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Advise on Bead Blasting

Discussion in 'Handgun Discussion' started by Petes, May 20, 2010.

  1. Petes

    Petes Active Member

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    I have a not well cared for colt officers 45 SS. I want to disassemble and bead blast the whole gun to a matt finish.
    Do you know of someone who can do this or do you know of a way I can do the bead blasting myself? (with minimal investment)

    Thanks for your input
    Pete
     
  2. MountainBear

    MountainBear Sweet Home, OR Well-Known Member

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    It's not really a do-it-yourself type project. Needs to go to a gunsmith or metal shop (probably an gunsmith due to the FFL requirement).
     
  3. Cougfan2

    Cougfan2 Hillsboro, OR Well-Known Member

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  4. Abe Froman

    Abe Froman West of Salem Active Member

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  5. MountainBear

    MountainBear Sweet Home, OR Well-Known Member

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    That assumes of course that you have a bead blast cabinet, the proper media, a compressor large enough to feed air to the cabinet, and the know-how to do the job. I repeat, its not really a do-it-yourself project...
     
  6. Abe Froman

    Abe Froman West of Salem Active Member

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    A bead blast cabinet is purely optional. It might be more efficient to use one if it is something you are going to be doing frequently. And you don't need that large of a compressor either.

    Portable Abrasive Blaster $30
    http://www.harborfreight.com/garage-shop/abrasive-blasters/portable-abrasive-blaster-30979.html

    Cheap Compressor $100
    http://www.harborfreight.com/air-to...on-115-psi-portable-air-compressor-95386.html

    25 Pounds Glass Bead Media $25
    http://www.harborfreight.com/air-to...on-115-psi-portable-air-compressor-95386.html

    Total Investment $155

    Telling your friends you bead blasted your pistol yourself...Priceless (as long as it turns out good) :D
     
  7. Cougfan2

    Cougfan2 Hillsboro, OR Well-Known Member

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    "As long as it turns out good." Your sir, have the prize! :laugh:
     
  8. Celtic Armory

    Celtic Armory Port Orchard, WA Member

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    I can tell you right now that air compressor doesn't have the capacity to work long and hard, like with bead blasting. The portable is a nice idea, if you don't mind sweeping up the mess, which will be EVERYWHERE.

    The nice thing about a good cabinet is that it contains all the media and recycles it. Very little waste, very little mess.
     
  9. Petes

    Petes Active Member

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    Cougfan NICE job on the SP101
    the Boss, thanks for the tip on the bead blaster and material.
    Thanks to everyone for the input I am thinking about fabbing up a blast box and giving it a go. I have a ruger mark II SS to test it on.
     
  10. Cougfan2

    Cougfan2 Hillsboro, OR Well-Known Member

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    Wish I could take credit for it. It was done by Mark Morganti at Gemini Customs. He's not cheap, but he does first rate work.
     
  11. turq

    turq Molino,oregon Member

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    Line your blast box with rubber. I won't wear down. Just bare wood will be gone in no time. A rug runner 1/8" thick out of rubber will do.
     
  12. Gunner3456

    Gunner3456 Salem Well-Known Member

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    The problem with that compressor is that it will very quickly lose pressure. As the pressure changes, so will the force with which the beads hit the gun parts and the patterns will look different. You'll get varying streaks on the gun. You CAN'T get a smooth and even finish unless the pressure stays even.

    Depending on the size tip you use on the blasting gun, you need at least a four or five HP compressor running on 220v to stabilize the force with which the beads hit the parts. Run the blaster without hitting the gun part for at least a minute or two to let the pressure drop to the point it can stabilize and stay the same through the whole blasting process.

    Even a portable blaster eats a LOT of air. I have two compressors - they are 4 hp 220v and 5 hp 220v Speedaire compressors and I hook them both together with a Y connector to blast. Both have 30 gallon tanks, which means I have 60 gallons of reserve compressed air.

    My 1 1/2 hp 110v compressor is for pumping up tires, running air nailers, and basically is there just because I can easily lift it and carry it into my pickup or upstairs into the house, etc.

    Listen to Cougfan2 and MountainBear. You're fixing to make a mess. You can have the gun blasted for less than what that Harbor Freight crap would cost you. Buy the Harbor Freight compressor for pumping up tires.
     
  13. waltermitty

    waltermitty seattle Active Member

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    that's the exact platform i had bb-ed. didnt like the shine. had it threaded and
    sight pushed back a scootch. great naked or with can. :thumbup: