To make life a little easier even though we are working outside a heavy plastic tarp is setup to catch some of the sand.
Next we prepare our sand by screening it.
If we were using a larger sandblaster it may be cost effective to use sand that is prepackaged for sandblasting but since we only have to work on two small items the time it takes to screen a quart or two of sand is easy enough.
Screening your sand will remove small stones and larger clumps.
Another important thing to know is sand can hold a lot of water.
Prepackaged sand will often sit out in the rain and a few small holes in a bag can let a lot of water in.
If you have the time you should spread the sand out on some newspaper in the sun and let it dry out. If not when you use your first batch the air will dry it.
Here you can see the nosel of the Sandblaster. Even though this is a $15 handheld model it comes with extra ceramic insert tips. The sand material will eventually eat through these tips and replacing them is important so you don’t cause damage to the metal parts of the gun.
Once we are ready and hooked up to the compressor we start stripping the paint and rust off of our tree climbing bucks.
The process is slower then you might expect and shaking the canister while working will help reduce clogs.
Once the first batch of sand is gone we collect the spent sand and reuse it.
You can’t always reuse your media because any material that you are stripping off will endup in the sand also the sand hitting the metal we are stripping will get crushed and this will reduce its size and abrasiveness.
Because we are working on two small parts made of heavy steel contamination is not a problem.
So, with all the preparation and cleanup is it worth it to process 2 small parts this way?
Yes, because the use of a grinder would not get into small tight areas and sandblasting provided a uniform removal of rust and paint.
If we were working on an automobile quarter panel it would not be time effective for us to strip paint and rust with a hand held sandblaster but a larger 40 or 80 gallon tank with prepared media would give great results on floor boards or in the trunk area where sanding and grinding is extremely difficult.
Sandblasting should not be looked at as a replacement of other methods it should be used along with sanding and liquid strippers to complete your restoration task.
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