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OldWood

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Does anyone here know anything about stained glass windows ?

I appreciate this is not exactly wood work, but I've just rescued 10 leaded panels in sash window frames with possibly 1920's style designs in them and would like to restore them. These are a couple of them.

Stained glass_1 (Small).jpg


Stained glass_2 (Small).jpg


One of the 10 is well beyond repair and it may be a case of getting 6 or 7 good panels out of the 10. Lifting the lips of the lead cames to replace glass elements I cannot see as being too difficult, but several of the panels are quite badly bowed and that is something I would need expert guidance on.

Rob
 

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Jamesc

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Hi Rob,

This is something I have done a fair bit of, it is certainly achivable but not for tha faint hearted. As you have already said you can carefully lift the lead to replace a piece of glass. Your main problem will be finding matching glass if you need it.
I would advise removing the panels from the wooden frames before working on them. If the bowed panels are not too bad then you can lay them flat, put a board on top and slowly weight them down over a week or so.
Each panel will definately need re-cementing. For this you will need stained glass cement and whiting.
First remove as much of the old cement as possible, a wooden barbeque skewer works for me. Onece cleaned up work the cement into the lead with a shoe polishing brush. You are aiming to completly fill the lead and encapsulate the glass. Now covet the entire pane in whiting and leave overnight. This dries out the cement. Do not leave any longer then this as the cement will set like rock and be very hard to remove. The skewers are usefull here again.
Now turn the panel over and repeat. A tip when turning a panel is to slide it long edge over your work table them lift it keeping one edge on the table, slide towards you and carfully lower. Glass is very brittle (especially old glass) and can break very easily.
To improve the apearance of the lead you can get some stove brite (the stuff that comes in a tube for brackening wood burning stoves) apply to the lead with another boot polishing brush and buff up. Do not worry about getting on the glass it will buff off as you go.

This is a very brief description of how you could tackle the job, if it were me I would take the windows apart and completly re-lead them but this is DEFINATELY not a job to be undertaken lightlly(I once had a Saturday job in a stained glass studio so have done a fair few of these). Leading is a bit of a black art that takes a fair bit of practice to get just right. You will find that the smooth curves in your panels are made by the lead. The glass inside is often relly roughly cut.

If there is a stained glass course in your area I would advise attending as it is very hard to describe many of the techniques which are much better shown. Having said that if you want to ask more please fire away, either here or by PM

Regards

James
 

bugbear

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I have nothing to add on restoration techniques, but can I just say "WOW", those are gorgeous.

BugBear
 

OldWood

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Hi James
That was a wonderful reply - very many thanks indeed. One advantage of craft forums is that there is always the chance of a cross over to other crafts, and I reckon I've hit the jackpot !

I'm near Edinburgh and my daughter in Fife has done stain glass classes there - kilning and copper bonding. She thinks the teacher does leadwork too, but unfortunately she is on extended travels abroad at the moment. Even if that is not her capability I'm sure she will know some local who can help me.

Your guidance is good enough that I feel I could go ahead and try some work on one of the panels that is clearly not recoverable, but I will leave it till this lady comes back. I will at least be able to go to her with a little bit of a knowledge base. There is also that fact that the longer days are here and this is an activity for winter days.

Again many thanks James - I'll keep you posted on how I get on.

And, yes, Bugbear - it wasn't really until I'd propped them up against the light and had time to look that I realised how good they are. Unfortunately the one panel that is probably beyond recovery is the righthand one of the double.

Rob

Edit
As a follow up to this, James - you may well have supplied the answer to something I have puzzled over for a long time. We inherited 5 lovely stemmed liqueur glasses which are encased in sliver tracery; I've often wondered about the white 'cement' that exists between the silver work and the glass. It's not unreasonable to assume it is something similar to that used on leadwork.
 

Halo Jones

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My wife used to make large stained glass windows and got all her glass from a studio in Edinburgh. I seem to remember they could also order specific glass. I'll ask her if she remembers where it was.

H.
 

OldWood

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Halo Jones":2a7q7br2 said:
My wife used to make large stained glass windows and got all her glass from a studio in Edinburgh. I seem to remember they could also order specific glass. I'll ask her if she remembers where it was.

H.

Hey, this place gets better and better. Many thanks.

One thing that I do need to explore is whether, in terms of a possible market, the effort and cost in restoring more than just the one that I want, is worthwhile. Could your good lady be able to pass an opinion on that?

Rob
 

AndyT

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I'd just like to say that James' advice is spot on. I once had a single over-door panel where the lead had gone brittle and some glass was loose. I tackled it by signing up for a course. After some guided sessions on the basic techniques I was confident enough to completely re-lead the panel - but without the safety net of a tutor I would not have been.

