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I just bought a mini sandblast cabinet and I am not impressed yet, since it recurculates the same 50lbs of sand through it and wears it out quickly (I am trying to take the paint off of my head light covers) but the paint isnt coming off quickly and the sight window gets really dusty really fast. would there be another blast media that doesnt wear down as quick?
 

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Jordan;
Sand blasting should be saved for parts and suspension stuff, I think it's a bit harsh for body work. There is a product at PEP Boys that's reall good at stripping the paint. I think it's call "aircraft stripper" It comes in spray or liquid in a can. I used it on a set of wheels that had several coats of paint on them. Spray it on, wait a few mintues for it to do it's thing and hose or scrape it off with little effort.
 

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There are a couple of things you can look at to improve your blasting. First, you might want to attach a small shop Vac to the blasting box. This will pull off the dust quickly allowing you to see what you are working on. It also stops the dust from scattering to your shop. As for the Blasting medium I would recommend glass beads for steel parts, sand is sort of harsh. You can buy it from Tractor supply company or many on-line vendors. You're right that the same stuff keeps recycling, I recommend not filling the blasting box to capacity. It seems to feed better if you only have a small amount of blasting medium in the box at any time. Finally, try to provide the blasting box with more CFM than the manufacture recommends and push the pressure to the limit, they always try to say they need less than they do. You will need to keep a close eye on the blasting gun for worn out nozzles and jets, these are the worst about reducing blaster efficiency. Good Luck
 

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Jordan,

I usually use glass media for most of my steel or aluminum parts that I blast in my one cabinet. It leaves an excellent finish for the primer & paint to adhere to. I even used it to clean up my used alum minilite wheels that are on my GT. I taped off the polished rim area & blasted the spokes. They came out like new.

My other blast cabinet has very sharp,quick removing "black beauty" media in it. This I use for really rusted or heavy steel parts. NOT recommended for thin sheetmetal. Rusted steel rims that are going to be painted clean up fast.

No matter what type of media you use, don't blast in one spot too long to prevent heating or pitting the metal. You can also adjust the air pressure. There are many other blast medias that are softer & harsher than these. My 66 Mustang was plastic media blasted & then I primed it in PPG epoxy primer. (still that way) My Mach 1 I chemical stripped (messy).

As for clouding up in the cabinet, do you have a small shop vac you can attach? It will keep it a bit clearer. When the media wears out it won't clean parts as good & gets really cloudy. Sand is a few medias harsher than glass so it should take the paint off of those headlight buckets pretty quickly.


Tom C
 

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Another thing about sand (excellent for heavy steel) is that the heat it generates will warp sheet metal. I found that out when I first started working in the corrosion shop (Air Force). Glass beads are good, as previous stated, as is ground walnut shells. Plastic is good and recommended for alum. products. With any of this stuff, if the paint is thick, it will "bounce" off if you attack it straight on. Try to start at a sharp edge using a 45 deg. cut.
 

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My friend restores old train sets and he uses baby power(talc)
it leaves a great finish and doesn't hurt the metal at all.strips the paint right off, and very cheap.
Good Luck!
Webster* :)
 
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