View Full Version : Alternate to Sand Blast or Engrave??

Clark Pace
06-12-2014, 4:34 PM

I have cut out a letter in acrylic and want all the edges frosted. Any ideas, sand blasting not an option.

I thought about putting the pieces in a tumbler with abrasive material? Anyone done this?


Robert Walters
06-12-2014, 4:42 PM
What about soda blasting?
Tumbling with soda/walnut shells?
Hitting with a green Scotch Bright pad?
Defocusing the laser for a "frosting" path?

I'll take old file cabinets, strip the paint off, then hit with a wire cup brush to get rid of the shiny metal and leave a swirl brush pattern on the material, then clear coat to prevent rust. Gives it an industrial look.

Maybe hit the edges with a dremel/rotary tool/drill press and a soft brass / stiff nylon bristle brush?

Clark Pace
06-12-2014, 5:23 PM
I'm looking for a hands off approach I have about done about 104 pieces and my hands are dead. I have about 1080 pieces left.

Dave Sheldrake
06-12-2014, 6:30 PM
Cheap vibrating sander (the rubbish orbital type) with a scotch brite pad will do it



Matt Turner (physics)
06-12-2014, 7:15 PM
Could you use a frosting spray or matte clear coat?

Joe Pelonio
06-12-2014, 8:31 PM
Tumbling will not only matte the edges, but also the face, back, and round all the edges, if that's what you want. I have a chemical that will work on glass but not acrylic. Try the frost in a can approach. it's fast and easy, but made for glass so not sure how well it will stick to acrylic, or if it will craze. Best try a sample first. At least with letters they won't be handled after installation.


Robert Walters
06-12-2014, 9:22 PM
Solvent Fumes (acetone, xylene, toulene, etc) alone will probably frost fairly quickly, but might craze like crazy too.

Clark Pace
06-12-2014, 10:56 PM
So, I have tried the frost paint(krylon). Works ok, but the fumes start to craze the acrylic. The orbital sander approach will work. That is what I have been doing, but like I said sanding for 10 hours a day has not been very fun. Very sore hands. I put aqurium rocks in a can with the letter and used my laser rotator unit to spin it around for a while. Seem to start to work, but it will take time. I'm not sure if a tumbler will be any faster.