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  • Sandblasting and prepping, newb help me!

    I know nothing about sandblasters and have never used one. What do I need to know, what do I need to use one, what are good specs for one, explain what they mean.

    What does "media" mean and all the other terms I see you guys using?

    Do I need some sort of 'booth' to sand in or can i just plug the blaster in and clean it up and then powdercoat? Basically I need info on prepping the peice!

    thanks!
    -nick

  • #2
    Re: Sandblasting and prepping, newb help me!

    A sandblasting cabinet is probably your best bet. It is just an enclosure for your parts. This prevents sand (media) from getting everywhere, protects the operator, and allows you to reuse the media. Without a cabinet sand blasting is a real mess. You want to get a sand blast cabinet that is big enough for the parts you’re going to be coating. If you only have an old kitchen oven you don’t really need a huge blast cabinet (the oven will be the limitation).
    Media is the “stuff” that you are going to be shooting at the part. Most people don’t recommend sand as a media because it can cause silicosis. Most will recommend aluminum oxide, black beauty, garnet, etc. Each media has its advantages and disadvantages. I use Black Beauty because it’s cheap, can be recycled a few times, removes paint/rust, and leaves a nice finish for powder.
    You want to use a sandblast nozzle that matches your compressor. Most sandblasters will say “requires 12 CFM”. You want to make sure your compressor has at least 12 CFM of air (good size compressor).
    Hope this helps
    Joe

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    • #3
      Re: Sandblasting and prepping, newb help me!

      So the "cabinet" is just an enclosed box you blast the parts in? Kinda like a bead blasting box(iv seen these)? Were could you get soemthing like this and how much would it cost? Is there another way to prep the part that may be more time consuming but easier for the average person?
      thanks
      -nick

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Sandblasting and prepping, newb help me!

        Media is the usuable item. For example: sand, garnet, aluminum oxide, etc. (all of those are sandblasting media). For home entertainment, media is VHS tapes, DVD's, CD's, 8-tracks, etc..

        You should try to keep the powder spraying area seperate from the sandblasting area. I'm a noob too, but i'd imagine that the sandblast dust you kick up while spraying powder might also stick to your part. Anyone agree/disagree with that?

        Harbor Freight Tools has a few different models for sale. For example, click on this sentence to see the results of a search i did. I'd suggest getting the biggest cabinet you can afford/have space for, because you'll eventually want to clean something big. I sure wish my cabinet was bigger.

        Basically, you should buy the biggest air compressor you can afford, as long as it doesn't cut into the funds that you'll use for other items (ie; PC kit, powder, cleaning chemicals, masks, gloves, etc.). This is what this site, http://www.air-compressor-guide.com/ , has to say about buying.


        In this guide-

        + Background on air compressors
        + Features and functions to look for in air compressors
        + How to find the best air compressor for you

        This short guide was created to help you understand the basics of air compressors and to help you choose the right air compressor for you. We do not sell any air compressors ourselves, so you can be assured that all of the information in this guide is independent and unbiased.

        Background on air compressors
        If you are looking for a air compressor unit that you can use in the factory, at the job site, around the home, or at the cottage on the lake, there is a air compressor for you. Buying an air compressor doesn't require running across town to wait in line at a large home improvement store or air compressor dealer anymore. You can now get just about whatever air compressor you need for any size or use online. There are some differences among online air compressor stores and some things to pay particular attention to when comparing sites and services.

        Features and functions to look for in air compressors
        Of course, air compressors are designed to provide high-pressure air to power other equipment or tools. Pressure is measured in PSI (pounds per square inch), and the higher the number, the higher the pressure. Air pressure is created by the motor in the air compressor, and there are fuel (gas and diesel) and electric air compressors. Air compressors typically have engines between 5-10 horsepower and generate between 120-175 PSI.

        Other features and accessories to consider when shopping for a air compressor are; noise (as measured in decibels), fuel type, pressure regulator & gauges, safety relief valve, condensate drain valve, among others.

        How to find the best air compressor for you
        If you think that shopping online for a air compressor would fit your needs, there are a few things to look for when shopping for the right air compressor or web site for you. Keep in mind that some of these features apply to retail hardware or home improvement stores as well.

        Selection- finding just the right air compressor for your needs is important, and there can be a significant difference in selection among air compressor sites and stores. Don't just stop on the first site and pick something- do a little bit of browsing among sites first. As you visit the various sites, check out the selection as it might surprise you how many options you have.

