What is the best way to sandcarve wood handles?

If your handles have a curve to them, you can warm the mask, which enhances the material’s pliability for wrapping around the curves. Keep in mind, that softer woods such as pine are easiest to etch; however, make sure of the following:

  • Avoid overheating the mask.
  • Make sure the mask is flat and tight on the surface of the piece.
  • Keep your blasting pressure low to moderate. Do not blast with great intensity as this can lead to a stubborn residue that is left behind.
  • After sandcarving, peel the mask quickly – do not allow the mask to sit on the piece for any longer than it has to. This also helps prevent any leftover residue.

Other helpful tips if you are going to paint-fill:

  • Leave the photomask on the substrate.
  • Blow any excess dust off of the engraved artwork/image area. This helps the paint to saturate the porous engraved area.
  • Lightly spray your engraved area evenly from top to bottom, left to right, two to three times. Repeat this step if necessary, but remember, always paint in a well-ventilated area.
  • Allow the paint to dry for 5-20 minutes. Time varies depending on the amount of paint usage and your particular environment.
  • Peel the photomask last, and always clean your substrate.

-Liz Haas, Rayzist

Liz Haas

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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Charlie Fox

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