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making frit & powders?

Posted: Thu Jul 11, 2013 5:35 pm
by Babette (Shawn)
Has anyone tried this device? http://www.bluefiremolds.com/frit-maker/Glass-Eater.php

There are times when I would like to have the option of making my own frit and powders, but I want a good quality product. I have heard that small particles of metal from the "crusher" type of frit makers can get into the frit and contaminate it.

Is it practical to make frit and powders as opposed to purchasing them already made?

Re: making frit & powders?

Posted: Thu Jul 11, 2013 7:42 pm
by Cheryl
I have not used the product. However, the question has come up many times. It depends on how much frit you need, whether or not it makes sense to make your own. Check the archives about various methods of making frit. You can run a magnet thru it (i use a cow magnet) to collect metal particles.

Re: making frit & powders?

Posted: Thu Jul 11, 2013 7:58 pm
by Marty
I HAD to look that up. Hardware disease indeed!

Re: making frit & powders?

Posted: Thu Jul 11, 2013 9:10 pm
by jim burchett
Marty wrote:I HAD to look that up. Hardware disease indeed!
. LOL

Re: making frit & powders?

Posted: Thu Jul 11, 2013 9:34 pm
by Marty
to go even further off topic-

Jim- your tag reminds me of the ditty I sing when driving: "This lane is my lane, that lane is your lane, stay out of my lane, I'll stay out of yours. The double yellow, will keep us mellow.
Keep the f--- out of my lane."

Re: making frit & powders?

Posted: Thu Jul 11, 2013 9:41 pm
by Marty
Shawn (Babette)- Making your own mostly works if you only need small amounts. Go to a good kitchen and/or hardware shop and figure out a set of screens to sift the stuff through. Wear a mask for the dust.
I'm not sure that chopper thingie will be any improvement over a stiff piece of canvas and a hammer but, as a tool junkie, I understand your longings.

Re: making frit & powders?

Posted: Fri Jul 12, 2013 12:18 am
by Morganica
The only really practical way I've found to make this stuff at home without a lot of fuss is to use a ball mill. That's basically an old-fashioned rock tumbler that uses porcelain balls instead of frit. You can sometimes find old used tumblers cheap at garage sales or online, or you can buy an actual ball mill--it's just a heavy-duty drum that rests on a pair of rotating axles. The drum turns constantly, jostling the contents.

You can usually find stuff like that on eBay. You want to buy a mix of porcelain ball sizes to make pulverizing the glass more efficient.

Break up your glass into small pieces, then pour it into the tumbler/mill drum until it's about a third full. Pour in the porcelain balls to another 3rd, leaving 1/3 airspace. (You may have to adjust the proportions, depending on what you're using.) Close the lid, set the drum on the machine, turn it on, and go.

It will sound like all the hounds of hell are eating a rock quarry, so try to put it out of earshot. It takes a few hours--go back and check every hour or so to see how things are going (and wear a mask, it's really dusty). I've heard that some people use water in the mill which makes things go faster, but it seemed to work OK without it. I tend to stop it after a couple of hours, sift out the really fine stuff, add a little more and put it back, to speed things up.

You need to wash the grind well, to remove the "fines," the really fine particles that seem to scum up the glass and make veils, spread it out and let it dry. Then run it through a series of sieves to grade it.

I do this for lead crystal, which doesn't come in a fine frit or powder. Pain in the neck to do it with regular fusible glass--MUCH easier to buy it readymade.

Re: making frit & powders?

Posted: Fri Jul 12, 2013 10:47 am
by Babette (Shawn)
Thanks everyone! I think I will buy my frit for now. Buying it will leave more time to create and one less unused tool gathering dust. I use 90 and I use 96 glass and I have noticed the larger grades of spectrum (frit) are completely different in shape than Bullseye Frits...the process to make these Frits differ?

Re: making frit & powders?

Posted: Fri Jul 12, 2013 12:10 pm
by Vicki M
I have been tempted to buy this Handheld frit shooter, but by the time I paid for shipping it would be well over $200 which for now I just couldn't justify. Does anyone else have one of these?
http://www.devardiglass.com/supplies.htm#Frit%20Makers

Re: making frit & powders?

Posted: Fri Jul 12, 2013 1:57 pm
by Tom Fuhrman
Marty wrote:to go even further off topic-

Jim- your tag reminds me of the ditty I sing when driving: "This lane is my lane, that lane is your lane, stay out of my lane, I'll stay out of yours. The double yellow, will keep us mellow.
Keep the f--- out of my lane."

Marty: love it. Are there any verses to it? if not, I may have to work on that. I can imagine going down the pike with this coming from a loud speaker on my van. getting older, but still looking to have some fun.

Re: making frit & powders?

Posted: Fri Jul 12, 2013 2:12 pm
by Tom Fuhrman
Been making my own frit for over 30 years and never had a problem with any metal. You've just got to use very hard metals, tool steel, for busting things up.
Have friend that has made over 200,000 paperweights over the last 20 years that has made all his own frit and has a large commercial crusher that he uses and never had a problem with any metal filings.

Re: making frit & powders?

Posted: Fri Jul 12, 2013 6:25 pm
by Peter Angel
You can buy really cheap frit from ebay in all sizes and colors in any amounts starting from 20 grams.

Go to ebay.com and search from "glass frit". You will get about 1000 listings.

Peter

Re: making frit & powders?

Posted: Sat Jul 13, 2013 3:39 am
by RHunter
Hi All,

There is always the old stand by.....using a Braun coffee grinder....you won't be using it to grind beans in it after you use it for glass fritting, but it is a reliable way to generate a couple of good tablespoons worth of whatever color you drop in.

Garage sales, maybe E-bay, Goodwill shops,

Randy