Monday, 20 April 2009

Filling Gaps Between Glass Pieces

Gaps along the bead line
When you have a gap between pieces of foiled glass, fill the gap with small pieces of lead or copper foil tape that has the adhesive side folded together. These will have to be cut to a width of just less than 3mm to keep them from projecting above the surface of the glass. This material helps to fill the gap and reduce the amount of “melt through”. Put a bit of masking tape on the top surface of the gap and turn the panel over.

Solder the back first. You can do this with 50/50 or 40/60 solder as it does not change from solid to liquid and back so quickly as 60/40. (See melting points of solders.) However the masking tape will keep the solder from dripping through if you apply too much heat. When you have finished soldering the back, apply masking tape to the now filled gap and turn over.

When completing the soldering of the top, you will need to take care to avoid over-heating the solder filling the gap. Over heating will allow the solder to melt through the existing solder and flow along the back. Usually, an application of dots of solder next to each other avoids transmitting as much heat as running a bead will. When you have passed the gap area, you can continue running the bead in the normal way.

Gaps between pieces

When you have gaps between glass that cannot be cut or re-cut, such as globs, fill the gap with a piece of lead or copper foil sheet cut to the size and shape of the gap. This is better than folded up pieces of lead or foil as it carries the solder over the gaps to the foiled pieces of glass. It allows for a smoother surface, and uses less solder.

Remember to avoid moving the panel for a while, as the large solder bead will require longer to become solid.