Tag Archives: Soda Blaster

  • Media Blasting Basics- 5 Tips to make your blaster work better

    Eastwood Dual Blaster Pressure Blaster

    Media Blasting is a pretty simple process when you break it down into the basics. You mix an abrasive media with high pressure air and shoot it out of a small orifice in a gun/nozzle. Media blasting is extremely effective if you make sure you follow some fairly simple tips. In this tech entry we will cover the basics you need to follow when blasting with a pressure blaster.

    1. Proper Equipment- The number one thing that will cause a media blaster to work incorrectly is a compressor that can't keep up with the blaster. Be sure to check the ratings of the blaster you are purchasing (or own) against your compressor. Ideally you do not want your compressor to be at max capacity when running the blaster. Constant running of the compressor without rest causes excessive heat which creates moisture in the lines and can cause clogs in the blaster (another reason to have a proper Air Management System). Remember that media blasting requires a high amount of constant pressure to work effectively and if your compressor can not produce the volume required, the blaster will NOT work correctly.
    -The industry standard for pressure at the nozzle is 80-100 PSI. Less than this and the media will not have the force needed to properly remove material. Running much higher than 100-120 PSI can exceed the blaster tank maximum pressure and cause the media to disintegrate when it hits the surface and reduce the cleaning abilities.

    2. Hose Length and Shape- While it's nice to have a long air hose that can reach anywhere in your shop or driveway, it can drastically hurt the performance of your media blaster. Try to keep your hose as short as possible and free of any bends or kinks. Excessive lengths and bends can cause the compressor to work harder and decrease performance. Keep the same tip in mind with your blaster hose. Every loop or hard bend in the line will cause a significant drop in pressure (we've seen 5-10 PSI for every hard bend or kink in the blaster hose).

    Eastwood Air Dryer System

    3. Water Is The Enemy- We hinted at it above, but we can't stress enough how important it is to have a proper air separator or dryer in line on your compressor. We suggest adding a new Inline Disposable Air Filter each time you start a new blasting project. They are cheap insurance to avoid those wet clumps of media blocking up your pressure blaster.

    4. Properly Adjust Blaster- Most pressure blasters have similar deadman-style valves that block air or media. These valves do not always need to be opened fully. Each media/nozzle combo and job require different settings. A general rule of thumb is that your air to media ratio should be 90/10. Too much media will kill the end media pressure when it leaves the nozzle. We suggest doing a test run and slowly open the media valve until just after it starts removing material off of the test piece.

    5. Technique- One negative thing that often gets said about media blasting is that it can warp thin panels and actually damage parts by removing too much material. This can usually be chalked up to improper technique. You want to have a steady side to side movement when blasting. DO NOT stop and blast in one concentrated area for any long period of time as it can warp thinner panels and remove too much material on some surfaces. Additionally, keep your nozzle at a 60-45 degree angle and aimed in the direction you are moving when blasting. This will help the media clean more efficiently and helps avoid sitting in one area for too long.

    Follow these tips and make your blasting jobs go as smooth as possible and do the job right. If you have any further questions about blasting feel free to send us a message or jump onto our forums and join our technical discussions!

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  • 2011 Eastwood Vegas Dream Ride Contest Winner!

    Thanks to all for the amazing response to this year's contest, and we want to all congratulate Ed S. from Ohio. He is the 2011 winner of our Vegas Dream Ride Contest. I chatted with Ed quickly the other night and he is really excited! Here is a little background on his story.

    Ed has been a gearhead since before he could drive, one of his fondest moments was helping his dad do brakes on the family's 68 Camaro, we'd say that's a great start! By 17 he had a motorcycle underneath him, and he has never turned back. He has a 68 Camaro, 76 CJ7, and 72 Beetle restorations under his belt, so we'd say he is definitely "one of us"! Ed found out about our contest after purchasing an Eastwood Soda Blaster for his 1984 Harley FLTC Fire-resto project. Since then he has blasted the frame and made use of his large oven at work and our Powder Coating Supplies to get a jump start on his project.

