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  1. #1
    nick mulder's Avatar
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    how to make ground glass ??

    okidoki,

    couldn't find this in a search - but how does one grind glass into the 'ground glass' finish ?

    I have a piece of 2mm glass I want to make into a 4x5 back - how do I sand it ? is it just as simple as fine sand paper ?

    if not what is the best technique ?

    thanks

  2. #2
    Dave Parker's Avatar
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    The most common method is sandblasting, although this will produce a rough ground glass screen, it will be servicable..or many have used gease based valve grinding compounds normally found at auto repair shops, normally, using sandpaper is not to sucessfull. Another method is to make a table to hold the glass that randomly moves up down and in a occilating pattern then add metal ball bearings and leave it run for about 24 hours, of course you can stop by your local hobby shop and pick up some acid, like they use to acid etch patterns on wine glasses and then coat one side and then wash off and repeat until you get an even etch

    Good luck on your project.

    Dave Parker
    Satin Snow Ground Glass

  3. #3
    Bruce Osgood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nick mulder
    okidoki,

    couldn't find this in a search - but how does one grind glass into the 'ground glass' finish ?

    I have a piece of 2mm glass I want to make into a 4x5 back - how do I sand it ? is it just as simple as fine sand paper ?

    if not what is the best technique ?

    thanks
    The BEST technique, the absolute BEST is contact Dave Parker at Satinsnow. If you are in need of a GG you won't do better. If you just want to scratch up some glass see the previous thread.

  4. #4
    Jon Shiu's Avatar
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    Hi, this was mentioned in another thread. The technique was described in Photo Techniques magazine by Dick Dokas several years ago. He uses aluminum oxide to grind with. Don't know if Dave uses this method or not, since he didn't mention it. The article is here:
    http://www.dokasphotos.com/techniques/ground_glass/

    Jon

  5. #5
    Dave Parker's Avatar
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    There are many different methods to produce ground glass, Dick's method is a good one, I have developed a different method that I think produces a better screen, but for the do it yourself home person, Dicks is a great method to follow.

    Dave

  6. #6

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    I have used Dicks method, and produced a very smooth ground glass, althought it was quite grainy.

    I would suggest buying a 4x5 from Satin Snow. For how cheep they are....you cannot go wrong. Not to mention, they are also the nicest ground glass I have EVER seen in my life.

  7. #7
    Donald Qualls's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Satinsnow
    of course you can stop by your local hobby shop and pick up some acid, like they use to acid etch patterns on wine glasses and then coat one side and then wash off and repeat until you get an even etch
    Very dangerous!! Though the hobby shop material often doesn't carry an adequate warning, if this is in fact acid it's hydrofluoric acid, and getting any of it on your skin can lead to deep, hideously painful acid burns that are very difficult to treat and extremely slow to heal. Even the very weak solution sold for glass etching is dangerous.

    If you want to etch glass with chemicals, it's probably safer to use very strong lye; you "only" need a full face mask, rubber apron, and full length rubber gloves to make a strong solution of lye (which you can buy at the grocery store as a drain opener), which will then slowly etch the glass. The glass needs to be very clean to get an even etch, and you'll want/need to protect the side that isn't to be etched.

    MUCH easier to make ground glass with abrasives and a glass grinding tool, similar to the methods amateur opticians use to make telescope mirrors and lenses; if you use very fine abrasive, you'll get relatively fine ground glass (320 aluminum oxide is probably about right, though finer won't hurt, just take longer).

    However -- for what he charges, if it takes you an hour to make the ground glass, you'd have been better of getting one from SatinSnow, even if it weren't a superior product to whatever you're likely to make yourself (and all reports are, it *is* superior).
    Photography has always fascinated me -- as a child, simply for the magic of capturing an image onto glossy paper with a little box, but as an adult because of the unique juxtaposition of science and art -- the physics of optics, the mechanics of the camera, the chemistry of film and developer, alongside the art in seeing, composing, exposing, processing and printing.

  8. #8
    Dave Parker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Donald Qualls
    Very dangerous!! Though the hobby shop material often doesn't carry an adequate warning, if this is in fact acid it's hydrofluoric acid, and getting any of it on your skin can lead to deep, hideously painful acid burns that are very difficult to treat and extremely slow to heal. Even the very weak solution sold for glass etching is dangerous.

    I agree 100% Donald, even the weak solutions sold in hobby shops can be very dangerous, I know, we experimented with it! anyone that chooses to use acid to make ground glass, must take the proper precautions as it will cause very serious burns as you have stated.....I was not trying to suggest that anyone use acid, without taking the proper precautions for their health and well being, I am sorry if it came across that way, thanks for bringing this very important point up.

    Dave

  9. #9
    nick mulder's Avatar
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    I like to try things once or twice before I resort to buying a pre-made one - so I'll try the aluminium oxide and get back to yous - as a quick tester I have just taped some cloudy tape over the glass, sheesh it works ok for now ! (lookin at bright stuff only and accounting for the extra thinkness)

    thanks for the suggestions

  10. #10
    Murray@uptowngallery's Avatar
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    I can tell you if you start with Aluminum Oxide, you will be sorry, unless you have strong arms.

    I made several up to 16x20 with Silicon Carbide that was quick and easy. (Well, the 16x20 does take many times longer than 4x5), I spent about 4 times as long on the Aluminum Oxide 5 micron only 8x10 than for SiC and I still can't get rid of the 'wavies'.

    Regardless of the superiority of professional products like SatinSnow (which I really should try), I just like to make things...I hardly ever shoot film, unfortunately.

    I haven't tried SiC first , then Alum. Ox. Maybe someday.

    Murray
    Murray

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