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  #16 (permalink)  
Old 01-01-2008, 09:43 PM
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Where is 36willys when you need him? Good ideas, hduff. Dan

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Old 01-02-2008, 03:01 PM
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hard facts rather than speculation: Soda Blasting

Q: Why is special equipment necessary to blast with soda? How does soda blasting equipment differ from sand blasting equipment?

A: It differs in several different ways but the main difference/problems have been "flow" and "caking"; inconsistient pressure for flow coupled with the fact that Bicarbonate of soda absorbs moisture and then cakes at the bottom of standard pressure blaster units. (i.e.: ALC, CLARKE, et al.)

Q. What are the conversion part(s) from Eastwood? Can this be duplicated from parts obtained at a well-stocked hardware store?

A. The conversion kit mechanism is more than, "... off-the-shelf brass fittings, valves and tubing." Hundred's upon hundred's of man hours have been devoted to engineer, design, develop, test, specially manufacture, prepare, and finally submit for U.S. Patent a product that is unique in design and function.

Bottom line: Baking Soda Media would not function in a pressure blaster until Eastwood designed specially ENGINEERED adapters. There are kits to convert ALC (R), CLARKE(R), BRUT(tm), Harbor Freight(tm), TP Tools (tm) 3/8" and 1/2" NPT fitting units to be able to blast Soda and convert back to Abrasive. PLUS you have dual functionality of being able to blast either Soda or Abrasive.

Q. Is the soda obtained from the swimming pool supply store the same material that is used for blasting?

A: Baking Soda (Bicarbonate of Soda) is a naturally occuring mineral which is mined and processed into different grits or granular thickness. Baking Soda used in Swimming Pool applications is too fine for use in abrasive blasting applications it will not remove paint effectively. This as well as household baking soda will not flow in properly and should never be used for this abrasive blasting applications.


Last edited by Eastwood Expert; 01-02-2008 at 03:02 PM. Reason: typo
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  #18 (permalink)  
Old 01-03-2008, 06:29 AM
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Please tell me something just to make me feel better before I spend $130 + shipping. Other than the smart alec response, what principle does the adapter accomplish. Does it cause better suction to in turn make better flow? Does it purge air into the chamber to keep the material from caking? Does it dry out the air, somehow? By no means am I trying to discount the research that your company did, but for a simple hobbyist $20 dollars worth of parts and several hours on a drill press modifying them is much more rewarding than just spending that much money on a kit. Your post didn't accomplish anything other than tell us that we needed to buy the kit, but you didn't give any hard evidence as to why other than the caking issue. You also didn't tell us how your kit goes about solving this issue. Again, I make my $$ because I have skills (or at least headaches) that others don't, but if the job is something like cleaning an undercarriage (no brainer) and the customer wants to take it on, more power to him.

BTW, as far as sources go for the media google "soda blasting media tuscaloosa, al" for wherever you live.

Thanks,
Tyler

Last edited by tyler71385; 01-03-2008 at 06:36 AM.
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Old 01-03-2008, 07:47 AM
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con't: Soda Blasting on the Cheap

No smart alec responses, I promise! I'll address issues or concerns and/or answer questions that I can and hopefully most will appreciate the answers. So, here we go.

Q: What principle does the adapter accomplish. Does it cause better suction to in turn make better flow?
A: Unfortunately, this needs to be a non-answer-answer because we are in the Patent process and wish to protect the intellectual property. But what I can tell you is that engineeing of the unit creates the optimal Venturi effect and thereby provides the ability for a Pressure Blaster to project abrasive Bicarbonate of Soda in a constant and consistient manner; this is unattainable as pressure blasters are currently engineered.

Q: Does it purge air into the chamber to keep the material from caking?
A: No.

Q: Does it dry out the air, somehow?
A: No. The user MUST insure that their current air system or pressure blaster has a clean, dry air supply.

C: For a simple hobbyist $20 dollars worth of parts and several hours on a drill press modifying them is much more rewarding than just spending that much money on a kit.
A: Like any hobbyist (me included) the fun is building something from scratch and seeing it work so... Good Luck! We spent hundreds-upon hundreds of hours, mucho-bucks (we have the parts to prove it), and lots of frustration doing the same thing.

The real questions you or anyone one needs to answer is:
1. What is the dollar-value you put on your time? And,
2. How many $20-parts are you willing to throw away until you get it right and get it to work?

C: You didn't give any hard evidence as to why other than the caking issue.
A: OK, buy a bag of Armex(R) or Natrium(R) BiCarbonate of Soda designed for blasting and de-painting; clean out your blaster; pour the Bicarbonate of Soda into the pressure blaster; turn it on; and, see what happens. It will not work. (trust me -- it will not work!)
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Old 01-03-2008, 07:56 AM
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Just deleted the duplicate post. Dan
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Old 01-03-2008, 01:10 PM
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I'm not trying to be a smart-*** either, and I appreciate the informed responses which I would summarize as:

Due to the nature of the blast medium used in soda blasting, special equipment IS required and a particular grade of soda IS required if you ever expect to get useful results.

