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The Vintage Japanese Motorcycle Owners Group: Discussion Forums

Vintage Japanese Motorcycle Owners Group :: View topic - Home built glass bead blasting booth


Home built glass bead blasting booth

 
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spurlock
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Joined: Jul 08, 2014
Posts: 916
Location: Vacaville, CA

PostPosted: Tue Dec 29, 2015 7:59 pm    Post subject: Home built glass bead blasting booth Reply with quote

In another thread I showed a couple of photos of my glass bead blasting booth and the suggestion was made to write more about it, so here goes. Back in the late 1980's I was a piano rebuilder and built this unit for cleaning piano parts during restorations. In 1992 I wrote up the construction details in a piano technicians journal and a number of people have made their own blasting cabinets from my plans. I have scanned those old plans and present them here along with some current photos. Glass bead blasting is very useful for cleaning rust and loose paint where some surface roughening is acceptable. It is not as aggressive as sand blasting for removing tough paint, but is too aggressive for cleaning critical surfaces or fine finishes like chrome. Of course the effect varies with the air pressure and size of glass bead used. I use it for prepping small parts before painting (I often remove heavy paint with chemical remover before blasting), for cleaning bare metal before and after welding, and for cleaning hardware that has lost its plating - in that case the part can be blasted to a nice silver matte finish and clear coated for an acceptable look if parts replacement is not an option.

I built the cabinet from 1/4" plywood, using 3/4" wood reinforcement and angle iron as a supporting frame. The right end of the cabinet is a large door with rubber refrigerator door magnet as a seal and latch. If I was to built it today I would probably use sheet metal rather than plywood as that would be much simpler. But I invite others to use the idea as inspiration and maybe build their own version based upon their particular equipment and skills. Mine is marginally big enough for something like my XL250 frame. For larger parts you need not only enough room to fit them in the cabinet but also enough extra space to hold the blasting nozzle a few inches above and away from the part.



The top is 1/4" plexiglass - I had a bunch of it and it seemed logical to make a clear top and mount a light fixture above the cabinet. But the top could be wood and the light could be installed inside.

As shown in the plans below, my original design used a small shop vacuum to create negative pressure in the chamber and extract dust. That works, but I have since changed to a dust collector mounted outside the shop and ported into the top of the cabinet. It's quieter and any dust escaping the dust collector is piped outside the building.

Also my original design did not have enough slope to the pyramid shaped bottom half, so the glass beads would hang up around the edges and not always settle down at the bottom where the siphon pickup is. I have changed to a steeper angle in the dimensioned drawings below.

Here is an inside shot showing the blasting gun with compressed air hose and glass bead siphon tube on the left sitting in the bottom of the pyramid. My original design used a coffee can below the cabinet to hold the beads, but I've changed to the design shown below for simplicity:


For normal use I use the angle iron grate shown below to support the parts, and the perforated metal sheet to hold very small parts like brackets and screws. The angle iron pieces come out if I need the extra depth as I showed when blasting my XL250 frame here.

Nylon windbreaker sleeves from the thrift store are mounted to the arm holes. If I need to blast a small hand held screw or bracket I put on a glove, then reach through the sleeve. Otherwise I just stick my bare hands inside since unless pointing toward your skin the indirect blast is not a bother.


Following are scans of my original article with dimensioned drawings last - I hope they are legible. Keep in mind this was written to piano technicians, not motorcycle restorers, so ignore any strange terminology. I use my bead blaster for all kinds of projects around the shop and farm, from cleaning a rusty gate latch prior to painting to cleaning up welds. I'm sure many improvements could be made to my design, but hopefully this will serve as inspiration for others to make something that makes their work easier and more rewarding.













-Bill

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1975 Honda CB125S
1989 Honda NX250
1989 Honda GB500tt
1989 Honda CB-1
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K5
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Joined: Jan 15, 2012
Posts: 857
Location: Lawton, Michigan

PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2015 6:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Bill, great looking cabinet & the larger size really makes it handy. Nice job!

What brand/type of dust collector are you using?

