Crafters need a very specific mix of alloys in solder to get a smooth and clean solder bead for glass work. This solder is composed of 60% tin and 40% lead which allows it to melt at a lower temperature.
Start stained glass project by first applying flux to the foiled glass. Flux allows solder to bond to the foil. Next, drop a bead of molten solder at every joint. This is called tack soldering and it will hold all the pieces in place while you apply a bead of solder on each seam.
Move the soldering iron and solder simultaneously along the foiled seam, to produce in a bead that rises above the glass surface. Spending too much time in one area or resting soldering iron tip on the glass will cause the glass to crack. It is best to return later to even out and refine solder lines.
- Too much flux can cause pits to appear in the solder bead.
- Too little flux will result in some portion of the foil remaining visible.
- Lumpy seams are caused by soldering iron melting the solder at a temperature that is too low.
- A flat bead means that more solder is needed.
Leaded solder which is known to the State of California to cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm. Ingestion or inhalation of fumes or particles could cause lead poisoning. Use only with proper ventilation. Wash thoroughly before eating, drinking or smoking.