I’ve been doing a lot of glass fusing lately. A few days ago I felt the need to get into the studio and do some soldering. (If you’re not a stained glass artist, that probably sounds strange.) The problem is I can’t run my air conditioner and soldering iron at the same time. If we ever build another workshop, we will definitely have outlets put on separate lines. With temperatures in Houston still over 100 degrees every day; I decided to do a simple and quick sun catcher just to get it out of my system.
Ever notice how the simple, quick, little things you want to do end up being anything but simple and quick?
I took a square glue chip bevel, rummaged through my scrap glass and cut up some strips to border the bevel. It all went very smoothly until it was time to put the zinc border on. My zinc has been sitting around for awhile. Old zinc does not solder well! I used steel wool to clean off the oxidation, brushed it with a brass brush, and gave it a good cleaning. But the solder just did not want to stick to the zinc. It helps to heat the zinc a bit with the tip of the iron before soldering. But my glass pieces were pretty small, and I worried about breaking the glass. There is nothing worse than soldering the last few joints on a piece and hearing the telltale “ping” sound that says the glass got too hot and cracked. I eventually got it the way I wanted, but it took twice as long as it should have. By the time I was done, I was dripping sweat everywhere. It might be October before I do another stained glass piece!