Soda Blasting A 60’s Muscle Car Classic!

New paint job 1

(1968 Camaro SS – Owner Terry Tetzlaff – Paint by Painted Specialties of Muskegon, Michigan – Old paint job stripped off using the ACE Model 2-PS Heavy Duty Portable Soda Blaster)

Hi Everybody! Welcome to my blog about soda blasting, the environmentally friendly cleaning method that uses a form of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) in place of other non-environmentally friendly, and health hazardous blasting medias like sand.

In my earlier postings, I explained what soda blasting is, what makes soda blasting such a unique cleaning process, some basic information on air compressors, on soda blasting equipment, and on a few popular applications. Once you understand how soda blasting works, it is much easier to appreciate why it is such an effective, safe, and eco-friendly cleaning method for many different types of jobs.

As I mentioned before, soda blasting has become a worldwide phenomenon! As I think back over the last several years, I am amazed at all of the different types of projects that I’ve been involved with, from helping do-it-yourself home owners, to assisting all kinds of businesses, large and small. I enjoy hearing from people, who have used soda blasting on their projects based on my recommendations. It is very satisfying to know that I’ve helped someone achieve completion of an important job.

In my last few blog postings, I have talked about stripping and refinishing furniture using soda blasting. Today, I’m going to switch gears and talk about another great soda blasting application: soda blasting and stripping automotive paint. I briefly talked about this in my posting of July 9, 2013 entitled “Soda Blasting & Stripping Automotive Paint”. Now I want to tell you about an actual example, which illustrates the kind of results you can achieve.

A few years ago, I was talking with Terry Tetzlaff, owner of Painted Specialties in Muskegon, Michigan. Terry is recognized as one of the top automotive painters in Michigan. He owns a 1968 Camaro SS, which was an old show car. The car was painted in a style common to show cars in the 1970’s and 80’s with multiple graphics and murals. Terry wanted to update the paint job and use the car as a rolling showcase for his painting business.

Before 3

Terry was familiar with soda blasting, but had never actually done it before. As we talked, he became more enthusiastic about stripping his car by soda blasting it. As you can see in the picture, his Camaro had multiple graphics and murals, and multiple coats of clear lacquer to achieve that show car look. He had measured the paint thickness at 8-9 mils (Modern OEM finishes average about 3-5 mils). I told him that he would have no problem stripping his car using the ACE Model 2-PS Heavy Duty Portable Soda Blaster and a coarse grit soda blast media like Armex Flow XL. After considering other methods, Terry decided that soda blasting was the way to go.

soda-blasting-Camaro

The car was completely stripped one Saturday using the ACE Model 2-PS with a ¼” I.D. nozzle and 12- 50# bags of Armex Flow XL soda blast media. The blasting pressure was set at 90-100 psi. The amount of time and soda blast media needed to strip any given car will vary based on factors such as the condition of the paint, the type of paint, and the thickness of the paint, in addition to the size of the nozzle used and the blasting pressure.  Our experience has been that stripping the average car takes 8 to 12- 50# bags of soda blast media.

before & after -rearbefore & after -front

After soda blasting, the car was blown off with compressed air, taking extra care in areas like the inside of doors and other places where the soda dust could accumulate. The car was then washed with soap and water and thoroughly dried.

Prepping 1

A self etching primer was applied over the bare metal to aid paint adhesion. A week later, the entire car was sanded with 320 grit sandpaper and primed with two part epoxy primer.

The next step involved wet sanding with 600 grit sandpaper. The entire car was inspected and Terry used 3M spot putty to fill in small imperfections and scratches. The spot putty and affected areas were sanded and reprimed as needed.

The car was taped off and sanded again with 2000 grit sandpaper. After that the entire car was wiped down with wax and grease remover, followed by a wipe down with a tack rag.

Prepping

As experienced painters know, prep work is 90% of a great paint job. This is a lot of work, but it’s a good example of what you need to do to get a professional grade paint job.

With the prep work done, Terry applied 4 coats of Deltron Synergy Green (2010 Camaro color) and clear coated the car with several coats of DuPont clear. He then waited 2 weeks before beginning the wet sanding process, starting with 2000 grit by hand, and ending with 3000 grit before the buffing process.

