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Technical Blasting a Truck Cab

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by JCook5003, Apr 16, 2014.

  1. JCook5003
    Joined: Jun 20, 2007
    Posts: 53


    Hey Guys-

    While totally unrelated to hot rods I figured I'd ask a question about my other project since the question is relevant to general auto restoration.

    I'm working on a Jeep J10 pickup. It's covered in cheap spray paint and 45 years or original paint. The cab is remarkably solid, but I would like to strip it down to bare metal to start over with a nice DTM Epoxy Primer.

    I own a sandblaster, but am worried about warping panels due to the peening effect of the media.

    My question. How would you guys do this? Walnut Hulls? Black Beauty? Something else? Manual stripping might work on the big panels but in the door jams, window channels etc, blasting would be great.

    Soda blasting worries me some due to the residue left behind. Acid or chemical strippers worry me about metal corrosion if you dont get every drop neutralized.

    Opinions? Thoughts?
  2. Terrible80
    Joined: Oct 1, 2010
    Posts: 783


    I don't know anything about this. :) But, my impression is that door jams, etc. are made in such a manner that they will take more blasting w/o warpage , it would be the big expanses of sheetmetal , doors and roof that you'd worry about.
  3. txturbo
    Joined: Oct 23, 2009
    Posts: 1,771


    I wouldn't blast the large panels but the jambs and edges would be ok. It takes way more media than you think it will. I did the cab of my 55 chevy and I think I used 15-20 50lb bags of crushed glass in my dustless blaster.
  4. 3wLarry
    Joined: Mar 11, 2005
    Posts: 12,804

    Member Emeritus
    from Owasso, Ok

    wet soda blasting...rinse thoroughly...don't worry about .02
    kidcampbell71 likes this.

  5. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 49,541


    I haven't had any trouble with warpage blasting large panels with a home blaster. Relatively low pressure, low air flow, and fine sand seem to help. Move around a lot when you're blasting, hold the nozzle back a ways. Jambs etc will be no problem at all, and if you're still worried about the large panels, find another way to strip them, such as paint stripper and a DA sander.
  6. JCook5003
    Joined: Jun 20, 2007
    Posts: 53


    wow 15-20 bags? At $25/bag around here I could pay someone to do it. I just finished my chassis and only used 4 bags of sand. I suppose there are no little nooks and crannies though.

    Also I would assume you should turn the PSI way down to reduce the risk of warping.
  7. txturbo
    Joined: Oct 23, 2009
    Posts: 1,771


    It's $10 a bag here and that was inside, outside ,top and bottom. Some of it I had to hit a second time because it rusted over night.
  8. stimpy
    Joined: Apr 16, 2006
    Posts: 3,547


    I have repainted semis , one ofthe biggest problems is the cabs are aluminum so warpage is real high , we use walnut shells and sand mixed , but the sand has to be new as its sharp . also move the gun around do not concentrate on one area , do it like welding a panel . do a spot here then move to another for a few then back . and do not go at it straight try peel the paint from a angle .
  9. jbrittonjr
    Joined: Sep 10, 2009
    Posts: 105


    Unless your compressor supplies a lot of air you might look into renting a screw compressor.
    Be warned, grit gets everywhere.
  10. I've sandblasted a bunch of cars and have never shied away from using sand,,never have any warped panels just keep moving and don't hold it in one place too long. HRP
  11. lakeroadster
    Joined: Nov 6, 2008
    Posts: 604

    from *

    Excellent advice.

    A couple decades ago when I did my '31 Tudor I used paint stripper to get the 4 layers of paint off the large panels, then sandblasted the entire body afterwards to get a good surface finish for the primer. Once the panels are chemically stripped it takes very little blasting media to get them "white".


  12. Those are the keys with a glancing blow from the sand.
    Like the car is driving thru a 60 mph sandstorm not by having sand thrown at it broadside at 200 mph.
  13. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,604

    Rusty O'Toole

    I wouldn't sandblast anything if I could help it (I have done my share in the past).

    If it is cheap enamel paint try a razor blade scraper. You might be surprised how fast you can peel it off in long strips.

    Leave the factory paint on if you can. When you get all the paint off you can, get the rest with an orbital sander or a disc grinder with a fine grit disc. Finish the corners with a 3M wheel.

    It will not take longer than sandblasting and you will not ruin the glass and chrome and you will not be shaking sand out of everything for the next 2 years.
  14. I've never experienced these problems but when I sandblast there is no glass or chrome to worry about! HRP
  15. I use the finest grit of Black Beauty. I use a medium size nozzle and make a big mess. When you're finished, it's as good as it can be. Is there any other than the acid dip that is as good?
  16. junkman8888
    Joined: Jan 28, 2009
    Posts: 622


    Greetings! A body shop near me uses single-edge razor blades to remove old paint from vintage/collectable vehicles, (it really works well on several layers of enamel), the only problem is anyone that stops by to visit gets put to work!
  17. Having used dry blasting and now the dustless systems both work. As many have already mentioned while using the dry system keep moving at lower pressures and you should be fine with warpage. The nice thing about the dustless system it is way more efficient, uses less material and seems to work a bit faster. When you start to add up how much material you're going to use for dry system and your time, it is often only a little bit more to hire somebody with a wet system and you don't have to deal with the dust or messy clean up.
    Just my .02
  18. second_floor_loft
    Joined: Jul 23, 2008
    Posts: 93


    X-2 on hiring it done. What ever the method, leave the mess to someone else. It's hot dirty work and DIY isn't saving much money and cleaning up isn't fun either. I'll never do it again. What ever you spend on that part of the build will be chump change by time you get it done.
  19. mgtstumpy
    Joined: Jul 20, 2006
    Posts: 8,874


    I had my 46 Olds body sand blasted by someone who knew what they were doing. No damage or warpage whatsoever. A disc over with the scothbrite pad and has been in etch primer for over 4yrs now. The trick is NOT to put any heat into the panels causing them to distort or warp. He moved around constantly and before I knew it, it was finished. Believe me at 125" WB this has HUGE fenders, hood and panels etc

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