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Soda blasting

Discussion in 'Modifications and Projects' started by Fitty, Mar 30, 2010.

  1. I know there are already a couple of things on the site about soda blasting, but they all seem to be in the middle of build threads, so I thought I'd start my own. Over in this thread, I'm playing around with a bike, and I'll need to do a fair bit of blasting before I'm through. I want something I can use at home, and I'm leaning towards soda blasting because it's not as messy and it seems pretty cheap.

    There seem to be several variations on the same theme; that is, use an air gun with either a tube that sucks up the soda, or a gravity fed hopper on a specially made unit. I'm after info from anyone who's actually made or used a pre-made soda blasting unit - what will it get through, what are the issues, what kind of compressor will I need, etc.

  2. I've not done it myself yet, but I'm soon going too.

    this photo is from another forum

    Attached Files:

  3. I have a Supercheap soda blasting gun, it's pretty good, I have used it quite a bit.

    It's really good for aluminium, It did clean up steel ok, but only steel I had previously wire brushed, it didn't work on powdercoated steel either.

    The only catch is that you need to clean the nozzle fairly often because the soda absorbs water from the air. I have an inline water filter & it's still a problem.
    ibast's set up wouldn't have that problem, but I don't know if it would be as effective, as the nozzles on the gun are quite small... Still, it's pretty much free to try!

    You will go through a lot of soda, I've been trying to find it in bulk form, but no luck yet. Coles have 500g home brand bags for a $1.30, that's the best value I could find so far.

    The more HP & CFM your compressor has the better, I think mine is a 9 CFM 3 HP job, it struggles a little. Not a big issue, just takes a bit more time. Don't but one of the cheapies from Supercheap, they'll really struggle.

    I got the gun on sale at Supercheap for $15, I think they normally go for about $30. They have one with a hopper on the top, but it's completely plastic, looked a bit shit.

    Let me know if you have anymore questions, that's all the relevant stuff I can think of at the mo...
  4. Soda doesn't have the hardness or particle size to clean up and create a surface profile on steel.

    What's the abrasive blasting required for?
  5. Cheers, very informative.
    Cleaning up bits and pieces while I'm doing this.
  6. The soda should get most of the grime and dirt off, but unless you're removing metal, you're likely to be left with surface contaminant like salt and grease.

    Also, if the surface profile is too small for the paint to lock onto, then you'll reduce the life of the coating significantly.
  7. you could try a pool shop, they should have 20kg bags of soda ash (sodium carbonate) or bicarb (baking soda). They will also have bags of diatomaceous earth, which looks the same and is very abrasive but is extremely hazardous when inhaled (cancer causing and will cut up your lungs) so DON'T use this.
  8. Appaerently is sold as a pool chemical, but it was actually dearer for 4kgs in bulk from bunnings than the little packs... Might be cheaper elsewhere though.