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#1 Federal Farmer

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 08:05 PM

Anyone have any experience sandblasting gun parts? I'd like to know what is minimally necessary. For instance, do you need a sand blasting cabinet? Advice on products and media are welcome.

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#2 Uncle Harley

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 08:11 PM

[quote name='Federal Farmer' date='27 March 2012 - 08:05 PM' timestamp='1332900311' post='319575']
Anyone have any experience sandblasting gun parts? I'd like to know what is minimally necessary. For instance, do you need a sand blasting cabinet? Advice on products and media are welcome.
[/quote



Not gun parts, but I have blasted alot at previous jobs. I would suggest a cheap cabnit just to contain the mess. I have done large parts outside but you don't want to lose a small part. You can use shot, soda, silica, or even walnut shells. Depends on the metal, and how small thin it is and wheather or not it will hurt it to lose a little metal. For internal parts I'd suggest walnut shells or soda.



You can get a cheap cabinet at harbor freight for a good reasonable price. For Real small delicate parts you might try something called an "air eraser"

they use canned air and come in a kit and are used for model cars etc.
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#3 Uncle Harley

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 08:13 PM

Air Eraser

http://www.harborfre...-kit-99636.html


Blast Cabinet
http://www.harborfre...inet-42202.html
"A river cuts through a rock not because of its power but its persistence." - Jim Watkins


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#4 pyre400

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 08:23 PM

I used to sand blast quite a bit, but that was for large machine parts. The cabinet was the size of a child's playhouse, and was grounded (due to static).

I've been considering getting a small cabinet myself, for refinishing couple of stainless handguns I have. Springfield wants over $100 so that's pretty much the price for a cheap unit. http://www.harborfre...inet-93608.html

I've never used the a cheap cabinet, so I cant comment on the quality. The cabinet I used had a platform on it, and was commercial.

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#5 Uncle Harley

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 08:40 PM

I used to sand blast quite a bit, but that was for large machine parts. The cabinet was the size of a child's playhouse, and was grounded (due to static).

I've been considering getting a small cabinet myself, for refinishing couple of stainless handguns I have. Springfield wants over $100 so that's pretty much the price for a cheap unit. http://www.harborfre...inet-93608.html

I've never used the a cheap cabinet, so I cant comment on the quality. The cabinet I used had a platform on it, and was commercial.






the big cabnets are fun aren't they! when I built semi trailers, I blasted for a while in a big cabnet with automatic doors and we had a sealed hood with a suplly line of fresh air so we could breath. we ran 3 in blast hoses and if you held it on 1/4 in stainless steel for more than a few seconds it would get cherry red and burn through.
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#6 pyre400

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 08:52 PM

the big cabnets are fun aren't they! when I built semi trailers, I blasted for a while in a big cabnet with automatic doors and we had a sealed hood with a suplly line of fresh air so we could breath. we ran 3 in blast hoses and if you held it on 1/4 in stainless steel for more than a few seconds it would get cherry red and burn through.


LOL - I still have some tools that are distorted, and some snapon channel locks (which snapon would not exchange), which have no finish left on them.

I find my self looking back, quite often, wishing I had access to the various equipment that I used to work with. There's no end to what I'd make.

..But, for the price it would take to finish 2 pistols, I could get my own cabinet. I too would like to know the psi/media combination for a soft satin finish.
I've found some conversations on the web, but no photo examples yet.

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#7 belercous

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 09:33 PM

You don't need a cabinet unless you want to recycle the blasting media or if you don't want to take a shower afterwards. The grit gets everywhere. When I worker on aircraft we did not use sand as it will erode the metal, especially aluminum. We used glass beads instead, it takes the finish/paint/rust right off & doesn't eat metal. The media costs more, but doesn't erode metal like sand does.

If you don't use a cabinet you will need definitely eye protection & a shower. You can build your own cabinet if need be. Don't use glass for the window as it will get foggy. Clear plexiglass is cheaper & the window is a wearing part, it will need to be replaced if you do much blasting. Wood will work, but doesn't last as long as steel. The cabinet will need something like a shop-vac to keep the part in view, it will get too foggy otherwise. Use a fine grade screen at the top of the shop-vac to keep flakes out, the bottom is where you put the media inlet hose from the nozzle. Get some elbow-length heavy-duty rubber gloves to manipulate the parts & nozzle. A sandblaster will also require a big air compressor if you don't want to stop every minute & wait for more air pressure.

