Introducing Sand Blasting
Sand blasting is an increasingly popular but still controversial method of finishing surfaces during the construction or renovation of a property. While some argue that even the most gentle abrasive cleaning methods can damage the surface of stone, brick or woodwork, in the right hands sand blasting can be a valuable tool.
Sand blasting works by firing a high velocity stream of extremely fine material at a surface, removing any small particles or dust that would otherwise spoil any attempts to paint or clean that surface. While originally sand was the most commonly used material for the this process, for health and safety reasons these days people are more likely to use other materials such as steel grit, walnut shells, copper slag or even fragments of a coconut shell. Even so, sand blasting is always a carefully controlled process, and practitioners will always use protective clothing, an alternative air supply and proper ventilation to prevent damage to their lungs.
Sand blasting has become popular because it makes the process of finishing a surface a great deal easier. Finishing a surface used to involved sandpapering the surface by hand, a laborious and time consuming process that takes a fraction of the time and effort with a sand blaster. While some traditionalists are suspicious of seeing techniques like this used to refurbish old buildings it’s worth noting that sand blasting itself is not exactly a state-of-the-art idea. The first sand blasting technology was put to use in 1870, and since then the process has been refined and improved for more than a century. Often the process is used to maintain properties protected by the National Trust or English Heritage organisations.
Indeed, today sand blasting is often used not just for smoothing surfaces down, but often for etching incredibly fine designs into wood or even glass, firing the particles onto a surface at different angles to create a multitude of shades and effects.