Thursday, October 15, 2009

Stained Glass Tools List

Stained glass tools are obviously a necessity in this craft and today they are fairly inexpensive. Here is just a brief overview of the stained glass tools that you’ll come across and need for your future projects. Some of these tool names are pretty self-explanatory while others are not, either way I‘ll do my best to help you get more familiar with the tools for making stained glass.

Glass Cutters
Glass cutters are used to score your piece of glass so that you can eventually break it along the relief lines. Their different brands and companies such as studio Pro-diamond tech, Toyo , Inland,  Silberschnitt, Aanraku Studios

Glass cutters and the different grips.

Pistol grip-Designed to be easy hold and reduce wrist fatigue.

Pencil grip-Designed to make you feel like you have more control over your scores.

Easy grip-Customize your cutters length to fit your hand size.

Custom grip-These will have adjustable grip handles and saddles to help relieve hand fatigue

Thomas grip-The barrel is topped with a saddle.

Super cutter
These can go without changing heads for up to 25 times longer.

Oil filed cutters vs. Carbide dry wheel cutters

Oil filled- These automatically lubricate the cutter while your scoring. It also helps prevent little glass shards from popping up at you. These should include an oil applicator.

Carbide dry wheel-For those who prefer cutting without oil, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t or won’t use oil you can always dip the cutter in some.

I’m sure you familier with rulers you will use these to help make straight lines when you’re cutting your stained glass.  These are a little different than most regular rulers as it will have a corked back, this helps the ruler from sliding around the glass.

Glass Grinders
You need a glass grinder to give your stained glass projects that smooth edge or some nice curves. As far as brands go you got abrasive technology, diamond Tech, glastar, inland

Soldering Iron

Some brand companies include Weller, Inland, mika international, Hakko, Studio Diamond Tech.
Some soldering iron’s will have a built in temperature controller. Which eliminated the need for a rheostat. Some work good for both lead and foil work but others not so much.. Some will have a temperature control dial so you quickly change temperatures and they will probably feature insulated handles. You’ll want to get a decent one so you can get some smooth and even solder lines. There are some very handy ones that can handle intricate seams, good for repairing old solder work. Get one with easy tip changes and one were the tip will never freeze to the heating element.

This is basically a feasible metal alloy that you use to connect your pieces of stained glass. The companies I found were Canfield technologies, Mastercraft they’re all good for produces a smooth and clean bead.

60/40 solder
You have your 60/40 solder which is very useful for all skill lelevs. The 60/40 stand for 60% tin and 40% lead. This type of solder has a lower melting point than the 50/50 solder and produces a smooth and clean bead.

50/50 solder
The 50/50 Solder melts at a higher temperature and is half tin and half lead.

Lead free solder
Then there’s the lead free solder which is pretty self explanatory this is good for items that will be frequently touched or be around people and will work good for classrooms and workshops

Soldering Iron Stand

This will help you produce great solder lines and more importantly this will be used for your safety. You will definitely need one of these if you plan on soldering quite often. These stands can feature built-in temperature controls, sponges, a light, a magnifying glass and a coiled wire cage.

Instructional DVDs

Instructional DVDs might be one of the most essential tools you have simply because it can show you techniques patterns shortcuts and things of that nature to improve your skills.

Instructional Books
Instructional books and patterns books, these are just as essential as the DVDs. It’s always good to look back at these things to refresh your mind, take a break and maybe you’ll come up with something creative or give you incentive to try something new.

Grozer Pliers Breaker

These help you break apart the piece of glass that you just scored.

Running Pliers
I’m sure your already familiar with these companies Diamond Tech-studio Pro, Silberschnitt-Bohle, Glastar. Running pliers will help you with getting a clean break from the score on your class. All it takes is a little bit of pressure from the running pliers and you’ll get a nice break,

Copper Foil
You will use copper foil to make smooth and uniform solder bead. Some will be blacked lined others will be silver lined. There’s also scalloped copper foil which is basically a little more decorative. A few of the companies you shall see is venture tape and studio Pro

5/32“-This is very thin when compared to most copper foils.

7/32”-This should be good for standard thickness class.

½”- This size is very durable and what you’ll want to use on thicker glass.

¼”-You might want to use this size for glass that is just a little thicker than your average piece of glass.

5/16”-This is something you use on thicker class

3/8“-This is good for textured class, oiling together sandwich pieces of glass and on the hinge side of boxes

3/16”-This size is just a little thinner than the standard copper fault tape.


1mm- This thickness will be a little more easier to fold the edges down.

1.25mm- This is the standard size of copper foil right in the middle.

1.5mm-This size of thickness will prove to be very durable.


Usually a mix of zinc chloride, this is kind of a glue that helps your solder stick to your copper foil that holds a piece of class together.

Flux Brushes
Sounds pretty self-explanatory these are  brushes used to apply flux to your projects.

Flux Pen

This is a pen that tries to make it easier on you when applying flux.

Flux Remover

This is also self-explanatory this is used for removing flux.

Marking Pen

These are used to write and draw on glass and the markings will wash away with soap and water.

Safety Glasses

Safety glasses are worn to protect you from shards of glass or any other object that would hurt your eyes.

Well that’s a quick run down of the stained glass tools you need or will encounter in the stained glass craft. Their will no doubt be future posts on the tools and supplies you will need to create your art.