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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm looking for an air compressor to setup a soda blaster for light (e.g. removing gunk) to medium-duty stripping jobs (e.g. wheels).



Do any of you out there have a soda blasting setup? What size air compressor are you using (volume, horsepower, psi, etc.)? How well do your setups work?



Any advice is greatly appreciated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
For example, here's the description of one I saw on Craigslist. Would this suffice?



Name 2 HP, 8 Gallon, 115 PSI Portable Air Compressor

Engine Certification CSA

Pump Design oil lubed

Running Amps 7.4 Amps

Air Output at 40 PSI 6 CFM

Air Output at 90 PSI 5 CFM

Tank Capacity 8 gallon (US)

Compressor Type Horizontal

Air NPT Outlet Size 1/4

Air Stage 1

Air Tank Certification No

Starting Amps 15.5 Amps

Housing Material Steel

Item Type Air Compressor

Speed - RPM 3360 RPM

Voltage 120

Phase 1

Brand Central Pneumatic

Weight 62.8 Pounds
 

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I have a simple Craftsman compressor 150psi max, their 33 gallon value model--I dont recall the CFM-to PSI rating but I dont think it is enough to really use for extended periods of blasting...will have to double check. I do have this mated up with the 50lb Central Pneumatic Sandblast tank...my compressor works hard to keep up for larger projects...but works well for the small stuff, bead blasting carbs, cases, touching up sections of the frame, etc... I think its fine for what I do, but would like to have a dual stage...something rated much higher in terms of CFM.



I use a #8 glass bead which is pretty gentle medium grit?, set the compressor to around 50 to 60 psi? Not sure if glass beads are the same as Soda Blasting though.



Some other thoughts...make sure you spend the most of your time prepping the piece to be cleaned. Remove any and all soft sludge, caked on garbage, etc; the better you prep your workpiece, the better your finished product will be. I think for my Kawasaki Triple Cases, I have over 40 tedious hours cleaning before blasting them with glass beads...but the finished product probalby looks better than factory.



too much garbage, and you will not have an even surface finish, as the gunky stuff will shield or mask the metal underneath. Blasting should not be used to remove the rough gunky stuff for sure. Hope that helps?



5 to 6CFM seems to be low, as does the volume of the tank, and you can overwork the machine...what you describe is good for low volume stuff like air nailers and the like.



I will try to post some pics later tonight and offer the specifics as far as CFM HP, etc!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Some other thoughts...make sure you spend the most of your time prepping the piece to be cleaned. Remove any and all soft sludge, caked on garbage, etc; the better you prep your workpiece, the better your finished product will be. I think for my Kawasaki Triple Cases, I have over 40 tedious hours cleaning before blasting them with glass beads...but the finished product probalby looks better than factory.


Awesome! Thanks for the advice so far. I always thought it would blast through the gunk, but it makes total sense to clean the parts off as much as possible before blasting to get the right finish. Thanks!
 

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That craigslist ad sounds like a pancake air compressor or equivalent. Air compressors like that are for intermittent duty such as using a nail gun.



And to repeat what was already said, get all the oil & grease off before you start. That junk will contaminate your media and clot up the cabinet.
 

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edit: sorry, double post
 

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Not much to it, it's kind of like sandblasting or painting except the air picks up and blows baking soda out.



If you've got air it isn't too hard to make a setup that will do it, I know one guy that bought a $15 HVLP gun from Harbor Freight, drilled the nozzle out and used it with great success.
 

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Yeah, I made one too. I even used a copper tube for the nozzle and brazed everything together. I tried it a couple of times and could do better by blowing smoke from my mouth on things. What seemed to be a great idea, fizzled for me.
 

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I will try to...offer the specifics as far as CFM HP, etc!


My compressor is a 1.6HP 4.9CFM @ 90 PSI. I would guess I am in the neighborhood of 6 to 6.5CFM at 50psi...not too far off from the unit you were thinking about. Difference being I have a 33 gallon tank which is sort of a reservoir which offers a bit more time to blast before it kicks on to build up pressure again.



what are you blasting or hoping to accomplish?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
My compressor is a 1.6HP 4.9CFM @ 90 PSI. I would guess I am in the neighborhood of 6 to 6.5CFM at 50psi...not too far off from the unit you were thinking about. Difference being I have a 33 gallon tank which is sort of a reservoir which offers a bit more time to blast before it kicks on to build up pressure again.



what are you blasting or hoping to accomplish?


I was planning on blasting pretty much any part on a bike (tank, frame, covers, calipers wheels, etc etc.). But I don't necessarily have space for a blast cabinet or a big compressor.
 
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