Pieces breaking after patina application?

by Caren
(Ashburn, VA)

I've cut the pieces, foiled them, fluxed them, soldered them, washed in warm water with Dawn dishwashing detergent to get the flux off...then I lay it flat, dry it, and then patina the solder black...once that is done I give it one more wash to get excess patina off, I take it out of the water to dry it again and clean up any remaining patina with a paper towell and notice that sometime during the last wash one or more pieces have broken!!!! (all interior pieces) I have made at least 20 pieces of stained glass and only in the last three have I had this problem...what am I doing wrong? I can't think of anything that I've changed except for the brand of Flux I'm using??? Any insight is appreciated.



I can't come up with any logical answer. If it was only one piece I'd say that a crack had started when you cut or broke out the glass and ran more during soldering, washing, patina, etc. But several pieces in three consecutive panels...I don't know.

There's no way flux or patina would cause the glass to crack. Perhaps you hit the glass against the faucet or sink while washing, or maybe put too much pressure on it while polishing it.

Was it the same brand and color of glass each time? If that's the case, you might have defective glass (it happens during the annealing process, but very very seldom).

Perhaps someone reading this can help solve the mystery. If so, they'll reply in the comments section below.

Comments for Pieces breaking after patina application?

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Aug 02, 2011
problem with glass breaking
by: Anonymous

I have had some problems with breaking when I am soldering glass nuggets. I had to get creative...I ended up putting the glass nuggets on a heating pad before I soldered. Other than that I've never had a problem - as long as all glass is indoor temp.

Mar 02, 2011
Breaking glass
by: Brad

I have had this experience before. The glass is most likely broken before you apply the patina. You just can't see the break. Once the patina is applied it seeps into the crack and the crack appears. It could be the heat from the iron. Let the piece cool after soldering before you wash it. Glass reacts to temperature variances.

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