Start Here October '20

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When blasting, it is crucial for your nozzle to remain 90 degrees to the surface of your piece. (Image courtesy Braden Todd) features like built-in dust collection and the ability to pass larger panes of glass through the cabinet. For the first nine years, I used a cabi- net from Harbor Freight, and it served me quite well, but then I found a cabinet from Rayzist and IKONICS Imaging and got really spoiled. The feature I enjoyed most from both blast cabinets is that the pressure pot is connected to the cabinet and allows for automatic media recycling. Automatic media recycling saves a lot of time and allows for a lot less dust creation. Pressure Pot – From my experience, using a pressure pot allows for a much better blasting experience, and if you plan on doing a lot of sandcarving, this is the best way to go. Yes, a syphon sys- tem will work, but I highly recommend a pressure pot. When I first started, I used a pres- sure pot from Harbor Freight. Although cheap, it served me well and was a great way to enter the sandcarving world on a tight budget. In fact, I still have my origi- nal pot around as a backup and for doing items that do not fit in my blast cabinet. Air Compressor – This is essentially the heart of the operation, so get the best one possible. One brand I have come to trust is Quincy. They are durable and have high CFM ratings that help with long blasting needs. To get started, I used a 60-gallon upright air compressor from Home Depot. It did need to run a lot, but it lasted long enough to afford upgrading to the Quincy models. Blasting Media – Aluminum oxide or silicon carbide are the most popular options. I personally have always used aluminum oxide 180 grit; it is cheaper than silicon carbide and has always served me well. I will add that silicon carbide may cost more, but it is also supposed to last longer than aluminum oxide. Printer – I originally started out using a laser printer and vellum for my designs. This process did work well, but when doing small detailed designs, I had some trouble when washing out my patterns. To get better results, I switched to an Epson 1430 inkjet printer using clear inkjet transparencies. Using the inkjet printer and transparencies has allowed for more detailed designs and less waste from our resist not washing out properly. If possible, I highly recommend going the inkjet route. Resist/Vinyl – This is what you'll use to make your designs with. If you want a lot of detail or small text, washout resist can't be beat. In my experience, washout resist is best for pint glasses, awards, light carving, and even some stone blasting. The deeper you want to carve and the hardness of the substrate determine how thick of resist you should use. Generally, lighter use or objects that are curved do 59 S T A R T H E R E 2 0 2 0 Links to help you find blasting cabinets: • • • Harbor Freight Pressure Pot: Links to other sandcarving tools and equipment • • • • • • •

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