glass etching

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Aaron Aziz
Posts: 36
Joined: Sun Mar 25, 2012 2:08 am
Location: North Dakota (eastern)

glass etching

Post by Aaron Aziz » Mon Jul 02, 2012 10:15 pm

I was just wondering if anyone has used just regular plotter cut vinyl as sandblasting mask for frosting glass, and what kind of results you had? Thanks!

Robert Ficucell
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Jul 03, 2012 8:17 am

Re: glass etching

Post by Robert Ficucell » Tue Jul 03, 2012 8:26 am

Hi,
Yes I use vinyl for about 90% of my work , the rest I use Ikonics photo resist for small detail work.
I buy the cheapest vinyl I can, works fine. Bob
http://glassartsetching.com/

Dan Seese
Posts: 313
Joined: Tue Apr 13, 2004 11:29 pm
Location: Fort Collins, CO
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Re: glass etching

Post by Dan Seese » Tue Jul 03, 2012 10:14 am

Hi Aaron,

My experience with using regular high-performance vinyl has been pretty negative. I did it once or twice but never again. The heat created by the abrasive hitting the vinyl causes the adhesive to stick to the glass. This is particularly problematic if you are doing stages where you blast an area and then remove some of the mask to blast the next area, since the remaining residue must be removed before continuing with the blasting or it will create an uneven effect.

If you are acid etching or just doing a single shade of etch (as opposed to multiple stages) it may work just fine. As Robert said, he uses it. I would think it works well for conforming to uneven surfaces such as the elegant wine bottles on his site. But for my applications, it creates more trouble than it's worth.

I actually like Gerber Mask Ultra. (Don't get Ultra II since it's the high-tack.) Gerber Mask works well for most applications of etching, shaded etching and even some degree of depth-blasting. I know there are other less expensive vinyls similar to Gerber Mask which I should try out.

If I'm going to get very deep with my blast, I love the Hartco products. They have several lines for different surfaces and at different thicknesses. One great thing about their product is that it works very well on a plotter and you can get really fine detail without the distortion you sometimes have with the Anchor or other rubber based products.

I'd be interested to hear what others use since I could probably learn something here.

Hope this helps.
Dan
"The lyf so short, the craft so long to lerne."
Geoffrey Chaucer (c. 1340 - 1400)

http://DanSeeseStudios.com
http://www.DanSeeseStudios.com/blog/
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Terry Westlin
Posts: 39
Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2010 9:28 pm

Re: glass etching

Post by Terry Westlin » Tue Jul 03, 2012 4:41 pm

I mainly etch glass and stone so I can finely contribute something.

For single stage, frosting and light carving I use paint mask. I have one cabinet with 220 grit and 1 with 180 just for glass. I have used 150 but you have to watch it a little closer. I blast from about 4psi to as much as 50psi with paint mask with no blowouts.

I have tried sign vinyl and it will work in a pinch but removing it is a lot more work. Most sign and vinyl suppliers will carry it.

When I blast other substrates such as rock or pavers I use thicker Anchor or Hartco masks.

Depending on what you want to do with your glass etching there are other resists such as the washout or no washout films that let you get some incredible detail.



Terry
Terry

Larry White
Posts: 1140
Joined: Thu Apr 08, 2004 4:18 am

Re: glass etching

Post by Larry White » Tue Jul 03, 2012 5:07 pm

I've been using Venture Tape Sandblast Resist for years.
Wouldn't use anything else. 4, 8, and 15 mil. Cuts perfect
in my vinyl cutter, weeds clean and easily off the glass
when finished. I'm not sure how it compairs in cost to
sign vinyl, but I'm with Dan that if you're not using the
right thing, it can be a bear to remove after blasting....
I don't have that headache anymore.
Larry White
That's enough for now... it's gettin' late
Town Of Machine
http://www.walljewelry.com

BruceJackson
Posts: 231
Joined: Mon Sep 06, 2004 7:28 am
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Contact:

Re: glass etching

Post by BruceJackson » Tue Jul 03, 2012 9:55 pm

I'd like to get some additional comments from people about using vinyl for light sand-blasting. I don't often need it, but sometimes i need to get some etching done (I've given up doing it myself because I don't have a proper cabinet)

I've got some really good sand-blast mask that works very well, but it is thick, very expensive and seems an unnecessary overkill for a light etch with no depth.

I know cast vinyl tend to heat up and be a problem to remove...I wonder, is cheap calendered vinyl better? It is thicker, less flexible....seems to me it may be more suitable.

Mark Macomber
Posts: 10
Joined: Mon Mar 19, 2012 9:09 am
Location: Texas Gulf Coast
Contact:

Re: glass etching

Post by Mark Macomber » Thu Jul 05, 2012 2:38 pm

I've been using cheap vinyl as frisk for years, when only applying a surface frost.
I do a lot of personalized mirrors and glass novelties, so this has saved me a lot of time and money.

Danny Baronian
Site Admin
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Re: glass etching

Post by Danny Baronian » Thu Jul 05, 2012 3:32 pm

Hi Bruce,

back before the dot com bubble, we made 30 - 40, 10" x 10" plaques a month for a software company steadily for about 5 years, and used nothing but calendared vinyl. There was no depth carving, just a good frost w/ 180 grit silicon carbide. Many of the images were straight forward, and rarely had problems, other than small, delicate art, that took a little extra care in blasting.

The biggest problem was removing the mask as others have mentioned. Initially we used a heat gun to remove the vinyl, which either overheated the vinyl, or was so hot as to burn our fingers.

What worked best was to fill a tray with hot water, give them a minute soak, and the vinyl came off easier. What worked the best.... was having someone else in the shop remove it. :)

When working with larger pieces, we placed a damp towel in the microwave for a minute or two, draped it over the glass, and it came off easily. Obviously, you don't want to over heat the water, or the towel, and apply it to cold glass. Needless to say, that would just make your glass smaller. As in many small pieces.

Danny
Danny Baronian
Baronian Mfg.
CNC Routing & Fabrication
http://www.baronian.com

Mark Macomber
Posts: 10
Joined: Mon Mar 19, 2012 9:09 am
Location: Texas Gulf Coast
Contact:

Re: glass etching

Post by Mark Macomber » Tue Jul 10, 2012 9:10 am

Danny Baronian wrote:Hi Bruce,

back before the dot com bubble, we made 30 - 40, 10" x 10" plaques a month for a software company steadily for about 5 years, and used nothing but calendared vinyl. There was no depth carving, just a good frost w/ 180 grit silicon carbide. Many of the images were straight forward, and rarely had problems, other than small, delicate art, that took a little extra care in blasting.

The biggest problem was removing the mask as others have mentioned. Initially we used a heat gun to remove the vinyl, which either overheated the vinyl, or was so hot as to burn our fingers.

What worked best was to fill a tray with hot water, give them a minute soak, and the vinyl came off easier. What worked the best.... was having someone else in the shop remove it. :)

When working with larger pieces, we placed a damp towel in the microwave for a minute or two, draped it over the glass, and it came off easily. Obviously, you don't want to over heat the water, or the towel, and apply it to cold glass. Needless to say, that would just make your glass smaller. As in many small pieces.

Danny
We've used similar methods also, with good results. On smaller pieces we use GROG, which works very quickly without any damage to the glass

bernie clites
Posts: 5
Joined: Sun May 31, 2009 6:35 pm

Re: glass etching

Post by bernie clites » Mon Aug 06, 2012 1:32 am

My business is sandblasting glass and rock.

Glass I use sandblast resist: 4 mil minimum if that is all I have, 8 mil preferred and 15 mil if I'm doing any medium carving.
The 15 mil is Hartco. I will go thicker mil if I'm deep carving and usually will stay with Hartco if I have their thicker mil. I can't remember who I bought the 4 and 8 mil from but its not Hartco and Anchor doesn't make anything that light.

Sign vinyl sucks to get off and I find I prefer the least amount of hassle as if I have to fight with something it leaves room for possible screw ups ... like a hairline scratch. Having to re-do a piece because of a hairline scratch ... not worth it.

There is wash out film available but I'm pretty clueless (even after all these years of sandblasting) on exactly what the mil
is or really how it works. I've messed with it just enough to know I need to learn this in "my spare time", not when I'm
pushed on a job. It's too pricey to 'just practice'.

Bernie

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