Some time ago I was given a stack of glue chipped float glass. I found it was good for all sorts of things, but, inevitably, I ran out. After some investigation online (and offline), I found several methods of making my own glue chip glass.
I will say here that I am not after a perfectly predictable pattern of chips, and this method is probably a bit slap dash, but it works well for me, so I thought it may work well for you.
Start with the glass you want to chip. I usually use 1/4″ (6mm) float. Today I’m chipping a couple small pieces and a larger scrap.
And glue, of course. You’ll need hide glue granules, something to measure with, a small glue pot and stirring tools. I found the glue granules at my local Woodworking specialty store, the glue pot and the stirring tools at the local thrift store.
Measure the glue into the pot with water in a 2 parts water to 1 part glue by weight, not volume.
I use a shot glass and 4 scoops of water and glue mixture fill the small crockpot. The small crockpot full of glue will chip about 4 square feet of glass. Mix it up and plug it in, it will take a couple hours to heat up.
While the glue is heating, prepare your glass. You have to rough up the surface of the glass to give the glue some texture to grab onto. I usually do this by hand with water and rock polishing grit simply because a. it’s fast and b. very large pieces of glass don’t fit in my sandblasting cabinet.
Start by adding a couple teaspoons of 110/220 grit and some water to the surface of the glass and then rub it all over with another small piece of flat glass.
You’ll know your done when the grit changes color to a lighter gray and becomes more smooth and creamy. You should have an even frost on your glass at that point.
Clean the grit off all of the glass and make sure it’s on a level surface. When the glue is hot, ladle it onto the glass. I buy small ladles at the thrift store as well because I do not want to wash these things when I’m done using them!
We are using a stiff piece of cardstock to spread the glue around. You could also use a brush if you liked. Now just leave it be. We like to do this outside when it’s warm. As the glue dries, it will contract and shrink and peel the top layer of glass off the sheet.
When the glue has peeled up, use a paint scraper to scrape it off and sweep it up for disposal. The glue has thin shards of glass attached, so be careful!
Also, make sure you get all the pieces cleaned up, the glue can be attractive to animals, and you don’t want them to eat the glass chips too. We double bag ours and throw them in a covered trash can.
Any lingering bits of glue can be cleaned off with water, the glue becomes soggy and soft quite quickly when wet. Once it’s clean, you can continue with your glass project.