Finishing Steps (and getting in my own way)

Alien Encounter is done!  The last steps I needed to complete, Sunday, were to add the frame and hanging materials.  I wanted to finish this one so I can bring it in to work this week, along with three other pieces, for hanging in our employee art show.  Now, I didn't HAVE to finish it today, there will be another show in a few months.  But I was so close so I wanted to get it done.

I almost got in my own way of finishing it though - I didn't have quite enough of the zinc came to frame it, so I stopped by the supply store I like earlier in the week to buy another piece.  Yesterday, I was happily framing along, and had 3 of the 4 sides cut from the zinc I had on hand when I had to move to the new piece.  Turns out though that I accidentally bought the wrong size!  (3/8" instead of 1/4")  My first reaction was disappointment that I wouldn't get the project done since it would involve another trip to the store - which is closed on Sundays and Mondays.  But then I realized that I could just start over with the larger piece and make all 4 sides again from the wider material.  I had re-doing things, and I don't like wasting materials, but it was the only thing standing in my way of getting this piece completed, so I went with it.

Another part of my mental block with starting over was that it felt like it took SO LONG to cut the first three sides.  But I had a feeling the saw blade might be getting dull, so I went ahead and changed it before I started up again.  Wow, what a difference!  I hadn't realized it but the old blade was pretty dull - and the new blade went through the zinc like butter!  I was cackling away while I zipped through that came and got the new frame cut and taped into place.

So that's my story, but here are the details of the actual framing steps:

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First, I cut the zinc came on a 45 degree angle and taped it into place with masking tape.  

 
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Next, in each corner, I used masking tape to block off the square where I would solder the zinc pieces together - this keeps the solder contained to that square area and it looks neater.

 
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Then I fluxed and soldered each corner, and each place where a solder joint met the frame.  One area I'd like to improve on is to be a neater solder-er, it's hard to get it flowing just right!  To get the square nice and flat, I held the soldering iron nearly horizontally to flatten it out.

 
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Repeat on each corner, and, ta-da, she is complete!  I just added two steel rings on either side of the frame for the hanging wire, and it is all done.  I'm including two pictures, because I had a really hard time getting a good photo of this one.  The one to the right is on my light box, and the one below is without the back-lighting, but neither really show the true colors.  Add improving at photography to my list of goals for this site!

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Does anyone have any tips for getting good photos of stained glass work?  If so, please share in the comments!