Smooth Edges on Slumped Float Glass

Float glass (aka window glass) is a staple for my glass fusing practice.  Float glass can often be acquired free, and there are a host of items that can be added to float to create amazing art.  One peculiarity that I have noticed however is that although the edges of float glass fuse smoothly and are beautifully rounded, when they are slumped, the edges get wrinkly and rough.

For example:

Here is a close up of a project I’ve been working on this week.  These plates are fused float glass with a layer of float compatible enamel in the center

Fused edge of float glass plate

That’s a lovely shiny, rounded fused edge.  You would think that it would slump perfectly without any cold work whatsoever.  Here’s another plate with the exact same glass (literally from the same sheet) that has been slumped without coldwork:

I find this to be a very typical result with slumped float glass.  There is an easy solution however, simply grind the edges of your pieces before slumping and it will create a lovely clean, crisp, fire polished edge.  I use my stained glass grinder or my benchtop polisher to do this.  It really takes just a minute and the results are well worth it.  For some reason, the fused rounded edge of float becomes less flexible after fusing and wrinkles when slumped.   By exposing a fresh surface, we can prevent a wrinkly rough edge during slumping.

ground edge

Edge after slumping

Isn’t that pretty?  Additionally, cleaning up your edges before slumping leads to a more professional looking piece, which can only benefit you!

Related articles:

Varieties of Window Glass

Adding Texture and Pattern to Float Glass

Fusing with Textured Glass