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Boro Room -- For Boro-related tips, techniques, and questions.

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  #1  
Old 2011-12-31, 1:15pm
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Default Etching boro

How is it done? I have read that products like etch-all don't work on boro. When you want an etched finish, do you use a sandblaster, or gem tumbler, or what?
I have seen $100 dollar plus for small sandblasting units. Is this the sort of sandblaster one would use for boro? I am nowhere near the point of getting into equipment, just kind of asking on a hypothetical level at the moment, of how boro workers typically get an etched finish. Doing a forum search, I just got threads that were back and forth regarding whether etch-all works or not
Thanks a bunch!
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  #2  
Old 2011-12-31, 1:27pm
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Any sort of abrasive etching works great. Diamonds, silicon carbide, aluminum oxide in a sandblaster, flat lap, stained glass grinder, dremel, whatever.

Acid, in general does not work. Some formulas work, sort of, but one of borosilicate's advantages (for chem labs) is resistance to acids and corrosion in general. I've heard people say this or that works, I've never succeeded at getting acid to do more than vaguely dull the surface.

There are lots of options for sand blasters. Mainly you're deciding between a pressure pot and a siphon system (which are, respectively, expensive and cheap). Either one blasts abrasive at the glass and works fine. Pressure pots are nicer but it might not matter unless you're carving a lot.

Tumblers are great. There's a vast amount of tumbling media and goodies out there... check out sites like http://www.kingsleynorth.com to see the vast range of lapidary equipment from which you can select. All of that works great on boro, because as far as lapidary is concerned, it's just a medium hard stone similar to quartz.
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  #3  
Old 2011-12-31, 1:59pm
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I actually had a tumbler that broke...I wonder if it could be fixed. Anyway, when I got the tumbler, it came with a vast array of different grits of sand (for lack of a better word), etc. Am I correct in assuming that for a nice, satin finish on glass I would just use one of the finer grits, and not the whole series different grits like I would use for a rough stone?
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  #4  
Old 2011-12-31, 2:55pm
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Tumblers do work well. The vibrating tumbler does not take off as much material and is faster. However, a tumbler will not work well on bumpy surfaces. But considering the acid resistance of boro this is one of two choices.

http://www.therockshed.com/tumbler3.html

A nice SC grit perhaps 200 to 400 would work well. Since there is no desire to polish the bead a one shot approach is all that is needed. i.e. to frost the opposite approach is needed.


Last edited by Alaska; 2011-12-31 at 3:07pm.
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  #5  
Old 2011-12-31, 3:02pm
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Funny you should ask this today. I was reading tuts here last night, so I actually could find this link for you today.

http://www.lampworketc.com/forums/sh...d.php?t=123337
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  #6  
Old 2011-12-31, 3:44pm
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I don't have a sandblaster, so any etching I do of boro is done in my tumbler. I have three dedicated barrels, one for 600 grit, one for 1000 grit, and one that isn't used for etching, but is used with stainless steel shot for polishing my metalwork. Yes, only need one grit. Indentations do not get etched and stay glossy, but this can be used in your design. The first article I wrote for GlassLine was about some techniques you can use on your beads to take them further and tumble etching was one. I LOVE the feel of tumble etched glass!!

Clear boro tumbled etched
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  #7  
Old 2011-12-31, 4:29pm
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Kim- what kind tumbler do you own? One that vibrates or rotates?
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  #8  
Old 2011-12-31, 4:55pm
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Rotary. A Lortone 3A that I got years ago on ebay. Bought the extra barrels and grit from Kingsley North. My next one will be one that two barrels are going at the same time. It takes a bit for the boro to etch, so I could be etching glass and polishing metals at the same time
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  #9  
Old 2012-01-01, 8:39am
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So, when tumbling, is there a way to mask or will all masking be removed in the tumbling process?
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  #10  
Old 2012-01-01, 9:25am
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Default Which grit

Kim, Love my Boro and love etching; what grit did you use for this clear bead... Beautiful. Can't wait to try it on some red

Thanks



Quote:
Originally Posted by Kim V View Post
I don't have a sandblaster, so any etching I do of boro is done in my tumbler. I have three dedicated barrels, one for 600 grit, one for 1000 grit, and one that isn't used for etching, but is used with stainless steel shot for polishing my metalwork. Yes, only need one grit. Indentations do not get etched and stay glossy, but this can be used in your design. The first article I wrote for GlassLine was about some techniques you can use on your beads to take them further and tumble etching was one. I LOVE the feel of tumble etched glass!!

