Flutterby™! : Playing more with etching

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Playing more with etching

2015-01-03 19:30:32.454392+00 by Dan Lyke 4 comments

Playing more with etching

[ related topics: Photography ]

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#Comment Re: Playing more with etching made: 2015-01-04 20:22:42.119759+00 by: Jack William Bell

Very nice. Many years ago (more than a generation now, fuck I'm old!) I made glass etched art pieces to sell at Portland's Saturday Market (my other job at the time was 'guitarist in a rock band') and appreciate your use of multi-stage blasting.

Take care using a sandblaster with tempered glass though. With regular glass you can 'carve' into the glass quite deeply, but tempered glass has a tendency to break up suddenly if you cut through even one of the 'tension lines' in the glass. Even a relatively light blasting can weaken the glass such that a blow regular tempered glass would absorb results in a pile of glass pebbles.

Acid etching, OTOH, doesn't seem to affect the strength of tempered glass at all. But it is harder to get the nice effects you can get from sandblasting. You can do some really fine lines with acid though, something nearly impossible with blasting. The trick is to coat an area of the glass with a thin layer of wax and then scribe the wax with pen nibs and needles before you apply your acid. I used to do that for the fine work before removing the wax and putting on the resist to do the deep work with a blaster.

#Comment Re: Playing more with etching made: 2015-01-05 16:50:07.170513+00 by: Dan Lyke

Yeah, on our list is getting some tempered glass to play with. Charlene has run across "10% of the depth" as a guideline for tempered glass, which should be fine if we're just shading the surface, but...

What did you do for grit? I'd really like to get a finer grind, but 150 grit (which I got some of with the smaller gun) is super expensive.

And we'll try acid etching, too. It might be reasonable to reduce the pattern we want to do, at least on the window, to a line drawing...

#Comment Re: Playing more with etching made: 2015-01-05 23:53:03.735098+00 by: Jack William Bell

Thing is, you'll want to use tempered glass for the shower door. So it's a consideration. Do some tests with smaller panels of similar glass, as there are differences from one kind of tempered glass to the next. (BTW: you can also blast etch plastic panels. You can even carve them with a drill or dremel tool if you are VERY careful.)

I used every kind of grit there was, including the expensive black carbide crap that you can re-use because it doesn't lose its edges, the particles just get smaller. But I was a starving artist at the time, so I basically went with the cheaper coarser grits in whatever size I could find at a discount. I found the coarser stuff worked better for carving the glass and that was most of what I did. So I reserved the finer stuff for pre-misting and final stage work.

I once did a carving of a sea horse in three different sizes for someone's bathroom. Acid etched big ones for the shower doors, stage blasted for the window, and a really nice 10" high carved one mounted in a 18" frame to hang on the wall. The carved one was really nice, because I used one inch plate glass and cut into it up to half an inch to do a 3d bas relief in reverse. It took forever and burned up more than a bag of sand; I think I ended up making about $3 an hour on that one, but it was beautiful.

I also did some whales like that for the same person, which were a pain in the ass to get right. The easiest things to carve were flowers and cat-tails because they are naturally bumpy, so I didn't ruin them as easily.

Of course this was before the days of digital cameras, so I don't have any photos. Just my memory of it.

#Comment Re: Playing more with etching made: 2015-01-06 19:24:55.867371+00 by: Dan Lyke

Given the equipment I've got right now, carving seems like it'd take a hell of a long time. Getting any noticeable depth into the 1/8" or 3/16" scraps we had around takes a lot of grit. Which is why I wasn't too concerned about tempered glass yet, though we do need to get some scraps of that to practice with.

(And, yes, all of the glass we're looking at etching is in the "needs to be tempered" zone of human interaction, both the shower doors and the window beside the shower)

On the other hand, part of this is that I'm just working with a small twin-stack compressor built for driving nail guns. As we continue to practice with this, we may use this as an excuse to buy something with more oomph (and, he said hopefully, quieter?).