Essential Stained Glass Tools

Essential Stained Glass Tools

Hi there. I’m Milly Frances from Everything Stained Glass and I’d like to welcome you to my studio today. W hat I’m going to talk about is tools, but first of all, I’d like to ask you a question. Do you know what are the essential tools you need for stained glass? Some people, when they haven’t done any before, they think that you need enormous complicated machinery, but really it’s very small handheld tools that you need. So I’ll take you through them all now and you’ll see all the essential tools you need. Okay. What do you think number one is the most and best thing of all Number one, gorgeous glass. If I had to try and guess what had drawn you to stained glass I would say three things. Color, light and texture. It’s just absolutely exciting w hen you go into a shop you will see the huge display of different types of glass, you can get transparent ones like this one and opalescence like this one. That’s the two main categories. But within that there’s thousands, well, probably hundreds of variations and which makes your palate so exciting. What about number two? Number two, comfortable cutter. These are a really, really important part of your kit. So you want to get a nice one that’s comfortable for you. This is a pistol grip cutter and it’s got a swivel head asked us this pencil grip cutter here. Both have a reservoir for oil and both have detachable heads in a little tiny wheel at the end there. This little screw is what you unscrew when you want to replace the head. And this is a carbide wheel, which makes a scratch on the glass, which is then broken off with the pliers. And number three, great grozer breakers. I love grozers or breakers and I
think they’re really underrated. These are special type of pliers for stained glass and they’ve got a jaw and a nice little spring layer so that the handles go backwards and forwards without any effort. If you have a closer look at those jaws, you can see that they’re a bit like a file, which is what they do. They nibble away the glass. There’s also a flat jaw on one side and the round one is also separated. This is the breaking bit of the grozer breakers. You put the flat jaw on top along the score line and just break it off. And this is the grozing part of the grozer breakers where you’re nibbling the glass off to make it tidy. What
about number four? Round running pliers
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These are absolutely brilliant for breaking or running a score. You’ve got a rounded , cushioned jaw which applies pressure on either
side of the score line and a little screw for adjusting the width of the jaws. I’ve already done a score line here and if you line up the middle of the jaws with that and press the handles together, it runs the score and your glass is apart. Numero five – safe 65
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scythe stone. I really have trouble saying that
or sometimes known as
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a sharpening stone. If you don’t yet
have a tabletop grinder, you can
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use one of these carborundum stones to make your glass
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safe and grind it a little bit.
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Make sure you wet it first 72
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And six – coated copper foil.
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is a roll of sticky copper tape that goes
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around the edges of your glass for the soldier to
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stick to.
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It comes in different widths and with different color backings.
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Um, this one here is a copper colored backing and
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you can see from that is a little bit sticky.
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And what about number seven Sizzling soldering iron 80
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Along with your cutter.
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sizzling soldering iron is the other important, really, really
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important part of your kit that you can’t afford to
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scrimp on.
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This one is a temperature controlled one and the tip
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is at the end but the whole bit there up front to the blue bit gets hot and you hold it like a club. They all come with a supplied stands and this one comes straight and you just bend the edges over and then you just pop your soldering iron on top. Number Number Eight, secure solder. It’s not the most exciting of materials, but you do need it to melt along your copper seems to keep your stained glass together. Either comes in spools or sticks. And the best one for copper foil is 60 40 which relates to the fluidity in it means it’s composed of 60% tin and 40% lead 50 50 you sometimes see, and that’s good for lead came 100
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number nine flowing flux. So what is the flux for? It’s
for cleaning the copper foil and it’s for making the soldier flow along
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your copper foil lines.
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You can buy in liquid paste or Gel form 105
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number 10 polished patina 106
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Copper patina changes the
color of your silver solder lines to
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a lovely copper color.
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S0 if you want to keep them silver, you don’t
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strictly need patina 110
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Nearly there.
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Number 11, hanging hooks and wire.
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of course you’re going to have to have something to
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hang your amazing stained glass up with.
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So you’re going to need some hooks and you can
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get some
different types of chain from DIY stores.
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And last, but definitely not least number 12 sensible
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it goes without saying that you need all of this.
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Whenever you make stained glass, you need some form of
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ventilation and a mask, a dustpan and brush, safety glasses are an
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must and the gloves for when you’re dealing with
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chemicals and a basic first aid kit.
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So this is actually all we need to make stained
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It’s not so much is it I wouldn’t recommend trying
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to hold it all together like this, but I just
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wanted to show you that it really does pretty much
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fit in two hands.


  1. Thanks for such informative, fun and precise video. I was thinking of starting in stained glass and was just looking for something like this since I had no clue what tools I need to get started. Thanks!!!

  2. thank you for this amazing and useful class. Need more! Help!!!! which stone is this? can i use the one for iron sharp? Im from Brazil and I intend to make some glass mosaic.

  3. Thank you Milly. I found your video clear, concise and informative for beginners, which I am. I am planning on doing stain glass projects here in Southern California. Hopefully you can visit LA and give me technical advice.. LOL. God Bless.

  4. Thank you for your video. I'm about to embark on some repairs to some Victorian stained glass in my house. I have a lot of old glass because before we moved into the house, a large stained glass window was badly damaged because someone broke into the property. I plan to use the old pieces to near-colour match and repair.

    I haven't bought the tools yet but your video was very helpful. I noticed you are in Bristol (we are based there too) Q. Is there a recommended place to go for the general public to buy the basics?

    Thanks again


  5. QUESTION??—Thank you for the valuable info, Which kind liquid flux is recommended? there is copper flux, electrical flux, etc—-Thx!

  6. What a fantastic video! Thank you very much for doing this. I am trying to get the tools in place to do glass mosaics and this video perfectly answered my questions. Have subscribed.

  7. I have an abundance of 3/16" copper foil and would like to overlap it on my project to create a 1/4" edge.  Is there going to be a problem with the piece in the future?  I always thought the foil is just to give the solder something to hold on to …but  I don't want to make it weak.  Thanks for a reply, [email protected]

  8. You must have a group of friends that would put a tool kit together under your name , and using the exact tools you use , sell it , make profit , send you check in mail I would buy your knowledge before anyone else on the planet.

  9. Wow…..just Wow! Some of these are just so complicated that I cannot even imagine doing myself especially the old Church ones. I try to think of how hard it had to be for them hundreds of years ago to created these huge panels without the luxury of our modern day tools. Just beautiful. The people who did these were true artisans. I can only hope to find a fraction of their talent within myself. Thank you so much Milly for sharing these…what joy it brings my heart to look at these pictures!!

  10. This is a great video you explain so well , now I know the tools . I have mosaic tools but never tried stained glass thanks

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