To do a complete rebuild you need a big board, a tracing of what your design should look like, new lead, and horseshoe nails to hold the work in place as you go. Mine was simpler than yours though - mostly straight lines.
I found the hardest thing was to get it all as tightly fitted as the original, so that the complete panel did not need a bit shaved off all round, which is not so easy with glass!
 

OldWood

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AndyT":2arckv84 said:
I'd just like to say that James' advice is spot on. I once had a single over-door panel where the lead had gone brittle and some glass was loose. I tackled it by signing up for a course. After some guided sessions on the basic techniques I was confident enough to completely re-lead the panel - but without the safety net of a tutor I would not have been.

To do a complete rebuild you need a big board, a tracing of what your design should look like, new lead, and horseshoe nails to hold the work in place as you go. Mine was simpler than yours though - mostly straight lines.
I found the hardest thing was to get it all as tightly fitted as the original, so that the complete panel did not need a bit shaved off all round, which is not so easy with glass!
Thanks Andy - valid point amongst that lot is the lead going brittle. I've met that twice with lead water pipes so am aware of it. As the one panel I want is to go into a door, it may well be that I will have to do a total rebuild of it with new lead - fortunately the existing plain glass panel is larger so any 'expansion' can be allowed for.

Rob
 

Jamesc

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One further point if the glass id to go into a door is to make sure you have re-enforcement. Looking at your photos it would appear that you have the iron bars attached to the lead with copper ties. These will almost certainly have broken. If you would prefer a slimmer version you can get steel strips covered in lead that you solder to the lead for this purpose (make sure the steel is full width and is bedded in the putty/beading). An alternative is a product that has a steel strip embedded in the core of the lead H section. This will almost certainly need a little shaving off the ajoining glass panes. If you go on a course they are likely to have a diamond grinder or 'Cheating Machine' as my old boss called it. This makes the job very easy - think router table for glass and you won't be too far off.

Regards

James
 

jimi43

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I take it, being in Scotland...that you know of Charles Rennie Mackintosh?

This window in particular...



...is very similar to some of his art nouveau designs.

They may just be common period examples but they are stunning so I would check first....just in case they are not by someone more famous.... :wink:

Jim
 

OldWood

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Jim

Yes that was discussed at one point and I reckoned the Glasgow School of Art would be a good starting point.

I've punted the pictures across to them a couple of days ago to see if anyone can give an opinion. Emails are never the best into a general box that they will have so I'll give it a couple of days and try phoning to perhaps get a better contact.

Rob
 

Halo Jones

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Rob,

The missus says that you want to go along to / search "edinburghstainedglasshouse" which is relatively near the Royal. They do courses and also stock glass. She reckons that each window, if in a complete state, would go for between £150 and 250, so the amount of work needed to repair the ones shown would mean it would more a labour of love to restore them than make adecent profit.

She liked the windows and it did get her itching to have another go (work and the arrival of two bairns mean she hasn't done it for about 6 years now).

If you are interested I reckon I might be able to persaude her to show you the basics. I cannot promise but PM me if interested.

I can't resist so here is a partial WIP of my favourite window that she did:




H.
 

bugbear

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jimi43":3khrfrvy said:
I take it, being in Scotland...that you know of Charles Rennie Mackintosh?

This window in particular...



...is very similar to some of his art nouveau designs.

They may just be common period examples but they are stunning so I would check first....just in case they are not by someone more famous.... :wink:

Jim
Mackintosh's style was famous and "inspired" many people who followed him. That's not to say this window is anything other than damn gorgeous (and clearly "school of Mackintosh") but I would say it's extraordinarily unlikely to be the man himself.

In particular, the "Mackintosh Rose" was copied EVERYWHERE.

BugBear
 

billybuntus

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I've been making stained glass panels for about 5 years now. I really enjoy it.

Have a go (a course would be useful for you :) ) and let us know how you get on or if you get stuck

The panels you have are nice quality, worth saving.

http://www.oldhousesalvage.co.uk


Just a couple of examples of some of the doors I've done.
 

OldWood

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billybuntus":1nz8xi3b said:
I've been making stained glass panels for about 5 years now. I really enjoy it.

Have a go (a course would be useful for you :) ) and let us know how you get on or if you get stuck

The panels you have are nice quality, worth saving.

http://www.oldhousesalvage.co.uk


Just a couple of examples of some of the doors I've done.

Many thanks for your offer of help.

This sounds like as if it should be a project with some WIP photos to be posted in due course - one thing that I've found interesting is that making stained glass panels is clearly alive and kicking as I've had offers of help from several local sources and there are two businesses I now know of in the Edinburgh area.

Rob
 

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