Window Construction

 

Copyright © 1996-2012  Geoffrey Wallace Stained Glass

 

Once all of the surface treatments are complete the glass is assembled into a solid panel in the same manner as for leadlight.  H section channels of extruded or milled lead, called calmes, are used to contain and hold the individual panes of glass that go to make up the window.

The panel is built up. piece by piece, with the calmes being shaped, fitted and cut to size as required.  Once all of the pieces have been assembled the meeting joints of the individual calmes are soldered together on both sides of the panel.

When soldering is complete, the panel is now a contained unit but the glass is still fitting loosely in the channels of the calme and is neither watertight nor structurally strong.

To seal the panel, a linseed oil based leadlight cement is worked under the flanges of the calmes on both sides of the panel until every channel is totally filled with cement.  As the cement cures each pane of glass is cast into the cement/ lead structure which now becomes a single, solid waterproof unit.  With good installation it should remain in this state for well over 50 years.