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Sandblasting VS Sodablasting.


Guest Orphanauto

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Guest Orphanauto

I recently read with great interest an article on sodablasting in the October issue of Auto Restorer. I noticed that Eastwood sells a conversion kit to change the portable sandblaster into a sodablaster by replacing the valve. I was wondering, Why do you need to replace the valve, why can't you just pour out all the old sand and put in the Soda Bicabonite? By the way, I have a portable sandblaster I bought thru Harour Frieght Tools, IF I need to buy a new valve and hose ect.. I might as well buy a complete Soda Blaster for about $100.00 more, and have both, just curious, so what do you think? I prefer to just pour the s.b. into the sand blaster, but don't want to screw it up, haha. Any ideas? Anyone change one over? Thanks...

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Guest Orphanauto

I haven't used Soda yet, but according to the article it says " Sodablasting will take off old paint, body filler, undercoats and light rust without damaging the surface." Interesting, undercoat is hard, but it says Light rust. There are great reasons to use Soda, such as it leaves a rust-inhabibiting residue on the suface, you can touch it and not leave fingerprints when you paint.

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I would NOT recommend a blaster with ANY media on wood wheels. The grain of the wood has a tendency to get real deep when blasted. The softer wood goes away and the wheels turn out very rough. I have always used a broken piece of glass. Scraping it backwards on the wheel takes the paint off very well and unlike a stripper, it will not ooze out of the cracks later.

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Orphanauto</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I recently read with great interest an article on sodablasting in the October issue of Auto Restorer. I noticed that Eastwood sells a conversion kit to change the portable sandblaster into a sodablaster by replacing the valve. I was wondering, Why do you need to replace the valve, why can't you just pour out all the old sand and put in the Soda Bicabonite? By the way, I have a portable sandblaster I bought thru Harour Frieght Tools, IF I need to buy a new valve and hose ect.. I might as well buy a complete Soda Blaster for about $100.00 more, and have both, just curious, so what do you think? I prefer to just pour the s.b. into the sand blaster, but don't want to screw it up, haha. Any ideas? Anyone change one over? Thanks... </div></div>

Funny you should ask this, as this exact topic was debated on the hotrodders.com forum a few months ago (and yes, I was one of the trouble makers). While the price Eastwood is asking for the conversion kit seems excessive, the reality is that the soda needs a different orifice and apparently an air bleed to work properly. It will cake up and clog if you simply pour it into an unmodified sand blaster.

I say give them a few months for the price to come down. When Eastwood first came out with their original powder coat gun, it was over $150. I bought the same gun (without the Eastwood name) from Norther Tool for half that much. Eastwood subsequently dropped their prices to match. I expect the same thing to happen with the soda blasters.

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Guest VeloMan

Soda (sodium bicarbonate) seems a lot less aggressive than the other common blasting media, but it won't etch glass or destroy rubber. In the blasting cabinet, I prefer aluminum oxide. It's also nice that it is harmless to the environment (though not the lead-based paint you remove!). How long does it take to remove paint from, say, a compact car body with soda?

Phil Jamison

West Chester, PA

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Guest Orphanauto

Great input keep it coming. I guess I'll keep the sandblaster for hard rusty frames (not rusted away ofcourse) , then I'll go ahead and buy a Sodablaster. I agree, I'll wait for the price to drop. Thanks Joe, According to the article, the writer used a 37 Ford conv. coupr as a test. After Sodablasting it, he let it sit outside for more than months, no problem, of course he lives in dry Texas, I did the rear frame on my Studebaker truck 9 (Sandblasting ) as a hobbiest, I only have the weekend, and yes, I got surface rust right away, maybe after the hard stuff is sandblasted, I can go over it with soda. It is suppose to come of just like sandblasting Veloman...

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You can sandblast wood wheels. I've done it & I highly recommend it. Most wheels are made of hickory, a tight grain hard wood. Oak may be a problem because it is a hard wood but with open grain and softer pulp between the grain. I took my hickory wheels to a local sandblast shop that I worked with before and we tested a small area using plastic media. We started at 50psi. I think we had to crank the pressure up to about 80psi before it cleaned the old paint off. We didn't want to use too much pressure but it was enough to remove paint & rust off the rims too. Some of the old paint had flaked off long ago and left black water stains on the wood. I was surprised that blasting cleaned the water stains to look like fresh white wood. blasting left the wood slightly rough. I would compare it to sanding with maybe 100 grit paper cross grain. You would probably want to follow with hand sanding with 150 paper if you wanted to varnish them. I just took the wheels home, cleaned them with a dry paint brush & air hose & they were ready to seal. Sure beats trying to scrap or hand sand each spoke. I used Quick-Poly sealer to seal the wood. Brushed it on per instructions (instructions are basically keep brushing the sealer on until it stops soaking in) with throw-away brushes. Q-P is a clear 2 part epoxy wood sealer, etc. etc. It has the advantage that it will soak down into loose joints, fill them up & glue the spokes and felo tight making a nice solid wheel again. I hand sanded the sealer 1 time with 150 grit, sprayed 2 coats of epoxy primer ( DP-40 ) and they were ready for enamel top coat. I read a tip in a magazine to use an old BBQ rotisserie. I found one with a square shaft hole that is open at both ends. Bought a 4ft piece of square rod, built a table to support the motor in the middle & the shaft at each end, made some wood hubs to adapt the wleels to the shaft. I can paint 2 wheels at a time while continuously turning them. I paint outside on a hot, sunny day, spray medium to heavy coats and the paint flows out smooth and cures quickly with no runs.

I have a small cabinet blaster but I don't own a portable type blaster. I have an all wood body that is made of ash with (I think) maple skin. I'm considering buying a blaster to clean the 100 year old body. I don't want a chemical stripper to soak in to the dry wood and cause problems with new paint. I don't want to hand sand because I'm concerned that I'll sand away all the detail. Has anyone used soda on a wood body?

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I agree with JDOME. I had my wood spoke wheels sand blasted with greensand and they came out great!

Before I took my wood wheels to my local blaster, I taped up all the wood spokes. He asked me why I did that and offered to show me the job on one spoke. He said that greensand is less agressive, but would definately show where any spokes were rotted. (So, it is actually a good way to find bad spokes!)

When I saw how fast and smooth the wood was, I pulled all the tape off the other wheels and had them blasted. I immediately took them home and used only spar varnish to finish the wood. You can zoom in on the photo below to see the results. (Sorry I don't have a good photo of just the wheel.)

post-41092-143138037069_thumb.jpg

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