Antique Style Lamp Patterns, Lamp Forms, Stained glass cutting and Lamp construction information
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Building Solder Seams

    Fill, build and finish the seams INSIDE FIRST  THEN OUTSIDE. It is almost impossible to fill the space between the foiled glass parts with solder without some solder flow through. When the inside seams are filled and finished first it is easy to make smooth outside seams, solder flow through will be minimal from the outside to the inside.
    The portion of any seam you are working on must be positioned near level. The inside and outside of a dish shaped lamp shade is easily leveled by propping it up with small blocks of wood, styrofoam, etc. See LampLeveler on page 26.  

The Touch-Pause-Lift Method of Building Seams
    Level the seam. Dip the tip of a brush in flux. Cover the copper foil only where you want solder to adhere. There is no need to flood the seam with flux (an inexpensive artist brush about 1/8” wide will work fine).
    Using a hot iron, melt and spread droplets of solder along the seam tinning the foil and filling the gaps. Try to gauge the amount of solder that will be needed to make each seam between seam intersections.
    To smooth, brush extra flux over the droplets of solder along the seam. Touch the droplets, wait until that portion is liquid and has melted into the first touch point. Touch-Pause-Lift. Try to make one pass across the intersections and then try to work away from intersections. Continue the Touch-Pause-Lift motion until the seam is completed.
    As work progresses, keep wiping the surface with a wet cloth or sponge. If the solder becomes tacky, let it cool, then apply extra flux and redo. Do not worry about solder flow through to the outside.

Wipe surface with wet cloth to cool and clean

    Do not try to build the seams too high. If too much solder has been applied, push it out on the glass. Do not attempt to pick solder up from the glass with the iron tip. The glass piece may crack from the heat.

Variations of Touch-Pause-Lift
    Variations of the Touch-Pause-Lift method are: (1) drawing the iron along without lifting it; (2) feeding solder to the seam by touching the solder to the top of the iron tip as the iron is drawn along the seam.

Replacing Cracked Pieces
    Replacing cracked pieces is not hard to do. A glass cutter with a ball molded on the handle is used to shatter the broken glass pieces. Use a needle nose pliers to remove all glass shards. A hot soldering iron is used to melt the solder at the end of the copper foil that was wrapped around the part. The end of the foil is grasped with the pliers and is gently removed by pulling as the solder is melted out with the tip of the soldering iron. A new part is cut, foiled, pressed into place, soldered and antiqued.