- Do It Yourself FAQs
- How is stained glass applique different from mosaic?
- In applique the pieces are cut to the shape of the design. In mosaic the small pieces are used to fill the areas of the design. This results in quite different looks even though the basic materials may be the same.
Stained glass applique uses the same initial tools (glass cutter, breaker/grozzer, running pliers and grinder) and process as making a stained glass window. In fact it takes longer because I grind around every edge of every piece, something I don't do when I'm going to cover the edge with lead or copper foil. Mosaic starts with small cast tiles of glass (tesserae or smalti) or sometimes with bits of stained glass and uses nippers to break off pieces. This tends to cause the edges to be rough unless they are tumbled before use or grouted very carefully. Because of this breaking process, you don't see curved individual pieces in mosaic. Almost all the pieces in my applique designs are curved, which results more "waste" glass and therefore higher materials cost.
- How long does it take to make a table top?
- Once I have the design worked out and the glass in hand, it takes me an average of 10 minutes per piece of glass A beginner should probably double that. The design process can take a couple of days or a couple of years till I'm satisfied. Picking out and buying the glass is another large variable.
The following rules of thumb may be helpful:
- You don't need to glue all the pieces at once but don't stop in the middle of a motif.
- 150 pieces a day is my limit on the grinder.
- Grouting only takes an hour or two but allow 4 to 6 hours because you will want to fuss with it to get a smooth finish.
- What glue do you use?
- GE Silicone II see Glue for more.
- What grout do you use?
- Custom brand Polyblend with admixture or Laticrete with admixture see Grout for more
- Where do I get a table to use as a base?
- No matter where it comes from, choose a base table in which the glass does not flex.
- Tables are available year round in the Seattle area at thrift stores etc. Between mid-February and July 4th you have a larger and less expensive selection available from department stores like Home Depot, Lowe's, KMart, Target, Sears, even RiteAid
- Garage sales, thrift stores, consignment shops etc. are also worth checking. Many wood workers and metal artists will also be glad to make a base for you (see the next question for glass sources)
- Contact me if you are having trouble -- preferably by phone (206-525-1577 between 9am & 9pm Pacific time) and I may be come up with other suggestions.
- I have a table to use as a base but the glass broke -- where do I go to get another piece?
- On tables up to a foot or so in maximum diameter, you can use 1/4 plate glass from your local glass supplier. The supporting glass on a large table usually needs to be tempered or very thick. Tempered glass is 5 times stronger than the untempered glass of the same thickness. Tempering requires a large furnace, which I don't have (by the way, you can't cut tempered glass, you have to cut the glass and then temper it).
http://www.glasstopsdirect.com/ gives example pricing
http://www.onedayglass.com/ is fairly local: Vancouver, Washington
Usually any place that sells automobile windshields can also do glass table tops.
One problem with tempered glass is that you really want a metal or other edge protecting it because if you hit it on the unprotected edge of the glass, it may shatter. If you just want thicker untempered glass, Pier One Imports has inexpensive glass rounds (well, inexpensive when you factor in the shipping you would otherwise have to pay).
The other thing to consider is that an inexpensive new table may be cheaper than a piece of glass (see table source question above). On most tables it is easy to swap the glass if you prefer your existing frame so measure carefully when buying a table with this in mind.
- Where can I get a solar panel or solar lights for my lantern or table? see solar souces 10