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Topic: Stained Glass Experiment  (Read 805 times)
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Flying Betty
« on: May 03, 2009 10:37:42 AM »

I got curious about stained glass, and decided to try it on the cheap. I already had a craptastic Radio Shack soldering iron and some solder. I picked up copper foil, flux, and some mosaic glass. Voila!




The soldering iron is pretty much unusable- the temperature regulation leaves something to be desired and an electrical tip probably isn't the best for stained glass. (Not that it's fabulous for electrical work, but it is better for that) But overall I'm pretty satisfied with the result. I think it looks pretty good hanging in a window as long as you don't look too closely. Smiley

Does anyone have recommendations for a relatively inexpensive but still usable iron? I want to play around with some pendants and decide if this is something I want to keep doing.
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Sandra22
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« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2009 11:27:53 AM »

I make stained glass, and have a few soldering irons, I choose depending on what I'm making.  I don't use copper foil, as I prefer lead, but I can and have done in the past, and my daughter uses them for copper foiling.  I'll check the wattage etc on the ones in my work room latter and get back to you.  I have temperature controlled ones and ones without.  PM me if you want more info.

Your glass is great by the way, and the blues will look lovely in a window, it's great the way the glass colour changes through out the day.


Soldering Irons

The iron I use most is a Sealey 100 W.  It has a square flat tip, but these are interchangeable.  It isn't temperature controlled and I neve have a problem with it.  The other one I use most after this does have a temperature control, but his is only a 50W iron.

I would not suggest using an electrical tip for pieces this size, if it is a fine or needle pointed design, they really need to be flat for best results
  If you are going to make jewelery then the finer tips are probably better.

Do you use tip tinner on your iron?  If you don't then you really should do, and regularly during each project, as this helps no end and keeps the iron tip in good order, makes it easier to use and gives a good, neat finish.

Hope this helps
« Last Edit: May 03, 2009 11:38:36 PM by Sandra22 - Reason: Iron details added » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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kjbaloo
« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2009 09:13:22 AM »

For a first project this is darn good!  Love the colors.
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Flying Betty
« Reply #3 on: May 24, 2009 09:42:10 PM »

Thank you for the compliments! And the advice! I did wind up getting a new iron that had interchangeable tips, including a flat one that I've been playing around with. I can definitely feel the difference and made a couple of pendants that came out rather well.

I have been tinning the tip with solder. Is tip tinner a separate compound? Everything I know about soldering besides this experiment comes from engineering, which is a completely different thing altogether.
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« Reply #4 on: June 16, 2009 04:23:46 PM »

Thank you for the compliments! And the advice! I did wind up getting a new iron that had interchangeable tips, including a flat one that I've been playing around with. I can definitely feel the difference and made a couple of pendants that came out rather well.

I have been tinning the tip with solder. Is tip tinner a separate compound? Everything I know about soldering besides this experiment comes from engineering, which is a completely different thing altogether.

Sorry for the delay, but I've been ill.  Tip tinner is different than solder (not sure what it is though) - it comes in a small tin and you dip your hot soldering iron tip in it, and wipe off the excess.  It recoats, cleans and protects the tip and helps it last much longer and perform better.  It doesn't cost much, and you should be able to get it from your glass supplier.  Do you clean your solder tip with a wet sponge?  If not, that is a good practice to get into - just have a wet sponge on your work surface and wipe your tip on it regularly.
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