Repairing broken glass in copper foil project framed in zinc.
I have only been making stained glass items for about 2 years and am not an expert. A friend brought me her broken stained glass piece and asked about repair. Most noticeable breaks are on two outside pieces foiled on inside and framed by zinc on outside. I can hardly find a solder line for zinc and since it isn't as soft as lead, it cannot be cut with lead nippers. 1)How would this be repaired on the frame side, and 2)Is it worth my trouble? (Looks like an import piece of stained glass and patina'd in black.)
It should be a fairly simple repaie, especially being outside pieces of glass.
If you follow my tutorial on repairing copper foil, it should go well. You'll find the tutorial here: Repairing Copper Foil
You will need to remove the zinc first. Use a 1" wide aluminum strip, shown in the tutorial, and slide it between the glass and the zinc. Heat the solder where it joins the zinc to the glass. As the solder melts, move the aluminum strip along until it is directly under the solder. Leave it there until the solder sets up. Keep doing that on both sides of the panel. Melt the solder at either end of the zinc (where it joins the next piece of zinc) and melt the solder while pulling the 2 pieces of zinc apart. It really is easier than it sounds!!
Once you have the zinc off, it's a matter of removing the broken pieces, matching the glass, cutting new pieces and replacing them. The zinc edging that you removed should slide back on. If it doesn't, make sure there isn't any solder in the channel, and make sure the solder bead on the foil isn't coming right out to the edge of the glass. Either of those scenerios will prevent the zinc from going on easily. Once the zinc is in place, solder it back together.
I hope this helps you. If you have any more questions about this technique, please don't hesitate to ask.