Using A Fused Glass Sandblaster

Glass carving, etching and cleaning can be applied with suitable sand blasting equipment; attractive matte finishes can also be achieved on fused glass art objects.

A glass sandblaster will remove blemishes and baked on kiln wash from fused glass very quickly. It is possible to remove unsightly devitrification with a sandblaster.

Glass fusing sandblasters are designed to propel very fine particles of silicon carbide or aluminum oxide inside a sealed cabinet.

Some sandblasters equipped with suitable air compressors are powerful enough to carve deep designs into fusing glass as well as blasting holes through the glass.



Glass Sandblasting Equipment

Generally, a fused glass sandblaster is composed of three major units:

  • Compressor.
  • Sealed Cabinet.
  • Vacuum system.

Attached to the compressor is a gun designed to spray abrasive material, driven by compressed air, within the cabinet. The vacuum system removes fine particles of abrasive from the cabinet, whilst larger particles fall down into a reservoir for reuse.

The cabinet has armholes for the operator to use the gun and manipulate the glass object. A full-length window is usually fitted to the top of the cabinet along with an interior lamp for illumination.

Compressed air guns can be fitted for blasting of large areas as well as guns designed for fine work.

Cheaper sandblasting models may not be suitable for deep carving or hole blasting as the compressors are usually not powerful enough. A suitable compressor may cost around $1000 or more.

If you only want to clean up, achieve a matte finish, or stencilled designs then a cheaper outfit is probably all you need.

If the main output is handmade fused glass jewelry then the smaller compressor units may be all that is required. Kits are available which have collasible clear vinyl cabinets, compressor and gun at a reasonable price.

There is a sandblasting kit on the market driven by a compressed air can that is used on small jobs.

Many adhesive stencil sets are available that will allow intricate designs to be etched into the glass. Resist materials for masking off ares off glass is readily available.

Needless to say, full safety equipment and adequate ventilation are necessary when operating this type of equipment.

Appropriate safety equipment must be worn when using a cabinet style sandblaster.



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