Etching cream vs sandblasting on glass

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Robert Schwieger
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Etching cream vs sandblasting on glass

Post by Robert Schwieger » Tue Apr 03, 2007 11:04 am

How come glass etching cream does not work reliably when used in place of sandblasting the glass? The etching cream is nice for small quick jobs but I have found that it is not as reliable in producing a consistent chip. Bob

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Post by Danny Baronian » Tue Apr 03, 2007 11:13 am

Bob, etching cream does just that, etch the glass, it will not chip the glass. Even at that, it only provides a light frost.

Glue chipping is a different process altogether. The subject has been throughly discussed on the board, a search will provide more information. Also check out the green page under Rick Glawson > glue chipping - http://www.theletterheads.com/

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Kelly Thorson
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Post by Kelly Thorson » Tue Apr 03, 2007 12:44 pm

Are you speaking of etching vs sandblasting as a preparation for glue chipping? If so, I'm no expert, but I think it is because sandblasting actually causes a minute chipping of the glass that leaves a multitude of surfaces which give the glue a tooth to hold on to. The etching process actually chemically erodes the surface of the glass, and leaves a much smoother surface that the glue can't adhere to as well so you don't get as agressive a chip.
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Post by Mike Jackson » Tue Apr 03, 2007 1:45 pm

Robert,
More than likely the bulk of us have simply "heard" that using etching creme will not work well for the chip process, but I'd bet that few of us have actually tried it just to see. Likewise, most of us have seen and felt the texture of the glass once it has been sandblasted and also felt the glass where it has been etched with the creme style acid. Obviously, there would be a big difference. That'd be another reason most of us just trusted what we heard. I wouldn't criticize anyone wanting to try some tests and experiment on some scraps.

Good luck if you try it!

Mike Jackson
Last edited by Mike Jackson on Tue Apr 03, 2007 4:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Robert Schwieger
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Post by Robert Schwieger » Tue Apr 03, 2007 4:26 pm

Yes, I forgot to mention that the use of the etch cream was a prelude to the glue chipping. I would agree, after trying some side-by-side tests that the etching cream produces a smooth ( and frosted) surface and does not provide adequate abrasion for succesful chipping to follow. It does chip but only about 50 to 75% and that is too unpredictable.

Does the age of the etch cream become a factor. Seems I saw a reference to it losing its properties as it ages. My experiments were with 15 year old etch cream.

Appreciate the help.

Bob

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Post by Mike Jackson » Tue Apr 03, 2007 4:39 pm

Robert,
Back when I was messing with that stuff, I tried a lot of different brands and I didn't find any I thought really did a good job for my purposes. I am sure some people have a formula or brand that works for them. I saw a bunch of mirrors etched on the front at K-Mart a few days ago. The etching was okay, not really strong, but the double reflection made it hard to decipher. I wouldn't have tried to sell that product, but I guess some people buy it.

You'd probably want to contact the manufacturer if they are still around and see what they say is a good period for the shelf life.

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DAVE SMITH
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Post by DAVE SMITH » Thu Apr 05, 2007 1:45 am

Hello Robert
I made some tests a few years ago with different acid types such as Hydroflouric acid and soda crystals ,this formulation gives a white tone which I tested for chipping and found it much to smooth for this process. I also tried ammonium bifluoride mixed with warm water to dissolve the crystals then poured off the surplas which gives an instant smooth etch to the glass much like white acid. I tried this for chipping and had only 50% success like yourself( there was no grip due to smoothness.) I have used the etching paste for upright work but never for chipping. I once tried sandblasting a panel of glass very lightly, you could see clear glass in places it chipped in the normal manner but with a highly polished round chip to the pattern . You may have tried this but I also found etching cream gets very thick in the pot and starts to go hard on the sides ,if this happens put the container of etching cream in a seperate pot and pour boiling water round the sides and leave it stand for 10 minutes it will disolve and become thin and creamy again. Fine sandblasting 320 grit with a thin layer of glue may be worth an experiment also.
Dave

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Post by Sarah King » Sat Apr 07, 2007 12:27 am

This is a bit off track, but Dave mentioned glue and I was reminded of an article in Glass Craftsman magazine. (June/July 2004) Janet Zambai used dried Elmer's glue as a sandblast resist. She painted it on with a brush and let it dry hard (at least overnight) before blasting. When you're done you just wash it off.