        Price- of course, price should be a consideration for any purchase you make, including air compressors. All other things being equal, it usually makes sense to go with the product that offers the lowest price. However, don't make price your only criteria for choosing the best air compressor.

        Time- how long does it take to ship the air compressor? When will it be delivered? Is it possible to order expedited shipping if needed?

        Warrantee/returns- find out what the warranty covers and what the payback is if something goes wrong. Is there a return policy- what is the policy and how are returns made? In addition, whether you choose to buy online or in retail stores, make sure to find out how the unit will be serviced, both within and beyond the warranty period.

        Functionality of site- the best sites are clearly organized and easy to navigate. The best sites will also let you search easily by price or category to quickly find the air compressor that would best fit your needs.

        Customer service- online air compressor stores are more likely to have different options to check the status of an order, verify delivery, answer any questions or help in any other way, such as toll-free numbers, email, and other online tools. Help with any of these items using a retail store might require a personal visit or phone call to the store (during normal business hours, of course).

        Shipping- shipping costs add to the total cost of anything you buy online, but this cost is usually offset compared to buying in a store because you typically don't need to pay sales tax. Compare shipping costs among online sites as they may vary, and make sure to find out if shipping insurance is included or available as an option.

        The main advantage to shopping for air compressors in hardware stores is that you can see and touch the unit for yourself; you can also bring the air compressor home that day instead of waiting a few days or weeks for shipping. In contrast, shopping online can be a lot more convenient and efficient than driving across and around town to visit the various stores in person, especially if there is no store close to you. Shopping online for air compressors can also be done 24 hours a day. You may want to combine in-store and online shopping- you can either do your research online and then visit a store to see and touch the items you are considering, or you can visit a store to find what air compressor(s) you like, and then go online to find the best deal on that air compressor.

        To go a step further in finding the right air compressor for you, it might pay to ask your friends, co-workers and neighbors if they have had any experience with specific air compressor models. In addition to personal referrals, you can find out if any of the air compressor manufacturers or models have earned the endorsement of any legitimate, third party rating entity. Finally, you may consider brand name as a criteria. Generally, the best-known and most successful businesses are those that make a good product and earn a good reputation over time.

        In conclusion, we hope you have found the information we have put together for you useful. We recognize that this guide was in no way exhaustive, and that there is more to air compressors than what is included here. We suggest that you use the information in this guide as a starting point in your search for the right air compressor for you.
        59 Volvo PV544
        87 Shelby CSX #239
        88 Shelby CSXT #707
        88 Shelby CSXT #745
        87 Mustang LX
        92 Mustang GT
        www.jamperformance.com

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        • #5
          Re: Sandblasting and prepping, newb help me!

          I agree with all of the above about the compressor. Get the biggest you can afford. It's something that will last for years, and you'll find yourself using it for more than you ever thought. A small portable compressor probably isn't going to get it here......not enough capacity (gallons) nor cfm (air flow).

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          • #6
            Re: Sandblasting and prepping, newb help me!

            Is there any other ways to prep but sand blasting? Iv seen guys on the forums heat up some solution and soak the part in it? What about using like a sanding wheel power tool or something? Isnt the point just to clean off the part of grease/debris ect?

            -nick

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Sandblasting and prepping, newb help me!

              Originally posted by emopunk96
              Is there any other ways to prep but sand blasting? Iv seen guys on the forums heat up some solution and soak the part in it? What about using like a sanding wheel power tool or something? Isnt the point just to clean off the part of grease/debris ect?

              -nick
              there are other ways but blasting is the best. as for the point being to clean off the part the answer is yes and more so no. the point is to give the part a profile that will give the powder a bite or grip on the part as it cure and bonds to the base.
              when in doubt polish it out/ why replace it when you can refinish it
              G2 Polishing and Powdercoating

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              • #8
                Re: Sandblasting and prepping, newb help me!

                Originally posted by emopunk96
                Is there any other ways to prep but sand blasting? Iv seen guys on the forums heat up some solution and soak the part in it? What about using like a sanding wheel power tool or something? Isnt the point just to clean off the part of grease/debris ect?
                I'm still a noob, so I may not be 100%, but: You can powder coat items without sandblasting them. But if you DO sandblast, the surface is FAR superior for the powder to grab/adhere to. The sandblast media creates little pits that the powder can sink into.

