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i have a relatively inexpensive solution for those who would like to sandblast or bead blast their gun parts. on my last trip through Tustin, Ca. i dropped by Harbor Salvage.

Campbell Hausfeld makes a small 30lb sand blasting kit (Model # AT125102) that contains everything you need (except a compressor) to blast. the unit i bought has a 30lb hopper that you can wear on your back, hose, and gun. you will need to purchase an adapter to connect to the air line on your compressor. i have always used quick disconnect fittings.

the unit only cost $40.00! I went to the local lumber yard and picked up a bag of 60 grit sand (under $5.00). I am sure that many of you with sand/bead blasting experience are gnashing your teeth right now. i have read several threads about using bead blasting media only, and nothing coarser than 120 grit.

well, i'm here to tell you that this works fine. i have been 'mechanically inclined' for well over 30 years now and have done plenty of sandblasting in that time. i tested the unit on some small parts to check for excessive wear -- and there was none. no hole oblangation or distortion. no excessive pitting. just a nice even surface as a prep for laying down a coat of Gun-Kote.

as a more stringent test, i blasted a part that had some surface imperfections filled with J-B weld. i fully expected the 60 grit to fully remove all of the J-B. It didn't! while it did take off a little -- as much as would be expected to change it from a smooth to a rougher texture, it did not fundamentally alter the shape or nature of the filled area.

not to believe my own eyes, i held the gun not 2 inches from the J-B filled area for 10 seconds to simulate over-kill. the stuff still would not budge. after cleaning up all of the parts, i checked the pin fit all over my 1911, and everything was the same as it was prior to blasting.

given that i am using a 30 year old 1 horse Sears compressor that is somewhat long in the tooth, i was amazed what i was able to accomplish for under $45.

i took the unit into the back yard, put on a pair of old motorcycle 'gauntlet' style golves to hold the parts and a full face shield (absolutely necessary). i did not use even half of the original 30 lb load to fully blast all of the parts of my Kimber!

if i could have figured out how to include a photo into this message, i would have...

BTW, Campbell Hausfeld is on the web at www.CHPower.com
 

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If you are actually using real sand, you should not be. When you use sand as an abrasive blasting media it liberates "free silica" this is very bad stuff. It causes silicosis and is carcinogenic. At least use your unit with real glass beads or "Black Beauty". Black Beauty is available at most places where masonary supplies are sold.

Even a good respirator will not provide adequate protection from free silica. It is the submicron particles that are the most damaging. Only a full forced air helmet will provide protection.
 

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DBR said:
If you are actually using real sand, you should not be. When you use sand as an abrasive blasting media it liberates "free silica" this is very bad stuff. It causes silicosis and is carcinogenic. At least use your unit with real glass beads or "Black Beauty". Black Beauty is available at most places where masonary supplies are sold.

Even a good respirator will not provide adequate protection from free silica. It is the submicron particles that are the most damaging. Only a full forced air helmet will provide protection.
most cancers of this variety can take 20-30 years to gestate. also, 3 or 4 exposures to particles of this variety cannot be that bad. i shoot outside, so whatever particles are 'liberated' are not confined.

where did you find this information?
 

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Wal Mart has the gun/ hose assembly (Without the hopper/ tank) CH# AT122601AV for $12. If you could use a 5 gal pail with modified lid for a hopper, it would really qualify as a "Low Buck sand blaster". I was really close to buying this, but wondered if it would work with my ancient, hot rodded Hausfeld compressor. Worth a try for rare to occasional work. Harbor freight has a similar unit with plastic hopper for $19, but it has a steel nozzle (Bad/ less durable?).
 

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gary gruber:

My shop does "sandblasting"- 100hp compressor, 600# pot. Info is from OSHA. We used to work on construction sites. Beach sand blowing around is not fine enough to be a problem. It is the microfine particles that are released when the sand is smashed during abrasive blasting that can cause a problem. Real sand is generally prohibited for open blasting. More modern abrasives work better anyway.

Try http://www.tptools.com/default.asp?mscssid=E2MFACJBJ4M39KP38SP59A3MQN57DCM1 for supplies.
 
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