, you know, authentic or whatever. Well... people who don't read this website, anyway :)

Posted by: Michelle on December 13, 2002 09:46 PM

Aw, thx -- it actually is purty :-)
I realize now that it's not quite as similar as I thought, because the door to the bookcase provides a much larger (wider? less narrow?) frame for the leaded glass than the transom does, and so likely didn't encounter the same issues in construction. Good luck!

Posted by: Kim on December 15, 2002 09:31 AM

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