Instructions for leading glass

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1. Applying:
First, make certain the glass is thoroughly clean and free of oil or film. Cut the desired length of lead from the coil. If there are any kinks or bends in the lead, they should be straightened out before the lead is applied to the glass. Handle gently and do not over-stretch the lead. Place one end of the strip at the starting point on the glass and press firmly. Avoid finger contact with the adhesive, as this may impair adhesion. Guide the lead along the pattern line using finger pressure until you have reached the finishing point. The strips of lead in the design that extend to the perimeter of the glass should be trimmed at the outer edges of the glass area to about one-half the width of the border lead that will cover them. Border lead covers all these ends and protects them while giving a finished look to the piece.


2. Adhering
The proper boning of the lead to glass is very important. Press down the square concave end of the boning peg against the lead you have applied and, with a firm, smooth movement, draw the peg along the full length of the strip. Use a practice piece of glass or smooth surface to gain experience and confidence.


3. Edging:
Place the boning peg on the edge of the lead and, maintaining the same position and pressure, draw the peg along the full length of the strip using a firm, smooth movement. Do this on both sides of the lead, pressing the edges of the lead to the glass. This will make it air and water tight. The special adhesive, firmly secured to the glass, will assure permanence even in the most extreme climates.


4. Crossovers:
At the point where the strips cross, the lead should be neatly indented with the boning peg. This will effectively seal any gaps while creating the soldered effect that is associated with the charm of traditional leaded glass. Again, trying this on a practice sheet of glass will give you a feel for the way the lead reacts under the pressure of the boning peg.


5. Curves:
Begin by pressing the first two inches of lead to the glass just as you would with a straight line. You can control the lead by placing your fingers close together for small curves and farther apart if you are forming a wide arc. Use the boning peg on all curves. On tight circles where wrinkles may appear they can be pressed flat with the boning peg. Intricate work requires the use of the narrower widths of lead.


6. "Y" Joints:
Two pieces of lead are used to make a "Y" joint. First apply one diagonal side of the "Y". Then apply a longer strip of lead on the other side of the "Y". At the point where the two strips meet, bend the lead sharply to cover the end of the first diagonal strip, continuing on to make the vertical stem of the "Y".


Creating the design.

Diamonds, squares, and rectangles are easy to make. First lay out your design on plain paper. After you have completed your design, tape it to the glass area to be leaded to see how it looks. (Large diamonds in a small area or small diamonds in a large area may look out of proportion.)

Follow these simple steps:

            • Measure the inside width and height of the glass area to be leaded and draw these dimensions on paper with pencil or marker.

            • Then divide the measured area vertically and horizontally into rectangles.

            • For diamonds, simply draw diagonals through rectangles both ways and you will form perfect diamond shapes.

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