Soda Blasting Aluminum Bodied ’73 Land Rover!

1973 Land Rover 2

1973 Aluminum Bodied Series 3 Land Rover prior to soda blasting with the ACE Model 2-PS Heavy Duty Portable Soda Blaster – (Photos courtesy of Paul Spangler – Drummond Corporation- Middlefield, Ohio)

Hi Everybody! Happy 2016! 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.

It’s a new year and I have a number of very cool and interesting projects to tell you about. I also owe some of you a response to questions you have asked. Please forgive me for not answering sooner, the last part of 2015 was extremely busy.

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.

Last year I posted a blog entitled Soda Blasting A 60’s Muscle Car Classic! That posting should tell you just about anything you need to know about soda blasting a steel bodied vehicle. Today, I want to tell you about an exciting project: the restoration of an aluminum bodied 1973 Land Rover Series 3! Yes, an aluminum body!

Last July, I was contacted by Paul Spangler of the Drummond Corporation about restoring the Land Rover, which he had recently purchased. Paul wanted to know if soda blasting would be able to strip his Rover without harming the aluminum body. I explained that I have been involved in a number of projects stripping aluminum aircraft and light gauge aluminum aircraft parts with no problems, and that I believed soda blasting would do a great job on his Land Rover. After our discussion, Paul decided to purchase an ACE Model 2-PS Heavy Duty Portable Soda Blaster to soda blast his prized aluminum Land Rover.

1973 Land Rover 1

1973 Land Rover 3

As you can see, the Land Rover had seen its share of adventures over the years! Since there were no major mechanical issues, Paul decided to drive and enjoy it over the summer before launching into the restoration.

Paul recently contacted me. His excitement and enthusiasm were very apparent. “I love the soda blaster! It has exceeded my expectations! Flawless unit! It is ridiculous how little media it used. The media usage is so well metered. Amazing!!!”

Paul used 6 – 50 lbs bags of Armex Flow XL soda blast media to completely strip the aluminum body. The job took around 5 hours. He used the standard 1/8” ID nozzle (requires a minimum of 18 CFM) and media restrictor, and blasted at 80 psi.

1973 Land Rover after 1

These pictures show just how beautiful the soda blasted aluminum looks.

1973 Land Rover after 2

1973 Land Rover after 3

Paul is now removing the body parts from the frame and will be soda blasting the bottom side of all body panels and the frame.

1973 Land Rover - phase 2

1973 Land Rover - phase 2a

I’ll keep you posted on the progress of this interesting project as I get updates.

Hundreds of cars, trucks, boats, and other vehicles 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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Soda Blasting Swimming Pool Tile

Pool 1

Soda blasting swimming pool tile on Maui using the ACE Model 2-PS Heavy Duty Portable Soda Blaster – (Photos and video courtesy of Maui SodaBlast, LLC – Paia, Hawaii – owners John & Rina Andrade)

Hi Everybody! Happy Summer!  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.

Summertime! Yea! Yesterday was the first day of summer and there is no better way to enjoy those hot summer days than by taking a refreshing dip in your swimming pool, or lounging around in your spa. One of the down sides of having your own pool or spa is cleaning the calcium build up that accumulates around the waterline. This unsightly build up tarnishes the beauty of the tile work around many pools and spas. Fortunately, there is an effective, environmentally friendly way to take care of the problem without harming the beauty of the tile. You guessed it….soda blasting!

Today, I want to tell you about a pool maintenance and repair business, which called me a while back, wanting to know if soda blasting could help them expand their business and help their profitability. John & Rina Andrade operate Maui SodaBlast in beautiful Paia, Hawaii. Hawaii is probably the most environmentally aware state in the USA. John & Rina insisted that they only wanted to use an eco-friendly, green cleaning process in their business. After discussing the benefits of soda blasting for their business, they decided to purchase the ACE Model 2-PS Heavy Duty Portable Soda Blaster.

pool 2

As John wrote to me recently, “We own a Pool Maintenance & Repair business and I thought it would be good to offer a calcium (hard water line on the tile) removal service to our clients. It ended up being a great idea! Soda blasting has added about 20% to our bottom line, but that is a conservative number because we do not advertise, just recurring clients and a hand full of referrals.  Clients are very happy with the restoration of their pool tile and also love the idea the media is eco-friendly. Maui is a small island and word has gotten around quickly.”

As you can see, the transformations are striking! No more calcium buildup and beautifully clean tile and stone, with no damage.

BEFORE SODA BLASTING

BEFORE SODA BLASTING

AFTER SODA BLASTING

AFTER SODA BLASTING

John soda blasts with a media specifically designed for pool cleaning and has “never had any problems with pitting or damaging glass or ceramic tile. The operator has to adjust the PSI depending how stubborn the water line (calcium).” John says that “keeping the nozzle at an angle works best. Also, I recommend keeping the nozzle moving, do not keep it in place too long. Reason being the grout line can be blown out if not careful and adjusting PSI as you go. Some calcium build ups are harder to remove than others, which is why the operator may have to increase the PSI.”

