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Old 02-07-2016, 09:52 PM   #1
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1975 Argosy 26
Tulsa , Oklahoma
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Soda blasting the Frame - While Shell On?


I've got my 1975 Argosy gutted, the pan dropped, banana wraps off, and half the floor out. I'm about to start removing rust, and then will POR-15 the frame. The shell is still on and I don't intend to remove it (not looking for a 'shell on/shell off' debate here).

Question: Can I use a Soda blaster on the frame to remove rust with the shell on? I was originally thinking of using my grinder with a wire brush attachment, but a soda blaster looks like it might be quicker. I'd take measures to protect the windows etc... I don't have any experience with a Soda blaster....But any reason I wouldn't use a Soda blaster instead of wire brushes, and angle grinders with wire brush attachments?

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Old 02-08-2016, 07:15 AM   #2
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Springville , Alabama
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Por15 adheres to the rust. I wire brushed most of my frame and then used the metal prep. The rusty metal adhered better.
Scrap any flaking or loose stuff. Wire wheel any existing paint. Clean and wash real good. Let dry. Paint over rust.
I tried sand blasting and gave up. Wire wheels were quicker. Soda blasting may not work as well as you think. Your making great progress!

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Old 02-08-2016, 07:42 AM   #3
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1967 26' Overlander
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Sorry. I can't offer any advice about soda blasting but instead of a wire wheel I recommend that you use a wire cup brush like this: Brushed every inch of my 26ft frame with several of these. They last longer than the wire wheels and don't shed needle like pieces of wire everywhere. Neither easy nor fast but highly effective.
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Old 02-08-2016, 08:19 AM   #4
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Walnut shells for blasting would be cleaner, the powder is fine and gets into everywhere
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Old 02-08-2016, 09:31 AM   #5
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Only do this if you are renting full size commercial equipment or hiring a professional. The soda blasters you can buy at Northern Tool or Menards or Tractor Supply will leave you tired, frustrated, and unhappy.
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Old 02-08-2016, 12:44 PM   #6
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If you are planning on using a professional to do the work, I believe you will be pleased. Soda is not the only choice you have; walnut shells is also a good choice, and their are other fine blasting agents. Think about the clean up since I believe it will be your responsibility to clean up the residue. Soda contaminated soil doesn't grow vegetation until all the soda is washed out! Unless you can have the work done in their shop.
I speak from industrial experience; Soda is incredibly efficient and rust should be no problem. We had examples of removing paint from an Aluminum electric motor without touching the aluminum other than the patina look after it is done. You will need to mask off at least all the exterior lower half of the trailer. Soda will destroy the mill finish of the aluminum skin.
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Old 02-08-2016, 12:55 PM   #7
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Soda will destroy the mill finish of the aluminum skin.
Well that alone makes a great case for the wire cup brush!
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Old 02-08-2016, 09:30 PM   #8
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1975 Argosy 26
Tulsa , Oklahoma
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Alright - I'm going to ask a dumb question. Would the Mill Finish be an issue, since I have an Argosy, and am going to paint it anyway? Sounds like if I go the blasting route, Walnut shells would be a better media, since this is likely to be done in my side yard....

That being said, I'll probably go with the wire brush. The blasters I was looking at were from Harbor Freight, and it sounds like those might not be good enough to do the job right. Good tip on the cup brush...I wonder if I can find one of those that works with my Makita.....
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Old 02-08-2016, 09:53 PM   #9
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1983 27' Excella
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I have used POR 15 many times on Street Rod frames and elsewhere. It really wants rust. Not loose rust, but a fine rust finish. Scrape the loose rust off, then the wire cup brush or stiff hand wire brush should leave enough rust for the POR 15 to do it's thing. Be careful not to remove rust to the point that the metal looks like new as the POR 15 does not stick well to "new" metal.

If you intend to use POR 15 where it is exposed to the sun, it may be top coated with your favorite color when it is still tacky. Once POR 15 dries, other paint will most likely not stick.

I always brush POR 15, being very careful not to get any of it where I don't want it, including on my hands. This stuff is very durable. A drop on your garage floor or driveway can be there for a very long time.
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Old 02-09-2016, 06:12 AM   #10
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1973 27' Overlander
Portland , Texas
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The biggest issue with any type of "home" blasting, is having a pretty large compressor. Blasting takes a bunch of air. Little compressors can provide the pressure, just not the volume, you will be waiting for it to recharge more than working. Some sandblasters can use 15cfm @ 80 psi. My research showed a 5hp compressor with 80gal tank is a good standard for this type work. That is what I use, and it works well. My two cents
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Old 02-09-2016, 07:42 AM   #11
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