Sandblasted Steel Pint and writable glass

by Ben N on December 30, 2013

A few days ago, I headed back to the Milwaukee Makerspace to try my hand at some more sandblasting. I had plans for experimenting on some more glassware, but what I was really excited about was sandblasting stainless steel!

I have a steel pint made by Klean Kanteen that I bought which I thought would be great for camping, festivals, and fairs. It won’t break, and saves using disposable plastic cups.

I created a design in Adobe Illustrator software, starting with some clip-art and then modifying it. I’m no master of vector computer drawing, but I can manage to push a few points around and add a font. On the Milwaukee Makerspace’s Cameo Silhouette CNC cutter, I used a 12″x12″ adhesive backed vinyl sheet to create a pile of stencils I would be using, including the sunburst for my stainless steel cup.

Next, I cut out the design, peeled out the parts where I DID want the sandblasting to take place, and then place transfer paper on the front of it. Flipping the decal over, I carefully peeled off the backer and was ready to apply the decal to the cup. Making sure it was centered, I placed the sticker on the cup, and slowly peeled the transfer paper off.

After that, I masked off the rest of the area with blue painters tape.

Finally, it was time for the sandblasting! With the machine set to 40 psi, I put the cup inside and blasted the cup, trying to get a nice, even coverage. Back out of the machine, I peeled off the tape and rinsed the cup off in the work sink. I was amazed at how well the vinyl held up, and really liked the contrast, so I left the vinyl in place on the sun and only peeled off the outermost ring of the stencil.

I’m really happy with how the cup turned out. It looks great! For a more detailed look at how sandblasted the cup, you can see a full write-up on INSTRUCTABLES.

Besides the cup, I also kept sandblasting glass. One thing I wanted to try was adding pencil-writable labels to some glassware. For example, you could write the date on a food container or your name on a wine glass.

I first designed a vector “curlycue” label, and cut several vinyl stencils of it. I tried that out on both a small glass as well as a squat glass liquor bottle. Both turned out rather well. It’s simple to mark with a pencil and wash it right back off later. I added a pencil marking area to a tall Weck Jar as well

I also made several Skulls & Crossbones for a rum flask. That turned out quite well.

I had noticed that the sandblasted glass has a different texture. For one thing, it is slightly non-slip ¬†when wet compared to regular glass. I have a white class bowl with a simple handle on the side. (It’s great for hot foods!) On that piece, I sandblasted a circle right where my thumb would rest to hold the bowl.

Overall, I’ve been having lots of fun with the sandblaster, and have enjoyed experimenting with materials. I can’t wait to start doing up some custom gifts for friends. Check out some of my previous posts below for what else I’ve done with the ¬†sandblaster as well as some of my summer projects like the Solar Death Ray.

Til next time, stay crafty!

-Ben

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