Awards & Engraving

February '19

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A&E FEBRUARY 2019 • 53 Sandcarving It is important to keep in mind that switching to a thicker resist comes at the expense of fine detail, and it takes a while to learn to examine a design or logo and be able to predetermine which lines may have to be thickened to make it in a thicker resist. These considerations are true for all applications we discuss here. As you think about how deep you want to blast, keep in mind what you are blasting on: glassware requires less blasting than you could do on an award blank that is at least 1/4-inch thick or as much as 3/4-inch thick. When it comes to blasting either object, you also have to choose your pressure settings on your blaster. For glassware, in general you should set your blasting pressure on your pressure pot to about 20-25 pounds of pressure. Along with the pressure settings, it is also important to pay attention to the dis- tance you hold your nozzle from the glass. In this instance, that would be about 6-8 inches away. Make sure that your nozzle opening has not grown through use and is giving you a much wider spray pattern as is desirable for small areas to be blasted. If you are blasting on award blanks and want to go a bit deeper, you can set your pressure at about 30-35 pounds of pres- sure. The nozzle distance to the glass will be the same: 6-8 inches. These settings are all "safe" settings. If you wish to create multiple stage carvings, then that is a game changer; it requires a separate article to deal with all the specifics for that type of blasting. By that I mean that once you have a lot of experience in blasting, you can increase pressure settings as long as you also increase your distance to the glass and/or learn to keep your nozzle moving without lingering too long in one spot. ACRYLIC If you work on this substrate, you find out quickly that you cannot blast any real depth into it because the friction of the prolonged blasting partially melts the acrylic, turning it an ugly brownish color. Therefore, on this material you will use only the standard thickness of photoresist, which is 3-3.5 mils. The pressure setting is similar to the one for glassware, around 20-25 pounds of pressure with a nozzle distance of 6-8 inches. Surface frosting is the name of the game with acrylic. You also have to be more careful in handling this material as it actu- ally scratches easier than glass does. Surface etching on curved glassware with photoresist. Surface etching on a decanter and glasses. The decanter is thicker, so the design can be blasted somewhat deeper, while the stemless glasses are fairly thin and need to be blasted with lower pressure. Glass blanks and photoresist stencils laid out for application. A thick optical crystal award with an etched design using a surface etching and shading technique.

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