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Discussion DIY Wet Blaster

Discussion in 'Tech Tips' started by Andych, Oct 19, 2019.

  1. Andych

    Andych Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Personally I would run a smaller agitation line. You really want most of the flow going up to the gun. 1/2” line up to the gun will be fine but I would drop back to 10mm for agitation. Same principle as putting your finger on the end of a hose to create a stronger stream. Less flow, more pressure will keep the agitation up but allow more slurry to come out of the gun.


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  2. my67xr

    my67xr Bike Enthusiast Staff Member Premium Member Contributing Member

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    20 minutes with the blasting gun, left bottom 1/4 of wheel

    20191030_150209.jpg

    And 20 minutes on the rear with the blasting nozzle with a 13mm agitator barb fitting.
    Possibly quicker because i disnt have to blast inside each spoke as much
    I need to clean off the old double sided tape from the balance weights too then give it another clean

    20191031_145326.jpg
     
  3. Andych

    Andych Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    What glass bead are you running on it. Finish looks a little course.


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  4. kiffsta

    kiffsta Administrator Staff Member Dirty Wheel Club Contributing Member

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    Watch you pressure , too high and you will pock mark the alloy , slow and steady on a lower pressure you yield shinier and smoother results
     
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  5. my67xr

    my67xr Bike Enthusiast Staff Member Premium Member Contributing Member

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    It was 150/106 fine, but has been well used in my bead blasting cabinet too
    So might be too fine now?
     
  6. my67xr

    my67xr Bike Enthusiast Staff Member Premium Member Contributing Member

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    Here are some more part's i've blasted over the last week,
    still have the 13mm agitator barb, and run little to no air pressure to finish the part's


    20191105_111733.jpg 20191105_111738.jpg 20191107_103728.jpg 20191127_133258.jpg
    20191127_133623.jpg 20191127_133330.jpg 20191127_133922.jpg 20191129_104415.jpg 20191129_104422.jpg
     
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  7. ShaneP

    ShaneP Well-Known Member

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    Looks like it is working pretty well. Do heed kiffsta's advice. Some of those parts may have a coarse casting or corrosion pits, it is visible that is the case in your parts, but different material will respond differently.
     
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  8. my67xr

    my67xr Bike Enthusiast Staff Member Premium Member Contributing Member

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    The 2x brake arm's were rough cast, standard 1976 Yamaha
    The alloy coolant manifold and the zinc plated coolant pipe were both painted previously so were in good condition before blasting, they came up the best
    The 1976 Yamaha 2x headlight fork mount's were painted steel and had lost most of their paint and had pitted rust before blasting
    I am pretty happy with the result's from such a budget setup, it's so much better than my bead blaster, no dust and less noise


    I have found another cheap dirty water pump i might buy and try out,
    it's a 750W 16,500 lph so would flow about 4 and a bit time's the amount the current pump does and probably more suited to the slurry mixture
     
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  9. Andych

    Andych Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    That pump should be better suited as the ones the the Kiwi uses are generally around 1.1 or 1.5 kw. With the higher flow rate you will have increased pressure (head) as well.
    While you won’t get to 4 times the flow through your setup the overall flow / pressure will be higher and that will make it less reliant on the compressed air.
    That way the air is doing the dispersion / atomization ( for lack of a better term).
    I still haven’t had a chance to convert mine. Too many other things happening at the moment that take priority.


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  10. kiffsta

    kiffsta Administrator Staff Member Dirty Wheel Club Contributing Member

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    I thought I might give you my tips and tricks for good blasting :

    Too much pressure can harm the alloy.

    Grease seems to repel the blast media , so spend some time cleaning your parts , makes life heaps easier and a quicker job.

    Don’t focus on that spot that won’t come off , you can damage the alloy around it, when I do cases with lots of chain, lube, grease etc , I use some degreaser first to loosen it , I also have a pick that I use to get into those hard to get places and gently break it up.

    The age of the alloy and composition of the alloy need to be respected , ie if you are blasting older parts from the 60’s and older , set your regulator for your air flow on a much lower setting or you will blow a hole in it

    as a guide
    Modern to 1987 - 50- 60 psi
    1986- 1977 - 45-55 psi
    1976- 1960 - 40 -50psi
    Any thing older , Start at 40 psi and see how it comes up , you can always increase

    On older alloys , do a test patch that isn’t visable first

    Your media to water ratio is key , I aim for between 20-25%, the easy way to test is to find a 4l plastic bottle that is clear ,cut a 3cm hole on one side near the top, spray your gun into the plastic bottle until it overflows at the top , let it all settle and you should see the concentration of your media , if my media settles and I have 3-4 cms of media in the bottom of the bottle , then I am pretty good.