New paint job

As you can see, the final results are outstanding! Terry’s car gets a lot of attention where ever he takes it. The car has won multiple awards at various car shows throughout Michigan.

Hundreds of cars have been restored using soda blasting. Several years ago, Hot Rod magazine did a series of articles entitled “Paint & Bodywork, The Most Complete Step-By-Step Series Ever!” In the series, the Editor of Hot Rod had his personal 1969 Camaro stripped and refinished. They had the choice of any paint stripping method available. What method did they use on his personal car? Soda Blasting!

I hope this helps you out. In future postings, I’ll write about some of the other interesting projects that I’ve been involved with, using soda blasting. Soda blasting really is one of the most exciting, environmentally friendly cleaning processes available today. We are all put here on this planet for a short time, so let’s make the best of it and help preserve it for future generations.

Thanks for reading my blog! – The Soda Blasting Guy

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Eco-Friendly Furniture Refinishing – Part 2

Mahogany Podium
(Solid Mahogany Podium – soda blasted with ACE Model 2-PS Soda Blaster- total time 35 minutes – Picture courtesy of High Grade Finishing / Ainsworth Antiques, Enfield, CT)

Hi Everybody! Welcome to my blog about soda blasting, the environmentally friendly cleaning method that uses a form of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) in place of other non-environmentally friendly, and health hazardous blasting medias like sand.

In my earlier postings, I explained what soda blasting is, what makes soda blasting such a unique cleaning process, some basic information on air compressors, on soda blasting equipment, and on a few popular applications. Once you understand how soda blasting works, it is much easier to appreciate why it is such an effective, safe, and eco-friendly cleaning method for many different types of jobs.

As I mentioned before, soda blasting has become a worldwide phenomenon! As I think back over the last several years, I am amazed at all of the different types of projects that I’ve been involved with, from helping do-it-yourself home owners, to assisting all kinds of businesses, large and small. I enjoy hearing from people, who have used soda blasting on their projects based on my recommendations. It is very satisfying to know that I’ve helped someone achieve completion of an important job.

In my last blog posting, I wrote about a very large furniture refinishing project, involving over 200 wooden church pews. Today, I want to tell you about projects involving individual pieces of antique wooden furniture. A few weeks ago, I got a phone call from Russell at High Grade Finishing / Ainsworth Antiques in Enfield, Connecticut. Russell had heard about soda blasting and wondered if it would be applicable for stripping antique wooden furniture. He had grown tired of using chemical strippers or farming out the stripping, and dealing with inconsistent results and timeframes.

Russell is a very thorough person, and he wanted to be sure that soda blasting would do what he wanted it to do. I recommended that he use the ACE Model 2-PS Heavy Duty Portable Soda Blaster with a fan tip nozzle for the best results. After a number of phone conversations and emails, he decided to give it a shot. With his permission, I want to share the emails and pictures that he sent me yesterday.

“Yesterday we used the ACE soda blaster for the first time ever. The results were overwhelmingly great. We stripped off old varnish and lacquers on 9 separate items. I timed each item to the minute. The 9 items were completed in just 99 total minutes on just 1 -50 lb. bag of maintenance flow soda. Below I have posted just a few of the items with strip times. Every item came out smooth and spotless leaving much less sanding to do, unlike chemical stripping.”

elman chair before 1 elman chair stripped 2

TOTAL TIME 4 MINUTES

soda arm chair before 1 soda arm chair stripped 2

TOTAL TIME 7 MINUTES

“Platform rocker whole chair stripped in 5 minutes, top has burl walnut veneer no damage at all. It stripped all the detailed areas instantly much quicker than chemical stripping.  This machine is going to save us a fortune. We used to farm out a large portion of the stripping. We no longer have to do so, nor do we have to rely on other vendors to do an adequate job.”

platform rocker before ed. platform rocker stripped whole ch. platform rocker stripped ed 2.

As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. Soda blasting really is one of the most exciting, environmentally friendly cleaning processes available today. We are all put here on this planet for a short time, so let’s make the best of it and help preserve it for future generations.

