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Stained Glass/reinforced lead came



I am curious about the "rules" of using brass reinforced lead came.  I have a 5'x2' vertical window to design and would prefer not to use a zinc rebar.  Practicing a weave design for leading up, can these cames be cut and still provide the needed support? I know I can place restrip inside the channel of regular lead, but I'd rather use the reinforced type.  Thanks.

First of all, there are really very few rules here, so I will respond based on my experience.

Zinc rebar is a joke in much the same way the "re-strip " product is. It is simply inadequate for the job you mention. It is too malleable to be effective. You have a very narrow width  and the border leading will give sufficient support; especially if you use zinc caming. "Re-strip" is appropriate in some copper foil applications, but inserted into the slots of lead came is a waste of time and money.The copper has been dead soft annealed and is so thin as to be even more ineffective for the intended purpose.

I am not aware of a lead came that is brass reinforced. There is a came available from S.A. Bendheim that has a steel core in the heart of the came that is very effective in stabilizing leaded art glass work. It can be cut and soldered to great effect. The steel is "springy" and takes some effort to work around curves in the panel, but works quite well.

In your case, with a vertical orientation, the supports need to be done horizontally for effect; no matter which method you choose. In my opinion, you do not need to add additional supporting structure to this panel so long as you use a weaving pattern in your leading. Vertically installed supports are the weakest and most ineffective method of reinforcement. For appropriateness, the reinforcement should follow the shortest path across your panels. This is simply a factor of physics. As an example, take a dowel rod that is six inches long and try to bend it. Do the same with a 36 inch dowel and try to bend it. You will see the effect.

A whole chapter could be written on this subject, but I hope this helps.

Carl Trimble
Trimble Studios

Stained Glass

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H Carl Trimble III


One of a kind custom design stained glass as well as other glass art methods and the restoration of stained glass. Inquiries regarding leaded, beveled, etched sand carved, and fused glass techniques are invited. Other methods, technical questions,history of the art and supply source inquiries also welcome. Information on the pro's and con's of protective glazing of stained glass windows. Visit for more complete information.


Over forty years experience in a wide range of techniques that include "stained glass", wood working and metal fabrication. Have worked from my own full service studio since 1977. Many major residential, commercial and religious installations from Charlottesville, Virginia and Atlanta, Georgia to San Diego California as well as much of the State of Texas

Professional Affiliate,Certified Trainer, and Preferred Provider for the American Institute of Architects, AIA, Dallas, Texas. I have served on the Board of Directors of both the Texas Fine Arts Association and the Texas Visual Arts Association

Bachelor of Fine Arts, The University of Texas, Tyler. Master of Fine Arts, The University of North Texas, Denton. Just a few hours short of a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the University of Texas at Austin.

Awards and Honors
Many first place and best of show awards in both stained glass and fine arts competitions. Steady commission work for the past ten years has obviated any recent competitive activity.

Past/Present Clients
Most recent major commissions are for American Airlines CR Smith Museum; JFK Airport Terminal 8 stained glass; TXU Energy Plaza Thor stained glass. The Mansion at Turtle Creek, Dallas and and St. John the Apostle Catholic Church in Terrell, Texas

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