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How to Make a Stained Glass Window Part 2: Applying the copper foil

Copper foiling is a stained glass technique that was developed about a hundred years ago by Tiffany of the Tiffany Lamp company. It is a big improvement over leading and it is stronger.

In this part of the tutorial we copper foil a cut piece of glass.


place the cut glass piece

Once you have got your first piece cut and are happy with how it is you should copper foil it. Some people cut all their pieces then copper foil them. And that is a matter of preference. But I suggest as a beginner that you cut a piece, copper foil it. Cut another piece, copper foil it etc until you are done.


Copper foil

The first thing to know about copper foil is that it oxidizes quickly. If it oxidizes it won't solder well. And this is why we apply flux. It breaks down the oxidation and prevents the quick oxidation that happens when you heat copper. It comes in a plastic bag and when you are done with it you should put it in a sealable plastic bag.

It does come in different sizes. So What size should you get? Well, if you are just a beginner, using average glass and doing typical pieces then 7/32 is quite good. Start with that.

Pell the backing off the foil

The copper foil is adhesive and it has a paper backing. Peel off some of the paper backing.


Apply the foil to the edge

Then apply it evenly around the edge of the glass piece. Take your time with this. Try to get it as even as possible. It makes a difference in the quality of the completed project.

Wrap it all the way around the whole piece. Over lap it about a quarter inch and cut it.


Apply and burnish the foil

Now burnish the foil down with some kind of tool. You want it to be adhered nice and strong.


Burnish down the foil

Then you fold the foil over onto the face of the glass and burnish it down. You do this on both sides of the glass.


Place the glass pieces

Continue cutting pieces and foiling them. And assemble together your work.


The seams are nice and tight

Always strive to have excellent and even seams. It should all be almost seamless.


The glass has been placed in the window

Ok, All the pieces have been cut and foiled and all are in place.

NextLet's continue and do the soldering!



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