Having a Blast! - Sandblasting for Project Lettering

With a combination of paint, vinyl, and sandblasting we learned a new technique for lettering objects and simultaneously invented a new Fredhack award, the "Stump of the Week".

First the sandblasting:  We used Garrett's sandblasting rig which is setup for fossil preparation and is pushed by a giant air compressor through various conditioning apparatus.  The particulate used was mainly sodium bicarbonate, but there was a mix of other mystery medium included in Garrett's secret blend.  

We used vinyl lettering from the hardware store to lay-down the lettering.  We then blasted the area around it leaving a relief.  Another thing we noticed was that the "early wood" in the grain pattern (see wikipedia entry on Dendrochronology for wood grain info) which is less dense was removed more easily leaving behind ridges of "late wood" (or "summer wood").  Without knowing it we independently discovered a traditional wood crafting technique called udukuri.  Here's a link to another project that uses the technique.

Alright, now for the new Fredhack award.  As a collective of self-taught DIY'ers we embrace mistakes.  In honor of that, we decided that instead of just throwing away our test piece, we'd make an award to be given to the member that made the most notable mistake, thus becoming the "Stump of the Week".  Russ quickly won the award in the process of making the thing by leaving the bottom hatch of the sandblaster open when reloading it, thereby dumping all the sand straight on the garage floor. Classic!

See the sidebar for "Stump of the Week" winners list.

Here's the sandblasting going down.  This is of course after we swept it back up.

Here's the award.  We decided to leave the vinyl lettering in place because the beat-up look goes perfect with the award idea.  Also notice the raised grain of the "summer wood".

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