Making Glass Frit

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Making Glass Frit

You can make frit several different ways. In all cases, be sure to wear proper protective eye wear and take all necessary precautions such as using a dust mask and gloves.

  1. Heat up glass in a torch or kiln and plunge it into water. The hotter the glass is, the smaller the frit size will be. You may need to gently crush it to separate the fractured glass.
  2. Cut small pieces of glass and break them up in a hand held coffee grinder. Gently shake up and down. The longer you grind, the finer the frit. This ruins the coffee grinder for grinding coffee. Some coffee grinder lids are brittle and can shatter. Use caution.
  3. Wrap the glass in cloth and crush it with a hammer.
  4. Place the glass in a metal cylinder that has a bottom and crush it with a metal plunger that fits the cylinder tightly.
  5. Run glass through an old garbage disposal that has been removed from the sink and secured to a stout table.
  6. Use a ball mill. This is the most expensive tool and least easy to find, but it gives the finest grind - all the way down to a very fine powder if so desired.
  7. Use a mortar and pestle. This tool is best used to make large frit into smaller frit.

Any time you break up glass, the surface of the tool that comes in contact with the glass can ablate and then be mixed in with the frit. A large magnet can remove most of the iron containing contaminants. You do not necessarily need to worry about the small amount of contaminants, as some applications with frit won't show them anyway.

Some of the described methods will produce a variety of frit sizes simultaneously while others tend to produce the same size frit. You can sift the finished frit through different size screens.

Once the coffee grinder or garbage disposal are used on glass they are worthless for their original design, but can last for many hours of frit making.