One product that makes my life easier, much easier, is these little hand foilers by Glastar.
My foil size preference for most projects is 7/32″ (blackback always from Venture Tape )
But to be honest, loading foil into these things can be sort of frustrating, if you aren’t patient or as a first-timer. I’ve seen people give up on these little puppies out of anger before they ever got to feel the ease of use and the gentle, reassuring roller bit. Plus perfectly centered foil, 2 – 4 times as fast as hand foiling…. Gah duh!
You will need:
I’m going to link everything to my stained glass supplier, GlassSupplies41 because she is awesome and works her little tail off to make crafters lives easy, fun, and affordable. She even breaks down things in case you want to “test” out a new market. (like a new foil color or size or different solder.. etc.)
- Isopropyl Alcohol (mine is in a spray bottle – best glass cleaner on the market)
- Paper towel/ glass cleaning towel
- copper foil tape (size must match Glastar Foiler Size)
- Glastar Hand Foiler
- Coffee. Always Coffee.
Start by CLEANING your Glass
Use the alcohol and paper towels to clean your glass. Clean it well. This will make or break how well the foil sticks to the glass. The edges clean with extra love.
Loading the Foil into the Hand Foiling Tool
Cut the foil so that a small amount of backing sticks out further than the copper tape. Press the Foil to the backing as to make the end smooth and flat. Insert foil through small slit at the end of the tool.
At the 2nd opening, using a tweezers, push the backing paper into the slit. The copper foil tape will seperate at this point from the backing paper. Pull the tape up a little bit. Yes, the tape is sticky, it’s going to stick to anything it touches, including the tool if you don’t work slowly and carefully. The more you mess with the tape, the less sticky it is too.
Pull the tape down the channel to the end of the rubber slide. Tuck the tape down under the rubber slide sticky side down. Copper part will run along the rubber slide. Grab it on the other side with a pair of tweezers. Your fingers won’t cut it, for reals.
Foil is loaded! Let’s Foil!
To start, hold and press the foil down with your fingers, about a half inch from the tool. Center the tools rubber roller down on the glass. The hand foiler will fit around the glass like a glove, just grabs on. Sticky side is down, on the glass.
As you start to roll the roller down the edge of the glass, keep the tool pressed firmly to the glass at a 45 degree angle. The picture below isn’t a correct angle, but its hard to take pics and hold all my stuff. (excuses!) Follow the roller with your finger to ensure that you are pressing the foil down to the glass. The first 2 inches are crucial. This is where you might have to start over a few times. GET THAT TAPE TO STICK!
Go around corners the same, just make sure you don’t lift away from the glass.
Inner curves you REALLY need to go slow and press the foil down..
When you end of the glass, go over where you began about a quarter inch. Try to lay the edges down so they match up seamlessly with the foil edges that are already there.
If you accidentally get a sharp corner where your end/beginning is, use an exacto knife and just slice off the corner that sticks out to make it flush.
^someone needs to make hot pink nylon burnisher and call them this. Take your burnisher and run along the edges of the glass. Like the skinny EDGE, not the surfaces. Use your burnisher to slightly bend the foil around the edges to meet the surfaces. Be smart on your corners! Make sure the black part is on the glass, if it is showing, solder WILL NOT stick to it! Burnish so everything is flat, but remember your pressure… you are working with glass, so don’t push so hard that you shatter your glass. Your hands will probably die. Also, do not OVER BURNISH. It’s a thing. Continuously going over the foil can literally break down the sticky black crap. Making it not sticky anymore. YOU NEED THE STICKY.
Again, heed your corners and boom! Using the Glastar Hand Foiler saves me lots of time. I think I’m twice as fast. And the perfectly even edges of foil are worth the $11. Go pro people.
This tasty little tutorial is just the beginning. I’m going to start making it a priority to get more tutorials up. Hopefully this product review kinda thing was helpful!
Extra Video Treat!
Try to keep up as a foil and burnish this glass piece!