Articles by Rick Glawson

Glue Chip - Standard Method / Glue Chip - Rawson Evans Method / Glass Silvering / Angel Gilding Process / Lead Nitrate Deposition / Hydroflouric Acid/Mica Glass Embossing Process / Guide to Laying Abalone / Material Safety Data Sheet for Hydroflouric Acid

By Rick Glawson

The following instructions are simplified for use as a reference and we recommend the book "The Art of Glue Chipped Glass Signs" by Bob Mitchell, published by Signcraft Magazine.

With your glass masked off and the image to be chipped, cut out and weeded, lightly sandblast with a fine grit (100 to 220 grit is the best range). Level the glass on a bench inside the shop and dam the edges with tape if you plan on chipping the greater portion of the glass surface.

For each one sq.ft. of area to be chipped, measure by weight 1 ½ oz. of dry glue and 3 oz. of water by volume. Mix together in an electric glue pot and cover. Let stand for approx. 30 minutes until the glue has swelled (like oatmeal). At this point, plug in the glue pot until the mixture is heated and runny like soup (approx. 30 minutes). You may also use a double boiler or a microwave oven (in 1 minute bursts) until pourable. Apply a layer of glue onto the glass 1/16" thick overlapping the image. Let it set until the glue cools to the consistency of jello.

Now cut around the image with an x-acto knife and strip off the stencil along with the excess glue. Let the glue dry. A fan lightly blowing will speed up the process. If your humidity is above 45%, the glue will not proceed past the first hard stage. In order to chip glass, the humidity must be below 45%. If you live in a dry climate, this will not concern you. If not you can proceed by putting the project in the sun or on a light box. In very humid areas, an enclosed box with a dehumidifier or heat lamps will do the trick. The main concern is to not let the temperature rise above 150° or you will cook the glue rendering it useless. Do not apply the heat until the glue has completely dried and is transparent.

Allow the glue to chip completely. Small stubborn areas may be chipped off with a razor blade or x-acto knife. Before gilding or silvering, soak the image with water to swell and remove any tiny bits of glue. As a reminder, there are a wide range of animal hide glues manufactured of which most are too strong to effect a constant chip. Most problems arise from using the wrong glue which is why we recommend the 5X grade which we also carry in stock and use ourselves.


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