Thursday, July 30, 2009

Making it Clean and Nice

One of the qualities of glass is that it is nice and shiny. Somethings this isn't what you want. You want a nice uniform matte surface. To me this is best achieved by sandblasting. However when you sandblast you get a nice surface, but one that is prone to showing fingerprints and other kinds of dirt quite easily. Cleaning is hard and tends to leave a lot of lint stuck in/on the glass regardless of the type of cloth you use to wash and/or dry it with. People have been trying all sorts of surface protectants for years with varying results. Some are pretty cheap and easy to find around the house. ArmorAll, Pledge, Rain-X, and other products have been used. None of these suited my tastes, but at least protected against some of the fingerprint oils. Liquid Lustre is another specialized one but is very, very expensive so I've only seen it used by others. I wasn't impressed.

At my recent workshop at Corning one of the participants in another session brought a product that we all were impressed with. Its called " Clean Shield® GEL - Shower, Tub & Tile Protectant" and is made by the Unelko Corporation. I couldn't find it in stores locally but is available for order on their website at $6.95 per tube, which should cover quite a few pieces. The shipping and handling for two tubes was over $9.00 so I wish I could find it locally.

Here is a picture of one of the pieces I made during the glass. It has been fused, cut and ground, and then sandblasted. Note the nice surface it leaves. You squeeze out a small pea-sized amount of the gel and work it in with the reusable lint-free cloth provided with the product. I suspect it will last for quite a while and a quick wipe with a cloth removes any dust without really disturbing the surface.

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