Making an etch mask

Hi guys, a how do I question...

What I am trying to acheive is glass bottles etched with our initials for wedding favours. I have a gritblaster and compressor as well as all the common tools including a lathe (but not a milling machine).

How should I go around making a mask that I can blast thru to get the required pattern of letters?

I will have to blast 40 bottles, so a mask that only lasts 4 gos is not up to the job, but 10 goes is possible if it is more than 4 times as easy as making one that will last 40 goes IYSWIM.

The pattern is gonna be quite small 1cm to 1" max

Thanks Will

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There is a special adhesive masking film (yes, film!) that is for sand blasting. You can cut the film by hand, or let it cut with a plotter (that has a knife). Don't ask me for the brand. Depending on how the mask looks like, you can use it for several blasts. OTOH, the mask is rapidly made on a plotter.


Reply to
Nick Müller

You may want to look at having vinyl "stickers" made (Negative image) from a sign cutter. There are a few photo-sensiteve materials availabel for the eloctronics industry that can do the job but a re a lot of hard works (require baking)

Your best bet is to have the items laser etched by a company that does that sorf of thing (trophies etc). It will probably be cheaper and cleaner in the long run.

I'm all for DIY, but some things are better in the hands of others


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David Billington

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David Billington

Here is etching cream, sandblasters, and alphabet stencils.

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Reply to
Randy Replogle

Thin rubber sheet (Enco etc) plus contact cement, if you want to cut by hand with a razor knife. Inner tube repair kit rubber sheet will also do if you just want to experiment with a sample.

For light cutting, computer-cut vinyl from a sign shop will do. A good shop will also have sandblast mask material that costs more.

Reusable is tricky. Stencil shape and adhesive are not conducive. I would go with a light blast and one throw-away vinyl stencil per piece.

Reply to
Richard J Kinch

Get a sheet of 1/16 to 1/8" or similar rubber from either your local rubber parts store or part of an old inner tube should fit round your wine bottle and cut out the letters you want. Use a knife or scalpel blade and do it by hand. A bit of soapy water will help, and bending the rubber to open the cut a little will allow you to cut easier. Use colour pencils to draw your pattern on the rubber before cutting and you may find it easier to cut a shallow track then bend and stretch it while going deeper.

The rubber can be sticky taped to the bottle to hold it in one place, and used with a thin layer of rubber glue or silicone sealant for the fiddly bits, but experiment with a couple of bottles first, which of course gives both of you a good reason to consume them.......

The rubber stencil should last long enough to do all 40 bottles you want to do, as long as you are gentle with it and don't blast too close or hard on the fine detail.

Another that I haven't tried, but might also be good is the flexible plastic (Teflon?) kitchen cutting boards from the dollar shops. There are also simple plastic stencils at a number of craft shops, but these may not go the distance with the sandblaster.

Hope this helps. Peter

Reply to
Bushy Pete

Cheers All, I'll start with the inner tube option and see how that looks (as I have plenty spare in the garage), we have well over a year, and the GF (is there a usnet shorting for fiancee? SWMBO I guess, but I still have an option!) has a few months to pine whist I am out of the country.

Hi David, the internet is a small place isn't it!

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