Friday, September 16, 2016

He Came, He Sawed, He Conquered

I’ve been busy on a little home improvement project recently. Several years ago, I my sister and her husband  were moving out of their 1917 Prairie School house in La Crosse, Wisconsin. They held a mammoth sale of a wide variety of things that they wouldn’t need at their new home in the U.S. Virgin Islands. One of the items was a stained glass window that had been broken by their dog's enthusiastic greeting of the postman. They had gotten it replaced (a proper restoration was not practical) so I got the broken window as ‘payment’ for helping them with the sale.

This week I finally took the remains of that broken window down from the rafters of my garage. After cleaning off a decade of grime, I laid it out on my workbench and took a good look at what I had. It was originally tripartite, the center section, which the dog had penetrated, was pretty much ruined, but the top and bottom appeared to be salvageable. The outside frame, which had been distorted by the canine collision, need to be replaced as well.  While I had never done stained glass repair before, the internet steered me in the right direction.

As I began to repair the damage, I soon realized that I needed some of the H-shaped bars that held the unit together. The are called “came”, pronounced just like the verb, and are made of zinc. There is a stained glass shop in my town; they had just what I needed, as well as a small piece of amber glass that I used to complete the design. I went to work with a big soldering iron, solder, flux, a glass cutter, as well as a Dremel tool, which was very handy for sawing out broken pieces of came without damaging the glass. After three days of missteps, it finally came together. It now hangs in our bay window.

By Professor Batty


Blogger Jono said...


Blogger Mary said...

Beautiful window and I like your story - always good to find a use for nice things, always satisfying to figure out how to fix them.

Blogger Professor Batty said...

And a great way to cut down on clutter!

Blogger Shoshanah Lee Marohn said...

It's like the ones they sell at Taliesin, Frank Loyd Wright style. Very nice.

Blogger Professor Batty said...

He more or less invented that style of making stained glass.

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