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Old 01-31-2016, 10:37 AM   #1
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Glass beading

As some of you know, I try various things to learn and benefit from. Like my gold plated Colt Govt 45...., etc.
Winter makes me crazy bored so I've been itching to try new things out. My latest is learning how to blast with glass beads for now. I have invested in a decent compressor, guns, hopper, etc.

What I have found online is mostly generic stuff. Big sheet metal work, showing before and afters, etc. But never anything to gauge things on.

The basic things people discuss for nice finishes, is experiment with 80 grit at various psi. Ie, 40-80 or so psi. I have found no samples online.

In the next couple days, I am planning on making up a test sheet. I have a nice shiny sheet of stainless steel. About 3'x4' or so of a decent gauge. I will list and blast lines at different rates of pressure to see what textures come up at different psi.

If anyone has any tips, I'd like to hear them.
Any experiences are welcome.

Edit: Here is the photo. Not able to tell much other than psi unfortunately.


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Old 01-31-2016, 11:29 AM   #2
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Well, it's not really brain surgery, so you'll do fine. Keep the pressure in the 40-60 psi range. You won't gain much from higher pressures, other than to prematurely wear out your media. The most significant variable will be how long you linger on an area. If you're too quick to move the blasting gun around, you won't get an even finish.

Remember that bead blasting is an abrasive process that removes material. If you linger too long on a sharp edge, you'll round it off. Think twice about blasting rails, bushing surfaces, pins, bores, etc. There's no sense in introducing unnecessary wear on those surfaces. Think about masking these areas off with tape.

Abrasive blasting is the equivalent of burying your gun in the sand. It will be filthy when you're done, and you'll need to perform a mega-douche cleaning on everything. If you don't remove every last speck of blasting media, it will stay in your gun and induce wear over time.

Have fun with your project, and send us pictures.
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Old 01-31-2016, 11:37 AM   #3
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Thanks for the tips. What I want to do is get a similar bead look like on the Raptor. Come spring, I got some things I want to experiment with and I like the bead on the Raptor.
What I'm not sure of is the grit and type of media. Thats why I'm messing with trying to make a gauge of some sort like on the sheet. What I still want to do is metal polish the plate. So far just cleaned it with WD40...,


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Old 01-31-2016, 07:52 PM   #4
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My personal opinion: use a #10 glass bead media at 30 psi.
Like rusty said, don't stay in one spot too long. Sweep back and forth like painting a car or rattle can painting something.
The shop I work at does glass bead blasting daily which is where I base my opinion on
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Old 02-01-2016, 04:00 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Mini Me View Post
My personal opinion: use a #10 glass bead media at 30 psi.
Like rusty said, don't stay in one spot too long. Sweep back and forth like painting a car or rattle can painting something.
The shop I work at does glass bead blasting daily which is where I base my opinion on

Is 10 the same thing as grit?


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John, aka BHunted
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Old 02-01-2016, 04:26 PM   #6
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Yeah, 10 is the "grit" size. #10 is a mil-spec for media size .0035-.0059
The smaller the number the larger the media size.
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