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Sandblasting 101


#1

I have been reading lately that in order to adhere paint or colored
pencils to copper one must sand blast the copper first. How exactly
is that done? Can the copper just be roughed up with sandpaper
instead? What type of equipment is a sand blaster exactly? I always
thought they were huge, for buildings and the like. How do they fit
in a studio setting? It must be very messy.

Thanks ahead of time
Roberta


#2

You only need to roughen the surface so you can use abrasive cloth
or paper if you like.

You can get sandblasting equipment in all sizes. Its basically a
device rather like a spray gun that squirts a mixture of air and
small particles (usually sand) instead of paint; the small particles
abrade whatever they are directed at. In order to collect and reuse
the sand it is common to enclose the work and gun in a cabinet which
contains a lamp and a window through which you can see what is
happening. It also contains rubber gauntlets so you don’t sandblast
your hands. I made my own cabinet out of plywood several years ago;
its about 2’x2’x2’ and quite big enough for my needs. You also need a
compressor for the supply of air.

If you use tiny glass beads instead of sand you can create a very
nice frosted surface.

Regards, Gary Wooding


#3
pencils to copper one must sand blast the copper first. How
exactly is that done? Can the copper just be roughed up with
sandpaper instead? 

Yes, sandpaper works. A sandblaster is cooler, but sandpaper works.
You can buy a mini inflatable sandblaster – there’s a link on my
blog.

You asked about sandblasters in the studio – they’re enclosed in a
case – not so bad.

Elaine
Metalsmith since 1990
and Certified PMC Instructor
http://www.CreativeTextureTools.com


#4

Sand blasters can be very small. Take a look at the ones available at
these sites, tiny to bench tops sizes.

http://www.brandsonsale.com/ht-001492.html
http://www.artglass1.com/sandblasting.htm
http://www.dickblick.com/zz250/65b/
http://www.ajstools.com/products/finishing/sand4.html

Wear a dust mask or respirator.


#5

Hi Roberta - questions, questions questions…

Can the copper just be roughed up with sandpaper instead? Probably
good enough..... 

How exactly is that done? What type of equipment is a sand blaster
exactly? How do they fit in a studio setting? It must be very messy.

It’s done with a sandblaster - very easy, when you have one. Our
sandblaster is a plastic box about 18" square with rubber gloves -
like a clean room thing. We got it at Otto Frei, though I altered
the nozzle and valve for better flow, but you can see it there. The
other essential ingredient is a genuine air compressor, which is
often the hard part. A little putt-putt air brush kind of thing will
either not work or not very well. Ours needs 100 psi and a fair
amount of CFM. That means a real compressor, mostly. We have a few
uses for ours, so we need it anyway. Once you get it and plug it in,
it’s incredibly simple to use.

http://www.donivanandmaggiora.com