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My wife has this small stained glass decoration she made in high school that has been around forever. For almost that same amount of time there are a couple of break in one of the pieces. The pictures below are the same except the second one has arrows to give focus to the breaks.

Hanging glass with fractures

Hanging glass with fractures and arrows for focus

It can be hard to tell but there is some glass missing in one of the breaks.

Now, is there something that can actually be done about this? I suppose I could put some solder on top of it to give the illusion that its more than one piece of glass but there is nothing for it to adhere to.

Is there a possibly that the glass could be removed maybe or part of it removed? That might be more effort than it is worth for this project but that does not mean the solution is any less valid here.

What can I do to fix or hide this broken glass on my wife project?

  • Is this actual soldered stained glass, or some sort of faux process? – Martha May 2 at 22:35
  • @Martha Actual! – Matt May 2 at 22:45
  • In that case, have your wife refresh her memories of how to do stained glass, take it apart, and add more solder lines. Simple to describe, not so easy to do... there's a reason stained glass is still expensive. :) – Martha May 2 at 22:48
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Take it apart

Desolder the near and far corners of the frame - easier said than done, but just patiently melt the solder and push it away with the tip of the soldering iron.

Glue the broken glass back together

Once half the frame is removed, the broken pieces will probably still adhere to the foil, but still be flexible to allow the insertion of your favorite glass glue - e.g. Loctite. Of course this does nothing about patching the missing shard of glass.

Place copper foil patches in the cracks

Once half the frame is removed, the broken pieces will have to be removed. If you're lucky the pieces of glass will slip off the foil. If the foil continues to adhere to the glass, it might be necessary to peel off some of the solder coated foil and replace it. As for filling in the cracks, the pieces will need to ground down so that cracks become wide enough to accommodate foil. Foil the pieces, coat with solder on both sides of the piece, and reattach the frame pieces.

Do nothing

Repairing with foil is going to look really klutzy. Using glue still leaves a gap where the chip of glass is missing, not much different from doing nothing.

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Replace the whole broken section: could look weird another You're going to be lucky to get the same glass of the same colour. If you could, I would replace the whole section with the crack. You can do that by gently prising away at the lead (there's a plastic tool for this). The other option is to replace the whole section with another type of glass, but that would look odd.

Adding new lead to where the cracks are: another poor option

As the breaks shown by your arrow form a narrow triangle, it will look odd using two new pieces of lead on those breaks, as they will almost be adjoining each other. It won't look right and given the thickness of the lead, probably too hard to do.

Left field idea: stained glass paint all My suggestion is out of left field. I would buy a bottle of darker stained glass paint (purple? red? blue?) and paint over the entire work, giving the cracks a bit of extra coating. It might be enough to hide the defects and make them look like variations in the glass.

I'd also give all the lead a black finish. Use stove blacking for this.

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