Village Glassworks
Tips, Hints, and Possibly Secrets in Stained Glass.

We have made a lot of panel lamps over the years.  One of the best tips we have for getting results is to make the panels the same size.  We use our trusty jig. 

Our jig is a piece of plywood for a base with a straight piece of wood (strapping) across the top and two side pieces, also of some kind of wood.  They should be cut with a straight edge. The tops / bottoms of both side pieces are angled to accommodate the sides of the panel lamp pieces.  We unscrew all the screws, put the pattern in place, line up the side and top pieces and screw it all in place.  Then the pieces of each panel can be put in place and soldered.  When they are finished all panels will be the same size.  When you stand up a panel lamp it is so much easier if all the panels are the same size. 

If you look really carefully you will see all the holes from previous projects.  Even with all the use, this jug lasts for years and is easily replaced.

Once you have the panels for your lamp ready you need to stand the lamp (more on that later) and complete the soldering process.  We tack the panels in place and solder the inside first.  To solder the outside lines you need at least 3 hands, one to hold the lamp, one to hold the soldering iron, and one to hold the solder.  And since I don't believe any of us have three hands, you need another jig.  

This one will hold the lamp at the necessary angle so you can use your hands to hold the solder and the iron. We hold the arm of the jig to the upright using a C-clamp so that the angle can be adjusted.  Make sure there is enough weight at the base of the jig so the lamp won't tip.
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