Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Foil not Sticking on Edge

An enquiry arrived the other day:
I’m working on another irregular shaped suncatcher and I have just completed the soldering. Now I've found one small section the copper foil is not sticking. How can I fix this?

The adhesive on copper foil tape is not a permanent one. It only sticks to the glass long enough to apply the solder to the foil. The heat of soldering often degrades the adhesive so much that it no longer sticks. What holds the solder down is the solder bead. So you probably do not have a full bead on the edge. Placing a bead on the edges of pieces is difficult but you can find a method here.

You can make the edge beading a bit easier by putting thin copper wire around the edge of the piece. This strengthens the whole piece. It allows you to attach a hanger without risk of pulling the whole suncatcher apart. It also allows you to form a bead on the edge more easily.

The bead formed on the edge curves around to the front and back faces allowing the solder to hold the copper tape more firmly to the glass.