Bead Blasting the quickest way to make parts like new!!

Abrasive blasting is the only way that I've found to really get parts back into original condition. It can be done inside a metal box, or outside. I have setups for both, but do most of the work in a cabinet. How it works?? First you need a large air compressor. I have a 6.5 HP Sears. Compressed Air, usually about 80 psi is run into a blast gun in the cab. The flow of Air sucks blast material out of the bottom of the cabinet, and on to the part. Cutting the paint, dirt, rust etc. off like magic. Think of it as spray painting in reverse.
Here is a typical part. First I scrub all the grease off with chemtool on a rag. Oil and undercoating etc, don't come off well with abrasive blasting. Notice the inside of the cabinet. Abrasive falls through the grate and is collected in the bottom of the box. A pickup tube sucks it up and the gun shoots it out again.
This is actual abrasive blasting in progress! Notice how the metal is cleaned up. I'm using Aluminum Oxide Material for this job. Glass Beads will work, but are slower for really rusty parts. The finish is better with beads but isn't important on these suspension parts.
Here is the cabinet from the outside. The light on top is a must when using a blast cab. The biggest single problem is seeing what you are doing when the material is flying around. I use my shop vacuum to suck the dirt and dust out of the box as I'm blasting.
Now that is a clean part!! just like it came out of the press. The texture is a little rough, but I'll fix that soon.
What a nice picture. Remember what these looked like a few pages back on the suspension page. After a little prep work, I'll repaint them and they will be ready for installation.
After blasting with Aluminum Oxide, I use a wire or nylon buffing wheel, to polish up the steel to a nice shine. This makes it look nicer after painting.
The next step is cleaning. I use lacquer Thinner and a clean rag. I find that if you don't do this step, light oil in the metal can make the paint boil and fish eye.
Not a very clear picture, but, that is some nice clean paint!

Next up Frame Painting!!

Author: Bill McKenna