I am repairing a basic lampshade where the foil seams have come away from 4 out of 6 panels, and the lampshade has collapsed out of shape. The glass is all good, the design is simeple. But when I try to remove any of the pieces, it takes the adjoining foil with it, causing more damage.
The black patina is extremely difficult to clean off even with wire wool and wire brush, so I don't know if I have to heat up the solder to pull the empty foil strip off the adjoining glass, or if there is another option. I just don't feel the soldered seams are getting clean enough for me to heat them up with an iron. Is ther a quick and easy way to remove/refoil/replace lampshade pieces?
Thanks heaps! Answer
You will need to heat up the solder to get the pieces apart. Go to Repairing Copper Foil
to see how I use aluminum strips, from soft drink or beer cans, to get pieces apart. That should make your job much easier.
It sounds like you might have to take some of the panels apart and re-foil them. When you put it back together, run some copper wire from the bottom to the top of every other panel with enough sticking out each end, so the wires will attach to the vase cap when it is soldered on, and the wire around the bottom of the shade will also attach to those wires. You will be making a framework of wire that will hold the shade together and prevent it from collapsing again.
By the way, the heat from your iron will burn off any patina that's on the seams.