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Old 03-21-2006, 11:40 PM
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Abrasive blaster

I just bought a clarke abrasive blaster to use on my trucks frame and i was wondering what i can use on it instead of sand? I will be working on it at my home and i have people that live with me and was wondering if there is anything else i can use instead of sand. Reason i was asking is because i heard something in sand can cause cancer and didnt want anyone without a mask to breathe it in.

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Old 03-22-2006, 10:32 AM
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It the sand contains "Cilica". It can be harmful.

There are plastic's, walnut shells and I'm sure someone else will have more options for ya.
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Old 03-22-2006, 04:46 PM
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Black beauty

Wise move avoiding the sand, Cancer is not the major problem associated with breathing silica, what it causes is a lung condition called silicosis which is scaring of the lungs. This is extremely serious and even a small amount of exposure without proper protection will do some damage every time one is exposed to it so it is not one of those things that one should justify doing by saying "I am only going to do a little so it won't hurt anything" There has been quite a bit of discussion about blasting in the Body/Exterior section recently and there are a number of good suggestions for sand substitutes by some of the guys who blast on a large scale.
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Old 03-24-2006, 06:22 PM
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Baking soda seems to be the best thing for sheet metal. It makes it hard to warp a panel. Sand will warp sheet metal very fast i'm sorry to say! Oh and baking soda wont give you cancer.
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Old 03-24-2006, 06:29 PM
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Also.. When your using a smaller blaster it does not really make a huge poison cloud! The grains of sand are not harmful, its the fine dust that is bad for you. Silica sand is the cheapest blasting media you will find. It's also very fast on rusty, greasy frames. You just need a good hood and respirator.
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Old 03-26-2006, 04:48 AM
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Black beauty or copper slag,they both cost a little more than silica sand,but are heavier and more abrasive,so you will use less.

Crushed glass is also cheap,and up here it is approved for use in place of silica,apparently it is not a risk for silicosis even tho glass is made from silica sand,don't ask me why.

Walnut shell is good for some bodywork,but wont remove rust or some of the better paints or primers.

Soda is expensive and can contribute to corrosion down the road,also it won't run thru most sand pots as it is too fine and packs up,unless you have a vibrator on the pot.

You really should have a safety hood and helmet with a proper air supply no matter what media you are using,but if you don't, at least use a very good respirator and full face shield.

Do a search of blasting abrasives,sometimes it's hard to find anything other than silica in small quantities ,phone your local sandblaster and see what he has,he will probably sell you a few bags,I do it for people all the time.
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Old 06-01-2006, 12:33 PM
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Sand blasting

I worked for a commercial blaster for awhile and we used steel shot but I wouldnt recomend that for your work. The best thing I've ever used is copper slag. It is just what it sounds like. The good thing about it is if you sweep it up and screen it you can reuse it a few times. I also have used cilica sand on several occassions but would not use it unless wearing the proper breathing gear, ie resporator. The best thing to use is a sand blast helment. I haven't see one for sale at anyplace but a sandblaster suppy. I have a harbor frieght pot that I use for small jobs. Don't use the helmet that comes with it unless you use a respirator under it . The bigger commerial pot I have takes alot of cfm to operate and isn't a option for the hobbiest. I have in the past used a siphon gun type blaster and even tho they are cheap they take for ever and are suseptable to moisture in the air lines which clog up the pickup. As a source for more info on this topic contact your local tombstone maker, they use a blaster to engrave tombstones and may have info as to where to get your supplies and equipment. Nothing like a blaster to make short work of cleaning up parts or sheet metal. I forgot to mention that there are different sizes of blast media. The lower the air presssure the smaller the grain of the media.
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Old 06-05-2006, 01:31 AM
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I can't give you specifics for your blasting project,but after doing a lot of reading & study about silica sand & it's bad properties I discovered a type of sand that some stores(Home Depot-Lowes) carry that is used for fish tanks mainly that has no silica.I don't remember the name offhand but shouldn't be hard to figure out. I think it is fine ground coral or comes from the Pacific area.At any rate,it's used for fish tanks & costs about the same as play sand.I'll try to find the name if someone else doesn't find it first.---Got It--Southdown Tropical Play Sand--It is Caribsea Aragonite -- basicly ground up coral. Hope this helps.

Last edited by kdc49; 06-05-2006 at 01:52 AM. Reason: More Info
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