Awards & Engraving

June '18

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58 • A&E JUNE 2018 ETCH MASTERS by Ruth Dobbins ETCH MASTERS by Ruth Dobbins With over 40 years in the glass busi- ness, Ruth Dobbins offers experi- ence in all glass-etching techniques as well as in fused and cast glass. Ruth holds a Master's Degree in Art and has been a partner in an art glass wholesale supply and studio company in Europe, which also placed great emphasis on a training program, before joining forces with Norm. You can reach Ruth by email at, or by phone at 505-473-9203. BLASTING CABINETS The cabinet is basically the container in which you actually blast your projects. In general terms, the cabinet is a box on legs. What size should it be? That should be your first consideration along with evaluating what your available work space is since all items have to be accommodated. For most glass blasters in the awards industry, almost any small-sized cabinet will do since awards and glassware items are relatively small. If, however, you are also considering doing larger pieces, you have to keep that in mind when selecting your cabinet. Besides selecting the cabinet size, you also have to decide if you wish to stand up while blasting or if you prefer to be able to sit down during that process. Sit-down cabinets appeared on the market in the last 10 to 15 years that make this type of work possible for people who suffer from back pain and other ailments. I personally prefer to stand up while blasting. If you are lim- ited in space, you may want to consider a cabinet with an attached pressure pot. Let's take a closer look at the features a cabinet has to offer. FEATURES You are obviously outside the cabinet but need to work inside of it to keep all the abrasive and dust away from you. This means that there needs to be a way to get your hands inside, which is accomplished by two (usually) round arm holes that, in most cases, have gauntlets and gloves attached to them with a seal that attaches them to the metal body of the openings. S o far, we have discussed the components of the abrasive blasting system, and have covered the compressor and the blaster, determining that a pressurized blaster is the version of choice. When I began talking about the blaster, I had already mentioned that there is a choice of a free-standing pressure pot or one that is attached to the bottom of a cabinet. It is the natural progression to cover the blasting cabinet as the next item of choice, and yes, there are a few choices to be made when considering your equipment setup. So, what should you think about? Let's take a look. How to Start Etching Glass Awards and Gifts Part 3 A blasting cabinet with the pressure pot attached on the bottom and doors on either side. ALL IMAGES COURTESY RUTH DOBBINS

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