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-Ray

Remembering the past... Liv´n the dream

1975 CB750K5 - Restored http://vjmog.com/ftopict-8591.html
1977 GL1000 - Daily Driver http://vjmog.com/ftopict-8883.html
1971 CB175K5 - Restored http://vjmog.com/ftopict-9282.html
1972 - CB350 Rest-Mod-Cafe, current project http://vjmog.com/ftopicp-56578.html#56578
1977 CT70 - Swap Meet Scooter
2004 Rune - Cruiser
1974 RD350 http://www.vjmog.com/ftopict-10725.html
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Rizingson
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Joined: Oct 30, 2009
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Location: Parker, CO

PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2015 7:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice write up, Bill. Should be easy enough to duplicate with the great details you provided. Have you tried any other media than glass in it?
Or do you think that glass beads work well enough to not need chemicals for frame stripping prior to use of glass media?

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spurlock
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Joined: Jul 08, 2014
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Location: Vacaville, CA

PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2015 7:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

K5 wrote:
Hi Bill, great looking cabinet & the larger size really makes it handy. Nice job!

What brand/type of dust collector are you using?


Thanks Ray. I have one of the Taiwan made 1 HP models, looks similar to one pictured here.

I have 4" sewer & drain pipe plumbed through the shop with dust collector ports at different work stations for router, bandsaw, and table saw, each with a gate to open when using that particular tool. In my top photo you can see where it enters the top of the cabinet, with the gate valve just above.

-Bill

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1975 Honda CB125S
1989 Honda NX250
1989 Honda GB500tt
1989 Honda CB-1
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spurlock
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Joined: Jul 08, 2014
Posts: 916
Location: Vacaville, CA

PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2015 9:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rizingson wrote:
Have you tried any other media than glass in it? Or do you think that glass beads work well enough to not need chemicals for frame stripping prior to use of glass media?


I've only used glass beads. Sand or carborundum would be faster for removing heavy paint, but would eat the plywood cabinet unless a sheet metal shield was added to the back wall. And it would be tough to clean out every particle of media from nooks and crannies in the wooden cabinet before changing to another. For the average small bracket or battery box that typically only has a light coat of paint, the glass beads work fine. But for heavy paint in good condition I find it more practical to chemically strip first, then blast. But maybe a larger size bead would be more aggressive on paint. I use BT-8 beads which are a 70-100 mesh size, about a medium size. There is a chart of sizes here.

I would never use glass beads on internal engine parts. I know people do it, but I just don't believe you can be 100% sure of flushing them all out which leaves some risk of engine damage.

I just tried soda blasting for the first time, cleaning the cyl head and cylinder fins on the XL motor. Amazingly effective! It cleaned the carbon from the combustion chamber and ports instantly, and left the external aluminum really clean and shiny without no damage to the metal. And soda does a great job on fasteners without damaging the plating. Without a second cabinet for soda I did it outside using a portable sandblaster, with coveralls, hood, eye and ear protection and respirator. It worked, but it was messy and I needed a shower afterwards. I'm considering buying a small Harbor Freight cabinet and dedicate it just for soda blasting. By the way, HF sells blasting soda and some other media.

-Bill

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1989 Honda NX250
1989 Honda GB500tt
1989 Honda CB-1
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spurlock
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Joined: Jul 08, 2014
Posts: 916
Location: Vacaville, CA

PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2015 9:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

spurlock wrote:
But maybe a larger size bead would be more aggressive on paint. I use BT-8 beads which are a 70-100 mesh size, about a medium size. There is a chart of sizes here.
-Bill


I just read on that link that 60-100 mesh is the fastest cleaning size for glass beads, so I guess I've already got the most aggressive. And whereas they recommend 80 psi I use max compressor pressure of 95 - 120 psi. But now that I think about it, it has been some time since I drained and replaced the beads, maybe they have broken down too much and gotten diluted with crud and are less effective. I'll order more and report back.

-Bill

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1989 Honda NX250
1989 Honda GB500tt
1989 Honda CB-1
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