Sand Carvers Advocate

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Articles

Articles from the Sand Carvers Advocate
Advantage Sand BlasterBlasting Nozzles
Bugs in the PotDry Air from Your Compressor
Getting the job done rightKristy’s Fast Etching Tips
Krystal Kote a clear winnerLaserMask for Everyone
PB2034VXA – When Only the Best Will DoQuality and Creativity of Sandblasting
The Versatility of Sand Blasting
     

Newletters

Previously Published Newsletters
October 2016 Edition   
     

What do I need to get started?

Learning the basics is easy. There is no difficult information to absorb, no lenghty technology to decipher, no large books to read. You’ll be etching straight away. It’s a process that you can teach to any employee at any level. Sand blasting is a craft and if you’re a professional in the new economy – it’s a craft worth learning.
What do you need to get started

Computer System and Software
Your existing computer and graphics software will probably do. You need software such as Corel Darw, Illustrator, Casmate to produce your artwork.

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Printer
You need a good quality Laser printer or Ink Jet Printer to print your artwork out onto. If you use an Ink Jet Printer you use Ink Jet Film and if you use a laser printer you use either Vellum paper or Laser Film. ProBlast supply all of these media types. Ink Jets do produces a darker black which makes the exposure and wash out better but lasers still produce excellent results.


Exposure System and consumables
The artwork is exposed with Ultra Violet light to Sr200 Photo Mask Resist. The Letralite Exposure UNit is the best and easiest to use light system. See our ‘Start up kit No.2’

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Wash out hose
Our specially designed Trigger Jet wash out hose connects straight to tap water for the wash out process. SR200 washes out in normal water very quickly leaving a perfect replication of the original artwork.

Compressor
We sell and recomend good quality compressors for Sand Blasting application. See ‘Equipment’ on our website for more details.

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Sand Blasting System
Which Etching System is right for you. We have two cabinet models the large Market proven Pressure Pot System and the the Small Minin Bench Blaster

PB2034VXA Pressure Pot System
The ultimate in engravers Sand Blasting System. Buit to not break down and last forever. All fittngs are of top quality standard. See ‘Equipment’ for more details
2034VXA-500x500

 


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Mini Bench System
A great small system designed for the small operator or business with confied space.

ProBlast Technical support
We offer a thourough manual and proceedure document as well as video and training. Our Technical support is second to none.

A step by step guide

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Whether, you are just beginning or an experienced sand carver, you should know that a good quality film print is key to processing a superior PhotoMask. Although other factors may be involved, it all begins with a dark, opaque film print.

You can produce your Custom photomasks in four simple steps. To begin, you will need a computer, printer, a UV light source, photoresist film, water and a film print such as UV Vellum, Inkjet Film or Laser Film.

  1. Create and print your design. You’ll start by creating your artwork (using your preferred design software), and then printing out that artwork onto a film print . You need to produce your artwork in black and white, No colours or shades of grey. Just black and white.
  2. Expose your design. The next step is to expose the artwork design on the film print to a photoresist film using a UV light source such as our Letralite exposure S The film print will block the UV light from the photoresist in the exact outline of your artwork, but the areas that are exposed to the UV light will harden.
  3. Wash with pressurized water. You then simply wash out the photoresist film with pressurized water. The non-exposed areas will wash away, and you will be left with a PhotoMask stencil of your custom design.U&se our Wash OUtthose to produce the best results.
  4. Apply the PhotoMask. Once your photomask is dry, you can apply it to your surface of the item to be etched. The resist has a sticky surface and adheres to the substate.
  5. Etch the PhotoMask. Once your PhotoMask has been applied to your surface, you are ready to begin sand carving.

Using this method, you can create finely detailed, complex designs that can then be sand carved onto glass, crystal, marble, stone and other surfaces. You would follow the same process to create PhotoMask for multi-dimensional carvings as well. (To create different levels of dimension on your sand carved product, you would simply remove different portions of the PhotoMask, one after another, at different stages of your engraving. The result will be an intricate, multi-dimensional carving.)

Click HERE and watch a two-minute video on Making a photomask.

For more information on creating Darker Film Prints, click HERE.

What is sand blasting?

Sand blasting is the process of combining an abrasive media with air and forcibly propelling it in a stream onto a surface to create an abrasion of the surface. Combined with the use of a masked area on the surface you can etch a pattern /image onto almost any surface. Sand blasting is used for engraving purposes as well as surface cleaning and pain removal. ProBlast only supply products for the purpose of engraving.

For engraving aluminium oxide is primarily used as the abrasive and photopolymer resist masks are used to create the stencils so as to etch an image into the surface of any material except for rubber.

In the engraving industry sand blasting combined with photopolymer resist (SR3000) is used to engrave crystal and glass trophies and glassware. It is also used as an excellent solution for metal engraving. Sand Blasting provides a very fine detail etching on to any surface

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Why Sand Blasting

Sand Blasting provides the most versatile engraving solution available and at very low cost compared to other engraving processes. You can engrave almost anything that is non-rubber and any shape.

Crystal and Glass

It provides a far superior result than any other glass engraving process available. You get very fine detail work and sharp crisp lines. It is by far superior to laser engraving methods which a) gives a duller finish with not as sharp line edges and b) does not like hi-led content crystal or cheap grade glass. With sand blasting it does not matter about the quality of glass you get exceptional results on cheap glass right through to high quality lead crystal.

Laser is sometimes considered to be quicker than sand blasting as sand blasting needs the exposure, wash out process and clean up but in reality they take about the same amount of time. Lasers need wet paper laid on glass to prevent chipping and so this needs to be cleaned up. Lasers also take quite some time to do the etching compared to sand blasting seconds to etch the same area. So in the wash of things the time taken is about the same.

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Metal Etching

Sand Blasting provides a superb solution to metal engraving needs. Whilst it does not produce depth but rather a surface etching that when paint filled looks fantastic and becomes permanent.

Sand blast etching stainless steel is a very profitable process as it is much quick than traditional cutter engraving style. For example an A4 opening ceremony plaque which typical text and logo can be etched paint filled and cleaned up in just 40 minutes.

Metal-Etching

Timber Etching

Of course laser engravers can etch timber but they leave a streaky finish based on the variable density of the grain. With sand blasting you get sharp edges and good depth which is then paint filled which makes it look like the best laser engraving you’ll ever see in timber as the paint (normally black) looks like a burnt laser finish but does not have the streaky look.

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Stone Etching

Sand Blasting does a magnificent job of stone etching. Granite, marble, rocks can all be etched easily with high definition detail

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