Removing Steel Filings from Glass Frit

When you begin making your own frit, you’ll notice that there is a largish quantity of steel filings in the end product. Particularly as you filter down, the filings will end up in same container as the smallest particles, usually powder.

I find it fairly annoying to pull the filings off of the magnet, and they tend to get everywhere. This quick trick contains the filings, keeps your hands clean and work surface uncontaminated.

You will need the glass powder or frit, a rare earth magnet, a spoon and a ziploc bag. It doesn’t matter too much what size of bag, a long as it’s fairly sturdy.

Rare earth magnets are very, very strong, so they pull filings out of powder faster than regular magnets. Mine came from a dismantled disc drive, but you can buy them at any hardware store.

Start by turning the ziploc bag inside out. Then, stick the magnet on the spoon (I buy spoons at the thrift store for studio use).

Removing filings from frit
Rare Earth Magnet on Spoon

Slip the spoon and magnet into the inside out ziploc bag.

removing filings from glass powder
Spoon in the bag

Stir the spoon-in-a-bag through the powder.

Removing filings from powdered glass
Stir Powdered glass

You’ll see that the rare earth magnet attracts filings very quickly.

removing filings from frit
Filings in powdered glass

Now, holding the handle of the spoon carefully pull the ziploc bag down and turn it inside out, containing all of the filings, and leaving your spoon and magnet clean.

Removing filings from frit
Turn bag inside out

Now, the ziploc bag can be sealed and disposed of without spreading filings all over your studio.

removing filings from frit
Bagged Filings

If your powder needs more stirring, you can dispose of frit by holding the spoon over the trash can and pulling the bag away from the magnet, all of the frit will fall into the trash and you can stir more powder.

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