H Came vs. U Came for Outside Edge
by Lisa Seger
(covington, OH USA)
I have only been working with stained glass for a few months, and so far have only used the copper foil. I would like to make larger pieces and I know I need to start working with the lead came for this. I have several questions to clarify the process, after reading your very helpful tutorial:
Is it ok to use the foil technique for the inside pieces, and just frame the final piece in the lead came to give it the strength it needs?
When constructing the outside edges, wouldn't it make more sense to use the U came, instead of the H came? I understand that the the heart of the came is what the glass seats into, so if you are using lead inside the piece to fit the pieces together, the glass pieces will fit into both the heart and the face, right?
I know it would make more sense to me if I could see it being done, (I'm a very visual person) but since I dont have a location nearby the offers classes, I have to rely on what I learn on the net. I really appreciate any help you can give.
Hmm..I'm going to try to explain this without using visuals, and that's quite difficult to do.
H came looks like the letter H on it's side. The heart is the short piece that connects the two long pieces. When you are constructing a leaded panel, the glass slides in the channel (the open space between the 2 faces) and sits against the heart. Another piece of glass will eventually slide in the channel on the other side of that piece of lead. You now have two pieces of glass separated by the heart of the lead. Each piece of lead will butt up against another piece of lead, and where they butt you will have a solder joint.
The face of the lead is what you see on the front and back of your finished panel. Make sure you use a size lead that will compliment the design. You can use more than one size lead in any panel...perhaps finer lead around flower petals, wider lead on tree trunks.
The channel is almost always deeper than the depth of the glass, That's one of the reasons we putty after the panel is soldered. The putty keeps the glass from rattling around in the lead.
When you frame a foiled piece with lead, you can use either lead or zinc, and it can be either H came or U came. U came looks like a square U on it's side. What you use around the outside depends totally on the look you want to achieve. If you make a large panel with large pieces, H came will usually look better. If your panel is delicate, with small pieces, U came might compliment the design better than H came.
If it's a panel that will be installed in an opening (door, window, etc) of a specific size, H came is the best way to go, as it can be trimmed, if necessary, to prevent too tight a fit.
If you are going to put a foiled panel in a wooden frame, to be a free hanging panel, you don't really need to frame it with came first. The wooden frame will give it all of the strength it will need.
I hope this answers your question. If not, use the comments section below to ask more.