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So I went and bought a media blasting cabinet....

Rack OpsRack Ops Member Posts: 18,593 ✭✭✭
edited April 2012 in General Discussion
So I've got this crazy idea that I'm going to get the money I just dropped on a sand-blasting cabinet back by refinishing beat up handguns.

First things first.......Lets be honest, I'll never make my money back, but its a great excuse to tell the wife [:)]


Second.....for those of you who have one, or have experience, what blast media works best for you for refinishing old guns? I'm leery of ending up with something thats going to be too "aggressive" and take bits of metal along with it.

As always, advise and/or derision is welcome [:)]

Comments

  • roswellnativeroswellnative Member Posts: 9,378 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I heard that nut shells are a good medium
    Although always described as a cowboy, Roswellnative generally acts as a righter of wrongs or bodyguard of some sort, where he excels thanks to his resourcefulness and incredible gun prowesses.
  • drobsdrobs Member Posts: 21,807 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Sound like you need a new gun to test it out on.
    Might I recommend a S&W 915 like this one:
    http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.aspx?Item=283757893

    I think that gun would look nice as a two tone.
    Parked upper bead blasted alloy lower.
  • TRAP55TRAP55 Member Posts: 7,938 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    What kinda cabinet did you get?
    Will your air compressor provide enough CFM to run it?
    The ones with a dust collector will extend the life of the media. For gun finish, stick to the fine glass media. Good lighting inside the cabinet is a must have.
    Used granulated sugar "once", for one of the best looking matte finishes ever, but jeeze what a mess to clean up![B)] Then I had to fight the ant invasion.
    I've never used it, but I hear good things about the plastic bead media.
    For small bits, an old speaker magnet works good. Try to hold them, and you'll have rubber gloves and finger tips with holes.
  • Rack OpsRack Ops Member Posts: 18,593 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by drobs
    Sound like you need a new gun to test it out on.
    Might I recommend a S&W 915 like this one:
    http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.aspx?Item=283757893

    I think that gun would look nice as a two tone.
    Parked upper bead blasted alloy lower.


    I've got a test subject already. I bought a beat-up 1911 last year as a restoration project, but some *uhem* issues with the parkerizing.

    I had the gun blasted by a machine shop last time, but they're just too busy now to work me in....so I figured I'd try it myself.
  • Rack OpsRack Ops Member Posts: 18,593 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by TRAP55
    What kinda cabinet did you get?


    http://www.tractorsupply.com/sandblasting-tools-accessories/jobsmart-reg-benchtop-abrasive-blast-cabinet-32-lb-capacity-3951103

    quote:
    Will your air compressor provide enough CFM to run it?


    I hope so...The compressor belongs to my father in law. I guess if it isn't I'll be buying a compressor too.....which isn't a bad thing to have laying around
  • 1911a1-fan1911a1-fan Member Posts: 51,193 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    been thinking about it myself for dura coat finishing


    http://www.duracoat-firearm-finishes.com/
  • TRAP55TRAP55 Member Posts: 7,938 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I was just looking at that same cabinet over at the Tractor Supply. I wish it was a few inches bigger inside, still might do it for that price though.
    Most decent size compressors will run one that size. It's not the pressure (PSI) you need, it's the air volume (CFM).
    I had a sand blaster that was way bigger than my compressor could handle. A friend gave me an old 60gal propane tank I used to hook up in series doubling the volume. It still emptied out pretty fast, but I didn't have to keep stopping to wait for the compressor to catch up.
    BTW....get some of those paper particle masks, you don't want to be breathing that dust!
  • forgemonkeyforgemonkey Member Posts: 20,268 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    ,,,,Garnet media works wonders,,,,,I send pistols to C&S for the blasting/bluing,,,,,,,,,,,[;)]
  • Ox190Ox190 Member Posts: 2,782
    edited November -1
    If you're planning on doing it for others make sure you CYA with the ATF....had some guys on a local forum get their hand slapped for not having the proper licensing.
  • FrancFFrancF Member, Moderator Posts: 35,278 ******
    edited November -1
    Glass bead works good without digging in to much. BTW when it comes to getting rid of the old media, you might incur Hazmat fees to dump the stuff.
  • FrancFFrancF Member, Moderator Posts: 35,278 ******
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by forgemonkey
    ,,,,Garnet media works wonders,,,,,I send pistols to C&S for the blasting/bluing,,,,,,,,,,,[;)]


    Another good one-
  • andrewsw16andrewsw16 Member Posts: 11,311
    edited November -1
    From the topic title, I thought this discussion was going to be about a bigazzed stereo. Oh well. [:D]
  • SpartacusSpartacus Member Posts: 14,415
    edited November -1
    aluminum oxide 90 grit


    before:
    dscf0310.jpg

    after:
    dscf0316u.jpg

    i could have taken the slide down to bare metal, but was using a black oxide finish, so didn't
    need to
  • spasmcreekspasmcreek Member Posts: 38,925
    edited November -1
    harbor freight #93608.....$220 ...got one yers ago and one spot of silicone on bottom and works great...hooked up a small $20 vac for dust suction
  • fordsixfordsix Member Posts: 8,722
    edited November -1
    how about soda blasting
  • MudderChuckMudderChuck Member Posts: 4,105
    edited November -1
    Most of the issues I've had is with moisture. The regular drier for my paint gun wasn't up to the task, I had a lot of clumping of the media. Having dry air makes the whole experience go a lot smoother.
  • 4440rk4440rk Member Posts: 495 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    You will want to pay attention to the cubic feet per minute on the air compressor you buy. The specs for that cabinet show min 4 cubic feet and max 12 cubic feet per minute.
    You will wish you had a 12 cubic feet per min if you buy smaller.[:)]
  • Toolman286Toolman286 Member Posts: 963 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Watch out for aluminum grit if you plan to do any blueing. We had a customer use it & the residue wasn't compatible with our blueing salts. We use glass beads, starting course (if needed) & then go finer. By the way, don't waste money on fancy chemicals to remove the blueing when toilet bowl cleaner does a great job.
  • bigoutsidebigoutside Member Posts: 19,443
    edited November -1
    Before you do anything, please; start taking photos.


    I'd love to see the start to finish before/after.

    Seems like most forget to start taking pictures until they are halfway through, or forget to take pictures during the second half of the project.
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