Thanks for reading my blog! – The Soda Blasting Guy

Eco-Friendly Furniture Refinishing!

soda blasted church pews 2

Hi Everybody! Welcome to my blog about soda blasting, the environmentally friendly cleaning method that uses a form of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) in place of other non-environmentally friendly, and health hazardous blasting medias like sand.

In my earlier postings, I explained what soda blasting is, what makes soda blasting such a unique cleaning process, some basic information on air compressors, on soda blasting equipment, and on a few popular applications. Once you understand how soda blasting works, it is much easier to appreciate why it is such an effective, safe, and eco-friendly cleaning method for many different types of jobs.

As I mentioned before, soda blasting has become a worldwide phenomenon! As I think back over the last several years, I am amazed at all of the different types of projects that I’ve been involved with, from helping do-it-yourself home owners, to assisting all kinds of businesses, large and small. I enjoy hearing from people, who have used soda blasting on their projects based on my recommendations. It is very satisfying to know that I’ve helped someone achieve completion of an important job.

As many of you know, one of the nastiest jobs around is using a toxic chemical stripper to remove the finish off of wooden furniture and architectural items such as doors and windows. Not only is it messy, but it can be bad for you and bad for the environment. Not something that I would want to use or be around.

So what alternative do you have? Well, it just so happens that soda blasting is a safe, effective, and eco-friendly way to strip all kinds of paint, varnish, and other common coatings used on wood! That’s right, soda blasting. In one of my earlier blogs, entitled “Soda Blasting and Paint Stripping”, I gave a brief overview on some of the types of jobs that you can do with soda blasting. Today, I want to tell you about a specific job that I had the pleasure of being involved with. And what a job it was!

Last summer, I received a phone call from Flink’s Painting in Kaysville, Utah. Ed told me that he had a job, which involved stripping the finish off of wooden church pews. We talked for a while as I answered his questions about soda blasting and how it works. As the discussion proceeded, I asked him how many of the pews needed stripping. “Over 200 of them” he replied. “That’s a pretty big job”, I said and we both laughed. “It sure is!” he said.

The church consisted of a main level and an upper balcony with additional seating for the congregation. Ed wanted to remove the pews from the lower level, and move them to a large warehouse area to soda blast them offsite. However, due to logistical reasons, he would soda blast the balcony pews in place at the church.

I recommended that he use the ACE Model 2-PS Heavy Duty Portable Soda Blaster for the job. In addition to the round nozzles, I also recommended that he try a fan tip blast nozzle, since he had a sufficient amount of cfm available from his air compressor. He told me that his work crews would be working long hours on a daily basis for a number of weeks to complete the work on time. “I’m going to run the heck out of this machine. Is that soda blaster you recommend up to the task?” he asked. “Absolutely” I told him.

Ed said that it was acceptable if he experienced some raising of the wood grain, as he intended to finish sand all of the pews anyway. He was primarily interested in speed and wanted no part of chemical strippers. With that in mind, I recommended Armex Flow XL soda blast media designed for paint and coatings removal. He could also blast at a slightly higher blasting pressure, since speed was his main concern.

Several weeks passed, and one day I received a call from Ed with some questions about the soda blast media. I asked him how the job was going. He told me that he was just about done, and that the ACE Model 2-PS soda blaster had worked great, just like I knew it would. He was pleased and so was I.

The photo at the top of this blog posting shows the balcony pews. The pews nearest the camera have already been soda blasted. If you look towards the upper middle of the picture, you can see the work crew and the ACE Model 2-PS, stripping one of the final rows of pews.

This was a very large scale project. Soda blasting can just as easily be used by a homeowner or do-it-yourself hobbyist for many different kinds of applications.

I’ll write about some of the other interesting projects that I’ve been involved with, using soda blasting, in future postings. Soda blasting really is one of the most exciting, environmentally friendly cleaning processes available today. We are all put here on this planet for a short time, so let’s make the best of it and help preserve it for future generations.

Thanks for reading my blog! – The Soda Blasting Guy