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Supplies For Getting Started in Stained Glass
This list is designed to help create a product list for beginning art students. Not all of the products will be important for every project, for example you will use crystal or copper foil and their accessories depending on the type of glass you will use. . The other tools listed will be very helpful, but not required, a pair of pliers will be necessary to do many jobs for example.
Glass Cutters – One of the most important tools you will use in stained glass, a good glass cutter will make or break your job. These range from very cheap carbide steel wheel cutters (you have to include cutting oil as you go) to slightly more expensive self-oiling tungsten carbide or pistol grip wheel cutters.
Cutting Oil – This helps reduce friction which allows for a smoother cut and also keeps the glass debris from interfering with the grinding of the wheel.
Soldering Iron – (pronounced like soddering) This is once melted the lead that in turn is accustomed to join the metal parts, such as aluminum or copper foil that will hold your mirror here.
Solder – The kind that you will work in stained glass should be metal (mixture) of tin and lead. This usually goes into a spool of 50/50 or 60/40 blend. The 60/40 is a bit more expensive, flows better and is therefore better for making a glass project.
Sal Ammonia – This is a washing machine that is made of minerals that are formed by the heat of the iron and remove the debris when the iron is gently pulled on it.
Flux – Helps remove oxidation and other dirt and debris from the metal surface so the metal can adhere to it. This is necessary to keep your gear together; the solder just won’t “stick” without it!
Flux Brush – An inexpensive brush used to apply flux.
Flux Remover – Able to identify the medium of the flux or patina and is often used at the end of the work to clean up small mistakes and excess flow.
Cut Square – Useful when drawing squares or other designs that require right angles.
Ruler – Work for measuring project dimensions in addition to drawing or cutting straight lines. A backing like cork or rubber will help prevent sliding on the glass.
Pattern Shears – These are special scissors that cut small pieces of paper in a pattern to allow room for lead or copper foils to be placed on the various glass of the target.
Grozing Pliers – These pliers have narrow, serrated jaws for picking up small pieces of glass and can be used to remove uneven or jagged pieces of stained glass after cutting.
Running Pliers – These thick pliers help to carefully clean the glass that is scored on the target furrows.
Needle Nose Pliers – An ideal all around tool to have handy, can work for small detailing.
Metal Cutters – These can be used to cut metal extensions or metal shapes to hang your finished glass art.
Hammer or Mallet – A good rubber head can be used to gently tap the glass into place.
Carborundum Stone – A trade name for a grinding tool that once smoothed the edges of stained glass. Must be wetted from time to time to make smoothing easier.
Electric Glass Grinder – A slightly larger process to smooth glass edges; This is a machine that will work faster and more efficiently. This is definitely good, but optional.
Copper Foil – One of the choices of materials used to hold stained glass together. Enter different widths depending on the view of your work- make sure your cut pattern is the same width as your foil or come.
Copper Foil Dispenser – A neat one, this makes handling copper foil easier, more ways to use tape makes tape easier.
Lead Cams – The first choice in stained glass support systems. These come as long strips of aluminum with grooves or lines on one side or both, depending on whether it should be used as an interior or fringes a piece of stained glass.
Lead Vise – Holds the lead being sent out somewhere allowing it to stretch before use.
Lead Cutters – Also called lead pliers these snips are especially helpful when trimming to use in the corners of your stained glass project.
Lead Knife – can be used to make a clean cut of incoming lead.
Horseshoe Nails – Great for holding posts in place while assembling your stained glass project.
Dustpan and Brush – Keeping your work area clean is important in making stained glass as dust will prevent the product from being polished properly.
Safety glasses – Keep lead or glass from harming the eyes when cutting, always remember “health first”!
Wood Block Holder – can be used to hold stained glass.
Mask – Always together in training; may be familiar with holding patterns together or a number of other uses.
Picture hanging metal or other fasteners – For hanging your finished stained glass project.
Lead Plank with Right Support – Useful for holding a glass project in place during assembly while keeping the edges clean and straight.
Wood or Plastic Fid – Like electrical equipment or transmission when using foil for stained glass.
Glazing Concrete – Seals and concrete can be joined together by lead.
Whiting – Helps to dry and set the glazing stone. It can also be used to remove excess putty from stained glass.
Stiff Bristle Brush – Used for testing glazing cement.
Patina – A liquid reaction that changes the appearance of solder, can give it a more original appearance.
Oil Your mitts – Complete necessary when working patina or other solvents for the project; you don’t want these to get on your skin!
Mirror Sealer – This aerosol spray is used on the underside of the mirror to seal the paint from scratches or damage.
Finishing Compound – Gives a finished look to your stained glass project, adding polish and shine while providing a protective finish to help prevent oxidation and tarnish buildup.
Pushpins, Tacks and Jigs – Items that can be used to hold things together when assembling your stained glass project.
Craft Knife – Perfect for correcting small mistakes in copper foiling and other small projects.
Iron Wool – May remove oxidized material from iron and other metals.
Plastic Basin and Sponge – Use warm soapy water to clean glass and metal debris from your stained glass work area.
Carbon Paper – For printing patterns.
Tracing Paper – For tracing the original design on a clean paper.
Rubber Concrete – For holding the samples of glass to cut them out more easily.
Pencils, pens, markers and colored pencils – Need to draw and color in patterns.
There you have it, a not-so-condensed shopping list to get you on your way to a new hobby in art glass making!
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