Monday, September 12, 2022

Hinge Points


A Hinge Point exists when you have a straight line running through your entire stained glass piece Without anything cutting across it.   These lines will easily fold as if they were a hinge (hence the name) and make your piece weak.    Below is a pattern that has multiple hinge points which our student Susan wanted to make.

If we don't fill the center with glass you can see where a straight line forms (as shown along the dotted red line).
Worse yet, this pattern is FILLED with straight lines!  Any of these or multiple instances of these lines WILL hinge in on themselves destroying your hard work.
Here's an example of what is certainly going to happen if we make the suncatcher without taking precautions to prevent the hinging from happening.
The easiest way to alleviate the problem is to fill the center with a solid piece of glass. It can be a tricky cut but it would easily prevent the piece from hinging along any of the axis.  If you don't like the idea of the design being changed by filling in the center then use a piece of plain window glass and the look is maintained.

Alas, Susan wanted to hang a crystal in the opened center of her suncatcher so we had no choice but to reinforce it internally by placing small pieces of re-strip in between the blue and the yellow pieces of glass (as indicated below by red marks).  Re-strip resembles copper foil and can easily be cut to size and hidden between pieces of glass before they are soldered together.  When re-strip was applied to this suncatcher the finished result was as study as if we had filled the center with a piece of glass since it prevents the line from folding.

Lastly,  I see people using re-strip incorrectly all the time on facebook.  The re-strip MUST cut across the hinge point, not follow the hinge point (in parallel) as shown below.  This offers no strength at all and the piece will still hinge.

We're going to look deeper into hinge points and how to avoid them in our next Hints and Tips.


Bayou Salé GlassWorks


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