Sunday, 24 August 2008

Straightening the came

Before using the came it is important to straighten it. This increases the stability of the came during the leading process. Most often nowadays, you use a lead vice. This operates similarly to a cleat on a sailing boat. The more strain that is applied, the tighter the vice grips the came.

You place the end of the came into the vice so that the came appears at the back of the vice. Give the top of the vice a firm tap with your pliers to set the teeth into the came. Grasp the other end of the came with the pliers, and put one foot behind you to brace yourself if the came does slip out of the vice. Draw the came toward yourself until you can see the lead is straight and any kinks have straightened.

Take the came out of the vice and keep it straight. You transport it by grasping each end and keep the came under tension until you get it to the destination. It is often easiest to cut the full length in half before moving it, as it will not then be longer than your arms can stretch.

Remember, this process is to straighten the came to give pleasing lines in the leaded panel. It is not stretching the lead. Stretching the came can weaken the lead.