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Terms used in Stained Glass


Stained Glass and Leaded Glass are terms often used interchangeably. They describe decorative window and door panels made of many pieces of glass that are held together by metal came and solder. Many panels contain a combination of clear textured glass, beveled glass and colored or stained glass. These panels are both an art and a craft, requiring the artistic skill to conceive an appropriate and workable design and the engineering skills to assemble a stable structural panel. The panel must fit accurately into the space for which it is made, resist wind and rain and also support its own weight.

Beveled Glass is usually made using ¼ inch thick clear glass and creating a ½ inch bevel on one side around the entire outer edge of the pane. Beveling is a multi-stage grinding and re-polishing process that creates a clear facet on the perimeter of a piece of glass. This facet refracts light like a prism into a rainbow of colors.

Textured Glass is usually smooth on one side with a texture on the other. It is common to see different kinds of clear, textured glass in the same panel. Some of the many textured glass types are: glue chip, water glass, seedy, hammered, antique, ripple, baroque and granite.

Came is the metal used between each piece of glass in a leaded glass panel. Came is typically lead, zinc or brass. Came is cut and shaped to fit and then soldered together at the intersections. Came is usually shaped like an “H” and the edges of the glass pieces fit inside the channels of the “H”. There is also “U” shaped came which goes around the outer edges of the panel. A soldering iron is used to melt the solder and flux to attach the came strips together at the intersections.

Re-Bar is a reinforcing bar of metal, usually galvanized steel, which is soldered to the back side of the panel to give it more stability and prevent the buckling of a panel over time. This is especially important on larger panels.

Solder is a combination of lead and tin, usually 50% of each, used to bond the many pieces of came in a leaded glass panel. the solder is melted using a soldering iron and is applied, along with a paste called flux, at intersections to bond the came strips together.

Cementing is the term for weatherproofing the panel. Cement is basically window glazing that is about the consistency of toothpaste. The cement is used to fill the small gaps between the metal came and glass panes that make up a leaded glass panel. This weather proofs the panel to keep wind and water out of your home and make the panel more rigid.


About The Glass Junction

We specialize in Custom Stained Glass and Leaded Glass Windows. Select from our portfolio of original designs or work with our Artist to design something truly unique.

We also repair existing door and window panels to their original condition. Most repairs can be done "on site." When a repair is finished, it will be very hard to tell that it was ever needed.

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