Sand Blasting (1 Viewer)

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I'm Restoring my 78 and thank god I have access to a very large cabinet blaster. My question is can I sand blast aluminum? Specifically the intake manifold? If i do, can I paint it? Should I paint it? What do ya think

Josh
 

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Welcome.


You can blast it.


An etching primer will be required to make paint stick to it.


You could send it out to a hot rod polisher, and have it buffed up nice and bright!


Good luck!


-Steve
 
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Thanks Steve, I figured I could do it...But ya never know. I really don't want to paint it, I just know how dull and lusterless the blaster will make stuff. I think hitting for a minute with a buffer will be a good compromise between "looks like hell" and "too much of a road queen" :)
 
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Be careful blasting soft metals like aluminum! It'll pit quicker than @&@&@&@&e! Keep the nozel moving and take material off in layers instead of just working on one spot.
 
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Be careful on the mating surface to the head. Personally I would put some fine glass bead media in there for the stuff you don't want all pitted. I used my friends glass bead blaster for lots of stuff, didn't pit it nearly as bad as my sandblaster. My heater box, for example I bead blasted, primed, painted and then installed. Looks perfect.
 

Coolerman

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ken_79-fj40 said:
Be careful on the mating surface to the head. Personally I would put some fine glass bead media in there for the stuff you don't want all pitted. I used my friends glass bead blaster for lots of stuff, didn't pit it nearly as bad as my sandblaster. My heater box, for example I bead blasted, primed, painted and then installed. Looks perfect.
He is correct , glass bead is the media you should use. Much less aggressive than sand or silicon carbide media. You could have that done for under $20 at most blast shops.

You might consider masking off the mating surface with duct tape. The media will just bounce off of it. Good luck!
 
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Another reason not to use sand is silicosis. Even with glass beads, I wear a particulate mask. Also for softer metals, you can turn the air down, too. I mask machined surfaces with duct tape.

GL

ed
 

Coolerman

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I blast with straight playground sand cause it's $2.49 for 50 lbs. I rigged up a gizmo straight out of Mad MAx to keep a fresh clean supply of air coming to me while blasting or painting. I use an old welding helmut with a clear lense instead of the dark one, a small Craftsman vacuum with a short 1 1/2" hose and a longer 2 1/2" vac hose. I connect the large hose to the blower side of the vac and sit it up wind of where I'm painting or blasting. The larger hose is about 20' long so I can get it pretty far away. I zip tied the smaller hose inside the helmut so it blows up the back of my head and over the front of my eyes. The other end attaches to the larger hose with an adaptor. I also wear a mask with the screw on replaceable filters. In use the vac supplies a large amount of fresh air to the helmut at a good volume and velocity. Enough volume to keep the sand dust completely away from my face! The mask will get any particles that do make it through. It works great in the heat of the summer but gets pretty darn cold in the winter. :)
 
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Best thing to use for softer metals is baking soda. Its not as agressive as the other media choices.
Another method is dry ice, but the equipment makes it cost preventative for the do-it-yourselfer.
 
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Thanks for all of the replys fellas. You all have brought up some great points. Unfortunately the blasting cabinet isn't mine and I cant change the media. I'm going the try cleaning this up with traditional cleaning methods (SOS pads work really well on aluminum I have found). If that doesn't work I try the blaster on a small portion of the manifold to test.
 

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