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Glass etching outside the US


#1

I have a customer in Turkey who wants to try etching her glass
beads. She tried to order a bottle of etch bath from me, but I’m
unable to ship it to her. It’s a hazardous material that I am
prohibited from shipping out of the country. The etch bath I sell is
made by Armour Products and contains Ammonium Biflouride and
sulfuric acid. It gives a very light etch to glass surfaces. I’m
assuming it’s fairly weak as acids go, since they sell the stuff at
craft stores.

What I’m looking for now is an alternative for her. What can she use
to etch her glass beads that she might be able to find in Turkey?
And where would she find it?

Any help is appreciated! thank you!

Pam East
www.pinzart.com
Enamel Bead Making Made Easy!


#2

I love the web. Typing “turkey glass works” into Google led me to a
website for a glassblowing school in Istanbul. Someone there might
know where to get glass etch.

http://www.camocagi.org/index.php?dil=e&p=index

They do beadmaking and enameling, so it’s not all big glass.

Christine in Littleton, Massachusetts


#3

g’day Pam She should contact “The Glass Furnace” in Istanbul:
http://www.glass-cam.org/index.php?dil=e&p=index Cheers Al Heywood


#4

Pam – your first statement, that it is a hazardous material, is
quite correct! I am totally amazed that the stuff can even be legally
sold in craft stores to the unsuspecting public. The acid is anything
but weak; a drop or two of hydrofluoric acid on your skin wil not
just burn; it will keep on eating until it either gets to the other
side, or to bone – which it destroys!

Margaret


#5

Hello Pam Try suppliers of lab chemistry, they have almost al
chemicals. They are very chaep if you by the technical pure
chemicals.

succes
Martin Niemeijer


#6

Aloha Everyone,

Evidently there are different mediums to Acid Etch glass. Our
company produces our designs and acid etches the designs onto glass.
Since this is a corrosive, an acid, protective gear must be worn,
especially eye shields, and thick gloves.

The largest request for a design template was 4 ft. x 4 ft. for
interior glass sliding doors. To acid etch anything in the house
which can’t be picked up and taken to a clear water bath, bucket, or
hose, creates a problem that must be well thought out in advance.

Our company’s designer pondered long and hard how to cover a portion
of 2 sliding glass doors which are 4 ft. x 8 ft. In order for a
pattern, and for light to pass through the etching, 2 different
designs would look awful. Therefore, she made on 4 ft. x 4 ft.
template and it was used on both doors. When the door is open, the
2 same patterns give a 3-D effect. When the doors are closed, the
patterns look fluid and has continuity, since both are identical,
the images do not clash with each other.

We are happy the craft stores sells Armour Acid Etch cream, that is
thick enough to be brush on the surface after the template design
has been cut, and the glass area to be etched cleaned.

The instructions on the bottle state use alcohol to clean but
through botched experiments, we have discover that Apple Cider
Vinegar is the best cleaning agent possible, and the acid holds onto
the glass better. We also discovered that their instructions of,
“Once you have applied a thick, even coat, do not repeat the process
with a brush.” We have found this to be incorrect for our use. By
working slower, using a smaller, supple brush, the cream is
retouched over and over, in side to side, top to bottom, and
circular designs for 20 to 30 minutes and 10 minutes as suggested.
After all of our experiences, the best designs have come from the
type of application we use.

We don’t use Armour’s Acid Etch Liquid because it is dangerous, but
handled properly, does a great job for reverse etching. It will
acid etch the entire surface. If you place a resist, we use plain
clear, self adhesive Mylar (or shelf paper) from a hardware store
over the areas we want to remain clear, then the Liquid is used to
give the appearance of a glass texture, just like glass found on
beaches that is smooth and opaque, frosted look.

In any profession there is a need for safety first. Any time any
item is used, the instructions should be read carefully first and
understood by the reader.

Armour’s Acid Etch Cream also has lumps in it, if you do not remove
the lumps prior to placing the cream on the surface, holes will
appear in the design. It is also true, that if you use a large
brush, and etch in the manner Armour suggests, brush strokes appear.
Once an item has been etched, it is almost impossible to go back
and fix the flaws. If our designs come out with flaws, we turn them
into geometrical shapes and can reuse the same glass, not wasting
any products. What does happen is it takes more time = labor= more
costs.