Clear boro tumbled etched
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  #11  
Old 2012-01-01, 12:36pm
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I've tried various ways to mask off, but they all came off in the tumbler. If you figure out a way to do it, I LOVE to know. I have a couple of new metal designs I'm working on and they each involve having to purchase something a bit pricey....so a sandblaster is not in the budget right now.

Those beads were done with 1000 grit. There really is only a slight difference between the 600 and the 1000 in both look and feel, but my preference is the higher grit. DH says I'm too picky
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  #12  
Old 2012-01-01, 2:36pm
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I bought a vibratory tumbler, and it's neat but so loud I have to run it out in the shed. The thing sounds like a dryer buzzer going off... for 12 hours straight.

I wouldn't mind a nice, mellow rotary tumbler for variety.

Last edited by Juln; 2012-01-01 at 7:48pm.
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  #13  
Old 2012-01-01, 5:51pm
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Did you mean to say 'rotary' or 'vibrating'?
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  #14  
Old 2012-01-01, 6:23pm
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I use my Father's equipment. We first started with rotary type and it worked ok, but took forever. He then hauled out his vibrating type and it worked great and only took 1/4 of the time. I am not sure what grit he used, but wow it looked great.
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  #15  
Old 2012-01-01, 6:24pm
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A rotary tumbler turns (like a cement mixer), a vibrating tumbler sort of shakes back and forth.
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  #16  
Old 2012-01-01, 6:28pm
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This is a rotary tumbler
http://www.harborfreight.com/3-lb-ro...ler-67631.html
This is a vibrating tumbler
http://www.harborfreight.com/5-lb-me...ler-67617.html
Hope that helps.
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  #17  
Old 2012-01-01, 6:58pm
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I've got some etch-all I've had for about 12 years.... It eats up boro. Evan areas that aren't submerged. SCAREY
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  #18  
Old 2012-01-01, 7:49pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bunyip View Post
Did you mean to say 'rotary' or 'vibrating'?
Thanks bunyip, I fixed my post. Yes, the vibratory tumbler is really loud which is silly because I bought it thinking the opposite was true (that rotary was loud).
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  #19  
Old 2012-01-01, 11:38pm
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If considering the use of a vibrating tumbler make sure that it is rated for wet and ceramic media. The above listed 5 pound unit from Harbor Freight is for dry use only.

The Rock Shed has both varieties depending on your needs.

Last edited by Alaska; 2012-01-01 at 11:41pm.
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  #20  
Old 2012-01-02, 12:09am
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Juln, I wondered if you has mistyped My rotary makes a swoosh, swoosh sound.
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  #21  
Old 2012-01-03, 2:38pm
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My rotary is quite and just whirrrrrs a bit....
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  #22  
Old 2013-04-21, 7:57pm
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Has anyone used this tumbler before? If it works the way it says it does, it seems kinda perfect. Only 4lbs capacity (I don't need a whole lot) , vibratory, and no belts or motors to break down (had a Lortone that didn't work so well. Something broke.)
http://www.kingsleynorth.com/skshop/...766&catID=1035
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  #23  
Old 2013-04-22, 12:45pm
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What all have you folks tried for a resist when tumbling? Im curious to try this! Maybe liquid electrical tape or asphaltum?
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  #24  
Old 2013-04-23, 1:05am
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A sand blaster using 300# aluminium oxide works really well for me, these vessels are boro and are sandblasted.
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  #25  
Old 2013-04-23, 5:47pm
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Those vessels are gorgeous!
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  #26  
Old 2013-04-23, 6:23pm
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they are so pretty.
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