Stained Glass Art - Tools For Beginners
By [http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Austin_Hansell/379089]Austin Hansell
Interested in creating stained glass art but think that it is too complicated or expensive? In actuality, the tools are relatively inexpensive and the skills needed to use them are easy to learn. This article will describe all the tools necessary to get started.
The simplest stained glass art style that requires the fewest number of tools is a glass panel using the copper foil technique. There are several tools used with this style; however, not every tool described below is absolutely required. The non-essential tools will make the process easier and quicker.
* Pattern Book -- A good pattern is essential to any stained glass art project. There are many books available and range in price from a few dollars to thirty dollars or more. While a pattern book is not required, beginners will be able to find many good patterns and ideas. There are also many good free patterns available on the internet.
* Glass -- Glass comes in a variety of colors and textures. Generally, sheets of 12 x 12 inch are good for beginners. Also, clear colored glass is easier to transfer the pattern to than opaque glass that cannot be seen through. Pricing depends on the color and texture but usually is only a few dollars a sheet.
* Glass Cutter -- A glass cutter is a required tool used to cut the glass to the correct shape. The cutter has a diamond or carbide tip that does not actually cut the glass but rather scores it. The glass can then be broken along that score line. Glass cutters come in a variety of shapes and styles and range in price from five to thirty dollars.
* Glass Cutting Oil -- Cutting oil is not required but highly recommended to extend the life of the glass cutter tip. A four ounce bottle will run about ten dollars and will last a long time.
* Glass Running Pliers -- These specialized pliers have a curved jaw and are used to break the glass along the score line. While not absolutely required, they make breaking smaller pieces of glass easier and safer. Many times, the glass can be broken by hand but can be dangerous since glass is very sharp. A good pair of running pliers will run less than twenty dollars and are highly recommended.
* Grozer Pliers -- These pliers have a special jaw design that allows small pieces of glass to be nibbled away if the original cut was a little too big or out of shape. While not required, they do allow small adjustments on the work piece rather than having to start over with a new piece. Grozer pliers generally run ten to twenty dollars.
* Copper Foil Tape -- This is a required item. It is a very thin strip of copper that is sticky on one side. The foil is wrapped around the edge of all the glass work pieces and is what the solder adheres to. Depending on the width and backing color, prices range from ten to thirty dollars.
* Foil Burnisher -- A burnisher is simply a plastic stick used to press the copper foil firmly to the glass. While it is required for properly working the copper foil, many items can be used in place of a professional tool such as the edge of a plastic ink pen or a plastic spoon. A burnisher specifically for stained glass will only run a few dollars.
* Soldering Flux -- Flux is an important item for soldering. It not only prepares the copper surface to accept the solder, it also helps keep the solder from sticking to the glass. Flux will generally run from a few dollars up to ten depending on the amount.
* Soldering Iron -- This is going to be the most expensive tool required to create stained glass art. The iron is used to melt the solder and apply it to the foil. A good soldering iron will run anywhere from thirty to fifty dollars.
* Solder -- This is what binds all the glass pieces together. There are many different types and each have unique working properties. For the beginner, a 60/40 tin-lead solder is a good place to start. If the lead content in the solder is an issue, there are non-lead solders available. Solder ranges in price from fifteen to thirty dollars. One spool of solder can do several small (8 x 10 inch) projects.
With the proper tools available, stained glass artwork can be created easily and safely. Most of the tools described above can be used for years before needing replaced. Others, such as the foil, oil, flux, etc, will need to be replaced when they run out. Thankfully, they are generally the least expensive of the tools.
For more information on stained glass tools and more specific information on their proper use, visit http://beststainedglassart.com
Follow along with an example showing all the tools and steps required to easily create a stained glass panel.
Written by: Austin Hansell, Stained Glass Enthusiast
Article Source: [http://EzineArticles.com/?Stained-Glass-Art---Tools-For-Beginners&id=2665873] Stained Glass Art - Tools For Beginners