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Sandblast or Wire Wheel?

12846 Views 19 Replies 14 Participants Last post by  missouri massey man
I am in the middle of resto on a 1962 Cub that has been in the family since new, I want this be top notch not saying my 450 wasnt but I cut a few corners
So do I send the tractor to the sandblasters or continue with the wire wheel?
Thanks in advance
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Either way will give you the results you want.
Sandblasting is easier, but more expensive if you have to hire it out. ;)
I'm planning to send out the sheet metal for sandblasting and wire wheel everything else.
I can't afford the sand blasting so I've always wire wheeled mine. Been happy so far ;)
I personally wouldn't send anything to the sandblaster that has a machined surface on it. Hood, fenders, seat and post, battery and tool box, steering post, drawbar and lights and such will be fine. Everything else I'd leave to the wire wheel.
The blaster is very unforgiving to mistakes, burned through masking and items that didn't get sealed up properly. Unless you trust this guy totally with your family heirloom, I'd recommend erring on the side of caution and stripping it yourself.
Anything that can be taken off, can be sandblasted, or whatever kind of blasting you prefer. I never blast an engine or transmission, sand can get in the bearings/seal and ruin them. Ive got a buddy who does soda blasting. Im very pleased with it!
I always heard sand blasting could warp the sheet metal on one but never tried it to know. I always used a six inch grinder with a wire wheel and had pretty good luck.
As John said, soda blasting uses a different media (Sodium Bicarbonate [baking soda]) versus sand blasting (silica) and is much easier on the metal, but won't clean up heavily rusted steel like the sand will.
Sand blasting will warp sheet metal if the steel is thin enough (like a car hood), or under high volumes and high pressures. The sheet metal on the Cub is much thicker, making it harder (but not impossible) to warp. I've had the hood and other thin parts of a Cub sand blasted with no issues by people who knew what they were doing. I don't believe I would ever have the engine, transmission or finals sand blasted.
Yep, gotta know what youre doing, or you can warp thin metals!!! My friend that does blasting hasnt had any problems with rust removal on the soda blasting, other than having to change the grade of soda.
i got a blast cabinet to do all the small stuff in like fenders hood but just couldnt decide what to do with the rest just wanna make sure it looks good 10 years down the road
There are guys that come around here with a company called "polar Blast". They use dry ice instead of sand and they come to you to do it. I haven't looked them up to see if they're a local or national company. There might be something like it close to you. It's nice at the end because the only mess to clean up is the crap that comes off.
Another alternative is using dry ice as a cleaning medium. No abrasive damage and all that is left after is the grot that was removed. Often used at my workplace for cleaning high voltage switch boards on our electric shovels and draglines. Also good around hydraulics and engines. CO2 pellets are fed into a small grinder and injected into the air stream from the nozzle. No damage to delicate sheet metal work either. Down side is that special equipment is required.
Opps - did not see the post above how-ever we both virtually said the same.
I try to stay away from blasting the engines and tranny. Don't know how that grit gets into places but it does. As far as anything else I try to blast as much as I can. I think most tractor has thick enough hoods where your not going to do damage. You may want to watch the bolt holes in the sheet metal however. You could make them egg shaped and larger then you need them :eek:
gordon1121 said:
I always heard sand blasting could warp the sheet metal on one but never tried it to know. I always used a six inch grinder with a wire wheel and had pretty good luck.
Sand blasting can and will warp sheet metal as some people don't know hoe to set up a blaster right. You need LOW pressure or else when you blast it will actually stretch the metal in places and that's why a lot of nicely restored tractors have waves in the hoods.
I sandblasted everything (parts that would be painted) that would fit into my blasting cabinet (large) when I restored my A. This included wheels, fenfers and all sheet metal. I did not experience any warping or damaging anything. I used different medias for different parts. This included sand (which I did not like and used very little of), glass beads, Skat Blast and mostly Black Beauty. I wire wheeled the engine and anything with bearings or places where I thought blasting media could cause damage. I took off all of the paint on everything that I could down to bare metal. I used a good etching primer on everything that was taken down to bare metal. My restoration turned out great and is holding up well. I contribute the successfull job the the sandblasting and thorough clening of everything. I think buying that sand blasting system was one of the best investments that I ever made.
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i learnd the hard way with blasting. sand got into the steering colum of my nuffield and within a year the bearings went out. like others have said blast parts that can be taken off and wire wheel the rest
I have sand blasted some small pieces have been cleaning the chassis and motor with a wire wheel and so far so good .... I'll try to get some pics soon
Thanks for all the input guys
A good wire wheel does a good job. I get results with the knotted cup wheels.
i use a wire wheel on the castings and on the sheet metal i either sand it or if its in rough shape as in lots of surface rust i have it sand blasted. here is the latest project, cub gas tank, sandblasted
here it is all painted up
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