There is a healthy tendency for many of us to be skeptical of "miraculous engineering breakthroughs" and their associated marketing hype, for example, gas-mileage improvement devices as well as garden-variety goods with flashy packaging and big price tags. Unless you understand how something works or can rely on the evaluation of a competent disinterested third party, the safe approach is to always assume it is more sizzle than steak. Not to insult you, but Eastwood does indulge in some marketing hype in pitching its products (as does everybody else).

However, to encourage our further discussion, the fact that it is a patented device has no significance to us. Patents protect Eastwood from commercial exploitation, not from hobby curiosity. We are within the entitlement granted by patent law to obtain a copy of any patent and construct an identical device for our own use. We may even tell others how to make it for themselves but we may not make it and sell it to them. The device is not a trade secret (like the recipe for Coke), so sharing the information obtained from an examination of the device or from the patent documents is not improper in any way. Likely, some shade tree mechanic will develop an improvement to the device and benefit us all.

That said, I'm not going to spend my time duplicating any expensive and useful gizmo unless it actually is just a few bucks worth of of Home Depot stuff or I have too much spare time that my wife is not yet aware of. From the information that has been provided, I will purchase the device from Eastwood should the need arise. I hope the Eastwood people are arranging demonstrations of the thing on the usual TV shows (though maybe not American Garage).
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Old 01-03-2008, 03:37 PM
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Soda Blasting - HDuff Summary

C: "...special equipment IS required..."
R: Absolutely

C: "There is a healthy tendency for many of us to be skeptical of "miraculous engineering breakthroughs" and their associated marketing hype."
R: I agree with you 110%!

C: "Not to insult you, but Eastwood does indulge in some marketing hype in pitching its products (as does everybody else)."
R: Absolutely no insult taken. We do try to stay to the facts and avoid superlatives. (it is hard not to be proud of our own product.)

C: "Patents protect Eastwood from commercial exploitation, not from hobby curiosity. We are within the entitlement granted by patent law to obtain a copy of any patent and construct an identical device for our own use."
R: Your statement is correct. However in this instance the units are in the middle of the Patent-process. If the Patents were approved, I would not hesitate to elaborate on the mechanics.

C: "I hope the Eastwood people are arranging demonstrations of the thing on the usual TV shows."
R: Yes. Several TV shows are reviewing and should be discussing and showing the units in-use over the next few months, and there is a streaming video currently available on the website. Editors of the major automotive restoration journals have product for independent test and evaluation.
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Old 01-03-2008, 07:34 PM
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Eastwood, since you seem to be heavily involved in the soda blasting system, could you possibly elaborate on some of the stories we are hearing about the problems with soda blasting?

There seems to be a ton of varied opinions about the suitability of soda blasting for prepping old sheet metal.

For every person who swears by it, I read horror stories from another about the problems they had when it came to painting metal that had been soda blasted.

Is there some cut and dried method of cleaning the sheet metal after soda blasting that will prevent any problems with primer and paint?

Thanks - Karl
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  #24 (permalink)  
Old 01-03-2008, 08:46 PM
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As a moderator on this forum, I would like to thank Eastwood for responding to this thread and following the guidelines of the forum, it wuld be easy for him to do some advertising. Just out of curiousity, did you happen on to us by the "stealth marketeer" and if you have read any of it, what do you think of this? Dan
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  #25 (permalink)  
Old 01-04-2008, 06:40 AM
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Just want to thank Eastwood for your response.
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Old 01-04-2008, 09:40 AM
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Kruzin Karl: Soda Blasting

C: "Could you possibly elaborate on some of the stories we are hearing about the problems with soda blasting?"
R: Happy to elaborate. When I was a kid in the 60's my father gave be a little printed sign that said, "When all else fails... read the instructions - TWICE!" I still have this at my workbench today and made a copy for my son.

Problems occur after blasting when the base surface (Metal or Fiberglass) is not properly cleaned and prepped for painting. Notice, I didn't say Soda or Abrasive, the reason is that IF you do not properly CLEAN and PREP surfaces after abrasive blasting, soda blasting or chemical stripping you will have problems when you paint -- guaranteed. Cut corners to save time... you'll have problems. Don't take time to clean thoroughly... you'll have problems.