Click on the link below to see a short video of the actual process in action:

Soda blasting swimming pool tile – ACE Model 2-PS

Using the ACE Model 2-PS Heavy Duty Soda Blaster makes the job quick and efficient. John states that, “The actual time in the water soda blasting all depends on the size of the pool, multiple bodies of water, spill over and/or negative edge and trough. But for a basic pool at 15-20k gallons, I might use a bag and a half to two bags, but no more than three. I might be in the water max 2 hours; the hardest part of the job is setting up, breaking down, and cleaning up the media off of the pool deck.”

BEFORE SODA BLASTING

BEFORE SODA BLASTING

AFTER SODA BLASTING

AFTER SODA BLASTING

If you have unsightly calcium build-up around your pool or spa, consider cleaning it the way it is being done in the environmentally conscious state of Hawaii. Whether you have a swimming pool cleaning business, a property management business, or a home pool, soda blasting is the way to restore the beauty of your pool, spa, fountain, or water feature.

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

BACK TO THE FUTURE!

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 in my last blog posting, 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 that 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.

Since I am a history, auto, and nostalgia fan, I want to tell you about one of my favorites. One day, I got a call from a gentleman at General Motors. He asked if soda blasting would be a good way to clean up an old metal structure that had been sitting in storage for nearly 50 years. The structure consisted of several panels of arched aluminum, each one about 30 feet in length. They had been part of an old display that GM wanted to restore for use again. He said that they were structurally sound, but were stained and discolored from decades of built up crud, grime, grease and dirt all over them.

I couldn’t believe what I had just heard. Barely able to contain my excitement, I said “Motorama?” There was a moment of silence, and then he asked, “How did you know that?” I explained that I was kind of a nostalgia fan and was very familiar with Motorama.

Motorama was a traveling auto show in the 1950’s. These automobile extravaganzas were designed to whet public appetite and boost automobile sales with displays of fancy prototypes, concept vehicles and other special “Dream Car” models. Almost 11 million people attended these shows from 1949 to 1961. The Chevrolet Corvette was originally designed as a show car for the 1953 Motorama display at the New York Auto Show, where it generated enough interest to induce GM to make a production version for sale to the public.

These particular panels were suspended from above the main display stage, on which the most important concept cars sat. Very cool stuff for a nostalgic, retro fan.

After a detailed discussion about the condition of the panels, I told him that soda blasting was the best way to restore this historic piece of Americana. He agreed, and after researching portable soda blasters, decided to purchase an ACE Model 2-PS Heavy Duty Portable Soda Blaster to do this important job.

Since restoring the panels back to original appearance was essential, I recommended using a medium maintenance grade of soda blast media, and starting at a low blasting pressure. Sure enough, the panels cleaned up, and were restored back to their former glory. It was satisfying to play a part in the restoration of an icon from the “Golden Age” of American automotive history.

I’ll write about some of the other interesting projects that I’ve been involve with, using soda blasting, in future postings. Soda blasting really is one of the most exciting, environmentally friendly cleaning processes available today. Here’s wishing you and your family a Happy Holiday season. 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

Soda Blasting – An Environmentally Friendly Cleaning Revolution!

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.

Soda blasting has become a worldwide phenomenon! I just got back from my first visit to my new dentist. He is known as someone who likes to be on the leading edge of dentistry, and is highly regarded in our local area. He actually used a dental soda blaster to clean my teeth! In addition to cleaning the teeth, he told me that it also creates a healthier environment in the mouth and gums. How cool is that?

Things have been very busy around here this year. I have had the opportunity to discuss soda blasting with literally hundreds of people from all around the world. Over the last few weeks alone, I have talked with people in Chile, Spain, Ukraine, China, South Korea, Ireland, England, South Africa, Botswana, Turkey, Poland, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, Gibraltar, India, Australia, United Arab Emirates, Cyprus, Malaysia, Zimbabwe, St. Lucia, Kenya….oh well, you get the idea. People from all corners of the world want to know about soda blasting!

As more and more people look for environmentally friendly methods of conducting their business or doing a job, they are discovering the benefits of soda blasting. Whether they want to strip paint, clean up fire damage, remove graffiti, refurbish factory equipment and machinery, rebuild pumps, clean swimming pools and fountains, redo the bottom paint on their boat, clean restaurant cooking surfaces and exhaust hoods, renovate an old house, clean the backyard barbeque grill, rebuild engines, remove old stickers and decals, cleanup a moldy attic or crawlspace, or do countless other types of work, people from all around the world are turning to soda blasting!

In the first hour this morning, I have already been contacted by a company in India about soda blasting in oil field facilities, and by a woman in Canada about household uses for a soda blaster. Something’s happening here. It’s an environmentally friendly cleaning revolution!

