Sidelight glass replacement

This repair was a unique challenge from start to finish. The 70 year old sidelight in Sea Cliff had been hit by a rock on Halloween. Most likely from a slingshot as it also shattered the clear protective glass and landed several feet into the home.

Still in moderate condition, the panel would greatly benefit from getting new lead. However, if you look at pictures 3 and 5, you will see the outer glass is actually embedded into the woodwork. To remove the panel would be a monster project and (understandably) was something the couple were not willing to consider. This placed many unique conditions on the repair (vertical soldering), but having looked at it broken for nearly a year, they were open to a creative solution.

I removed the old came and broken glass, scraped through oxidation to allow the solder to take, added pieces of new lead came and put the puzzle together. A gap between new and old came had to be plugged with tiny bits of came and soldered over (the end had been badly twisted by the impact, but cutting it off would have further complicated everything.) The last two pieces of glass were the most difficult, but I was able to (gently) bend the old came enough to allow insertion. Soldering vertically, I laid a flat screwdriver head under the iron tip to prevent run off. Lastly, since I couldn’t remove all of the glass embedded in the wall or sand it down without damaging the stained wood, I chipped it down as far as I could and used a thin layer of brown caulk to close the gap and blend with the wood. Pewter patina match the new came to the old.

One comment

  1. John,
    Enjoyed your thorough documentation of
    of the tricky repair we sweated through.
    The house (& most likely the glass) is at least 112 years old….and possibly older.
    We are enjoying your work when we happen to notice it.
    I sent you a NYT article about Riverside Church glass repairs underway.


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