C: "There seems to be a ton of varied opinions about the suitability of soda blasting for prepping old sheet metal."
R: Old sheet metal or new sheet metal the problem boils down to 3 words ... RUST, TOOTH, and PREP.
1. RUST: The age old problem is how you deal with Rust. Bicarbonate Soda, without abrasive additives, will not remove rust. The deeper the rust the more aggressive one needs to be with the Blast Media. Example, a 100/170 grit Glass is finer and less aggressive than a coarse 10/40 grit Glass. Bicarbonate Soda was the product used to safely clean the Statue of Liberty (inside and out) in the mid-80's, whose metal is older than most vehicles.

2. TOOTH: The complaint I hear the most is, "....Soda Blasting leaves no tooth on the metal for the paint to adhere to!" Soda Blasting de-paints metal back to the original finish -- the original "factory" finish. If the OEM was able to paint on the original metal (without tooth) it stands to reason anyone who properly "Cleans" and "Preps" the metal or fiberglass should have no problem painting. All Bicarbonate Soda does is removes soils and paints back to the original surface finish. If you want to assure a tooth, use a fine nylon kitchen pot cleaning pad (my wife makes me use one after she cooks) during surface cleaning.

3. PREP: It doesn't matter if it's abrasive, soda or chemical if you don't clean and prep properly you'll end up a very "unhappy camper" and have to do the job over.

C: "For every person who swears by it, I read horror stories from another about the problems they had when it came to painting metal that had been soda blasted. Is there some cut and dried method of cleaning the sheet metal after soda blasting that will prevent any problems with primer and paint?"

R: Soda Blasting leaves a fine residue of Bicarbonate Soda on a metal surface -- which is an advantage as it prevents "flash rust" between blasting and painting. The step people miss (which creates all the problems) is cleaning and prep.

Here are the steps needed to clean sheet metal after soda blasting:
1. Take an air gun and thoroughly blow-out all seams and crevices. (repeat this several times)
2. 1+1=2: Take (1) clean pail of hot water + (1) polyester microfiber towel wrung well to being damp-not soaked = Application of cloth to metal and wipe. Rinse and repeat often. Replace hot water as it becomes dirty.
Obviously, I being a little cute here but what I'm getting at is that cleaning isn't difficult. The key is clean hot water (no soap necessary) with a damp (not soaking wet) microfiber cloth (no lint) and wipe surface areas several times to assure all particulate film is removed.
3. Now, prep as you would for any paint job.

With Abrasives or Chemical Strippers you have to follow the same steps, except with Abrasives and Chemical Strippers you spend more time and more money on chemicals to remove and neutralize the chemicals. Plus, Bicarbonate Soda is water soluble and is not an environmental hazard; you won't have to worry about chemical disposal. Bicarbonate Soda is FDA-approved and EPA-approved.

Last edited by Eastwood Expert; 01-04-2008 at 10:10 AM. Reason: Fat finger errror~
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  #27 (permalink)  
Old 01-04-2008, 11:13 AM
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Not trying to play the devil's advocate here , well maybe I am, but whatever.

Doesn't

Water + Bare Steel = Rust

I know its not going to pit in the hour it might take you to go from prep to etch or epoxy, but it will form an oxide very quickly. Correct?? And then you're back to the same place you were a day ago when you started blasting. I don't really know what the answer might be.

Plastic media?? Buy a drum, build a booth out of plastic shovel it up off the floor and strain and repeat?? Any ideas
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Old 01-04-2008, 01:01 PM
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Dinger: comment

Q: "Just out of curiosity, did you happen on to us by the "stealth marketeer" and if you have read any of it, what do you think of this?"

A: Actually happen on to hotrodders.com through a friend. Let me say this, I believe the purpose of a Forum is for the open exchange of ideas; a sounding point for "How do I overcome a problem"; a place to seek knowledge or understanding, "...this is my experience..."; I don't know what to use and "... I need your Help!!..."; and so on. I do not believe a Forum is a place for advertising.
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Old 01-04-2008, 01:57 PM
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tyler71385: Doesn't Water + Bare Steel = Rust

Q: "Doesn't Water + Bare Steel = Rust
I know its not going to pit in the hour it might take you to go from prep to etch or epoxy, but it will form an oxide very quickly. Correct?? "

A: Great question! And you would expect me to say "Correct." But, remember what my father said, "When all else fails... read the instructions - TWICE!"
The key is clean hot water with a damp (not soaking wet) cloth. The cloth is damp enough to remove the residue but not leave the metal wet; the reason the water is hot is to promote immediate evaporation and prevent the reaction of steel and water!

In the time it takes to wipe down the residue (as previously described) then Prep, using a phosphate-based metal prep product, you would not encounter rust.
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Old 01-05-2008, 12:35 AM
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So for a guy that already has a Clarke pressure blaster and wants to blast soda, what parts would you recommend (I'm assuming a dessicant system) that would optimize the performance of your soda blasting retrofit kit?
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