Keeping Sandcarving Abrasive Dry

With over 35 years in the glass business, Ruth Dobbins offers experience in fused and cast glass, as well as in glass-etching techniques. Ruth holds a Master's Degree in Printmaking and Art History and has been a partner in a stained and fused glass wholesale supply company in Europe, which also placed great emphasis on a training program. For the past 20 years, she collaborated with her husband Norm Dobbins in commission work, writing books and creating videotapes on how-to techniques for glass etching. Ruth taught these techniques for 30 years in the U.S. and other countries. Ruth continues these venues by offering a complete training program at Aliento School in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and by teaching at various trade shows, including The Awards & Engraving Show. One-on-one training and consulting services are also offered. You can reach Ruth by email at, by phone at 505-473-9203 and by fax at 505-473-9218. Check out the website at

It is important to keep any moisture from reaching the abrasive inside the pressure pot of your sandcarving system. That’s why there is a water separator attached to your pressure pot where the compressed air enters.

The container of the separator can only hold a certain amount of water, so if you do not empty it on a regular basis, the water will still get into your abrasive. Get in the habit of draining your water separator on a regular basis, especially when high humidity is present; this may mean draining it every half hour or so. When those conditions persistently exist, you may want to investigate other water-separation systems.

—Ruth Dobbins, Professional Glass Consultant