stained glass frame


CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2
Sep 22, 2003
Customer brings in a stained glass piece. I found stained glass moulding from Burnich. Ordered it to the largest size of the piece (it's not quite square). Couldn't use a regular frame to drop the piece in the back and tack in with flexipoints. Customer wanted it finished on both side, etc.

Now. How do I put this thing together?
It has to be constructed (glued and nailed) with the stained glass piece in the frame.

And - I need some type of filler in the channel to hold the piece steady.



Thank you.
Send stained glass jobs to the shop down the street. Or... maybe you ARE the shop down the street.

If this is a squareish, plain moulding with a groove in the center of one side, you might want to drill and counterbore for long wood screws - down from the top and up from the bottom so they don't show from the side - and plug the counterbore holes with dowell plugs. These can be stained carefully with a small brush after being sanded flush with the frame.

Strap clamps will hold the four corners together untill the glue dries, then drill and screw.

Put small globs of silicone glue down in the grooves to keep the glass centered and keet it from rattling.

Always support the stained glass on a stack of mat scraps while you're working on it so it never sags in the middle.

Learn to say "NO" - these things are a PIA and break very easy. Very costly to repair a broken piece of glass.
Use "Zero" balls in the glazing grooves (get from glass dealer) and DO NOT GLUE THE UPPER RAIL TO THE SIDE RAILS. Screw only. Or the next person who has to take it apart will hate you forever.

Better than "Learn to say NO" is learn to do the work... that is why they come to a "Framer" to frame the art work. They don't go down the road to the Art Glass dealer for ConClear....

Unless of course you want to just do up movie posters in metal frames all your career. :D
Baer, ya beat me to it. I was about to say the same thing about not permanently attaching the top side, for that reason. If that panel ever had to be repaired close to a side, what a PITA it would be to wrench it free from silicone first.

The last one I did, I built the three sides of the frame, like you do any other frame, and slid it in, attached the top the way Baer said, without glue, just screws.

I am hoping Deb will chime in, as she does real glasswork, I'm just a hobbyist.

I'm wondering if there is a zinc or brass came frame around it already? That usually fills up the wooden frame channel nicely?

Re: it sagging- if it is truly and visibly sagging while you are working on it, I would send them to a stained glass shop first to have it reinforced before you frame it. Better now than down the road...

Right, Deb??? What'd I miss?
Oh I want to learn how to do this. This customer is a newbie stain-glasser so if I can do this right, she'll be back. I'm sure.

So glue and nail the three sides. Insert the glass with some sort of stuff to stop the movement and screw the top rail down. Just while holding it with my third hand, upright and run the screw in?

Do I try to hide the screws? How big do the screws need to be?

Baer What the heck are "Zero" balls? And there is no glass dealer around here.

Gumbo - It might fit nicely if I had been brave enough to order the frame without the 1/8 allowance added. AND if the piece were square. . .

I think I will glue pieces of foam core to the channels . . . to fill space
For that small, screw the balls (so to speak) there won't be enough movement to worry about.

Zero balls a little foam balls that the glass industry puts in channel to compress with the expansion and contraction of glass.... yes, it does it too.

The balls also provide a cushion instead of the glass just riding in an aluminum channel.

You will want to put the top rail and side rail in a corner vice while you pre-drill a hole for the LONG screws that run down into the side rails..

If the weight is going to be over 10 pounds, I would pre-drill from the sides with-out a counter sink and use a screw-eye that has a 2-1/2" or 3" shaft.... (this aint a #16 from UMS, this is hardward territory).

This hole and the placement needs to be in the thickest/beefiest part of the frame because the entire package is hung from these two screw-eyes.

If it goes over 30lbs, fit with screw eyes at bottom also and suspende from the bottom screw-eyes, up and through the upper eyes.

Boy, now I wish I's taken some pictures a few years ago with the one that was about 30" by 70" and went about 85lbs.

That took a stainless steel strap stirrup that went down on side with 5 screws, across the bottom, and up the other side with 5 screws. With decorative "D" rings on each side.
Thanks everyone. I'll ponder all this info over the weekend and take it on Monday.

Thanks again.