My wife, my kids, and I enjoy hunting for sea glass on the beach
. Spotting a colorful bit of sand-polished glass provides the same kind of mini-thrill I got when I used to fish for trout as a kid in Colorado.
I don't think it would be much fun to make my own sea glass, because the rarity of the glass is what makes it a joy to collect. But Rich Faulhaber at Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories wanted to make a pathway out of sea glass, and having to collect it bit by bit on the beach would have been completely impractical. So he figured out how to make it using a cement mixer.
All you need is some glass, some sand, sea water and some way of mimicking the ocean and (bam!) you get sea glass.
The beach glass machine
I wanted to do large volumes, so I borrowed my uncle's cement mixer to mimic the ocean. The steel fins inside mimic large rocks. I started breaking wine bottles into small pieces and stole some sand from the kids play box, adding it all to the mixer. Since I didn't have any sea water handy I just filled it with tap water and turned it on. After an hour I checked and the sharp edges were all broken off, after two hours there was some frosting and smoothing and after 4 hours et voilà-- I had sea glass! With the capacity of the mixer I will have my garden path in no time.
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