How To Repair Stained Glass That Has Separated
Our studio repaired this window before and when the owner of the panel hung it up, she still didn't use all the rings that were designed to hold it, so we decided to add additional reinforcement to it after we got it back in place. Maybe that will keep it from coming apart.
Here you can see where the orange and yellow curved pieces have separated from the purple glass. This happened because the design didn't create enough strength to hold the weight of the glass on the one point. The client didn't hang the piece by all the rings provided.
The panel is held in place by placing horseshoe nails around the panel. Then some blocks of wood were placed so the wood clamp wouldn't slip. It was tightened carefully and slowly to avoid too much pressure on the glass.
Here the glass has been pulled back into position.
We then placed two clamps, one on each side of the spot where we wanted to add reinforcement.
To form an extra lead line without having to cut the glass, a piece of copper foil tape was applied to the purple glass.
Using a utility knife, I cut the foil flush with the existing lead line.
To provide strength, I clip off a piece of the copper re-strip that normally fits in between the glass. By putting a piece on each side of the panel, the re-strip should provide a great deal more strength.
I add flux to the original lead lines and the copper strip in preparation for soldering.
The copper will tend to bend from the heat, so solder one end of the strip and then the other end before soldering the whole piece.
With the copper strip and foil tacked in place, we can solder the new lead line. Remember that the heat could crack the glass below, so turn down the heat on the soldering iron and solder a little spot at a time and allow the solder line to cool off between spots. (usually only solder 1/2" at a time)
With the solder line in place, you'll need to clean the panel well and re-patina the lead line.
We felt that one solder line on the side of the arch where it was pulling apart (with a line on the opposite side of the panel as well) would provide the strength we needed for the panel.
Here's the window, back in place, as good as new.