ROS to etch glass?

Anyone have any luck using a random orbital sander to etch glass? If so, what kind of paper would be best and which grit? This glass is to go into my new kitchen cabinet divided light doors as the patterned glass I had planned on using proved to be to expensive an option. I can sand blast but thought the ROS might be faster and give a more consistent pattern. Thanks
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you could try etching cream, although it's hard to get a very even etch. blasting is best, and would be quicker than both cream and an ros.
you can use adhesive shelf paper for a quick and easy resist if you blast or use cream.
your ros should do it, but not very well. use some emery paper instead of sand paper, and have good dust collection (with a HEPA filter) or do it outside with a breeze behind you. you DO NOT want to breath the dust produced.
regards, charlie http://glassartists.org/chaniarts
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Wed, May 2, 2007, 3:55pm (EDT-3) snipped-for-privacy@nospam.stratus.com (charlie) you could try etching cream, although it's hard to get a very even etch. <snip>
Some years back my dau-in-law was into collecting cow stuff. I used etching cream to etch cows on a set of glasses for her. Came out very nice. Easy to use, water cleanup.
JOAT What is life without challenge and a constant stream of new humiliations? - Peter Egan
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Nope. Terribly sensitive to the relative flatness of the glass and the sander. Results are usually ugly. Silicon carbide paper is needed.
Best technique is to use an air-powered grit blaster. Dead easy to use, easy to get good even results, even on curves. Masks well with self-adhesive plastic films too. if you don't have blasting kit, try a glazier.
I won't handle etching creams as hydrofluoric acid is just far too dangerous to work with.
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Thu, May 3, 2007, 5:22am (EDT-3) snipped-for-privacy@codesmiths.com (Andy Dingley) who doth sayeth: <snip> I won't handle etching creams as hydrofluoric acid is just far too dangerous to work with.
Hmm. Interesting. Normally I wouldn't mess with any acids either, but this is a cream, so if you tip the bottle over it won't rush out. I actually read the instructions first, used rubber gloves, dispostable brush, and had no problems at all. I'd do it again if the occassion called for it. I don't know for sure, but think it's a pretty weak solution too, because I got the impression that if you got any on your skin you'd have a few seconds to get to the fawcet to wash it off before it started eating you up. I did not test this theory tho.
JOAT What is life without challenge and a constant stream of new humiliations? - Peter Egan
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(Andy Dingley) who doth sayeth: <snip> I won't handle etching creams as hydrofluoric acid is just far too dangerous to work with.
Hmm. Interesting. Normally I wouldn't mess with any acids either, but this is a cream, so if you tip the bottle over it won't rush out. I actually read the instructions first, used rubber gloves, dispostable brush, and had no problems at all. I'd do it again if the occassion called for it. I don't know for sure, but think it's a pretty weak solution too, because I got the impression that if you got any on your skin you'd have a few seconds to get to the fawcet to wash it off before it started eating you up. I did not test this theory tho.
JOAT What is life without challenge and a constant stream of new humiliations? - Peter Egan
HF doesn't eat your skin. it eats your bones, and it's pretty painful once it gets there. it will sink through skin pretty quickly, and without any burning sensation, which is why it's so dangerous to use. it only hurts when it's too late, and then you had better get to a hospital pdq.
etching cream is very low concentration HF, but yes still has some in it. it's pretty safe to handle if you're reasonably good about safety precautions.
regards, charlie http://glassartists.org/chaniarts
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Thu, May 3, 2007, 12:45pm (EDT-3) snipped-for-privacy@nospam.stratus.com (charlie) doth sayeth: HF doesn't eat your skin. it eats your bones, and it's pretty painful once it gets there. it will sink through skin pretty quickly, and without any burning sensation, which is why it's so dangerous to use. it only hurts when it's too late, and then you had better get to a hospital pdq. etching cream is very low concentration HF, but yes still has some in it. it's pretty safe to handle if you're reasonably good about safety precautions.
Then I'm safe to handle it because I'm very safety conscious about using things that could cause me harm.
Not so safety conscious about using things that could cause other people harm. LOL
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Vinyl sign makers use an adhesive vinyl that looks like etched glass. It's easier and cheaper than doing it with a sander, and most people won't know the difference.
Mike in Arkansas wrote:

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I've been looking at the vinyl films. They come in different textures and might go that way. I have an old craftsman siphon sand blaster that came with my 2 hp compressor and I used to use it a bit on glass. But, I have a wide expanse of glass to do and was worried about getting an even etch with it. Plus it's dirty as hell and you really need a cabinet or a filter and a hood for your face. In my younger days I used to use it without breathing protection or a hood and used fine silica sand. Figure I'm lucky to still be brething. Knock on wood. Another option I have considered is handmade botanical paper with a backing of some sort, but long term cleanliness might be a problem. Thanks everyone for the input.
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wrote:

Or, you can sandwich wax paper between two clear glass sheets. I made a projector screen with this method and it worked well.
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Mike,
Chances of getting an acceptable finish with ROS are very unlikely, Sandblasting and acid cream are options, but it is difficult for someone, even with experience, to get get a uniform etch. If you are using double strength window glass (1/8" nom), which is pretty inexpensive, you could buy some extras to give it a try and see how it comes out. You could also ask your local glass shop if they carry or can get frosted glass for a reasonable price. If none of these pan out, you could buy the applied film from any local window tinting shop or have them do it for you.
Chuck (the glazier)
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Thanks Chuck. Can double strength be cut by a homeowner or would I need to get everything cut to size at a glass shop? SW, Thats an interesting idea. Unfortunatly, I don't have enough rabbit depth to mount two pieces of glass back to back.
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Mike,
It can be cut pretty easily but you risk breaking it and won't gain much by doing it yourself. Most glass shops I know of charge by the sq. ft. (not by the cut) so you might as well let them cut it to size for you.
Chuck
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