Taking Apart Leaded Glass

gardencroneNovember 5, 2009

I thought I posted this, but maybe not. I got a leaded glass lampshade at Goodwill. Some of the panes are missing or broken but for $1 I thought I could use the stained glass for my mosaics. Can anyone tell me if it is possible to take the leading off the pieces or do I have to break them off? Thanks.

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I copied this from an article on eHow (they were discussing stained glass windows): "Use the soldering iron to heat up and loosen the caming. Gently pry the old cames from the pieces of glass, leaving the individual pieces of glass in place." I know that what you want to do is possible, because stained glass shops often are hired to repair old stained glass windows. I also read somewhere that it's possible to cut the lead with a sharp utility knife. Hope this helps.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2009 at 9:07AM
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I have had to repair glass windows a few times. The best method is the first one that silvamae gave. Trying to cut the lead with a knife will lead to a lot of broken pieces and frustration. Melting the solder can take a while but it will work best in the long run. My guess is the pieces are foiled and soldered rather than leaded. After you get them apart you should be able to peel the foil off the pieces and clean them up with soap and water. It it is truely a leaded lamp the pieces of glass are set into the channel of the lead and it is only soldered at the joints. Good luck!

    Bookmark   November 5, 2009 at 9:35PM
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I've bought a lot of Stained Glass Chandeliers at Goodwill just for the glass. Most of them are fairly easy to take apart using a pair of side cutter pliers and a pair of needle nose pliers. Use the side cutters to nip the solder at the joint and then pull off the solder strip with the needle nose pliers. Removing the first piece of glass is usually the toughest, after that you can pull at the side strips as well, to make it easier.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2009 at 2:30AM
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Thank you all so much. I really appreciate the suggestions, I am going to try it tomorrow. Besides some pretty tan glass, there are several large panels in deep red. Should be a fine catch for $1. I'll report back, but thanks to all of you for giving me such great ideas. :) Katherine

    Bookmark   November 7, 2009 at 7:17PM
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Goldedger is right, I did two of them the same way. Worked great...gloves will save the fingers and hands.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2009 at 3:22AM
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