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.Originally Posted by Satinsnow
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).