It’s easy to become part of this new wave. One manufacturer, who builds soda blasters for companies and individuals alike, is ACE Automotive Cleaning Equipment. Don’t let the name fool you. They started out in 1976 focusing on the auto industry, but have branched out since then into every field imaginable. Good equipment, good people.

I’d like to hear from you about jobs or projects that you, or your company, may be able to do with soda blasting. Just leave me a comment and I’ll write future blogs about them.

Here’s wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving to my readers in the USA, and Best Wishes to all of you around the world. 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

Get Ready for Your Spring Soda Blasting Projects

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, on stripping paint, and auto restoration. 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.

In my last blog postings, I talked about one of the best eco-friendly cleaning uses for a soda blaster: mold remediation and fire damage restoration, and cleaning automotive cylinder heads; one of the most popular uses for a soda blasting cabinet system.

As one of the most extreme Winter’s in years starts to wind down, now is the time to get ready for those Spring projects!  Isn’t it time for you to strip the paint off of that car or boat bottom?  Remove graffiti off the back of the garage?  Clean up mold and mildew in the crawl space?  Clean swimming pool tile? Or are you ready to start a new business providing soda blasting services in your area? 

If you have a soda blaster, now is the time to make sure that it is in good working condition.  Same for your air compressor.  Did you leave soda in your soda blaster over the Winter?  If so, clean it out!  Do you need to repair or replace any of the parts?  Do you have soda blast media that is ready to use?  Now is the time to make sure that things are in proper operating condition.  Do you really want to get out on a job, and find that the soda you left in the tank all Winter has caked up and clogged?  Or that your compressor has a mechanical issue?

By preparing now, you can be ready to get your projects done, and enjoy the pleasures you will receive from that car, boat, motorcycle or swimming pool.  Getting your property cleaned up and ready to enjoy over the Spring, Summer and Fall.  It might not seem like it now, but Spring is on its way!

I hope this helps you. In coming posts, I’ll discuss various soda blasting applications in more detail, along with tips and ideas to help you with your cleaning project or business. Thanks for reading!

The Sodablasting Guy

Cleaning Aluminum Cylinder Heads with Soda Blasting

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, on stripping paint, and auto restoration. 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.

In my last blog posting, I talked about one of the best eco-friendly cleaning uses for a soda blaster: mold remediation and fire damage restoration.

Today, I am going to discuss cleaning automotive cylinder heads; one of the most popular uses for a soda blasting cabinet system.

As motor vehicles have evolved over the years, more and more manufacturers use lighter materials, such as aluminum, for various engine parts. As a result, a lot of engine rebuilders have used less aggressive medias, particularly glass beads, to clean engine parts such as aluminum cylinder heads.

While glass beads do a good job of cleaning, there is a major downside to using them: media retention. The glass beads breakdown as they hit the surface. As a result, fine pieces of glass can become trapped in areas such as threads, oil passages, intake runners, and exhaust ports. Sometimes it is very difficult, if not impossible, to insure that the head has no particles trapped in it after blasting with glass beads. Of course these fine glass particles can cause havoc, and potentially ruin an expensive motor.

Soda blasting cleans aluminum cylinder heads, and other engine parts, just as well as glass beads, but without any chance of harmful media retention. When the soda blast media hits the surface, it also shatters and breaks down into a fine dust, like talcum powder. The big difference is that soda blast media is 100% water soluble, and will simply dissolve and wash away with water. This eliminates the potential for any media retention.

Soda blasting does not remove any material or micro peen the aluminum surfaces, so it does not change any surface/flow characteristics in combustion chambers or intake/exhaust ports. It also does not change any dimensional characteristics of the part being soda blasted. It is the best blasting method available for this type of work.

In addition to cleaning cylinder heads, soda blasting is also commonly used for cleaning carburetors, pistons, connecting rods, and other engine components. Various types of aluminum casings and housings, such as those found on some motorcycles, are perfect parts to clean by soda blasting.

There are a number of other popular applications for a soda blasting cabinet. Cleaning various types of pumps and electric motors are very popular uses for a soda blasting cabinet. Soda blasting does not harm bearings, seals, or windings, so many different kinds of parts can be effectively cleaned in a soda blasting cabinet without harm.

A new and growing application is soda blasting parts and prototypes made with 3D printers, to give a consistent finish to the parts without changing dimensional characteristics. I even know of a few people cleaning dinosaur bones with soda blasting!

ACE Automotive Cleaning Equipment makes a good, high quality, reasonably priced soda blasting cabinet called the ACE Model 2-S Soda Blast Cabinet with Dust Collector. There is a video that shows them cleaning an aluminum cylinder head that had been sitting out in a junk yard for a couple years. They didn’t even remove the cam or valves or even pre-clean it. Literally picked it up off the ground and started soda blasting it…..amazing results. You have to see it.

I hope this helps you. In coming posts, I’ll discuss various soda blasting applications in more detail, along with tips and ideas to help you with your cleaning project or business. Thanks for reading!

The Sodablasting Guy