Back in the 1990’s, dad had a catboat. I don’t have any pictures of the boat, but here’s Dad and I going for a sail circa 1996:
When I started working with stained glass Dad asked if I’d someday think about making him a stained glass sailboat. I decided to surprise him for Christmas this year and make him a stained glass catboat. I started by googling “catboat” to get some design ideas and a template. Catboats have very distinctive sails:
I also googled “stained glass sailboat” and saw some great ideas, such as splitting the sail into 3 pieces with a band of color in the middle. I decided to use a combination of blue/green glass and mottled white glass. Here is my first attempt [where the boat base looked more like a canoe]:
I needed something to use for a mast, which would also connect the boat base to the sail. I went to Home Depot and found 6 gauge copper wire:
The hard part was cutting it. It took 16 solid squeezes with my heavy-duty wire cutters to cut the wire in half! So painful on the hands, especially since 4 cuts were necessary [that’s 64 squeezes with the wire cutters – ouch]:
The cut edges were quite jagged & sharp so I found a metal file in my basement tool box and filed them until they were smooth and rounded:
Then I held the piece of 6 gauge wire with pliers and soldered the hell out of it to turn it from copper color to silver color. It took a few tries and a lot of flux to get the whole mast silver. Then I soldered it to the sail and then to the boat base. When I picked up the boat the mast and sail were so heavy it actually tore the copper foil off the base of the boat! D’oh! I had to redo the foiling on the edges of the base, re solder them, then reattach the mast. Then I soldered a smaller piece of copper wire to the opposite side of the sail/boat bottom for more support. Here’s the almost-finished [FIRST ATTEMPT] boat, front [left] & back [right]. The blue/green glass is cool – it’s textured and more blue on one side, and flat and more colorful on the other side:
After struggling so hard with the copper wire and wire cutters, I did some research on Amazon and found these highly recommended bolt cutters [#affiliate] which are supposedly PERFECT for 6 gauge wire, including copper. They arrived 2 days later and in 20 seconds I was able to cut my copper wire into 4 pieces! OMFG!!! These are totally my new favorite tool:
One gentle squeeze versus 16 hard squeezes! YES!!!
Next up: when I tried to smooth out my solder lines on the sail and boat bottom and the entire thing fell apart. And when I realized hollow copper tubing made for a much better mast then solid copper wire. HA! Live and learn.