Frequently Asked Questions
The quality is remembered long after the price is forgotten.
Q- What is putty glazing?
A- Stained glass windows are traditionally installed with putty glazing. True putty glazing is hand packed putty that provides a weather tight bond between the lead came and the wood frame or the glass and the frame. Putty glazing is bevel cut to shed water. Also notice that none of the putty is globbed onto the glass. Putty glazing needs to cure for several weeks before it can be painted. There is more labor in putty glazing than caulking. But the results are noticeable.
Below: One of our staff members is putty glazing a small sash in the studio.
Below: These two windows have had caulk smeared to look like putty glazing. The caulk has been painted to match the frame. The results are not quite the same.
Q- Can one caulk be used for all applications?
A- No. Different applications require different caulks. Surface preparation for each caulk is extremely important. If the surface is not properly prepared, then the caulk will not adhere well.
This caulk is less than two years old. It has not bonded with the wood.
Q- What do you mean by preparing the surface well?
A- The old paint should have been scraped off down to bare wood. This is an example of our restoration work at Trinity United Methodist Church, Darlington, South Carolina.
Q- Can stained glass windows be re-puttied or re-sealed on site?
A- No. As stained glass windows age, the putty dries and falls out. This makes the windows susceptible to leaking water and air. Other stained glass studios will re-putty or re-seal the windows on site. It has been our experience that this service does not solve the problems of leaking windows. It actually leaves a bigger mess on the surface of the windows. This window had that ‘service’ done to it. Notice all the light grey piles of putty left around each piece.
Below: The window on the left has been re-sealed on site. The window on the right has been removed from the church and restored at another stained glass studio. Notice the piles of grey putty that remains on the left window. Notice there are no putty piles on the right window. Some things just cannot be done WELL on site.
Q- What is protective glazing?
A- Protective glazing is installing glass or plastic on the exterior of the stained glass to protect the windows for vandalism or any other kind of flying debris. We can install either ‘heat treated’ tempered glass; safety laminate glass; clear float glass which is sometimes referred to as plate glass; and /or unbreakable plastics which is actually an unbreakable polycarbonate called Lexan. When using Lexan we prefer to use Lexan XL.
Q- Why do you prefer the Lexan XL?
A- The Lexan XL has an extended life which means that it will yellow or haze at a much slower rate. This photo shows the difference between Lexan and Lexan XL. One section of this window was covered with regular Lexan. The other sections were covered with Lexan XL.
Q- Will you put on protective glazing without scraping and painting the wood underneath?
A- We can do that. But we do not recommend that. It is better to do the job right the first time. Our name and reputation is on the line each time someone sees your windows. We want your windows to look as good as we would want the windows in our house to look.
Below: These windows have had protective glazing installed over the stained glass. Notice that the frames were not scraped and re-painted prior to the installation of the protective glazing.
Q- Our stained glass windows have different sizes of lead. If a window has to be rebuilt, can you match the old lead?
A- Yes. When repairing or restoring a window, it is important that restoration grade lead be used. That means that the same size and shape of the lead be ordered or manufactured to match the lead in each project. Yes, most of the old lead profiles ARE still available.
Below: This window was ‘restored’ by another studio. That studio rebuilt the window with new round lead. That studio did not use the same profile lead as was in the original window. The church hired us to rebuild the window with restoration grade lead.
Below:Luckily, there were other windows that were still in the church that we could see what lead was originally used in the windows. The old lead had little balls on the phalanges of the lead.
Below: This window has been rebuilt using restoration grade lead. Notice the different shapes and sized of lead match the original shown above.
Below: This is a close up shot of the restoration grade lead.
Below: This is the restoration grade lead that we have in stock at our studio.
Q- How do you transport your windows?
A- Very carefully. We prefer to deliver all of our windows. That way we guarantee that they will arrive to the job site in excellent condition.
Below: The stained glass windows were installed into their sashes at our studio. The sashes were then loaded and tied down to the rack on our truck.
Q- How do you get glass shipments?
A- Glass shipments arrive by a truck with a crane. This glass is 72” x 120”.
Below: Ben is guiding the crate into our dock.
Below: The crate is in our dock.
Below: Slip wheels underneath.
Below: Rolling it in place.
Below: Anchor it to the wall.
Below: A great crew- Mike, Steven, Will, Moses, and Patrick.
Below: Personality Plus. You have to have some personality to work here.