FAQ Index

Light Table

Construction / Molds

Choosing Glass

Pattern Preparation

Pattern Hints

Scoring / Breaking Glass



Fitting The Glass

Lamp Positioners

Solder / Soldering

Reinforcing Lamps

Special Considerations


Releasing a Shade

Ring and Rim



Special Applications

Tools, Aids etc.

Health & Safety Concerns


Selling Your Artwork

Workshop Renovations

Photographing Lamps


Lynn Perry: Use a panavise (or any type of device that allows rotation and elevation changes of the lampshade) when you solder. The positioner needs to be attached to a board that is clamped or screwed to the worktable. This extends the shade from the edge of the table and allows complete freedom to position the lamp without being blocked by the table. The small Panavise positioner sold by glass suppliers is suitable for lampshades as large as 20” in diameter. A stronger Panavise, “The Rock”, will handle larger shades and can be ordered from Wood Carvers Supply, Inc.
Chaz Smith: I use a basic positioner to solder both the inside and outside of my lamps. The tip of the positioner, where it attaches to the lamp, is a threaded rod. First, I rough solder the lamp while it’s on the mold. I then remove the lamp and add reinforcment wires to the top ring. Then I use a wheel and a piece of masonite to hold the shade to the positioner. To solder the outside, I put the wheel on first, then the shade, then the masonite disk which is just larger than the ring. I tighten this on with a wingnut and washers. To solder the inside, I first put on the masonite, then the shade, then the wheel, and fasten with wingnut and washers. So for soldering the outside, the shade is like an umbrella over the positioner, and for soldering the inside, the shade is like the top of a wine glass, cupping away from the positioner. The wheel is slightly thicker than the ring, so this allows the shade to rotate freely.
Scott Riggs: I bought a used pull-type golf cart for $35 - just so I could use the handle. After cutting off the handle, I attached a threaded rod to the golf cart handle using liquid weld and attached it to my workbench. The handle is adjustable, so it keeps the lamp level at any angle. (When I need to use the jig, I’ve already installed the ring in the 33
lamp, so I can easily solder the inside of the lamp with this jig by securing the ring between two wheels on the threaded rod.
Peter Grotepass: There is no need to use a lamp positioner with the following technique that I’ve developed.
• After the glass pieces have been waxed securely to the mold, center the mold under an overhang of sorts. Examples: use a basement ceiling beam or use a stable anchor to hold a hook in a finished ceiling.
• Attach a rope, wire or chain from that point and find the center of the mold.
• Pull the rope through the center and let the lamp hang free from the hook.
• Place a chair directly below the lamp.
• Sit in the chair and place your knees inside the mold. Use your knees to hold the lamp steady or to rotate the lamp while you solder. This way, you can use both hands for soldering and, as you work, you can keep the area you are working on in a horizontal position.
Sandy Stringfellow: My lamp-leveling device, Worden Lamp Leveler, sits on a 2 inch pipe that is bolted to a piece of plywood.
Bob Plagmann: I’m using the Worden Flexible Head Adapter mounted on a photo tripod as my lamp position. For small lamps this worked well, but it tipped over while I was working on a large lamp. I solved the problem by taping 5 lb. dumbbells to the bottom of each leg. Now it works like a charm!