Many templates you buy at a store are copyrighted. This means it
can’t be used on any item that is sold. Since we respect the rights
of the designer, we have an in-house artiste that makes the designs
for our company by drawing the template as her own piece of work,
which we then have copyrighted as well.

If any one is interested in how it looks on glass panes on a house,
reply directly to us at our e-mail address with ACID ETCH PICTURES
in the subject line.

Much Aloha,
Barbara


#7

I found this when I was searching too. I wrote to my customer and
suggested contacting them about etching solutions. She says she
tried to talk to them but they would not give her any at
all unless she signed up for classes. Evidently the classes are very
expensive and out of her reach.

I sent an email to the studio to see if maybe they would be a little
more forthcoming to an American compatriot, but so far I have heard
nothing back. I only wrote to them a few days ago, so I’m not
giving up hope yet, but it doesn’t look promising.

If she were to contact a lab supply company, what sorts of acids
should she be looking for? I’m hoping there is something out there
that’s strong enough to give the glass a slightly frosted look, but
not too dangerous to use and dispose of.

Pam East
www.pinzart.com
Enamel Bead Making Made Easy!


#8
 Aloha Pam East and Orchid Members, The answer to your question of
etching is: AMOUR CREAM OR SOLUTION. Found at craft stores, it is
safe enough to use in a ventilated area.  We have used the cream
many times to create our designs, and we use cold water, in a work
basin, with a soft brush to wash it off. 

You will not see the image until you dry off the surface. If you
just want to make beads or plain glass look frosted, buy the Amour
Liquid Acid Etching medium. This is used to frost the exterior of
items or their front side. If you do etch items such as glass, make
certain you cover the interior and all surfaces you do not want
frosted.

Delphi Glass sells this product. Craft stores sell these product
and have craft brochures on how to use it. Hope this helps.
Writing for Hawaiian Quizine Collectibles, Ent. Waynette HQCE Designer


#9
I'm hoping there is something out there that's strong enough to
give the glass a slightly frosted look, but not too dangerous to
use and dispose of. 

Hi Pam,

This may sound pretty off the wall but here’s a very low tech way to
achieve a frosted (sand-blasted) look on metal – and I can’t see why
it wouldn’t work on glass. Obtain some beach sand; put the object on
the floor with a chair next to it (and a drop cloth under it); stand
on the chair and let handfuls of sand trickle in a steady stream down
onto the object. Don’t laugh: Try it!

Beth


#10

here’s a very low tech way to achieve a frosted (sand-blasted) look
on metal –

Beth -what a creative idea. I’ll have to try this - I live 5 minutes
from the beach. But…how many times do you have to let the sand
fall on the metal - surely more than once? And do you use a lot of
sand? And is the texture sufficient that it feels frosted?

Kay


#11
    But....how many times do you have to let the sand fall on the
metal - surely more than once?  And do you use a lot of sand? And
is the texture sufficient that it feels frosted? 

Hi Kay,

A fine jewelry store to which I consign my work has used this method
very successfully; I’ve seen the results. But I have to confess that
I have not tried it myself, so cannot give you the specifics for the
procedure. I do know that you’ll get sufficient texture to feel the
result though. It’s just like a sandblasted surface =AD it is a
sandblasted surface! Sorry I can’t tell you more. I suggest you
take some scrap silver and just experiment. I’m sure you’ll discover
how to get the best result very quickly. Good luck!

Beth


#12

Hi Kay, Just want you to realize that not all sand is created equal.
:slight_smile: Sand made up of small quartz particles will work differently and
better (?)- at least faster - than sand from a beach that is made up
of finely ground sea shells.

Sounds like a fun experiment though. Karen in cold Toronto where
there are’t any sunny sandy beaches to collect sand from in February!


#13

Hi Gang,

Just want you to realize that not all sand is created equal.  :-)
Sand made up of small quartz particles will work differently and
better

Another point to consider is the quality of the sand, how sharp it
is. Beach sand isn’t very sharp. Most of the corners on each grain
have been eroded by the constant wave action tumbling the sand. The
best sand to get is that which has been mined. Because it hasn’t had
to put up with the tumbling caused by the waves, the grains have
sharp edges & will work much better for sand blasting. Generally
this type of sand is sold in 50 pound bags (in the US). It’s used
for sandblasting & as an ingredent in some grouts & mortars. You may
be able to find it at some builders supplies, brick yards or
possibly cement companies could refer you to a source.

