Making Glass Frit

Glass frit can be crushed in different sizes and used in glass fusing projects.

This is an ideal way to use up scrap fusing glass pieces.

A good supply of frit is handy as it can be used in fused glass jewelry or for general fusing work as well as frit painting.

When making glass frit it is essential that appropriate safety equipment is worn.

The simplest method is to use a hammer. Place the glass between several sheets of newspaper and strike with the hammer until the glass is broken into the desired size.

A sealed plastic bag can also be used for this process.

Always wear safety glasses and a face mask or respirator when breaking glass this way.

An Aanraku Frit Piston for crushing glass is available and consists of a pipe sliding inside a larger pipe as per the tool in the photo below. The sliding pipe is very heavy and crushes the glass easily.

A pipe crusher can be made from two pieces of pipe obtained from your local hardware store.

A large pipe with a threaded end about 8" x 1 1/2"diameter will work. A threaded end cap is screwed onto one end of the pipe to seal it off.

A smaller diameter pipe about 10" x 3/4" threaded on both ends, with two threaded end caps will be the hammer for breaking the glass in the large tube.

Make sure the small end caps fit inside the larger pipe neatly.

Screw the end caps on the smaller pipe and place glass in larger tube and begin to crush with the small pipe.

Safety glasses and a face mask or respirator must be worn when making glass frit this way.

A small magnet should be used after the frit is crushed in a pipe crusher to remove any small metal chips present in the glass.

Another method is to place a piece of glass heaped with small pieces into a glass kiln on a prepared kiln shelf, heat to around 1400° F (760° C) which will be about tack fusing temperature.

Once the glass has fused turn off kiln and use long tongs to remove glass from kiln and drop into a metal container partially filled with cold water.

The shock will cause the glass to shatter into reasonably large pieces, which may need to be broken further with a hammer.

Heatproof gloves and eye protection should be worn during this operation.

To help in grading the crushed frit, sifters can be purchased from art glass supply stores. These sifters come with different mesh sizes for grading the glass.

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