I tried this and it worked very well. You can get much more organic and realistic effects than you ever could by cutting a vinyl resist. She had a wonderful, very detailed scene of pine trees, grizzly bears and fish. Really a neat idea - even if it 's not about glue chipping.
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Martin J Halpin
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Re: Etching cream vs sandblasting on glass

Post by Martin J Halpin » Mon Jan 28, 2019 9:50 pm

Hi guys,
I am new to this forum, and have a question about glass etching cream that one of you might be good enough to help me with. I've just tried the Armour etch cream for the first time, had fun using it & loved the results. I did notice however, that the finish in areas of more than a couple of square inches was very patchy. After I'd read the instructions a little more closely, I saw that this is a trait of the cream but I was wondering if anyone knows of a way to apply the cream that might give a more even finish to the etching? For what I needed it to do, it was wonderful, but I would like to make it a little better if anyone could advise me how to do it :)
Thanks for reading,
Martin

Patrick Mackle
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Re: Etching cream vs sandblasting on glass

Post by Patrick Mackle » Wed Feb 20, 2019 12:59 pm

Hi, sorry to read your question so late. Armor etch is a "quick frosting" acid mixture. It is a liquid acid and an acid salt. Thus it will quickly fall out of suspension(solids settle out) So to get the most even etch, it must be freshly stirred, and applied to the glass surface in a smooth, even, and efficient movement. The salt wants to frost the glass, while the liquid tends to polish the glass. Thus if you don't get it on evenly, or try to dob or brush it on, it will fall out of suspension causing and uneven frost of "rings" or "water marks". It is also VERY important that the glass be VERY clean and dry. When this frosting acid is applied to the glass, frosting crystal begin to form on the glass immediately, that is why you want to get the acid on directly, and do not brush or disturb the acid while those crystals are forming, otherwise the result will be to see an ugly patchy frost representing the brush pattern in which you disturbed these crystal from forming uniformly. One method of applying this frosting acid to flat glass, is to build up tape strips along the two sides of the flat glass, and then use a "draw bar" or straight edge to pull an amount of frosting acid across the glass. The tape effectivly preventing the draw bar from contacting the glass and laying down an even supply of the frosting acid. Do not scrape the used acid from the glass, as the acid will leave the glass surface in a softened condition for a while, and the scraper will leave scrap designs in your frosted etch. Hope this info helps.

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Re: Etching cream vs sandblasting on glass

Post by Doug Bernhardt » Wed Jun 26, 2019 8:25 pm

And just an addition....Rick Glawson mentioned the same process as Pat for getting an even layer and frost. Looks very much like the English Mirrors from a century or so ago which of course beats sandblasting by a mile. An oily fingerprint can ruin a blasted finish

Anthony Bennett
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Re:

Post by Anthony Bennett » Sun Jun 30, 2019 3:48 am

Sarah King wrote:
Sat Apr 07, 2007 12:27 am
This is a bit off track, but Dave mentioned glue and I was reminded of an article in Glass Craftsman magazine. (June/July 2004) Janet Zambai used dried Elmer's glue as a sandblast resist. She painted it on with a brush and let it dry hard (at least overnight) before blasting. When you're done you just wash it off.

I tried this and it worked very well. You can get much more organic and realistic effects than you ever could by cutting a vinyl resist. She had a wonderful, very detailed scene of pine trees, grizzly bears and fish. Really a neat idea - even if it 's not about glue chipping.
Hey Sarah,
I did a sanblasting course with the Creative Glass Guild here in the UK ( 9 years ago now!) and the first resist they taught us to use was PVA glue. washes off after the blasts been finished. It dried in minutes and was being basted syraight after.

I have also looked at the etching creams and found a company in Russia (through Linked In I think) that sold "Industrial Strength" Etch Cream. I was going to buy it but I didn't like somethng in the payment details so gave it a miss.
Up against everyone on here, I am just a hobbist/believer in keeping the craft alive type and I found Etching cream is fine on small glassware. I tried it once, but it was too fiddily for me.
Nice to see some posts again.

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