Sandblasting letters into stone

Hi everyone,

A contract is under discussion to carve, etch, what-have-you, a five
letter word into about 80 small wave rounded beach pebbles roughly as
big as a golf ball but flatter.

I am thinking that sandblasting is the way to go but I have not done
this before. I believe the letters are cut out of a rubber mat which
is then laid over the stone. But what type of rubber? How thick?
Three of the letters have “enclosed” areas, namely R, A, and D. How
is that handled? What sort of grit should I use? Presumably silicon
carbide? What mesh size?

These questions and other issues may be too detailed (and take too
much writing) to answer here on the open Orchid list. But if anyone
has experience in sandblasting into small stones and wouldn’t mind
some brain picking by telephone, I’d be grateful of a private email
with your contact

Cheers & thanks
Hans Durstling
Moncton, Canada

There have been quite a few discussions here on masking and resists.
3M makes one which is the defacto heavy duty product; it is called
“Buttercut”. Also see:


Hello Hans

We use a sandblasting stencil to cut designs in high density
urethane. The stencil is cut on a computer connected to a vinyl
cutter plotter. There are different resist thickness and adhesive

The sandblasting material has an adhesive back that is supported by a
release liner. The areas you wish to sandblast are “weeded” or
removed from the release liner. Transfer tape is applied over the
remaining stencil so the release liner can be removed. The adhesive
on the stencil temporarily holds the stencil elements to the stone,
glass, wood or other substrate. The transfer tape is removed and the
area is sandblasted. The stencil is peeled away when finished

We use ordinary silica sand. Hartco is one brand of both hand cut
and computer cut sandblasting stencil.

You might want to have a chat with a local sign shop that offers
sandblasted signs or a monument dealer. You can contact me at
@Granthams .

Rod Grantham