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Mind the Gap!

How close should your glass pieces be? They should be close enough so that you are comfortable with how heavy a solder line you will end up with. To help prevent uneven spaces, here are some hints:
  • Use push pins or jigs to hold your glass in place while building and checking the fit. That way, you won’t get one piece fitting perfectly as you are pushing another one out.
  • Make sure you have not flipped any glass over. Label your pieces to avoid this.
Before you say “good enough,” think about any holes or uneven spaces you are filling with solder. When your piece is held up to the light, those places will not let light through. They will become part of the design. Another problem is overheating the glass due to reworking it with a hot soldering iron. You don’t want to crack your glass with thermal shock because you are adding so much solder to fill the gap. Often when you are doing this, one side looks good and then you turn the piece over and there is a gob of solder. So you fuss with that, going back and forth, heating and heating, and then you hear the dreaded tink—the sound of glass cracking and your heart breaking! The best fix—sorry to say—is to recut. Be patient with yourself. This is a skill—so practice and don’t give up. Photo courtesy of Inland.