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Old 07-25-2013, 03:45 PM
stevo450's Avatar
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Default Looking at media blasting...


Hey everyone!

So I've been contemplating this for ages!! I seem to have lots to do with bikes and one thing that always annoys me is that I dont have a media blasting setup...

I'm interested to get a decent size blasting box ( for lack of better words ) I mainly want to be able to fit cases, hubs, swing arms etc for blasting...
I'm really new to this in terms of having my own set up at home, small scale . Years ago my dads foundry had sand blasting so I know what it's all about but Id like to get some info on what I need, where to buy certain bits and pieces, idea on how to make a good homemade setup and so on.

Here is what Im thinking:
Compressor-what rating?
Blasting gun-what brands, what gun for various media etc
Media-what types to get-beed/glass/soda etc etc
Blast box- make or buy/ sizes/ does/don't
Extraction setup???
What media for various applications??

I'd hugely appreciate any input pictures too would be great, I'm really not too sure where to start on this one.......I really want to get into this sort of thing as a potential after hours job.

Thanks for any input!!
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Old 07-25-2013, 07:51 PM
870 870 is offline
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The Eastwood company is en excellent resource. They are also very helpful on the phone
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Old 07-25-2013, 08:56 PM
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Eastwood is great or even northern tool. My advise get one with a vacuume set up on it. I use glass and soda.
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Old 07-25-2013, 09:19 PM
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I do a little blasting of various types. There are lots of choices if you are just getting into it. I'll throw in my $.02 on a couple questions:

>Compressor - As big as you can. Small jobs like soda on carbs don't take much but if you want to move bigger media for longer periods of time you will need volume. Painting and sanding takes a lot of air too so why not be able to do it all?
>Positive pressure or siphon feed? Siphon systems are cheaper and simpler but don't have as much power.
>We have a cheap tool outlet called "Harbor Freight Tools". I despise sending my money to China but dang, they have a lot of stuff, including several types of media blasting set-ups.
>Media types - It depends on what you want to do. Removing a lot of material takes big particles moving fast. Construction sand for stucco work will do it. For cleaning zinc or aluminum you want a finer sand. Mother Nature offers a good variety if you look around. The wife's flour sifter will work to get the bugs and sticks out. If you are using a cabinet that recirculates the media, a lot of guys like aluminum oxide. It cuts nice but it's too pricey for a total-loss / behind the garage system like I use.
>Internal engine parts? Glass beads only. Microscopic silica particles embedded in a metal surface is a bad thing.
>Soda? It is more for putting a soft look on a piece of work that is already near perfect. It doesn't remove material. A couple years ago ATM "Tirebiter" posted a link to a DIY soda system. I tried it and it works great for soda.
DIY soda
>Whatever you use, don't work without a tight-fitting respirator mask. Not the paper dust masks, a good one with cartridges like a painter would use. And don't be opposed to starting a refinishing job with chemicals or electricity.
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Old 07-26-2013, 11:40 AM
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Tracker pretty much nailed all the important points I could think of. I am a novice home/hobbyist so based on my research/limited experience here's what I can add for a small setup.

Compressor: oil type, 10 cfm or better, 30gal tank min, 60gal preferably
Gun: generally comes with most cabinets, by themselves range in price from $15 to hundreds, ceramic tip preferred, harder media will eat metal tips, soda won't, different tip sizes would probably be helpful for differnt size media
Media: haven't used glass bead yet, read on another forum glass bead can leave residue and they did not recommended it be used on internal parts
Cabinet Size: big enough to fit a swingarm or subframe
Media Applications: very clean sand to strip paint off steel or glass bead, soda for zinc alum and internal motor parts
Respirator: a must

To get the most out of a small blasting setup, pressure and media type are VERY important variables that need to be adjusted for each type of material being cleaned . Even with blasting, I still use solvent and brush, wire wheel, dremel tool, dentist pick, sand paper, etc...
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Old 07-26-2013, 01:07 PM
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One could write books about this topic.

If you're just starting out and need a set up that will take care of
the bulk of your bike needs, a plastic bench top siphon feed cabinet
from Northern tools would work fine. Combine that with a 30 gallon
3 hp Craftsman compressor and you can rock and roll. You'll need
some kind of water trap at a minimum (an air dryer would be better),
to keep things flowing when the humidity is up. You will also need
eye and lung protection to protect from the dust that escapes.

There is a ton of different blast media available. I use Aluminum Oxide
(AO) Silicon Carbide grit and Steel grit for fast material removal on steel.
I like crushed glass and glass beads for Aluminum and crushed walnut
shells and soda for more delicate surfaces or where heat could cause

When you're ready to step it up, the first thing you'll need is a mongo
compressor. Media blasting eats lots of air. I'm running a 10 hp 120
gallon Quincy scroll compressor now, but you could get by with half of
that. My big blast cabinet is made by a company called Bad Boy
Blasters. They produce cabinets for every level. They are excellent
quality and priced very competitively. Unfortunately, you'll need to find
something home grown due to your logistics situation. I can't imagine
what the shipping would be for a 1000 pound compressor and a 1000
pound blast cabinet.

Another alternative is to go with a hopper style soda blaster. That rig can
be used in your driveway without a cabinet because the media is

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