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Five more ideas for using broken glass.

1. Feed it to poultry

Countryside: Concerning broken glass, if you keep poultry there is a perfect solution to your problem. Pound up the glass and broken china into grainsize pieces and scatter it on the ground for your fowls with gizzards. They will gladly eat the pieces (no harm to them) as grinding stones and the glass will be put to good use. The residue goes back harmlessly into the soil where earthworms will use it again for their grinding purposes. When they are done it is now the finest of fine soil.

I had a sick chicken I intended to destroy but decided to experiment first. I put a marble down his throat and 24 hours later killed him and retrieved the marble. The marble was already lopsided enough from grinding that it would no longer roll.

2. Scrape wood with it

3. Etch it

One use for smaller pieces is scraping wood. Tool handles are especially nice scraped gently with the grain. Do put some kind of tape on all edges you aren't scraping with - this stuff is sharp! (Leather gloves are a good idea, too.) You'll have to play around to get the proper angle, etc. I don't know how to tell you to do it. It gives a satiny smooth finish you can't get with sandpaper - a delight to the hand.

It's also good for finishing or repairing furniture - especially legs, etc. You can do larger flatter pieces of wood, too; just use bigger pieces of glass. Glass breaks all sorts of different ways. After a while, you'll figure out what kind of edge is good for what.

Something I'm having a lot of fun with is etching glass. You can get a whole kit from Pastimes, 4944 Commerce Parkway, Cleveland, OH 44128-5985. Write for a catalog. It's free and full of goodies. The smallest stencil I have is a butterfly, 3/4" x 1/4". Some are maybe 3" x 3" or 4" x 4" and everywhere in between. The kit is $17.99. Ben Franklin variety store in Hilo on my island has this stuff, too, but not much variety. That's a common problem in Hawaii. Maybe you'll have better luck. Seems like you could make sun catchers, etc. that way. It looks great. I just put a sailing ship on a kerosene lamp chimney and it's really pretty with the light behind it. The stuff is addictive. Pretty soon every piece of glass in my house is gonna be etched!

One caution: the etching "cream" ("goop," I call it) is nasty stuff - it eats skin just fine. Also porcelain sinks/enamel. I'd recommend getting the kit first. The book that comes with it is very complete. Follow the directions exactly!

Latex gloves are a must. They are provided in the kit, along with everything else you need. If you're like me and can't wait, the following will get you the kit: Specify quantity, Item #27805, Description: Glass Etching Kit, $17.99 plus $4.50 shipping and handling.

4. Use it for decorating

tabletops, etc.

I saw this use for broken plates and pottery on the "Home Show." Maybe it will work with broken glass as well.

You will need mastic (the stuff used for tiles), gloves, the broken pieces, a wide putty knife, a sheet or newspaper to protect everything else or do it in the garage, and the object to be decorated.

Either lay out the broken pieces in a pattern or let your hand grab at random. Follow the directions on the mastic can for preparation of the object. Apply the mastic thick enough to hide all sharp edges when the piece is applied to the object. Finish the job using the directions on the can.

On the "Home Show," they did this to a fireplace facade and a wrought-iron end table top.

P.S. My views for the Great Mayonnaise Jar Debate - use them for dried fruits, vegetables, and herbs.

5. Use it to repel gophers in

the garden and orchard

An old friend told us that years ago back in the Midwest they used broken glass to keep gophers from chewing young fruit tree roots in the winter.

Last year my husband, Bret, dug a good size hole about three feet wide and about that deep and layered the broken glass in the hole as he planted his young grafted root stock.

I wonder if that same principle could be used to border a garden area. (I suppose the garden would have to be fenced also.)

Digging a trench at least two feet deep and a shovel's width wide, then filling with broken glass in layers, would help deter those pesky varmints. How about broken glass mixed in when planting bulb flowers? I know you would have to be very careful and use gloves to remove the bulbs when the time came.

This is just a suggestion and maybe it will work. Hopefully the gophers will go elsewhere for their supper.
COPYRIGHT 1993 Countryside Publications Ltd.
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Copyright 1993 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:Skinner, Lori; Skinner, Bret; Schot, Theresa; Glue, Julia; Ramsay, John
Publication:Countryside & Small Stock Journal
Date:Sep 1, 1993
Words:833
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