Has anyone perfected opaque frit balls? - WarmGlass.com

Has anyone perfected opaque frit balls?

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CCVICKERS
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Has anyone perfected opaque frit balls?

Postby CCVICKERS » Wed Nov 26, 2014 8:46 pm

I've been trying to make Bullseye opaque grit balls for a week :( I'm following the Bullseye schedule:

AFAP > 1500F hold 20 (first attempt) freshly primed shelf (a tip I read here)
AFAP > 1500F hold 15 on a tiny shelf primed with mr-97
AFAP > 1500F hold 10 on a tiny shelf primed with mr-97
All cool to room temp naturally.

The transparent grit balls turn out beautifully with all the methods above. I added transparent to each run to experiment.

I've tried grout remover, alcohol, vinegar, goof off, paint thinner and acetone to get the primer off the frit balls.

I'm using Teal green and Vanilla opaque glass and my kiln is a fusion 16.

Does anyone have that perfect formula for making primer free grit balls??? I'm concerned that even the tiniest bit of primer on the grit ball will cause problems when attempting to fuse the grit ball to a larger piece.

Morganica
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Re: Has anyone perfected opaque frit balls?

Postby Morganica » Wed Nov 26, 2014 11:14 pm

It is more difficult, certainly, to get the opaque colors to ball up without sticking to the kilnwash, but it shouldn't be THAT hard. I think you're overfiring--schedules are kiln-dependent so just because Bullseye suggests it, doesn't mean it's going to work in all kilns (I think they usually say that somewhere on their tipsheets). If even the shortest of those schedules is giving you perfect frit balls, then you've got room to lower temps and slow down a bit.

So...try dropping temps to 1450, 1475 and 1485, then experimenting with hold times to see what will give you a nice spherical shape without picking up kilnwash.

If you do get a bit of kilnwash sticking, a powerwasher is great for getting it off--stick the fritballs in a deepish container, put the wand down inside, and let 'er rip. Or you can try soaking in limeaway for about 30 minutes. Usually, if the powerwasher doesn't work for me, I run the kilnwashed frit balls across some wet-dry sandpaper two or three times and that's usually sufficient. Then I adjust my schedule, which usually solves the problem.
Cynthia Morgan
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Studiodunn
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Re: Has anyone perfected opaque frit balls?

Postby Studiodunn » Wed Nov 26, 2014 11:54 pm

Like Morganica suggests, I have been having more success at a peak temperature in the 1450 range with BE frit balls in my kiln. The opaque balls still pick up a tiny layer of kilnwash. However, after a long soak in vinegar, it comes right off. I pour them into a strainer and agitate them around for a bit while rinsing under water. They turn out just dandy.

For a long time I used to take each ball and actually use a diamond hand pad spritzed with water "wax on, wax off" style...It works beautifully, but when you have an abundance of fritballs it can be very tedious and time consuming.
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Kevin Midgley
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Re: Has anyone perfected opaque frit balls?

Postby Kevin Midgley » Thu Nov 27, 2014 2:27 pm

There are reasons why, pardon the pun, people stick to using Bullseye kiln wash.
Of course now you've contaminated that shelf with the spray stuff.....

RachelM
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Re: Has anyone perfected opaque frit balls?

Postby RachelM » Sat Nov 29, 2014 9:56 am

Silly question perhaps but can you make opaque frit balls on thin-fire paper? Then just wash the powder off after they are fused into balls?

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Morganica
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Re: Has anyone perfected opaque frit balls?

Postby Morganica » Sat Nov 29, 2014 3:33 pm

Thinfire works just fine, but sometimes increases the tendency of the opaques to devit. Happens to some people, doesn't to others. I think the really big deal, though, is overfiring, because that's when the glass really settles in and embeds the shelf residue. Once it's embedded, as CC is noticing, it's a lot harder to get out.
Cynthia Morgan
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Barbara Elmore
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Re: Has anyone perfected opaque frit balls?

Postby Barbara Elmore » Sat Nov 29, 2014 6:20 pm

Get a plastic Cool Whip container. Put the frit balls in there and cover them with white vinegar. Put the container somewhere you will be often...kitchen, living room table, etc. every time you go by the container, shake, shake, shake it. Do this for a couple of days and they will be immaculate. Reason? The vinegar is great to soften the residue, but the frit balls agitating keeps knocking the gunk off as it softens.
Thanks, Barbara Hale Elmore

"Good judgement comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgement" Indian Proverb

CCVICKERS
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Re: Has anyone perfected opaque frit balls?

Postby CCVICKERS » Tue Dec 02, 2014 6:34 am

Thank you everyone for your responses! I'll fire at a lower temp this weekend and see how it goes.

My first batch, which was really bad, soaked in vinegar a few days. That seemed to stain the vanilla frit balls a little bit. The teal didn't stain at all. Maybe it was the separator that soaked up the stain and it just reflected thru the light color of the vanilla. I believe Brad (??) wrote someplace that light color glass might do that.

KaCe
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Re: Has anyone perfected opaque frit balls?

Postby KaCe » Mon Jan 05, 2015 6:24 am

I have taken to cutting up my small shards of glass, no matter what type they are, into small squares. I place them on thin fire and follow BE's schedule. They by-and-large turn out just fine. I have many in Fr. Vanilla and soft black as well as several opaque Saturday sheets. Since I'm not using kiln wash, I'm not sure if that is helpful to you or not. good luck.

JestersBaubles
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Re: Has anyone perfected opaque frit balls?

Postby JestersBaubles » Mon Jan 05, 2015 4:55 pm

I've had better luck firing on Papyrus than using kiln wash.

Dana W.

S.TImmerman
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Re: Has anyone perfected opaque frit balls?

Postby S.TImmerman » Sun Jan 11, 2015 4:12 am

I use Coca-Cola to remove it.

jim simmons
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Re: Has anyone perfected opaque frit balls?

Postby jim simmons » Wed Jan 14, 2015 4:03 pm

Any acidic solution will work.
Jim


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