For a one time job, blast outdoors, forego the troble of a cabinet.

#8 Federal Farmer

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 09:50 PM

My first project is an AK74 kit I've been tinkering with on and off for ages. I think the bolt is a loss though, we'll see. I've been reading and the glass beads come highly recommended as a medium. Definitely want to re-use those.

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#9 belercous

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 10:17 PM

Then you will need a cabinet. Wood will be cheap & easy, & will last for awhile. Metal is prefered for a professional shop. You will want a light in the box too, at the top. A real air compressor will be the most expensive part. Usually a heavy screen is used to support the parts on with the shop-vac inlet located below to keep the dust down. Ask around at various shops so you can see one firsthand, that'll help you the most when constructing your own.

A bead-blaster is a great thing to have in one's shop, you will find other things to strip & paint if you have easy access to one. Nothing like getting something down to bare metal when repainting. I stripped & repainted a lot of Corvette parts at TWA.

#10 Tvandermyde

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 07:17 AM

Dave

I have a small cabenet that i use for glass bead blasting. Even have the media for it and used it when finishing a couple of guns. Your welcome to come over and use it if you need
While a 9 mm or .40 caliber bullet may or may not expand, it is an undeniable fact that a .45 caliber bullet will never shrink.

#11 Federal Farmer

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 06:58 PM

Dave

I have a small cabenet that i use for glass bead blasting. Even have the media for it and used it when finishing a couple of guns. Your welcome to come over and use it if you need


I appreciate the offer and might take you up on it sometime. I've decided to shelve the AK74 project for now and stick some of the parts in brake cleaner for about a month!

Meanwhile, I'm taking on a Polish underfolder AK47 kit that is in much better shape. Probably won't have to sandblast any of the parts in this kit.

People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men [and women] stand ready to do violence on their behalf.

--George Orwell

-- Certified something-or-other by various organizations and governmental entities.

#12 moparcardave

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 07:08 PM

I looked at the sandblasters at harbor freight then built my own. I used a plastic washtub the square one for the bottom. The top I bought a sheet of aluminum and bent it U shaped using a brake. The front I used plywood and the top I used plybood with tempered glass. I welded up a grate for the inside and then cut a 4inch old in the top of the cabinet and put a light gauge corregated sewer line shaped like a shepards staff. Short in goes into the cabinet, the other just vents to the floor. I put a foam filter in this. You need this as when you put 90 plus air pressure in you need a place the the pressure to go. The hooked part of this keeps the sand inside. I had another piece of tempered glass for the front to view. Then I got 4" plastic toliet bowl base flanges for two holes on the front for gloves to go though fastened the sleeves of the gloves to this. Gloves were like 8.00 at harbor. I put a bulkhead fitting though the side for my air pressure quick connecters and a 15.00 ebay spray head for the blaser. On the top you want a small 1 1/2" hole to hook your shop vacuum up to, this keeps the dust down but doens't suck out the sand. Take a light witih a metal shade, like a baby chick warmer and this light sets partly over the glass on top to see as you blas. You have to suck the sand up from the bottom so put either wood or metal to funnel the sand down. Works great and better then harbors. I thin I have $45 in it.


As far as sandblasting gun parts, if you use the light glass bead you will be fine. My Trained Gunsmith I lived next door to, often was sandblasting parts especially 45 auto's and shotgun barrerls before blueing would give it almost a parkerized finish. This was in the early 70's and there were lots of old military 45's floating around at that time :thinking: and had rust and pitting made from parts. They looked great done.
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#13 Buzzard

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 08:16 PM

There's an automotive auto body supply company called Eastwood that has all sorts of tools and supplies. I Googled it and easily found a bunch of links, but was unable to connect to their site. They also have a forum that might discuss your questions about media types as there are quite a few, even peanut shells. Good luck!
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#14 Kenny

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 07:11 AM

Anyone have any experience sandblasting gun parts? I'd like to know what is minimally necessary. For instance, do you need a sand blasting cabinet? Advice on products and media are welcome.


Bring the parts when you come up next time I just bought a blast cabinet for blasting guns to duracoat them!! I have used it for 2 guns already!
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