I often get asked what sort of tools you need to get started in stained glass. Well the list can go on and on the more you get in to the art, so here is a list of what you need to get started in the Tiffany/coper foil technique of stained glass:
Stained Glass Tools
- Glass Cutters - I prefer the TOYO brand pistol grip style but you can always opt for the pencil grip, which is my dad's favourite.
- Mini Breakers/grozers pliers and running pliers - for snapping/breaking glass after its scored.
- Glass Grinder - I typically have a few grinders set up at one time with different sized drill bits. All of my grinders are old and can't be found anymore but if I had to buy new I would start here. That link will also take you to some drill bits, which its always good to have a few extra on hand.
- Fids and burnishers for manually crimping copper foil.
- Soldering irons - I have worked with a Weller soldering iron for years and swear by them. You will also want to buy a stand for your iron and extra tips if you need to change yours out.
Stained Glass Materials/Supplies
- Glass - check out your local glass store as its best to shop in person. If you don't have any, check out Delphi Glass or Kona Glass.
- Glass Cutting Oil.
- Copper Foil - there are different widths and different backings (black, copper and silver). I prefer to work with 7/32 or 3/16 widths.
- 60/40 solder and wire - the wire is used to make jump rings/hooks or for decorative features.
- Flux - can be liquid or gel. I prefer gel flux.
- Flux Remover/Cleaning Compound.
- Patina - there are black and copper options.
- Wax/Polish - any wax with carnauba in it will do!
Other Tools & Materials for Down the RoadI would categorize these items as "extras" and items that I did not acquire until I was a few years in to my career. Some of these items are also only necessary for leaded windows:
- Glastar Strip cutter and circle cutter - perfect for cutting long strips of the same sized glass or circles.
- Glass Ring Saw - I don't currently use one but have heard great things about the Taurus 3 Ring Saw.
- Came bender - for bending zinc, copper or brass. I use this tool a ton of love it!
- Gryphon Miter Saw - this is another tool that I unexpectedly use a ton when working with metals for framing.
- Zinc or lead - can be found at your local glass shops or the ones previously listed above. There are many different widths available of each product. Zinc is great for framing and adding support to a piece. Lead is required when working with leaded panels.
- Nippers - for cutting lead.
- Hammer and horseshoe nails - for leaded panels.
Thank you for following along! Again, these are my preferences and each glass artist will have a different list. Feel free to message me if you have any questions!
"An artist is not paid for his labour but for his vision."
- James Whistler