Today we were blasting a bellhousing for my son’s 1949 Studebaker Commander Starlight coupe. It was a greasy piece of iron and it took most of the day to remove all the caked on grease and get it looking good.
Before we had a media blasting cabinet, we thought that blasting parts would be as easy as pie. Turn on the compressor, step on the pedal and clean up dirty or rusty parts instantaneously. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to be that simple. Old car parts just don’t seem to clean up that easily.
We have seen restorers who use media blasting cabinets try all types of modifications to make them work better. One friend cut away part of the screening and then fabricated a venturi system to suck up the media better. Another man we know bought a media cabinet and cut a hole in the back of it and then mounted a regular sandblaster in the hole he had cut.
Both of these men had been engineers during their working careers and both of them thought they could improve on the standard media blasting equipment. That makes us believe we’re not the only ones who struggle with media blasting.
A couple of years ago representatives from a company called Midwest Metal Finishing Supply (www.metalfinishingsupply) came to Gunner’s Great Garage to do a seminar on media blasting. They explained how important it is to maintain a media blaster by doing things such as replacing old media, cleaning the filter on a regular basis and also checking the condition of nozzles and changing them when needed. We now buy most of our blasting supplies from them at car shows (which saves a lot of money on shipping heavy media bags).
What we learned in that seminar has helped us do better with our blasting system, though we still feel like we have a lot to learn about blasting and blasting equipment. Cleaning up parts faster and easier would be a definite time saver. We’d like to hear about your experiences with blasting. Sharing good ideas with other old-car hobbyists is a big plus for all of us.