    He will have to take a short break from working on his project to come to SEMA for a few days and hang out with the Eastwood crew, go out on the town in Las vegas, and most importantly, drive a bunch of super cars on the Las Vegas Speedway! Check out our live feed on Eastwood.com for pictures, interviews, and a taste of Ed's Dream Ride experience!

    -Matt/EW

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  • Year In Review.

    2010 is well underway and we’re already off to a good start. While the world remains an uncertain place, I find I can still get away from it all by taking a “garage break.” Our projects are still there (in a variety of running and non-running forms!) and I am encouraged by the market in general. Classics of all shapes and sizes continue to trade well on Ebay, at swap meets, and in the local classifieds. It’s good to know that in a time of uncertainty our hobby exudes a sense of permanence. Old cars, trucks, and bikes aren’t going anywhere, and neither are the people that work on them.

    That said, all the more reason to get on those projects so that they’re cruise night ready! We have a whole bunch of products I’m particularly excited about – for any skill level, and any budget. Last weekend I was in the garage getting organized and finishing up a brake master cylinder overhaul on my ’63 Austin Healey. It’s an older restoration and I was getting tired of less than adequate pedal performance, not to mention the safety issue!

     We used the master cylinder as a good test of our Eastwood Brake Gray, a tough coating that comes in the form of an epoxy ester resin combined with a pure stainless steel pigment. Best part is that it’s not just for metal – it can be used on ceramics, wood, and even leather. The stuff is tough as nails and refused to fail even after constant exposure to DOT 3 brake fluid. It also “looks” good too – it’s the same color as our Detail Gray. The fluid reservoir in the Healey is also a trouble spot – they originally painted them black in the factory and as you can imagine over the years, brake fluid does its best to eat the paint, especially when yours truly cheats and tries to top off without a funnel. I know, not smart. In this case I used our 2K Ceramic Chassis Black to ensure a durable finish that would stand up to DOT 3.

    On another note, one of the kids who lives down the street recently got his first car, an ’81 Chevy Caprice Classic wagon. Hot ride! I think it belonged to a family member, so he got it for the “right price” and has been busy trying to trick it out on a pretty tight budget. The alternator gave up the ghost last week and I suggested that he replace it with one of our Maxx Power alternators –we have recently started carrying starters, alternators, and even distributors that are completely new (no refurbs here) and in every aspect better than OEM products. They’re perfect for both reliable daily drivers and performance engine builds. The job was a quick swap – it bolted right into place, and with a fresh belt, he was good to go. At $200 bucks, you can’t go wrong. What’s more, this unit puts out 105 amps, much higher than original equipment, and also has a higher output at idle, which will be important once this kid puts in the stereo system he told me has plans for.

    Ancillary engine parts are just another way Eastwood can get you on the road quickly, deliver the performance you’ve always looked to us for, and do it without breaking the bank. I’m pretty excited about this new line of products. 

    Before I sign off, I’ve got to mention how impressed I am with our team for combining two great products into one portable unit. I am of course, talking about our Master Blaster – The Eastwood Dual Blaster.Now you can effortlessly switch medias or even customize your own media mixture – sand, abrasive, whatever you want! It can be done on the fly with our exclusive mixing valve and can cut blasting times in half. Impressive stuff. I was cleaning up a grimy, painted, set of extra wire wheels I have for the Healey and used a relatively strong mixture of crushed glass. That same day, my son wanted to strip the bottom of a small fiberglass boat he has. We simply set the mixing valve to pure soda (which was in the other tank) and he went to work. The soda was strong enough to remove multiple layers of thick bottom paint (from what I understand that stuff is pretty brutal), but delicate enough not to etch the skin coat covering the fiberglass laminate. Best of all, when we were finished, we rolled the Master Blaster back into the shop!

    I’m certain your experience with these new products will be as rewarding as mine.  Let us know, and remember, you can always read what the Eastwood Family (you!) has to say about the products here on the site and also in the forums.

    Drop us a line!

     Best, Curt     

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