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wetblasting alloy parts

van Ginneke

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Hi, a while back in one of the MPH's I read that someone was experimenting with wetblasting. Is he on the net?
I have started wetblasting last week with a Vapormatt cabinet and it works really well on alloy parts.
Anyone out there that has some knowledge about this kind of cleaning?
It brings out parts like they are newly cast, without any damage to the surface. Not like dry glassbead blasting at all.
But cleaning off old oil & grease residue takes some time, any suggestions are welcome!

regards, Vincent, Netherlands.
 

van Ginneke

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
wetblasting -vapour blasting- alloy parts

Hi Ogrilp (...) Yes that's the obvious thing! What I am searching for is ways to get this old stuff off in a decent manner.
Using agressive solvents is very 20th century, I am now on the track of solvables that work with bacteries that eat the oil, but there are differences and ofcourse every company that sells these claims to have the best.
I just re-found the article where it was mentioned that a member was using vapour blasting on crankcases, april 2009 (issue723).
Tom Gayner wrote about Dan Thompson -page 74, Scotland-
Is he on the site?
 

Tnecniv Edipar

Well Known and Active Website User
Non-VOC Member
Vapour beadblasting is the only method I use for anything apart from parts that will be painted.
To degrease use hand cleanser that is intended to remove oil from the hands. For heavy deposits there are environmentally friendly degreasers available.
 

peterg

Well Known and Active Website User
Non-VOC Member
Dishwasher

Howdy Sir,

Everything I've worked on since 1997 goes through what we effectionately refer to as the dishwasher first to establish a foundation for determining need for more aggressive action - in many cases enabling use of safer media like soda or walnut shell over glass bead. More troublesome UFM's are placed at the bottom of the carousel for several days to stew as other parts are cycled through.

The arrival of this wonderful device on the scene rivals that of electricity for those longing to preserve every delicate nuance of vintage alloy parts.
 

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van Ginneke

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Thanks for the tip, after some googling I found that the cabinet on the pic you included is a Uniwasher made in the USofA.
Actually all of them I found where of American manufacture, searching on for a more locally (Europe) made one.
There must be.
 

peterg

Well Known and Active Website User
Non-VOC Member
Howdy Sir,

The most likely spot to find one will be facillities rebuilding automatic transmissions because, dare I mention it here after getting a lashing on JTAN, they are also more likely to use the specialized formulae that makes one of these machines even more effective. And it apparently contains mild caustic soda. Besides other machines, I did my entire Red Rapide in one and the results were such (spectacular) that only the rear head required a light dusting with glass beads.

One of the principal benefits of these machines is the heat draws all the oils out ensuring that surfaces joined with sealers - like the critical seam on your cases - have the best chance for remaining sealed. Very important in our application as poorly vented crankcases - like my Shadow on its original timed breather - can displace nominally compromised sealer as I discovered to my dismay.


vincent53.jpg

vincent31.jpg
 
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peterg

Well Known and Active Website User
Non-VOC Member
Howdy Sir,

One would have thought not and I was taken to task by the JTAN'rs when mentioning aluminum and caustic soda wash in the same sentence. Apparently that ingredient is very minimal in this solution. But, I must point out, and any shop using it is fully aware, that this solution has a very defined service life as I discovered to my horror with my R69S engine when electing to run it through on the last Saturday of the month when it was scheduled to be changed the following Monday a.m.

The pieces emerged from the washer looking like they were covered in oily soot and some remained stained to this day as I had to build this motor quickly for a trip and did not have time to run it back through after the solution had been changed.

That little episode aside, every engine and transmission the goes through PWR's shop is cleaned in this machine and there's never been a problem.
 

peterg

Well Known and Active Website User
Non-VOC Member
Howdy sir,

JTAN is an internet tool provider, and like Yahoo Groups has a list server offering for which there is a Vincent oriented one setup by Doug Wood.

I would not claim a cabinet to be better, just by design very consistent/comprehensive in providing the results, ie, all things being equal (solution, temp settings) it's no different than your kitchen dishwasher. Put your stuff in, close the door, hit start and go about your business.

As someone who's expended endless hours laboriously hand stripping pieces - I recollect about 65 + - painted pieces on the Red Rap - and glad to endure the misery therein rather than drop them off at a commercial outfit to be sandblasted by an indifferent employee. As mentioned earlier, I do this to establish a pure baseline for assessing the need for more a more aggressive approach next and it's been a revelation as to how much less is now required. One could almost say bead blasting - the default method, commonly regard as benign by most compared to sand blasting and such - is like prep'g a light scratch on your paintwork with 60 grit rather than the more appropriate 1,500 prior to final sanding and buffing - overkill.
 
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van Ginneke

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Peter, thanks -again!- although I had to look up the word 'benign'
I am -as always- on a learning curve.
I looked at Jtan, dunno yet if I join that, I am spending a lot of valuable shed time at the global village pump...
 

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