Abra s i ve Et ching
Glass etching incorporates the use of abrasive sandblasting to
sculpt beautiful designs and patterns within the target surface. The
created design tends to look ‘frosted’ and sharply detailed.
Sandblast etching is a popular form of glass etching because of its
versatility in operation and design.
Of course, before beginning your glass etching, it is crucial to
investigate the required equipment to achieve such beautiful and
elegant designs in a safe manner.
Basic materials for glass etching include
resists and abrasives. There are many
types of resists, each specific to the type
of application you aim for.
Hand cut resists give you much more
control and freedom with your design,
though if you decide to hand cut your
own, a rubber blasting resist or self-adhesive
resist are best when working
Photo resists, or pre-cut resists, are a
popular option as well. These usually
include pre-designed stencil images,
usually heavily detailed and perfect for
Protec t ive Wear
Utilizing protective wear is essential
with abrasive etching. The use of both
machinery and high pressure air can
expose you to safety hazards involving
debris and other potentially harmful
particulates in the air.
Since the dust and fine particles of
sandblasting are practically unseen, it
is important to protect your eyes and
skin at all times while operating
Utilizing a blast room can expose you
to concentrated amounts of dust and
debris. A separate air supplied hood
with a breathing air pump would be
the best way to safeguard your lungs.
Air Supply Hose
Compressors come in a variety of pressure ratings. Depending on your application, you may
observe an air compressor’s horsepower to determine its function.
Knowing the air output
between smaller consumer
compressors and industrial
grade compressors is
compressors and industrial
compressors can share the
same horsepower rating,
yet output drastically
differing amounts of air.
Choose a compressor that
outputs at least 2-3 times
the volume of air required
by your blaster.
Ai r Compre s sor
There are two types of blasters:
siphon blasters and pressure
blasters. Where siphon blasters
have a lower price range in comparison
to pressure blasters, siphon blasters generally
lack in usability.
Pressure blasters are in a higher price range,
yet perform in a more controlled manner and
are overall faster and easier to use.
Pressure blasters are generally more suitable
for glass etching. The amount of compressed
air used by pressure blasters are also less
strenuous on your compressor, allowing you
to use smaller compressors, if needed.
Ceramic Sand Blast Cabinet Gun
Blasting cabinets are available in a variety
of sizes and configurations. Taller and
wider blasting cabinets are usually best
for abrasive glass etching.
The ability to fit larger pieces of glass
through the cabinet is dependent on the
design of the cabinet. Some blasting
cabinets are designed especially for larger
pieces of glass than others. Though they
may be more expensive, it is convenient
for allowing more varied sizes of glass.
Investing in a blasting cabinet which
features incandescent lighting is better
than fluorescent lighting for glass etching.
In addition, the inclusion of a dust
collector is important to maintain lower
Blas t Rooms
Blast rooms are normally used for larger scale, heavy-duty operations. Blast rooms also come in
many variations, yet are mostly intended for industrial use.
Since enclosed blast rooms require a large amount of space for installation, an adequately
proportional dust collector must be sizable to provide clean, breathable air.
Blast rooms also allow for a range of added components and floor designs to secure and
streamline your workflow. Wearing protective gear within a blast room is absolutely crucial.
Te chnique s
Surface etching is done within one stage of
blasting, and the design incorporates two
elements, black and white or negative and
positive images. Surface etching is usually
recognized by silhouette shapes and designs.
Carving is a more in-depth technique used in
glass etching. Carving incorporates a blasting
technique deep into the glass, leaving a
mesmerizing three dimensional design. The
varied blasting depths give the realistic visual
separation between elements.
Shading, similar to surface etching, focuses on
the surface of the glass. Shading utilizes shades
of gray rather than the solid white color seen in
surface etching. Shading is flexible between
multi-stage and freehand blasting techniques.
Big A’s Place is your one-stop shop for
sandblasting cabinets, parts, and portable
sandblasting equipment. We are the direct
distributor and aftermarket supplier for some
of the top brands and equipment in the world.
We are a primary distributor for Pirate Brand
portable blasting systems and accessories. For
protective and safety products, we mainly
distribute RPB. You can find all of your
sandblasting supply needs at Big A’s Place.
Contact us at www.sandblaster-parts.com for
Curious about what it takes to create etched glass? Here’s what you need to
know about glass etching and the sandblasting equipment needed to do it.