    Clean water will yield better results.

    if the part you are cleaning has pits from water and / or bad storage be very careful blasting it as the high pressure water and media can make it a lot worse.

    gasket material repels the blast media , get a gasket scraper and get as much off as you can.

    different grades of media will yield different finishes , I use ah, ad and c grade media from potters , ah is the finest and gives a shinier finish , but doesn’t sink in the water sump as well as the other 2 , ad is my go to bead , great finish. Avoid c bead unless you are doing industrial Cleaning of steel , it is too abrasive for alloy and pits it

    be carefull on cylinder heads where there is putting , the blast media can make it worse. Think of 3 stroke heads with det marks

    Be wary of parts ( swingarms, fork legs etc) that are anodized or certain parts with that ultra hard clear coat , no point trying to blast it off, even at higher pressures, most anodizers will have a caustic tank, pay them $20 to dip the parts in their tank and then vapour blast to get the nice finish.

    don’t blast cases and parts with bearings in there , the media gets stuck in there and you cant get it out. Better to remove your bearings. Invest in a blind bearing puller , honestly it makes life so much easier.

    always clean your blasted parts in fresh water and air hose dry , water marks can be a pain to get off if your water is dirty.

    dont leave a recently cleaned part of your cabinet overnight or for long periods , it will draw on the water from your sump and will end up with a bad finish.

    Wet blasting is not a paint stripping process, buy a 4l tin of diggers industrial paint stripper and remove as much paint as you can, if you try and blast the paint off , it just dirties your water and can damage your pump . Paint stripped is your friend , but watch skin contact , it burns like a mother fucker , also don’t put your hands in the blasting gloves with paint stripper , you can get a warm and fuzzy feeling followed by an emergency dash to a sink to wash it , speaking from experience here.

    sometimes it is better to sandblast to remove paint and powder coat , than to wet blast , use the sandblast to get the paint off , then wet blast to achieve the finish , I do this a lot on finned heads on 2 stroke dirt bikes.

    blasting steel and cast iron will clean up, but it will flash rust, I use wd40 or similar on barrels after I have blasted them to stop the flash rust. You can buy a rust inhibitor for your sump water , it works okay , but anything with an iron content will still flash rust.

    be wary of blasting parts like carbs and master cylinders where there are tiny passages , the blast media will get stuck and ruin your part , better to remove pistons and seals from master cylinders.


    You can use your blasting cabinet for other fun things such as etching glass , make a mask from thicker vinyl and attach it to a sheet of glass then blast in the gaps , it will etch a pattern.

    You can blast other metals such as copper and brass , but as they are softer,
    You need to adjust your pressures , I have cleaned up brass plaques from graves for customers , they came up really well for something that was exposed to the weather for 30 years.

    I’m sure there is heaps more , but that is all I can think of now , good luck with it .
     
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    Last edited: Nov 30, 2019
  11. maelstrom

    maelstrom LiteTek Staff Member Premium Member 250cc Vendor Contributing Member

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    Bloody hell Kiffsta, can I just bring my stuff to you. I'll get a headache just reading the instructions. :)
     
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  12. my67xr

    my67xr Bike Enthusiast Staff Member Premium Member Contributing Member

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    Blasted a FZR water pump cover today

    20191130_133954.jpg 20191130_133457.jpg
     
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  13. ruckusman

    ruckusman Well-Known Member Premium Member Dirty Wheel Club

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    It's wonderful to see someone share their knowledge that generously
     
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  14. beano

    beano Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Been planning on making one of these for over a year now, this thread is great and tally's in nicely with the research Iv'e been doing (I was gonna do this as part of my final year project in uni).

    The general plan was to create some kind of hybrid sandblast/vapour blast cabinet so I can both strip paint etc and put a finish on parts. With a simple and easy change over mechanism.

    I have a rough idea sketched out and it looks very doable, so will post back up the progress when i get around to it. I have a few weeks off over the x-mas period so was hoping to get a start on it then.
     
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  15. Andych

    Andych Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Realistically it is probably cheaper and easier to have both a sand blaster and a water blaster as the changeover would be time consuming and problematic at best.
    If you keep your eyes open you can pick up used sand blast cabinets cheap enough at the alternative is to just use paint stripper and just water blast.
    But if you want to have a go at it then good for you.
    More than happy to be proven wrong


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