Glass Frit/Powder Sifters

“Frit” is glass which has been broken up into pieces of varying size. You use different sized chunks for different purposes (eg large chunks could be used for mosaic style work, while glass powder could be used to fill in small holes and prevent bubbles). You generally need a way to separate it into different sizes for different purposes.

Secondly, as I found during my fused glass/metal experiments, I need a way to distribute the various metal based powders more evenly.

Note: both can involve very fine particulates, which is why a fine particulate filtering respirator is essential for this sort of work.

You can buy sets of powder sifters, but I wanted to see if I could make some myself. They’re basically a set of cups with a sieve in the base.

Materials

I was going to just 3d print a set of containers, but I discovered it would take 7 hours/ 20 metres of filament per container, and I wanted at least 5. So I bought these cheap kids cups from amazon:

Bonus: They’re colour coded!

I also bought a set of different sized 150x150mm steel mesh samples from “The Mesh Company” on ebay:

Preparing the cups

I used a hole cutter drill attachment to drill the base out of each cup, and neatened up the plastic with a file:

Cutting the Mesh

I cut circles of the mesh to fit over the new holes in the cups.

For most of the mesh I was able to use a pair of shears I’ve had in the toolbox for years. For the largest mesh, I needed to use my Dremel Rotary Tool with a diamond cutting disk:

Attaching them

To attach the mesh to the cups, I just used carefully applied Araldite Rapid.

Result

It appears to have worked pretty well: I’m leaving them to dry throughly before trying them: knowing my luck the mesh will just fall straight out šŸ™‚

I’ve got a spare (green) cup if I need another size.

I think I will 3d print a top for the cups to reduce any stray particulates during use.

Mesh Sizes

So, my sifters are as follows:

  • Pink – 0.26mm aperture (#60 mesh)
  • Red – 0.40mm aperture (#40 mesh)
  • Blue – 1.31mm aperture (#16 mesh)
  • Yellow – 2.63mm aperture (#7 mesh)
  • White – 6.87mm aperture (#3 mesh)

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