Lead or leaded windows are not uncommon in many parts of Australia, as added lead makes glass very tough and durable and also offers some obstruction from sunlight, so the interior of a home stays cooler from the hot Australian sun. If the leaded glass in your home does need some repair work and you decide to tackle this job on your own, note a few very important tips. This will ensure your own safety and ensure you know how leaded glass can often be just a bit different than standard window glass.
Use a flat surface
With standard window glass, you may be able to hold the window frame up for easier access when removing broken pieces from the top of the frame. However, leaded glass is heavier so it often comes away from the frame more easily. Always set the frame of leaded glass down on a flat and level surface even when pulling broken pieces from the top or bottom of the frame, so none of those pieces come out unexpectedly or get away from you and drop onto the floor, risking breakage and injury.
Support for frame
The metallic pieces that often run through leaded glass, usually to create a diamond pattern, are called came. This came is soft and bends easily, so don't try to "yank" it out of place when removing the glass, expecting it to be strong and stiff. You could easily pull a glass piece back toward yourself and cause cuts if you were to expect that came to offer resistance. You can also use pliers to grip one part of the came, such as where two pieces of it intersect, and bend this back to help pull the glass out of the frame.
Replacing the glass
When replacing leaded glass, that came that is between the sections is not always embedded in the glass; if it sits between the sections, it needs to be stretched. This is because it is so soft and bends so easily, and stretching will ensure it stays firm and doesn't sag. There are lead stretchers you can use to ensure it's pulled enough to stay stiff and offer proper support to the heavy glass, or you can use pliers to pull it through and attach it to the frame of the window. For very heavy windows or pieces like doors to a cabinet, you might simply buy stretched came from a supplier so that it's strong enough to support the glass.