Select the front roller that corresponds to the size foil you want
to use, and place it on the front axle (either side). Then put a
nylon locking nut on the screw that extends out of the axle. you
will find a tool in with the hardware that looks very similar to
a wing nut. Use it to tighten the nylon locknuts. The nut should
be tightened just enough so that the roller does not roll on the
axle completely free. There should be a very slight drag.
To thread the machine, select the tape reel that corresponds to the
size foil you want to use. In placing the spool of foil on the reel,
you may find that it is slightly too small to fit over the reel.
If so, peel out one of the layers of cardboard that the foil is wrapped
on. Place the foil and reel on the same side of the foiler as the
corresponding size front roller. Install a nut on the screw that
extends out of the axle to hold the reel in place. Be certain that
you have oriented the foil on the reel so that it unwinds as shown
in the diagram (from the bottom). Peel the backing from the foil
and feed the foil through the splitter and over the front roller.
Now, lower the glass guide on the roller. This guide keeps the foil
in the track on the roller and also helps to center the glass over
the foil. If you have threaded the foil correctly, the adhesive side
of the foil is facing up.
There are three different adjustments to make on your foiler. The drag
or tension on the rear tape reel and the front roller. Also, the
tightness of the screw on the glass guide so that it stays down on
the roller. You must experiment with all three and tighten or loosen
them until the machine works best for you.
To apply the foil, start on the straightest edge of the glass and insert
it into the guide against the roller. Move the glass downward; and
as you do so, the roller revolves applying the foil to the edge.
Maintain a steady speed. When you come to a corner or point, stop
and rotate the glass and continue the downward motion until the piece
is complete. Cut the foil with a pair of scissors so that the foil
overlaps 1/4" (6.350 mm) or so. Roll the rear tape reel backwards
to pull the end of the tape under the guide before starting the next
piece. For best results, the edges of the glass should be ground
lightly. This will prevent the glass from cutting through the foil
and also provides a better surface for the foil to stick to. As you
work with the machine, you will become more adept at keeping the
glass centered over the foil, and your speed will increase tremendously.
After applying the foil to the glass, note that the machine has only
partially folded the edge of the foil around the sides of the glass.
You will have to go back and flatten the foil on each side. You can
drag an instrument such as a lathkin over the foil, but we recommend
a small roller such as a wallpaper seam roller. it is faster and
less likely to tear the foil.
Note: you cannot use this machine to foil inside curves
that are smaller than the diameter of the front roller.
A frequently asked question by someone just starting
out is, "What size foil should I use?" The following are some of
the reasons that you might choose one over the other.
Depends on what you are trying to achieve artistically.
Obviously, the narrower the foil, the narrower the solder line between
the glass pieces. In general, you choose to foil a project rather than
lead it because you want the narrower, more delicate line that foil
produces. If you are looking for a very delicate line, you should use
the narrowest foil - 3/16" (4.763 mm).
As your projects get larger in area, they need to be stronger.
The wider the foil, the wider the solder line; and consequently, the
stronger the panel. So. when you start to build larger panels, you
should consider going to a wider foil.
Another consideration is cost. Solder is extremely expensive
and as the width of foil increases, the solder used increases dramatically.
If you build up your solder joints to form an attractive half round
bead, then in going from 3/16" (4.763 mm) to 7/32" (5.556 mm) foil,
you will easily double the amount of solder used. For instance, a typical
Worden 20" (50.8 cm) lamp (if you are a very careful worker and don't
leave a big gaps between the glass) requires about two pounds of solder
if you use 3/16" (4.763 mm) foil. If you use 7/32" (5.556 cm) foil,
it takes four pounds.
The narrower the foil, the more time consuming it is to
apply. If you are using 3/16" (4.763 mm) foil on 1/8" (3.175 mm) glass,
that means that there will be only 1/32" (.794 mm) of foil folded over
the edge of the glass. If, in centering the glass on the foil, you
are off 1/32" (.794 mm) (that's not very much), there's nothing to
fold over; and you will have to take the foil off and re-apply it.
If you go to a wider tape and you are off a little, it doesn't show
as much. Today, the most popular width foil is 7/32" (5.556 mm).
If you are foiling handblown glass that has a wide variation
in thickness, you may have to use two different sizes of foil. For
a very thick piece, it would be better to use 1/4" (6.350 mm) foil
because the 1/4" (6.350 mm) roller is set to take wider glass. The
7/32" (5.556 mm) and 3/16" (4.763 mm) rollers are meant for 1/8" (3/175
mm) or thinner glass.
Concerning the thickness of the foil, there are generally
two sizes in use - .001 (1 mil) and .0015 (1.5 mil). The latter is
recommended. The one mil is less expensive, but it tears easily.