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
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!
Author: Bill McKenna