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Do you have any advice for sandcarving different types of stone?

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There are so many types of stone that fall under the umbrella of natural stone, and sandcarving with photoresist film can tackle all projects from small river rocks to large donation recognition walls, not to mention memorial stones.

Small stones are often used for weddings as decoration, containing scriptures or inspirational words. Because small stones have a polished surface, use a self-stick film-film in 4 mil or 5 mil will adhere nicely to the polish surface.

Medium stones such as pet memorials, garden and river rocks, bricks, pavers, and personalized stones usually have an unpolished and irregular surface. With an unpolished surface, the self-stick film will not adhere properly to the surface, especially if the surface is porous. An additional adhesive should be applied. A 5 mil or 6 mil photoresist film will allow a medium-to-deep etch in stone surfaces.

Not only can you engrave smaller stones, but you can also sandcarve large boulders, stone donor walls, and laid brick walkways as well. This requires a portable pressure pot system, as well as a compressor that can become mobile. Use proper protection with a portable pressure pot.

Memorial stones are generally created on granite. More monument businesses are moving from a vinyl- to a monument-grade photoresist film. Today, photoresist film is tough and durable enough to endure the aggressive sandcarving of a coarse abrasive and obtain fine detail. The detail in a monument photoresist film is separating monument business from those that use traditional vinyl. A 9 mil or thicker can be used as a monument film, and usually additional adhesive must be applied to the photomask.

   —Rayzist

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Liz Haas

Liz Haas has been a teacher, trainer and show coordinator for Rayzist Photomask for the past 15 years. For the past 10 years, she has actively taught workshops on the photoresist and the sandcarving process.

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