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This list is meant to help create a shopping list for the beginning stained glass art student. Not all of the items will be needed for every project, for instance you will use either lead cames OR copper foil and their corresponding accessories depending on the stained glass style you will be working with. Other tools listed may be very helpful, but not entirely necessary, one pair of pliers may be enough to do several jobs for example.

Glass Cutters- One of the most important tools you will use in stained glass making, good glass cuts will make or break your project. These range from very inexpensive carbide steel wheel cutters (you will need to add cutting oil as you go along) to slightly more expensive self-oiling tungsten carbide or pistol grip wheel cutters.

Cutting Oil- This helps to reduce friction allowing a smoother cut and also keeps glass debris from encumbering the cutting wheel’s progress.

Soldering Iron- (pronounced like soddering) This is used to melt lead solder which in turn is used to join pieces of metal, such as the lead cames or copper foil that will hold your stained glass pieces together.

Solder- The type you will be using in stained glass making should be an alloy (mixture) of tin and lead. This usually comes in a spool of either a 50/50 or 60/40 blend. The 60/40 is slightly more expensive, flows more smoothly and is therefore preferable for making a stained glass project.

Sal Ammoniac- This is soldering iron tip cleaner made from a naturally occurring mineral that reacts to the heat of the soldering iron and removes debris when the iron is gently rubbed on it.

Flux- Helps remove oxidation and other dirt and debris from the metal surfaces so that the solder can adhere to it. This is an absolute necessity to keep your stained glass pieces together; the solder just won’t “stick” without it!

Flux Brush- A very inexpensive brush used to apply the flux.

Flux Remover- Can be used to neutralize flux or patina and is often used at the end of projects to clean up small errors and over-flow.

Cutting Square- Helpful when drawing squares or other designs requiring a right angle.

Ruler- Used for measuring project dimensions as well as for drawing or cutting a straight line. A non-skid backing such as cork or rubber will help keep it from sliding on the glass.

Pattern Shears- These are special scissors that automatically cut the proper size strip of paper between pattern pieces to allow room for the lead cames or copper foils to be placed between the various stained glass pieces of the design.

Grozing Pliers- These pliers have narrow, serrated jaws for picking up small chucks of glass and can be used to remove uneven or jagged pieces of stained glass after cutting.

Running Pliers- These thick pliers help to carefully break stained glass pieces that have been scored on the design lines.

Needle Nose Pliers- A good all around tool to keep handy, can be used for small detail work.

Wire Cutters- These can be used to cut reinforcing wire or the picture hanging wire to hang your finished stained glass art project.

Hammer or Mallet- A good rubber headed mallet can be used to gently tap stained glass pieces into place.

Carborundum Stone- A trademarked name for a grinding tool used to smooth the edges of cut pieces of stained glass. Should be wetted periodically to make smoothing easier.

Electric Glass Grinder- A bit more luxurious way to smooth the glass edges; this is a machine that will do the job faster and more efficiently. This is definitely nice, but optional.

Copper Foil- One of the choices of material to hold the pieces of stained glass together. Comes in various widths depending on the look of your project-make sure your pattern shears are the same width as your foil or came.

Copper Foil Dispenser- Another nicety, this makes handling the copper foil easier, much the way a tape dispenser makes tape easier to handle.

Lead Cames- The original choice in stained glass support systems. These come as long strips of lead with grooves or channels on either one side or both, depending on whether it is to be used as an inside or outer edge piece of the stained glass.

Lead Vise- Holds the lead came in place to allow it to be stretched before use.

Lead Cutters- Also known as lead pliers these snips are especially helpful when cutting cames for use in the corners of your stained glass project.

You can see that there’s practical value in learning more about Stained Glass. Can you think of ways to apply what’s been covered so far?

Lead Knife- Can be used to make clean straight cuts on lead cames.

Horseshoe Nails- Great for holding frames in place when assembling your stained glass project.

Dustpan and Brush- Helps to keep your workplace clean which is important in making stained glass projects because debris will prevent things from sticking properly.

Safety Goggles- Keeps pieces of lead or glass from damaging the eyes during cutting, always remember “safety first”!

Wooden Block Holder- Can be helpful for holding pieces of stained glass.

Masking Tape- Always handy in the workshop; may be used to hold pattern pieces together or many other uses.

Picture Hanging Wire or Other Fasteners- For hanging your completed stained glass project.

Lead Board with Right Angle Support- Useful in holding a lead stained glass project in place during assembly while keeping the edges clean and straight.

Wood or Plastic Fid- Great as a burnishing or spreading tool when applying foil to stained glass.

Glazing Cement- Seals and strengthens the joint areas of the lead cames.

Whiting- Helps to dry and set the glazing cement. Can also be used to remove excess putty from the stained glass.

Stiff Bristle Brush- Used for applying glazing cement.

Patina- Liquid solution that changes the appearance of solder, can give a more antiqued appearance.

Rubber Gloves- Absolutely necessary when applying patina or any other solvents to the project; you do not want these penetrating your skin!

Mirror Sealer- This aerosol spray is used on the back of mirrors to keep the reflective coating from being scratched or damaged.

Finishing Compound- Provides the finishing touch to your stained glass project, adding polish and shine while providing a protective finish to help prevent oxidation and tarnish buildup.

Pushpins, Tacks and Jig Material- Items that may be helpful in holding certain pieces together while assembling your stained glass project.

Craft Knife- Perfect for correcting small errors in copper foiling and other small tasks.

Steel Wool- May remove oxidized material from solder and other metal parts.

Plastic Basin and Sponge- With warm soapy water to clean glass and metal debris from your stained glass workspace.

Carbon Paper- For making pattern copies.

Tracing Paper- For tracing the original design unto a clean copy.

Rubber Cement- For holding pattern pieces on glass to make cutting them out easier.

Pens, Pencils, Markers and Colored Pencils- Needed for drawing and coloring in pattern pieces.

There you have it, a not-so-condensed shopping list to get you on your way to a new hobby in stained glass art making!

So now you know a little bit about Stained Glass. Even if you don’t know everything, you’ve done something worthwhile: you’ve expanded your knowledge.

About the Author
By Kenneth Allan Crosby jr,feel free to visit his top ranked recycling site: recycling, tips, history

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