Saturday, May 27, 2006

Red Glass: The Saga Continues

Last weekend I posted a few shots of my front stained glass window. It has a large piece of red glass with a bullet hole in it and I lamented my inability to get that type of glass in a piece large enough to replace it. Except for Kokomo Glass, the industry standard for stained glass is 24-inches wide and as long as you want. I need a piece roughly 36-inhces square. I’ve heard the red glass I have referred to as “Flash Glass”, and some may refer to it as “Water Glass”. Really, it’s just looks like old wavy glass, only it’s red instead of clear.

I can get red glass in the right size from Kokomo Glass but all they have is Cathedral Glass. Cathedral Glass is heavily textured. I’m not sure how to explain it other than that. Then Monica over at Bungalow Dreams kindly directed me to a place called C & R Loo in Richmond, CA. They advertise something called Antiqued Machine Glass on their site and it says it comes in sheet sizes 47" X 31.5" and 63" X 60”. They offered clear glass and then about a dozen different colors.

On Friday I called C & R Loo but I had my doubts after visiting their web site. On the menu they have 2 links for Spectrum. Spectrum Glass is a big maker of stained glass and one of the ones I contacted a few years back. Spectrum only makes 24-inch wide glass. I spoke with a gentleman with a very thick accent. At first it sounded promising. He assured me they had Antiqued Machine Glass in the size I needed. I started to get wary the second time I had to correct him on how many inches are in a yard. He most likely grew up with the metric system.

We then started talking about shipping. This is the other issue I ran in to a few years ago. Shipping a single piece of glass that size needs so much packing it has to go by freight. He couldn’t give me an estimate but he kept saying (use a thick Indian accent here), “Very, very expensive. Yes, very expensive”. Ok, so Richmond isn’t too far away, I can drive down to pick it up. That’s what I had to do with the Cathedral Glass I bought from Kokomo Glass.

The whole conversation was awkward at best because of the differences in our native tongues. I finally pestered him once more to assure me that he had a piece of Rose Antiqued Machine Glass, Item Number GNA-70 in stock that was 36 X 36 inches. He finally said, “Oh, you want the 70? No, we can’t get that in that size. I think that only comes in 29-inch widths” I said, “You mean 24-inch widths”. He said, “Yes, yes 24-inches, that’s it. Only the clear glass comes in the larger sheets.” I said thank you and hung up.

So, no-harm no-foul. I have the red Cathedral Glass that I can use but it’s just not the same as the red Flash Glass. I’m willing to bet the large sheets of clear Antiqued Machine Glass they have at C & R Loo is from one supplier and everything else is from Spectrum Glass and they just list it all on the same page. I hope to replace the broken glass this summer so time is running out on finding a large enough piece of the red flash glass. Anyone want to takes bets on this one?

5 comments:

Patricia W said...

Greg,

This has probably been mentioned elsewhere on your site and I've missed it but is there any way you can get the piece you have repaired? The hole isn't huge and it is off to the edge.

deb said...

unfortunately, you can't unbreak glass.

the next time i'm up at our glass shop (which is only a few blocks away but closed on sundays), i'll inquire about the GNA-70 in 36" wide. the funny thing is that i think i've used that glass before. Spectrum is good glass, cuts easy and maybe they could tell me where you could pick some up nearer you... i don't know if it would be worth a trip to canada for you.

Yokel said...

How 'bout epoxy?

Yeah, I know it sounds strange, but if you could take the glass out, cover one side of the hole with something glossy (saran wrap, scotch tape or something), and then mixed up some epoxy with some sort of pigment (all I've ever done to colour epoxy is scraped cheap kid's watercolour paints into powder and added that) and then fill the hole.

You'd probably have to try a few times to get the right colour, but maybe ....

That way, the window would be airtight again, plus you'd still be able to point out the hole and spin folks the story of 'Ye Old Shootout at Petch House'.

(I fix everything with epoxy)

Angus

immigrant punk said...

Epoxy, coloured, is the professional's choice if you have a hole in a valuable window. There are a huge range of colourants available, but they're pricey.
Flashed glass is glass with a thin layer of coloured glass flashed - or fused - over a (usuallly) colourless base glass. Keeps the dark colour translucent; often used when you want two colours in one piece as you can sandblast the top layer off and it stays solid. It's mouth-blown, so you'll usually have to buy imported.
Water glass is machine made (cheaper, easier to cut, more predictable, less interesting) and the water refers to the applied texture which makes it wavy. Good flash is not generally wavy.
Cathedral is machine made and usually textured.

Greg said...

punk,

I've been leaning towards repair over replace for a while now. Even though I already bought the large sheet of cathedral glass I couldn't stand seeing it in the window.

Do you have any product names I could look for. I don't recall seeing any translucent colored epoxies at the local hardware store.