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