The purpose of using glue in glass fusing is to lightly tack your design in place to transport the piece from your workbench to the kiln. Glue typically (and should) burns off before the glass fuses. Read on and learn which solution might be best for you!
About the Author
Eloyne Erickson is the Owner/Operator of Grand Central Stained Glass, serving the Bay area for nine years. She has been involved in the craft for over thirty years, and serves as Principal Designer, Project Manger and fabricator of all custom pieces.
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TYPES OF GLUES TO USE:
Clear nail polish – Sets within 10 minutes. Use nail polish when your design plan allows you to place glass pieces quickly and without too much repositioning.
White glue – Sets within 20 minutes. Use repositionable white glue when you need a little more time to fine tune your design. This does not include gel glue.
Fuser’s glue – Sets in 30 minutes to an hour. This is a natural (sodium carboxymethyl cellulose) plant derivative. It’s slow-drying feature allows readjustments to your work. An organic colorant lets you see where you’ve put the glue, but burns out in the kiln. A great advantage to fuser’s glue is your ability to place your entire design and simply dribble small amounts of the glue over the glass. It will wick under and between glass to secure the pieces. It is used, too, in thin frit casting techniques.
Hair Spray – Yep. Plain old (pump) hair spray. It’s great for setting frit. Hold the spray bottle approximately 8” to 12” above your glass design to avoid blowing your glass out of place.
DO’S & DONT’S
Use a tooth pick or similar tool to apply a pin head or small size dab of glue to the back side of the glass.
Place your glue dots near the edge of the glass to facilitate it escaping during the heating process.
Use small amounts of glue! Small amounts will burn off, leaving no trace.
Glue should not be used to counteract gravity and hold pieces in place in an unnatural position. For this reason, we do not recommend the use of Cyanoacrylate (super glue). It dries too fast, giving you a false sense that your design is balanced.
Too much glue can burn and become sealed between the layers of glass, leaving dark spot. Excess glue can also cause bubbles and small eruptions that will blow a hole through the glass, or cause glass pieces to jump and move around in the kiln.
Well, there you have it!
We hope this brief tutorial has been helpful. Practice and gaining experience with the various adhesives can add significant utility and jaw-dropping beauty to your fused glass work!