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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Howdy,
I have some dirty old big block valve covers that I want to either sandblast or bead blast. What is the difference in the two? What is bead blasting? Which do you recommend for valve covers? Approximate cost? Thanks

Mac
 

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I can only speak from my experience where I work and what we do, so I could be a little off but...
Sand blasting is actually more like sand (oddly enough) but the media is generally aluminum oxide or silicon carbide. It leaves a rougher surface, a surface that I believe paint would adhere to better.
Bead blasting (glass bead) media, is tiny round beads of glass which doesn't leave as rough of a finish, but is good for cleaning up a surface. It also doesn't remove as much surface material as sand blasting does.
Hopes this is useful.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
KThaxton, makes sense to me.

I asked a car buddy of mine where he gets his auto parts sandblasted and he recommended a monument making place in town. (where they etch grave stones). Then he asked what I was getting blasted and I told him valve covers and he said that is too large, you probably want to get that bead blasted instead. Now that statement did not make sense to me but I didn't ask him any more. I guess I will have to ask him follow up questions as soon as he is back in town again.
 

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i would sandblast them that is cheaper and if you already have an air compressor then you can rent the sand blaster from a local rental shop, and then all you have to do is get some cheap sand media. this is the more practical way of doing it and if you are going to paint the covers later you can smooth it out with the paint, and this will add more protection in the future, or you might try just sanding them down start with rough paper then go to finer paper, till you get a finishing paper to make ready for paint, yes this takes longer but the results are better and it is a lot cheaper.
 

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have used both ..the glass bead leaves a brighter finish,and smoother ... the sand here leaves a dull and rough finish .. this catches dirt quicker.. used river sand ..strained it through window screen... works good...glass beads come in several sizes, i always use medium grit qp
 

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You can get a sand blaser attachment for an air compressor for $12 at Home Depot...then you just have to get the media. I didn't look too hard at it, since I won't need one for a while, but it might be sand/bead...and I know it'll work with the media in just a bucket or something.
If ya get one, let me know how it worked.
Tim
 

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i have a couple sand/beadblasting setup's, one is just a large gravity feed system used for doing truck frames and bodys and large stuff and i have an enclosed setup for smaller stuff. the gravity feed one works well, but it makes a huge mess, and you'll be picking that crap out of places of your body you don't want that stuff. but both do the job i prefer sand because it's much cheaper, and both you can reuse more than once but after a few times it takes alot longer. that one mentioned for 12 bucks, does the job of a 12 dollar blaster, it'll take you the better part of the day to do one valve cover. to tell the truth i have just used a 3 1/2" grinder with a wire wheel to do valve covers and then just painted them.
shawn
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Shawn, what do you mean by an enclosed set up? I think I know a friend that might have one but I want to sound like I know what the hell I am talking about before I ask him about it.

Murdoch said:
i have an enclosed setup for smaller stuff. shawn
 

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it's like a box, with a see through lid and gloves you can stick your hands through to the inside and the sand doesn't get everywhere, it also has an exaust system to keep the dust down so you can see what's going on inside.
shawn
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Cool, and he offered to do it for free so I guess I will be bead blasting!
Thanks for the info!

Murdoch said:
it's like a box, with a see through lid and gloves you can stick your hands through to the inside and the sand doesn't get everywhere, it also has an exaust system to keep the dust down so you can see what's going on inside.
shawn
 
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