Using U Lead Came for an Oval Panel with Irregular Edges

by Gail Hoffmann
(Sanford, FL, USA)

Hi Sue!


Thank you so much for your fantastic site!

My question: I am building a stained glass panel that will be free-hanging, is basically oval in shape with protruding design features at the top and bottom and measures 13 inches by 20 inches. Not having the confidence to do the entire piece in lead, I plan to do the piece using copper foil and then use U Lead came to "frame" the piece. Should I apply the lead came border in separate pieces to accommodate its irregular shape or should I wrap the entire piece with 1 long piece of lead came? I would be SO grateful for your advice!

Answer
Hi Gail,

If you want to use lead around the border, I'd suggest using hobby U came. It's very flexible and forms easily. One long piece would look better, but you might run into spots where you'll need to cut it. Just make sure those cuts happen where a solder line meets the edge of the glass, and make sure the 2 pieces of lead line up perfectly.

To be honest, I'd finish the edges some other way...twisted copper wire, small ball chain, copper wire with edge beading over it...there are several ways you could go for a beautiful finished edge. If you look at my copper foil tutorial, there is a section on "other ways to finish the edges".

When the panel is done, we'd love to see it. You can post a picture on the photo album page if you care to.

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Feb 09, 2009
Follow-up Question
by: Gail

Sue,
Thank you so much for the advice! Yes, I can definitely envision your idea of using wire, ball chain and other types of "edging" for the piece but I have a follow-up question on this idea. Would this type of edging be strong enough to support a piece of this size? I thought lead was the only way to go for strength.

Answer

Any of those edgings will strengthen you panel as well as, if not better than, lead. They will make the edge very solid.

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