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Old 01-10-2013, 06:22 PM   #1 (permalink)
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media blasting a lower

Is there a preferred media? I assume something gentle like plastic bead, crushed glass or wallnut shell. Soda too warm and fuzzy for results? silica a tic to aggressive? any recommendations from those who have blasted their lowers?
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Old 01-10-2013, 06:32 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Good question, probably something soft like walnut.
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Old 01-10-2013, 07:05 PM   #3 (permalink)
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glass beads, 40-60 mesh.
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Old 01-10-2013, 07:49 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I like the tooth aluminum oxide gives but don't get carried away.

It all depends on what you plan on finishing it with and the end finish you want.
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Old 01-10-2013, 08:18 PM   #5 (permalink)
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id be afraid of embedding media into my reciever. i know we never blasted aluminum before we welded it for that reason but the alloy was different and we were welding on it after blasting so imperfections mattered.
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Old 01-11-2013, 05:21 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by usmcdoc14 View Post
I like the tooth aluminum oxide gives but don't get carried away.

It all depends on what you plan on finishing it with and the end finish you want.
I have actually used an aluminum oxide glass bead mix that I had a bucket of from MSC before as well. It does a pretty nice job and gives you a bit more tooth than glass beads alone.

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id be afraid of embedding media into my reciever. i know we never blasted aluminum before we welded it for that reason but the alloy was different and we were welding on it after blasting so imperfections mattered.
When using proper pressure for the media, and the proper nozzle, this really isn't an issue. In vacuum and pressure rated welds they would typically use fine aluminum oxide. Glass beads however don't cut the material, they peen it, so the chances of embedded material are virtually zero.
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Old 01-11-2013, 05:25 AM   #7 (permalink)
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This is the finish after hard anodizing from 80-100 mesh glass bead aluminum oxide mix.

*and that is dust from a white rag on it in the first pic.
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Old 01-11-2013, 04:05 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Been doing a bit of this lately. Sand pits the aluminum, which could be okay if you want a textured finish. Walnut doesn't do much.
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Old 01-11-2013, 08:24 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Been doing a bit of this lately. Sand pits the aluminum, which could be okay if you want a textured finish. Walnut doesn't do much.
First off, anyone blasting with "sand" is an idiot. As far as common legitimate blasting media, you're looking at:

McMaster-Carr

Glass beads do not pit aluminum or embed any material. They will also not remove material from surfaces, but peen it slightly. Glass beads will remove light burrs on corners and edges where they are unsupported. The peening action will blend machining marks and give a uniform surface finish. This is what we use on extremely soft OFHC and OFE electrical grade copper parts for microwave radar units.

Walnut will not deburr or blend scratches, it only removes spray on coating type finishes and dirt. I seriously doubt it would remove hard anodizing. It will add very little texture to raw aluminum and won't help blend machining marks at all.

Aluminum oxide will blend even worse machining marks, it will remove some material even from flat surfaces. Caution needs to be used on sharp corners if they are to remain sharp.

I think the ideal mix would be 80% 40-60 mesh glass beads and 20% 80 grit aluminum oxide.
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Old 01-13-2013, 07:22 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I've used Aluminum Oxcide for years. A lot of it has to do with your technique you should understand what it means to dust something
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