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Sometimes I am a little too stubborn - even for my own good. Had I been able to locate a local company to sand blast my frame & parts, I probably would not have gone to the trouble of doing this myself. However, I was also curious since I have never "open" blasted before ..... I did lots of research ...and boy did I learn. Eventually I will build myself a small blasting cabinet but I would really think twice before blasting something as large as a frame again. The finished job turned out great....... but it took way too much effort. All I can say is that open blasting is very, very messy ....even with a temporary room like I built. However, I learned some new skills and picked up a few ideas by talking to a local sand blast manufacturer (Trinco) who also supplied me with all my media (see below).
1) Straining: When using reusable media you must strain it before (while) pouring it back into the blaster for the 2nd, 3rd, 4th etc. shoot. A perfect strainer for 80 grit is a clothes dryer lint screen. The sifting action actually cleans the screen. If you don't strain, debris will certainly plug your blaster during the next shoot ... and cause lots of aggravation.
2) Replaceable components: Abrasive media like silicon carbide and aluminum oxide tend to wear out ceramic tips and brass valves. I went through at least 14 ceramic tips and (3) brass shutoff valves. It is almost comical how this high velocity media can totally eat away your blasting tools. Keep plenty of spares around.
3) Dust: Be aware that each reuse of media will produce more and more dust. For the home blaster there is not too much that can be done. The professional blasters don't face this challenge because their systems have integrated vacuum/recovery units to automatically remove the dust before reuse.
4) Heat: Sand blasting produces heat. Keep the gun moving so that you don't heat treat the metal.
I can be reached directly at the Legacy
firstname.lastname@example.org (SR71 on FFCobra.com)