Thursday, October 1, 2009

The Art Of Stained Glass 101 - Making Your Hook

Now your at the point where you need to decide if your going to hang your piece, or frame it in wood. If you decide to hang it, then you will need to solder on a hanger. For that you will need two pieces of 16-gauge wire approximately 2 1/2-3“ long. This can be tinned, thick copper wire, three strands of smaller gauge wire twisted together and tinned only on the two ends, or 16-gauge stainless steel wire.

Using a pair of needle nose pliers, gradually bend one end to form a small circle. On the other end of the wire do the same thing with the circle going the other way. You should end up with something that resembles a fancy “S” shape for your hook. If your wire is tinned on both ends, this is the time to finish the tinning process. Completely tin your wire starting from the middle and working out. This will keep if from unraveling and losing its shape.

If your using the pre-tinned pieces of wire, then flux the hook and the area where you want to apply the hook to your piece, and solder it on. If your using the 16-gauge stainless steel wire, hold the hook with your pliers and pre-tin the two areas where your hook will be applied to your piece. Repeat this pre-tinning process twice to get a good amount of solder in those two areas, then solder your hook to your piece.

Now just wash your piece real good in Ivory dish soap and cold water. Then dry it off good and let it sit out to completely dry for 24 hours. To prepare it for a good patina finish, polish the solder with 0000 steel wool. Remember when polishing, don't press too hard, you don't want to break all your hard work.

Next entry we'll discuss applying patina. So until then enjoy your handy work!

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