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Wet sandblasting

13670 Views 28 Replies 13 Participants Last post by  Bill.H
Quite a while ago I purchased a wet sand blast kit for my power washer from Northern Tool. Specifically it was this kit: http://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/product_8520_8520&issearch=2260. I finally got to try it out tonight after work on some rims fro my 446 that were pretty nasty. Overall I am quite happy with it. The water keeps the dust way down and there isn't a need for a huge compressor.

The best part of the whole thing though is probably that the majority of the sand stayed on the 4x8 piece of plywood I laid down in the yard.
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I assume you mean of the materials not me. If you want pics of me picture a guy in a rainsuit for the before and a guy in a rainsuit with pieces of silica sand all over him for the after.

Here are shots of the rims:
You can see that the rim flash rusted a bit when it dried. A simple wipe down with Evaporust should get rid of that and prep them for paint.

The other item I did tonight was the lower chute for my J80 snowcaster. All of the spots that you can see which had been rust are smooth now. I plan to prime them with a rust converting primer so I didn't worry about getting down to bare metal.

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I have one of those. It does work but I prefer the electrolysis rust removal tank for most stuff that I can get in one of my tanks. Just set it and forget it. Pull it out, hose it off, dry, and ospho. Much less mess for the operator.
Impressive.

So, how many pounds of media did you consume in cleaning these items and how much time did you spend? Did you use silica sand or something else? Is the media recoverable and re-usable? How many pounds of media in each bag you bought and what was the price per bag?
I used probably 90# of silica sand on those 3 pieces. With all the cracks and crevices in the rims they took much more time and sand than the chute did. The bags are 100#.Each bag was 8 bucks. Total time for the 3 pieces was around an hour. Total cost for the 3 of them is about $7.50 plus whatever the water costs. I suppose you could save the sand if you wanted and reuse it. You would need to dry it thoroughly and then sift it.

I normally use electrolysis as well but I have had a harder and harder time finding lye. Ordinarily little stuff like this would go in my electrolysis tank but I wanted to try it out. The blaster adapter should be quite helpful when it comes to the mower deck shell and scalp wheel bracket.
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I have never paid to have items sand blasted but a couple of winter time projects may require it this winter. For that reason have you paid to have similar work done and how would you estimate your costs and time compare to taking it somewhere and paying them to do it? I realize this is hard to estimate down to the last penny but I am wondering if one can justify purchasing the system for one or two small projects.

JN
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JN
I haven't ever paid full price to have anything sandblasted. A member of my wife's church used to run a sandblasting and restoration company before he retired. He still does some stuff on the side and I have had him do some larger stuff for me but the most he ever charged me was just for the sand he used. I guess that is one of the benefits of being the pastor's wife.

I would guess that this might end up being pretty economical when you figure in time. If a sandblaster would charge in the neighborhood of $20-$25 an hour or so which I would think to be fair, it won't take too long to make this back. Plus I love the sense of did it myself that I get and having another tool.

Attached is a pic of the wheel after 2 coats of primer and 2 coats of color. Now it is wait a couple days for the paint to harden and put the tires on whilst trying everything I can think of not to scratch the rims. It isn't perfect and there was actually a fair amount of pitting as the tractor sat for 5 or so years but I am happy with it. I doubt I win any best of show prizes though. I'm a 50-50 guy: If it looks good at 50 ft or 50 mph I am happy.

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Is that a Powermatic 66 in the background ?
Is that a Powermatic 66 in the background ?
good eye. I am a tech ed teacher so my garage can be full of endless projects with no where to work and I can still drag things to school to complete in my down time. It is a pretty nice gig.
It looks great to me - nice job. Thanks for the info.

JN
Very interesting......would this be a good option for the hood and fenders or would it take to long
I'm a 50-50 guy: If it looks good at 50 ft or 50 mph I am happy.
I like that.... I guess I am one of those guys too. The rims liike pretty nice to me, nice work.
I know wet sandblasting works but it's funny,if I sandblast the normal way ( dry sandblasting ) in high humidity,the part will start to show rust again in just a few minutes.So why doesn't the part re-rust as it is drying off from wet sandblasting?
Maynard,
Go and read post #3 again and look at the photos. The rim did flash-rust and he will use Ospho to deal with that. I don't know of any process where flash rusting doesn't take place if you don't move quickly to put a coating on the metal of one kind or the other.
Very interesting......would this be a good option for the hood and fenders or would it take to long
I would think it would work well for those pieces. The main reason it took so long on the wheels was having to find a way that they wouldn't just get blown away and shifting them all the time so I could get into each of the grooves completely. I am planning to use it on my 44" deck next.

When I did soem research on this gun before I bought it there were two main critiques. 1. The gun plugs and then sends water down the sand tube making a giant mess. It seems like this is usually caused by using too coarse of sand which plugs the gun. Using silica worked perfectly.
2. The nozzle doesn't last very long and is $30+ to replace. My nozzle doesn't show any wear that I can see after doing these parts and I found a supplier where I picked up 2 extra nozzles to have for $10 each.
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Does the wet sandblasting technique significantly reduce the amount of compressed air (and therefore the size of air compressor) needed to supply it with air? I have a single cylinder Craftsman compressor with a 30 gallon tank that I have always considered too small for anything but the smallest sandblasting project. It has always fulfilled my needs around the house and pole barn but the dry sandblasting cabinet I was allowed to work with at a friends shop took a serious 3 phase driven compressor to keep up with it.

JN
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I normally use electrolysis as well but I have had a harder and harder time finding lye. Ordinarily little stuff like this would go in my electrolysis tank but I wanted to try it out. The blaster adapter should be quite helpful when it comes to the mower deck shell and scalp wheel bracket.
** Go to a pool company and buy "PH Plus" Same thing you need to get the results and easy to find. It's all I use in my tanks. :thThumbsU
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OK. I just answered my own questions regarding the air compressor. I searched one of these and found they are designed to work with a pressure washer - I was envisioning a design that was air driven but picked up a slurry of water and sand.

Now the only problem I will have is the fact I don't own a power washer. Must be getting time to get one.

JN
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PS... Just to again mention for anyone doing rims. Your best bet is to prime the wheels and paint the inside of the rim. Then mount the tires, sand any damage to the primer & sport prime any bare metal. THEN mask the tires and paint the wheels. This way you have perfect rims, not ones that have been touched up because of damage while mounting. I personally never paint rims before the tires have been mounted.

I think these photos speaks for themself...

Mounted and lightly sanded... I also take this time to sand down the whole rim to knock down any imperfections left that sanded primer can hide.





Then a light coat of primer over the rim again before paint. (These rims were then painted for the red centers and left to harden. I then masked off the centers, and re-sanded the edges before the silver paint.)
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