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Old December 5, 2012, 01:58 PM   #1
Dragline45
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First Time Bead Blasting - Advice Needed

I recently picked up a used Sig 232 in stainless and want to refinish the gun. Before I bead blast the gun I plan on going over it with some 800-1000 grit wet dry to get out any tooling marks left over from the factory. I have a good amount of experience with taking scratches out of stainless but it has always been on my revolvers which I end up polishing after. I also have experience with getting a good brushed finish on flats of slides so no issue there either. Although I have no experience with bead blasting so I have a few questions.

I plan on using 80 grit glass bead to get a satin finish, if any out there have an alternative preference feel free to share.

Should I look for a particular style of bead blasting gun/nozzle that would best suit the job? I see a few different choices out there but am not sure as to what would be best.

Before I bead blast should I go over the prior bead blasting on the gun with say 800-1000 grit wet-dry to prep it and get a flat surface.

Since the gun is blowback I don't really feel comfortable removing the barrel from the frame. Would plugging each end of the barrel, wrapping that section in saran wrap and then taping it off suffice? I also plan on taping off the rails and feed ramp, and of course the gun will be stripped to it's bare frame.

Is it possible to over blast, and should I practice first on some scrap steel?

Any other tips and advice is welcome. Appreciate any input.
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Old December 5, 2012, 02:59 PM   #2
drail
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80 grit is a little too coarse for a "satin" finish. You should most definitely practice on some unimportant metal first. Go to the hardware store and buy some rubber plugs for the bore. Tape will protect areas you don't want blasted - for a second or two. Stay back and keep the nozzle moving constantly. Have a LOT of light.
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Old December 5, 2012, 05:50 PM   #3
lawdog2
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Yes I would practice on some scrap first. The nozzle for the grit you are using will be the same for most types of cleaning. Follow what drail said and keep the nozzle moving on the piece that you are doing. Be sure to clean the pieces very, very thoroughly before you even think about reassembling the weapon. You also might want to take the finished pieces to a local gunsmith and have the tolerances checked to make sure they are still within specs.
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Old December 10, 2012, 07:15 AM   #4
HiBC
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Watch your air pressure,too.As your air pressure goes up,you begin shattering round beads to sharp shards,cutting,eroding,embedding.Try 40 psi or so just to satin.I am prone to look at the MSC website for about anything industrial,including blast media.

You might look at polishing stones,too.

I have had excellent results with a Brownell's product,its a liquid abrasive in glue.Comes in various grits.I can band saw/belt sand hard maple or birch into file like shapes,dip in this stuff,and hang to dry.Makes a great polishing tool!

Oh,do not try to work close to the rubber glove with the nozzle.Blowing a hole in the glove is a bad idea.

Sometimes glass beading will cause you to pick up a static charge,beware a little zap does not make you drop something.

Last edited by HiBC; December 10, 2012 at 07:29 AM.
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Old December 10, 2012, 11:27 AM   #5
drail
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Yup, I used to work in an aviation facility and our bead blast cabinet would zap you really good. Every one hated to use it. Guys called it the VanDegraff generator. We finally had to hook a grounding wire clipped to the part to stop getting zapped.
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Old December 10, 2012, 05:17 PM   #6
Dragline45
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Thanks for all the advice. I wont be using a bead blasting cabinet I'll be using a blasting gun hooked up to an air compressor. I'm borrowing the air compressor from a friend so I'm not sure of the size/power of it but he assures me it will be work for blasting. I'll do a fair amount of practice on scrap pieces of steel I have and experiment with different air pressures to find what works best for the setup I'll have.
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