First, if you’re not sure you want to spend much money at all on this, but want to make a glass piece that is more elegant looking than the Cream Etching way, I suggest getting your feet wet a little bit by starting out with the siphon sandblaster. It is just a basic spray nozzle that has a hose connected to a side for a supply of compressed air and another hose that sucks & carries the abrasive particles out of a basic container. This basic container can even be the bag that you bought the abrasive in. All you would have to do is stick the siphon hose in beneath the abrasive mixture. But I recommend having it gravity feed out of a container for more consistency of abrasive flow. You can usually find a siphon nozzle for less than 20 dollars.
Second, there are also smaller sandblasters that are lower powered, known as “mini or pencil type sandblasters” (link to more info). They are generally low cost (less than $50) that will etch smaller projects lightly. An air compressor will still need to be used, but you can get a very small inexpensive one. There are also small sandblasters available that use an aerosol can to provide the compressed air. A cool idea about these small sandblasters is they can be used along with the high powered etching systems for shading characteristics.
Further on, if you don’t want to deal with the extra equipment and abrasives used in sandblasting, you can just start off with the very cheap chemical cream, but you will be missing out of the amazing opportunities of sandblasting. If you have never worked with any method or don’t exactly know how amazing it is for how easy it is, trying out the cream way will spark some excitement for this nifty craft. This may motivate and lead you into working with a sandblaster later on. By just trying out the cream, you will see if you like doing this before you actually invest money into it.
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