Intro: Etched Glass Sign (with Blast Cabinet)
Recently I had the privilege to create this etched glass sign for a customer who was renovating a home. I filmed the process for a mini-documentary. Which I have embedded in this Instructable, and will outline the steps and materials below.
I have some great custom project coming up, that I will also document. If you enjoy this movie please subscribe to my YouTube channel "Get Square w/ Tom Jolley".
Step 1: Gather Your Supplies
1. Roll of vinyl (to create the mask)
2. The glass your going to etch. (in my case it was a window but you could do this on a drinking glass as well)
3. Etching media - i used Paasche 5-Pound Fast Cutting Etching Compound Aluminum Oxide (the higher the grit the better)
4. Some Glass cleaner.
5. Rapid Tac application fluid.
Step 2: Make Your Sign
I used some art work supplied by the client, set it up ad had it cut out by my vinyl cutter. However, if you do not have this tool available you can still create a vinyl mask by hand. You can draw directly onto the vinyl and use an X-acto knife to cut it out. In this situation it would be idea to use light pressure to cut through the vinyl but not through the backing paper.
Once the design is cut you can apply transfer tape over the vinyl to remove it from the backing paper while keeping all the elements of the designed in proper position. Some designs you can get away with not using transfer tape. I also made some lines with a Stabilo pencil on the back side of the glass to make sure I applied the mask in the position I wanted and square so it looked strait in the end. Using rapid tac application fluid let me apply the vinyl to the glass and move it around on the service with out adhering until I had it in position and worked the fluid out from under the vinyl. Once it was dry and stuck in place I removed the transfer tape.
I then took the work piece to the blast cabinet, I then blasted the sign using caution to not put too much pressure on the edges of the vinyl or stay in one place to long. You can actually etch all the way through the glass if you are not careful. My cabinet is on the smaller side so I had to be a little creative with getting it in and moving it round to reach the areas I needed to blast.
When that was finished It was time to remove the vinyl mask, clean up the sign, pack it up and take it to the client to be installed. It was a fairly easy job that anyone can achieve and works far superior than using an etching cream from the craft store or a faux spray paint coating. Like anything you do for the first time I suggest practicing and testing on a small similar piece before going to the "main event"
I hope you got something from this, enjoyed the video. If so please like, subscribe, and share.