So I’ve been thinking about my next stained glass project ever since finishing my spider web last month. However, I haven’t had any time for stained glassing. Until today! They let us out of work 3 hours early [woohoo!], and since I’m not traveling for Thanksgiving [thank god] I headed down to my basement workshop the minute I got home. I already knew what I wanted to make, because I saw it hanging in a window last week while I was out walking: a glass star cut from one piece of glass. I figured I could cut it out, foil the outer edges, solder them, attach a loop at the top for hanging, and be done. But nothing related to DIY is ever as easy as it seems.
I started by unwrapping the colored glass pieces I bought 2 months ago at Shards in Peabody, MA, which included a blue piece, a purple piece, a green piece, and a red piece. I decided to start with blue. I sketched a freehand star onto the glass with a sharpie, then tried to cut it:
D’oh! I tried cutting it again, and the same thing happened. That’s when I ran upstairs and googled “cutting a star out of glass” and realized it’s not possible. At least without a laser cutting machine. You have to cut at least 5 pieces of glass and solder them together. So I googled “star pattern” and found one I liked. I loaded it into paint shop and drew cutting lines:
I cut the pattern into 5 pieces, traced each piece onto the blue glass, and cut them:
I used my glass grinder to smooth down a few rough edges then foiled each piece:
Before soldering the star, I wanted to [finally] attach hanging hooks to my spider web. I read how to do it, but it was still quite tricky. I fashioned 2 hooks out of copper wire for the spider web [one for each side], and also created a loop for the star:
Then I got my soldering iron out and the “flux”, which is greasy liquid you have to paint onto anything you’re soldering so the solder adheres to the copper [or lead]:
I figured out VERY quickly that a copper hook heats up to psychotic temperatures within 2 seconds of being touched by a soldering iron. Needle nosed pliers became imperative:
I wedged the spider web on it’s edge between 2 pieces of wood and soldered the hook onto the side:
I flipped it over and soldered a hook on the other side, then hung it in the living room window – it’s so nice to finally have it hanging up!!!
Then it was back down to the basement to solder the star together. I started with the 5 central seams, flipped it over and did the seams on the back side, then wedged it between the wood and soldered each edge, finishing by attaching the hook on top:
Solder is really crazy/cool stuff! A bunch of it dripped and fell onto my workbench, but it didn’t stick – once it cooled I could pick it up and move it around:
A few drops fell onto the floor and thankfully missed my foot. I’m guessing that wouldn’t feel very good…
I hung the star in the living room window. I can’t believe that in just 2½ hours I went from raw glass to finished star!!!
I’ll end this post with some cute pictures of the rats eating whipped cream. They LOVE whipped cream!