Gap Between Foiled Pieces
(Salem, Indiana, USA)
I have a small gap between three pieces that have been cut and foiled. Can this be soldered any way, and will it hold? The gap is where three pieces meet, and is quite small. Can I fill it in with solder? This is my first project.
You can fill in any size gap with solder, but...will it alter the flow of the lines or change the look of the finished panel? Will you have a big glob of solder instead of three pieces meeting at a point? Those are the things you have to consider.
If you were my student, I'd stongly suggest that you re-cut those pieces so there is no gap.
If you want to go ahead and fill it in, add a small amount of solder and let it cool, then add a bit more, let it cool again, until it is filled in. Then you can add more flux and do a final touch-up. Do a series of gentle touch and lifts until it is a smooth, raised bead.
Don't let the solder melt all the way through when you are doing the touch and lift, or it will just run through the gap and end up as a big glob on the back of the panel. When you try to fix the glob on the back, it will run through to the front. You can chase solder, that way, forever!
If you have a big gap, you can hold a wet (and squeezed out) cloth tightly to the back of the panel while you fill in the front. The wet cloth prevents the solder from running through. When you do this, you need to solder the rest of the panel before lifting it to put the wet cloth behind it. This technique is only for big gaps. Some designs use big gaps as part of the design. You will most often find this in some of the Tiffany designs. If you have an unintentional
gap that is big enough to use this technique, you really need to re-cut some glass to make a proper fit.