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How to cut lead came with a lead knife?

How to cut lead came with a lead knife

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Lead knives with curved blades are designed to be used in lead came work Lead knives with rounded blades are specially designed to be used in came glasswork. The type of blade you use will be a personal choice – they all work in similar ways.

Came glass work refers to either stained glass or leadlights.

What is lead came?

Lead came can be rounded or flat, depending on how you want the final piece to look The two main shapes that lead came comes in is H-shaped or U-shaped (sometimes called C-shaped). The shape refers to the profile of the came and is what the glass panels fit into.

The U-shaped came is used for borders only, H-shaped came can be used as a border as well as inside seams.

Lead came is used for stained glass and leadlights, lead knives cut lead came easily Came consists of two faces, one or two channels, and a heart. The glass pieces should press quite firmly against the heart of the came. The face of the came will usually be flat or rounded. Other styles, such as ‘colonial’, with rounded triangle shaped profiles, can be used for different effects.
Caame strips are used to join pieces of glass for stained glass and lead lights. Lead knives cut lead came The dimensions of came are based on the width of the face, and are usually between 3mm (0.12 inch) and 20mm (0.8 inch) wide. The face of the came refers to the visible lines between the glass pieces on finished panels. An assortment of sizes of came can be used to create different pictures and patterns.
The lead in stained glass windows turns black once a patina is applied. The lead is cut with a lead knife Patinas are used on finished pieces to change the colour of the lead came, usually to black, but silver and copper patinas may also be used. A patina is an oxidised layer which can be created on lead by applying a finishing chemical.
 Wonkee Donkee says "A patina is a thin layer of oxidation which forms over time onto a surface. In came glasswork the patina is created instantly on came with a chemical finishing fluid."
Cam is usually lead but it can also me made from zinc, copper or brass Alternatives to lead came include copper foil, which can be used for smaller or more intricate work. Foil can be cut using a standard utility knife. More rigid cames, made from zinc, brass or copper, are also used in panels without curved lines, or for borders. These need to be cut with a hacksaw or metal cutter.

What you will need

lead knives are just one of the tools you'll need to create a stained glass or leadlights panel To begin creating a panel of stained glass or leadlight, you will need: A pattern for your design, a board to lay it on, pieces of glass cut to shape, horseshoe nails (or similar tacks), lead came strips, a lead knife, and possibly a lead stretcher.

Before you begin

Applying some wax or soap to a lead knife makes it easier to cut lead It is advisable to run the blade edge through a bar of paraffin wax, or soap before using it. This should allow the blade to travel through the came more easily, creating a cleaner cut.

You should cut came on a solid work surface, such as a workbench or craft board, where it can be held flat.

Making straight cuts and short angled cuts

Mark out where you need to cut lead came to help reduce wastage

Step 1 – Measure came

Work out how long the came will need to be. Usually, it will go slightly over the line of the pattern where it will meet a joint. The ends of the came should go into the channel of the piece of came it is joining with, and this channel can be opened a little with the lead knife. You can use the lead knife to mark where you will make the cut.

Lead knives are rocked to cut lead came without crushing it Came can be cut with or without the glass panels in place. Sometimes, you will need to measure a piece of came against the glass or pattern, then make the cut on a suitable surface.
Make cuts across the face of the came for stright angles

Step 2 – Identify came face

The came needs to be cut across the face, rather than across the channel. This should help prevent crushing the came.

use a lead knife to easily cut lead came

Step 3 – Apply pressure

Use the curve of the lead knife to rock the tool as you cut and apply pressure. The pressure needs to be moderate and consistent to prevent the came from being crushed or misshapen.

Making long angled cuts

Long, tapered angles are the hardest to cut

Step 1 – Measure came

Long, tapered, angle cuts are the most difficult to make in came.

Work out the angle you need to cut the came into, then use a marker or the lead knife to score the place you need to make the cut.

Cutting long tapered angles in lead came is more difficult that straight cuts

Step 2 – Identify came channel

You need to cut the came across the channel side for longer angled cuts to prevent crushing it.

Cut long tapering angles horizontally across the came

Step 3 – Make cut

Hold the knife horizontal to the came and tilt to the desired angle.

Slowly make the cut across the length of came, maintaining the angle, and rocking the blade slightly to keep the cut smooth. The pressure being applied should be constant and moderate.

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