Stained glass is an art and when you are producing something that is beautiful and sustainable you need to make sure you are using the best products available. Stained glass designs include windows, lamps, sun catchers, cabinets and doors. Whether you are creating or restoring stained glass, solder is essential to the process. It is used to join glasses to other glasses, ceramic and metal. We have comprised some tips to help you figure out which solder is best for your stained glass needs.
1. There are 3 basic types of solder used in stained glass.
50/50: 50% Tin/50% Lead - This is most commonly used in box and lamp assembly.
60/40: 60% Tin/40% Lead - This is most commonly used in lead and copper foil assembly.
63/37: 63% Tin/40% Lead - This is most commonly used for decorative soldering.
2. Solder will not stick to glass alone, therefore each piece of glass must be wrapped in copper foil or lead came. Copper foil is a technique, made popular by L.C. Tiffany at the turn of the century, involves wrapping the pieces of glass with copper foil and soldering them together along the length of the seams.
3. Never use acid or rosin core solder for stained glass, only use solid-core solder.
4. Solder needs a flux to flow smoothly and bond to other metals like copper or lead came.
5. To use solder you must use a soldering iron that melts the solder to liquid state (approximately 700°F).
6. Handling solder poses a risk of lead poisoning if certain safety precautions are not followed lead cannot be absorbed through the skins - only through ingestion or an open cuts. Make sure to always wash your hands well and always bandage any open cuts on hands and fingers. Always be careful!
Mayer Alloys supplies the stained glass industry with materials to create and restore stained glass windows, lamps, sun catchers, cabinets and doors. Examples of products include 50Sn/50Pb Wire, 60Sn/40Pb Wire, 63Sn/37Pb Wire, Lead Came and Zinc Came. To learn more about stained glass solder download our Guide to Purchasing Solder to get a more comprehensive knowledge on solder and details of all your soldering needs. If you have questions, about your specific stained glass soldering requirements, please contact us at 888-513-7971 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We provide FREE technical assistance and will be happy to answer any questions you may have.