Dave


#14
 "...........not all sand is created equal.:-) Sand made up of
small quartz particles will work differently and better" 

Karen, I’m about to find out. My beach (Siesta Key) is finely
ground quartz particles - incredibly soft to the touch - almost
powdered. I’m going down there tomorrow and get a bag of it and try
this experiment (if I don’t report back send help - I may be
incarcerated for stealing public property). I will post my results
when I have done it. I just find this rather challenging - primarily
because there is a general concept that in order achieve a certain
thing, the “proper” equipment is necessary (a sand blaster in this
instance). I don’t mean to imply that “low tech” will produce better
results than modern technology, but I sometimes think that with all
the equipment (tools) etc. that I have, I am still unable to do what
early jewelers achieved without all the modern “inventions”. The
truth will out!

Kay


#15
    But....how many times do you have to let the sand fall on the
metal - surely more than once? 

Hi Beth: Now that you repeated my message, I can’t believe I
actually wrote that much less that I would have sent it - I must
have had a reason then, though it surely doesn’t look like it at
this moment. Nevertheless, I do appreciate your response and I
definitely will try this procedure… There is actually no reason for
it not to work and since I live minutes away from the beach, I have
adequate stores of “sanding” material at my fingertips. Thanks for
not laughing out loud at my message (or maybe you did). I have
laughed a lot re-reading it.

To whomever first suggested Lime Sulfur spray (John Burgess I
believe it was you), I finally got some, tried it and it’s wonderful.
Thanks mucho for this great tip. I will never buy Liver of Sulfur
again.

Kay


#16
  I'm about to find out.  My beach (Siesta Key) is finely ground
quartz particles - incredibly soft to the touch - almost powdered. 
I'm going down there tomorrow and get a bag of it and try this
experiment 

Might I suggest that not only are different “sands” different for
blasting, but also,

YOU SHOULD BE VERY CAUTIOUS ABOUT USING SILICA SAND FOR
SANDBLASTING.

Yes, it works. yes, it is used. but if you use a quartz/silica
sand for blasting, do it ONLy if you’ve got a really good respirator.
Sandblasting with silica sand can create a very fine dust that you
very definately do NOT want to breath. Silicosis, and all that nasty
stuff.

MUCH safer are the commercially sold sandblasting media based on
other abrasives. Most common are the alimunum oxide, Silicon
carbide, and garnet abrasive blasting media, as well as glass beads
for bead blasting (differs from sand blasting in that though a
texture is produced, metal is not removed. Not only are the commercial
products like this safer to use, but you’ll get more uniform results
too. And they’re likely to be faster cutting as well.

Beach sand may be cheap to use for an abrasive, but it can be
dangerous too.

Peter


#17
 YOU SHOULD BE VERY CAUTIOUS ABOUT USING SILICA SAND FOR
SANDBLASTING. 

Thanks Peter - I’m not planning on “blasting” with this sand, just
trying the low tech idea of standing on the chair and letting the
sand fall on the metal below. I’ll put my scrap silver in a box to
catch the falling sand. I doubt it will infiltrate the air any more
than playing beach volleyball would when you slide, jump, and fall in
the sand at the beach. And doubt that I’ll be doing this ongoing -
just that having read this idea, it sparked my imagination and I just
thought I had to try it for myself. But your point is well taken and
I certainly will use a respirator if I decide to finally get a “bead
blaster” and work with it. Kay


#18
 I'm not planning on "blasting" with this sand, just trying the low
tech idea of standing on the chair and letting the sand fall on the
metal below. 

Kay, OK, I can’t hold myself back any longer, I’m going to stick my
nose in. I find it very hard to believe that you’re going to
accomplish anything dropping sand eight feet onto silver. However, I
can imagine that you might get somewhere blowing sand or abrasive
with a blowpipe. This is basically a metal straw that is hinged in
the middle so you use one half to blow air across the open end of the
other half while the two halves are at right angles to each other.
Think making a tone on a coke bottle. The vertical tube sticks into
the sand or other material, and your blowing sucks it up and propells
it forward. Very low tech. You can buy such a device at a
graphics-type section of an art store, last I knew. Come to think of
it, one could probably hook up one of these to an airbrush
compressor, with a little ingenuity and some hose! Otherwise,
consider flinging the sand at the silver, at least! And wear a filter
mask of some sort. Good luck! --Noel (born kibbitzer)