                What do you plan on PC'ing emopunk96?? The thing you have to remember too, is that it all depends on the parts that you are PC'ing. If the parts you have are cast aluminum that doesn't have any coating, then you can probably get away with just a solvent cleaning. But if the part had any paint or if it's a really slick surface (ie; a wheel that was polished, but gonna be PC'ed), then it might not stick to the item very well. Like I said before, i'm noob and may be wrong about that, so let's hear from you pro's!!
                59 Volvo PV544
                87 Shelby CSX #239
                88 Shelby CSXT #707
                88 Shelby CSXT #745
                87 Mustang LX
                92 Mustang GT
                www.jamperformance.com

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Sandblasting and prepping, newb help me!

                  Basically im going to be PC a lot of engine parts. Valve covers and similiar parts, some aluminum some cast, but none of them should be painted before, which why I figured i wouldnt need as much prep? Iv seen guys just soak the stuff in heated solvent with good results.
                  thanks!
                  -nick

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Sandblasting and prepping, newb help me!

                    the one instance that you do not want to blast is when doing transparant colors such as candy's and lollipops. these powders are shot over polished aluminum and chrome without blasting. otherwise blasting is the best prep for most all applications.
                    when in doubt polish it out/ why replace it when you can refinish it
                    G2 Polishing and Powdercoating

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                    • #11
                      Re: Sandblasting and prepping, newb help me!

                      Whenever I do something polished or chrome without blasting, it's prone to chipping. Is there any way besides blasting that you guys use to get good adhesion?

                      Steve
                      Steve Dold
                      http://stevedold.com

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Sandblasting and prepping, newb help me!

                        You might try scuffing it with a Scotch brite pad..

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Sandblasting and prepping, newb help me!

                          Lots of good advise already listed. I'm also new to sandblasting, but I prefer to figure it out myself. There are many things to consider when choosing a blaster, kind of parts to blast, their overall size and shape, type of metel, etc. I don't recomend a cabinet, unless all you're blasting are small parts. The cheepest way to go (not the best) is to buy the simple hose blaster kit. Get a bucket and a air compressor with a rating no less than 15 CFM (cubit feet per minute) air volume @ 80 PSI. You can go as low as 7 CFM, but it would require a small blaster nozzle best for glass etching. The air compressor should run off of 240V and have a air dryer attached. You will need to use about 50-150psi of air pressure, depending on the type of media (sand, glass, walnuts, etc) used. My Sears Professional 240V 7HP 60 Gal air compressor does just fine with a 50 lbs. bucket style sand blaster running @ 80 PSI. Gas air compressors are more powerful, but cost a lot more. I don't know much about pressurized sand blasters, other than they provide more blasting power and cost a lot more. I found all the info I needed, just by looking around online stores, most will give out all the info you need in picking the best products for the type of project you're working on. Do the research. I will tell you, buying a blaster is worth it. The cheap paint that was used on my new headers came right off using just medium glass beads at 80psi in just a matter of a few minutes (recomend using aluminum oxide it's best for this type of work). The finished product turned out to be far better quality than what I could do using 200 grit sand paper. Don't forget about safety equipment! You will need a blaster hood, gloves, a respirator and cleaning supplies. Glass beads and the oxide medias can be recycled, but you need to sift the media to clean it.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Sandblasting and prepping, newb help me!

                            What do you mean a bucket and sand blaster? Like a big bucket to sit the parts in? Im confused on how this is all setup? I will be doing semi large parts so I was concerned about the cabinet size.

                            Do I need to have my garage wired for special voltage to use what your talking about?

                            -nick

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Sandblasting and prepping, newb help me!

                              Originally posted by emopunk96
                              Is there any other ways to prep but sand blasting? Iv seen guys on the forums heat up some solution and soak the part in it? What about using like a sanding wheel power tool or something? Isnt the point just to clean off the part of grease/debris ect?

                              -nick
                              Bottom line is, time vs. effort...yes a sanding wheel will work, but how much time will you spend using that vs. soaking vs. the blasting cabinet?...
                              Heated solvent just screams toxic issues to me...

                              it takes just a few minutes to get a valve cover clean in the blast cabinet.... look at it this way.. everybody uses them... it must work.
                              If it jams; Force it. And if it breaks it needed replacing anyway.

                              I can go from 0 to "What seems to be the problem Officer?" in 3 seconds."

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