Frit Happens!

Frit Scrap   Glass fusers are fond of this little saying. But I am here to tell you that this is indeed not true! Turns out making frit is actually quite tedious.

Glass waste is always a byproduct of making any fused glass or stained glass piece. In an effort to recycle as much of this waste as I possibly can, I bought a frit maker.

The basic process of making frit involves putting scrap glass in a metal tube and then crushing it with another metal tube that has a blade like piece across the bottom. The slightly smaller crushing tube is placed inside the first and then you pound away. After pounding the frit is put into a set of nesting sifters that sort the frit by size. A strong magnet is placed in the glass and moved around to pick up any metal pieces that may have come off of the tube during the pounding.

Frit MakerFirt Sorter









Here is what I learned.

You can’t overfill the tube. This means it takes more time to make frit than you would think.

Crushing glass is a dusty process. A respirator and googles are a must. I placed a towel over the handle of the frit maker to keep the dust down.

It’s not fun… just sayin.

My conclusion is that I am not about to go making jars of frit from leftover glass. I have a variety of frit that I bought in jars. If I need a color that I don’t have and just need a small amount, I might do this. Maybe. Probably not. This could be something productive to do if there is an electrical outage.

I did get some good results on my clear scraps and was able to make a nice recycled glass bowl. Next time I think I will try putting the scrap in an old pillow case and just hit it with a hammer to see what results I get. I also remember seeing something online once about retrofitting an old garbage disposal to make frit. Maybe I need to look into that too!?

Frit Recyled Glass BowlIf you have had good results with a frit maker, please share.

11 thoughts on “Frit Happens!

  1. oriel Hicks says:

    I bought one, it was useless! I put scraps inside heavy duty, clear polythene and smash it with a ball hammer. You can see what you’re hitting because it’s transparent, and it keeps the dust down. I sieve it with 3 grades of bonsai sieves and store. Have a good batch of heavy duty poly bags though, they don’t last long!

    • Deb Zito says:

      Hi Margot. I purchased a food mill to make frit. Bonnie Doon sells them at their website. I found mine on amazon. The food mill has no problem making frit And Powder In under 5 seconds. Truly. While this can help make frit in a color Bullseye doesn’t make frit in, this will easily crush and pulverize easily. The powder is achieved in under 4-5 seconds.

      Thank you for all of your great posts. Nice learning of glass artist here in north Houston.
      Have a blessed, safe day.

  2. dorit says:

    After I’ve washed my scraps I heat it up in my kiln to about 500 degrees celcius. And straight away I pour it intp very cold water. After that It’s easy to smash with a hammer between to sheets of thick paper.

  3. Mary says:

    I smash mine with a hammer wrapped in the paper that my glass comes wrapped in or divided with. I make powder in a coffee grinder. That is easy but very dusty so have to wear a respirator. The blades are stainless steel so even though I go through it with a magnet I am not sure any metal fragments would be attracted. Haven’t had a metal inclusion issue yet though. I do this when I don’t have a color I need or run out, but it is kind of a pain. I can get exactly the sizes I want though. Good to do when I am lacking creativity or need to vent frustration.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *