From complete restoration projects to small repairs, helping preserve original glasswork is an important part of our job.
We take work of this kind very seriously, which we hope gives confidence to our clients, whether they’re a local resident or Hampton Court Palace. Small repairs of individual glass breaks can sometimes be repaired in-situ. However, this is not perfect as in working the old lead it can get damaged.
Our work at Hampton Court Palace so far has been to repair broken glass in existing lead light windows, or where the condition of the lead light has deteriorated with time or been damaged to rebuild the lead light.
Where possible Hampton Court Palace like us to replace individual glass panes within the structure of the existing lead light window without removing it, this is achieved by first removing the broken glass from its lead came surround, cleaning out the lead came of any remaining lead light cement before gently pealing back to 90 degrees one side of the lead, this has to be done very carefully to minimise damage to the lead, restoration glass is then cut to the size of the hole and carefully placed inside the lead came, the lead came flap that was opened to 90 degrees is now pressed back on to the glass and the lead came plugged inside and out with putty dyed grey to match the lead.
Where it is not possible to carry out glass repairs within the existing lead structure we remove the panel from its frame, take it completely apart, clean the intact glass, cut restoration glass panes to replace any broken pieces and then re-construct the lead light in traditional lead came of the same width and profile as the original window, when together the joints are soldered. To the raw panel of lead and glass is applied a traditional lead light cement, this is a black gunge that is brushed into every gap between lead and glass, chalk powder is then liberally laid over the whole panel as a drying agent, having been left a while to partially dry the cement and chalk is scrubbed off the exposed glass and lead, following the lead each glass pane is then picked around and scrubbed off so there is a neat and effective cement seal between lead and glass. The lead light is then polished to make the lead and solder joints a darker grey/black before re-fitting back into its frame.