Blog No. 9 / Burnishing vs. Shaking / by steve joseph

If you find yourself have to copper foil quantities of glass sections, consider these 3 steps. If you are working with 10 pieces it will save a few minutes... if you are working with over 50 pieces it will save hours.

There are two standard ways to securely connect stained glass to the adjoining pieces: Lead caming and copper foil. Copper foiling is a sticky backed tape which is burnished (strongly rubbed) onto each piece of glass before soldering them together. Without the foil the solder would not stick to the glass. Once a a panel is soldered it is very difficult to un-solder. It is a very strong bond.

With this tip you still need to peel and tape the foil evenly onto each piece of glass, but this step eliminates the burnishing on the front and back sides. This step is done after all the glass is kiln fired with any images (see blog 8), after it is cut and the edges of the glass is evenly grounded. It is done just before you are ready to solder.

Step One: Stick the copper foil evenly onto each piece of glass, with equal overlap on the front and back. Place into and plastic container as shown above. 

Step Two: Cover the container with the lid and shake, starting lightly and ending more powerfully. Use your judgement so the glass doesn't break. 30 seconds or more.

Step Three: Stop shaking, open and inspect. Shake more if the edges don't look like the image above. Look closely at the very top edge in this image. If you find pieces similar to this you will need to correct the edge by hand. In my experience 95% of the works is successfully burnished, 5% will need to be re-burnished.

Feel free to share this blog with your art friends.

Special thanks to Adam Kurtzman.