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Old 11-17-2009, 07:03 PM   #239
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For months I have been looking for a local company that does soda blasting, but have had little luck. The lone prospect wanted $100 per hour, $50 a bag of blasting soda, and $0.58 cents a mile to my house for gas. I was born at night, but not last night!

So last Friday I was perusing the website of everybody's favorite place to hate on. The place where cheap and poorly made Chinese tools live...Harbor Freight. They had a portable soda blaster that held 10 pounds of media on sale for $79.00. I figured at this price it was worth it even if I had to bring the tool back. I picked up the blaster, set of funnels, and a 50 pound bag of blasting soda for $145.00.

Harbor Freight's 10 lb soda blasting rig


Assembly at home took 10 minutes, and was pretty straight forward. I took it outside and set my sights on cleaning off my front and rear trim caps. The caps were covered in paint and bondo from a previous panel accident. It took a few minutes to get the adjustments right, but the blaster worked incredibly well. Last week I had applied paint stripper and took several coats of paint off, but most of it wouldn't budge. The results of soda blasting are quite amazing.



56 years of paint and bondo




After a couple minutes of blasting with medium grit blast media




Clean with minimal effort



Soda blasting causes no damage to the metal surface



Completely done stripping the paint and bondo.


With the trim cap completely stripped, we installed it using round headed stainless steel screws. The cap doesn't fit perfectly, and I suppose it never fit perfectly on the original skin either. Strategically placed sealant will clean the edge up where the cap doesn't fully mesh against the front panel.

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Old 11-17-2009, 08:37 PM   #240
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Looks great Steve!

Do you have any more blasting to do? I'm interested in how well the tool holds up over time. If it lasts through several jobs then I'd say it is well worth the money and effort.

Keep up the good work!
-Marcus
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Old 11-17-2009, 08:39 PM   #241
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Included in the price was a 27 month service plan that replaces the tool if it stops working for any reason.

I do plan to blast the stubborn paint off a few interior panels along with the wall paper on some pieces in prep for zolatone on the interior.

Steve
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Old 11-17-2009, 09:34 PM   #242
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Looks good to me. BTW..no leaks this weekend while in Illinois and 3 inches of precip to wade through. Looks like the Captain Tolleys did a good job on my rig. We are off to DC for a week and then headed back down south to Mississippi.
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Old 11-18-2009, 07:54 AM   #243
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I too, am a Harbor Freight fan... I gotta look into the soda blaster set up next time I'm over there.

You're really making some progress now, man. Way to go!

JP
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Old 11-18-2009, 09:33 AM   #244
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Hey Deauxrite...did you use Cap'n Trolly's on all the leaks we located or just on the small ones?

The weather here has been raining like crazy since last weekend. I have had no chance to get outside and work on buttoning up the rear of the trailer for winter. I am hoping for a break in the weather to accomplish this, and rivet everything back. I have noticed a alot of condensation on the interior (Not leaks), and a few leak points that need to be sealed on the front window.

Please stop raining and let the sun come out for this weekend...please!
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Old 11-18-2009, 05:02 PM   #245
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How much media did it take for the trim caps? What is the clean up effort afterwords? Can this be used in the trailer or only outside?

Thanks.
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Old 11-18-2009, 06:16 PM   #246
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How much media did it take for the trim caps? What is the clean up effort afterwords? Can this be used in the trailer or only outside?

Thanks.
As Soldiermedic's assistant allow me to reply ... He used about half of a 50lb. bag ($37). This is for both the front and back beauty strips. S. started blasting on the interior endcap that he wanted to polish and it left a cloudy finish ... not good! WE stopped in case we were doing permanent damage. OK if zolotone was the end product. Soda blaster websites say it dose not etch the metal ... we will see!
BOB
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Old 11-18-2009, 06:33 PM   #247
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I also test blasted other items. We blasted a rusty outrigger that was removed, and I started removing paint off an old interior panel before moving onto the trim caps.

The trim caps took lots of media since they had thick layers of bondo.

Being a green product. I hosed off the driveway and the recent rains have taken care of the rest of the dust. Brooming could do the same job.

I plan to use this inside the trailer on a few areas that have spots that need cleaning. Just vacuum it up when done.
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Old 11-18-2009, 07:08 PM   #248
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I also test blasted other items. We blasted a rusty outrigger that was removed, and I started removing paint off an old interior panel before moving onto the trim caps.

The trim caps took lots of media since they had thick layers of bondo.

Being a green product. I hosed off the driveway and the recent rains have taken care of the rest of the dust. Brooming could do the same job.

I plan to use this inside the trailer on a few areas that have spots that need cleaning. Just vacuum it up when done.
Soda blasting is cool, Soda blasting is good hope to buy a commercial unit to do my trailer and many others ...
Keep posted!
Bob
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Old 11-18-2009, 08:07 PM   #249
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Nice concept, so here's a question, how much media would you guestimate you go through per square foot? How is the mess?
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Old 11-18-2009, 09:07 PM   #250
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The mess sweeps, blows with a leaf blower, or flows away with a hose.

It is impossible to guesstimate since it all depends on what you are taking off. A single layer of paint will come off alot quicker than multiple layers. For my panels, I only want to take enough off that I can get the stripper to work well, or the acid etching primer for the new zolatone to bond to.
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Old 11-19-2009, 11:59 AM   #251
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Air needs

How big of air compressor do you have? Will this work with a small take compressor or is a large air flow needed?
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Old 11-19-2009, 12:54 PM   #252
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I have a 33 gallon 6.5 HP upright compresson by craftsman. Blasting does take a great deal of air, and a small tank will not keep up with requirements to do the blasting.
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