Glass bead blasting question

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  • Member since
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  • From: Fairbanks, Alaska
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Glass bead blasting question
Posted by AKKevinT on Thursday, March 09, 2006 7:35 PM
I am considering purchasing a glass bead blaster. Before I do I was wondering if anyone on the forum has one or uses one for restoration projects.

I am looking at buying a smaller model one. I am interested in a bench top style model with approximate inside dimensions of 26" x 15" x 20".

I am also interested in hearing what size compressor you are using with the bead blaster.

Thanks for any comments and insights you can send my way.

Alaska Railroad & PostWar Lionel A fine combination!
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Posted by dwiemer on Thursday, March 09, 2006 8:19 PM
I had one at my father's business, big commercial type. They are very good at removing paint. It may be a bit of overkill if you are not going to be doing a lot of work. You don't put a dirty engine in and blast it clean, you have to completely disassemble the engine, then use a parts cleaner to remove any grease or other dirt. After it dries, you then put it in the blaster. We used a very large compressor (250psi and a 150 gal tank). Unless you are going to be doing a lot of work, I doubt it would be worth it.
If I can answer any questions along the way, I would try to help.
PS, after you finish blasting the parts, you have to blow off the residual bead, and then wash in clean solution.
Also, be careful not to spray the bead directly at your cloved hands, it will tear through the glove.



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Posted by nitroboy on Thursday, March 09, 2006 8:51 PM
I bought my blast cabinet from Harbor Tool here in Columbus for $69. I bought a 60 gallon air compressor at Home Depot for $299 a few years back. I love it. I use the compressor for alot, including blasting, air tools, and my airbrush. Just get a good regulator with the water trap as far away from the compressor as you can get.
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Posted by Sturgeon-Phish on Friday, March 10, 2006 1:55 PM
The media you use is very important so match the blasting media to the surfaces you want to strip. All kinds of choices
  • Member since
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  • From: Fairbanks, Alaska
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Posted by AKKevinT on Friday, March 10, 2006 2:09 PM
Thanks Dennis and NitroBoy for the insights on my question about glass bead blasting. I think I will begin searching for a small blasting unit that I can clean up smaller items with it.

I am looking forward to using it for restoring some old O gauge Lionel items and on stubborn parts from my old Volvo 245DL (which is closing in on 300,000 miles).

Kevin T.
Alaska Railroad & PostWar Lionel A fine combination!
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Posted by BigJim on Friday, March 10, 2006 6:41 PM
Have you thought about looking into a one that uses ground up walnut shells, just in case you ever want to do plastic?


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Posted by laz 57 on Friday, March 10, 2006 8:00 PM
The glass beader also does a great job on etching glass. I use this with my students, what we do is use masking tape and tape up, two coats of tape, all exposed glass or mirror. Then we will print something off the internet and place that on top of the glass. Then we cut design out with an exacto knife. The exposed glass will now be exposed to the glass beads. It will etch anything that is not cover with tape. The hard part is doing all the cut out. the easy part is the blasting, it takes about 5 minutes.
Have some fun, good luck.
  There's a race of men that don't fit in, A race that can't stay still; Robert Service. TCA 03-55991
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Posted by AKKevinT on Monday, March 13, 2006 1:31 PM
Laz, Thanks for the info and pointers on the glass etching. That will be a nice bonus option for friends that have glass projects.

BigJim, What more can you tell me about using walnut shells for cleaning up plastic? Can you point me in a directions to learn more about it?

Thanks for the information.

Kevin T.
Alaska Railroad & PostWar Lionel A fine combination!
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Posted by More to restore on Wednesday, March 15, 2006 3:38 PM
Kevin, you have made me think.
I always strip paint with solvents, but your topic made me think. I started to look around for sand and glass bead blasting cabinets on internet. There are quiet a lot around! On ebay there are a few cheapos for 50 USD and they go up to several 1000's of USD.
Most need a compressor, but I noticed one of Boehler that needs to be connected on the vacuum cleaner in stead.
I will try to get some more information and then purchase such a cabinet as well. Looks really effective and has become cheap!
Thanks Kevin for activating my brains.
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Posted by harmonpa on Wednesday, June 07, 2017 2:57 PM

Here is a general overview of compressed air needs for suction blast



 CFM at
80 PSI
 M3/Min at
5,5 BAR
No. 4 5/16" 1/8" 21 0,60
No. 5 5/16" 5/32" 32 0,90
No. 6 3/8" 3/16" 48  1,35
No. 7 7/16" 7/32" 62 1,76
No. 8 1/2"  1/4" 85 2,41


If you want to know more about if glass bead is right this guide to glass bead blasting may help

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