Stained Glass Rebuild


When I went to take the window out, it was bowing, the lead was cracked and the cement was no longer strengthening the window, it was in dire need of a complete rebuild. 

Once on the workbench I tak a rubbing of the lead lines so I am able to rebuild it to the exact design. I also number all of the pieces of glass to correlate to the design captured from the rubbing.

I then carefully take the window apart using wire cutters to pull the lead from the glass, prying each piece of glass carefully out of the lead ready to clean.






Once I had all the pieces cleaned, I started rebuilding the window from one corner, cutting and shaping the lead to size as I progressed.

I constantly cross referenced photos of the original design to make sure I'm using the correct sized lead came in the rebuild.

On occasion there are complications related to the manner in which the original maker of the window cut the glass or constructed the window that have to be accomodated with sometimes creative solutions to solve an issue. The unknown aspect of the job can make for an interesting challenge.





After the building of the window was complete, I used flux to cover the joints of the lead where I would solder onto, thus stopping the metal from oxidising when you heat up the solder which allows it to bond to it. 

The image on the left (1) was after it was fluxed but before the Soldering, the image to the right (2) shows the window soldered, all that remained after this point was to seal the lead work with leadlight cement to strengthen and waterproof the window.




At first glance, none of the glass is broken and in need of replacing, however, when you look closer at the original design there are additional lead lines inserted to mask cracked glass within the window.

In order to replace the cracked pieces I had to research  glass that would match, sometimes a difficult thing to do since a lot of glass that was made in the 1920's or previous to that is no longer in production. The number of Glass manufacturers have reduced over time and also some modern types of textured glass manufactured in the 1990's have also been discontinued.

The optimal way to refurbish the broken glass pieces whilst keeping the integrity of the design was to replace all the roundel border and the yellow glass surrounding the roundel with complementary glass to retain the overall design effect.





Once I reached the centre of the build, I measured the orginal pieces of glass to cut replacement pieces from the new sheet of glass sourced for the rebuild.

Using a glass cutter and grozing pliers I shaped the glass to fit and carried on building out the remainder of the window.





After the cement had been pushed into the edges of the lead came, the  excess cement is cleaned off.

The white powder called whiting absorbs any moisture, allowing a brush to be used to clean off any excess cement stuck to the lead and glass.

Once the cement has hardened off, the edges are cleaned further to achieve the finishing touch ready for the big reveal to show the light shine through the glass highlighting it's beautiful textures.