Restoring Lead Came

Project Overview

Heritage’s staff recently completed the restoration of several stained glass panels for a local church. These pieces had become worn and discolored with age. Using our new stained glass repair studio, the glass was carefully disassembled, cleaned, and put back together with fresh lead. The restored stained glass were placed into four custom-built light boxes for indoor use. Once the assembly was complete, we delivered and installed the light boxes at our client’s location.

Project Video
In Depth

A local church approached Heritage Restoration to restore multiple stained glass panels that depicted symbols of religious importance: an alpha, an omega, a beehive, and a crown. Years of use has seen each window’s glass become caked with dust and residue. The lead lining was in even worse condition, being both blackened and worn.

With the lead no longer serviceable, the decision was made to disassemble each window for cleaning. Before the panels could be taken apart, a rubbing was done to create an exact template from which the glass would be reconstructed. The original, decaying lead was removed from the glass and safely disposed of. Each piece of glass was cleaned to remove layers of dirt and other atmospheric compounds that had encrusted the surface.

During this time, our wood shop set to work constructing light boxes for each window. We find that light boxes are a useful way to bring the beautiful colors of stained glass into an area with no access to external sunlight. Using measurements taken from the panels before disassembly, wood frames were cut and assembled to the exact size needed. These frames were taken to our refinishing room where they were given external coatings and finishes to accent the client’s interior space.

The stained glass was reassembled after its cleaning. Freshly cut lead was used to hold the glass into shape, preserving the original designs. After the lead was soldered, the glass panels were sealed for protection against environmental contaminants. Lights and electronics were installed into the wood frames to make the light boxes functional. Once the sealant had cured, the stained glass panels were installed into the boxes. With the restoration finished, Heritage’s staff delivered and installed the light boxes at the client’s church.

View Our Work Stained Glass Light Box


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