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Mohammed Hasham
06-21-2007, 9:37 AM
Hi,

Does anyone etch on glass or crystal with a sandblasting machine? Some use photebrasive products and others use laser tape or mask. Which do you think is better and why? I'm new at this and bought a laser engraver to use laser tape or mask. Currently, I'm using photebrasive's rapidmask. If anyone has a better why of doing this let me know and if what do you think of using a laser engraver?

Thanks for everyones help in advance.
Mohammed

Rodne Gold
06-21-2007, 10:16 AM
For shallow blasting we use paper based application tape (used to position cut vinyl letters) but it wont withstand a lot of blasting. You could try heavier gauge self ahesive paper for a more robust resist.
For real deep blasting we use polyester based "sign vinyl'' and laser thru that and use it as a mask. difficult to remove tho. We use this as a resist when acid etching too.

Mike Null
06-21-2007, 10:45 AM
I used only vinyl for sandcarving of glass. I would apply it to the glass, laser the image, wrap the uncovered areas and blast away.

On items with compound curves, (wine glasses for example) I would do the following:

1.Take a flat piece of scrap aluminum and apply spray adhesive to it
2. Position the vinyl with the backing on the aluminum and laser to the backing. This is called kiss-cutting. (this keeps the vinyl flat and permits an even raster)
3. Apply clear Contact paper to the engraved mask. You can buy this at WalMart.
4.Cut to size, remove (carefully) from backing and apply to glass. Use a tool to be sure all bubbles are out.
5. Very carefully remove the Contact paper being careful not to lift any of the islands from your image. (the centers of o's, p's etc.0
6. Finish wrapping and blast.

Mohammed Hasham
06-21-2007, 11:53 AM
What kind of vinyl do you use? Is it any vinyl?

Rodne Gold
06-21-2007, 12:10 PM
You cant use PVC based vinyl , it has to be a polyester based vinyl.
We apply the mask first and then laser thru that when its on the piece and then blast.
If its curved , I dont blast but laser using a rotary attachment.
I havent tried this for blasting , but I would imagine a latex paint aplied to a curved object and then lasered and blasted subsequent would work , dunno how easy the removal of the mask will be afterwards tho. We have used paint and lasered thru that and acid etched , so the paint is an acid rresist , i havent tried it for blasting either.

Joe Pelonio
06-21-2007, 12:12 PM
You should not cut regular signmaking vinyl on the laser because it contains PVC, stick to polyester based. Sign supplies also have a rubber stencil material by Anchor that can be laser cut, we use it more for sandblasting wood, and normally plotter cut it, but it comes in various thicknesses and #128 is good for glass. Also available at some stained glass and
stone/monument supplys.

http://www.johnsongranite.com/Stencil.htm

Mike Null
06-21-2007, 1:20 PM
I agree with the cautions regarding lasering vinyl however the removal is so small that in doing literally thousands of pieces I have not detected any degradation of equipment.

If you buy what I believe is called calendared vinyl (that which won't stretch) it supposedly has no downside. I always used the stretchable kind because that's what we had.

It sounds like more would be cautious on this matter and the manufacturers are opposed to lasering vinyl so you'll have to make the call.

James MacNab
06-21-2007, 7:12 PM
Hi all, Have you ever used shelf contact paper? You can cut it on your plotter and then apply to your substrate. It is ok for light sanding. Not sure just how deep yo will be able to go. When I get my laser up and running I will try lasering to cut my pattern then sand blast. Good luck

Gary Hair
06-21-2007, 8:26 PM
Hi all, Have you ever used shelf contact paper? You can cut it on your plotter and then apply to your substrate. It is ok for light sanding. Not sure just how deep yo will be able to go. When I get my laser up and running I will try lasering to cut my pattern then sand blast. Good luck

I believe that stuff is also vinyl - don't laser vinyl!

I bought two products from Innotec, BT100 Blast Off - this is laserable rubber type material that is very thick. I use this for heavy blasting and have carved 3/8" into various types of rock with no problem. I also got JR248 Paint/etch mask. This is very thin and works great for glasses and light etching as well as paint masking. Both are laser-safe and very easy to use. I bought mine from Judy 1-800-776-7194.

Gary

Mark Winlund
06-21-2007, 8:56 PM
I tried to access the Innotec site, and most of it doesn't work. Would like to find a distributor in the North West.

Mark

James MacNab
06-21-2007, 9:20 PM
Thanks Gary. I will check to see just what it is made from.

Joe Pelonio
06-21-2007, 10:51 PM
I tried to access the Innotec site, and most of it doesn't work. Would like to find a distributor in the North West.

Mark
Nexct time you are in Portland during the week go to Northwest Sign Supply and ask to see their sandblast stencil. They have the Anchor Brand.

602 S.E. Salmon Street Portland, OR 97214 (800) 873-0111