One of the best investments I ever made in my shop!
When it comes to cleaning parts, you just can't beat it. Most amature restorers are limited to using varsol on engine components, wire brushes and paint stripper for many others. They just don't do the job! As you expand your shop tools I would suggest that you place a glass bead blast cabinet high on your list.
Restoring parts is made easy and proffesional by blasting. It quickly removes rust paint, etc. leaving the surface ready for a fresh finish. Paint really sticks!
While the cabinet I have is an older one and not listed here, I like it's size for general purpose. It is 24"x24"x40" and has two doors, a vacuum and a light. If you want to do items the size of wheels, I wouldn't suggest anything smaller.
- Head Bolts and similar
Bolts often have residue of gasket goo or carbon etc. deep in the threads. A bead will clean it out and allow it to screw in like new.
Cleans intake manifolds, pistons, etc. GREAT!!! If you are cleaning a polished surface, it will leave a dull finish. What a great ring groove cleaner.
Boy, does that ever do a nice job of cleaning valves. Makes them look like new.
You bet, looks like the day it came out of the mould! Some hard plastics it may dull the surface, turn down the air pressure.
I have often considered a "bench top" to run walnut shells in, but have never got around to buying one.
I have found that you need a good screen to pick out the larger pieces removed, and there should be a good way to dump the beads to allow cleaning the bead suction line.
- a wire basket to hold small parts which will slip through the heavy screen.
- pliers to hold small parts while blasting (small parts are hard on the gloves).
- use only enough pressure to do your job efficiently, the beads will last longer.
- when experimenting with cleaning soft materials like plastics, start with very low pressures.
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