Auto body Repairs Using Sand Blasting Equipment:
A restoration requires you to make a choice as to which method you are going to use. In order to do this you really need to categorize the levels of restoration.
Category One – Light to Medium fix ups
Mechanical repairs and repainting
The basic mechanical work is done first to ensure safety of the vehicle components. This followed by minor body works and refinishing touch ups.
Mechanical repairs with replacements and refinishing
Some mechanical parts are replaced as needed. Little more detail is required in the bodywork.
Category Two – In Depth Restoration
Similar to the mechanical repairs with replacements with the refinishing more in depth. Some taking apart of the vehicle is required to attend to rust and corrosion of key parts. Items have to cleaned, refurbished or replaced such as drive train parts, suspension and underbody parts. Close color match of body is required and trim may need replacing. Cars restored under this category are often pampered and not used on a daily basis.
Category Three – Just off the Assembly Line
Restoration here entails making the car look like it’s just been manufactured. Showroom quality. No body fill can be used in these restorations as well as fiberglass body panels except for some Corvettes.
Category Four – Show Piece
This is the museum category and is really not applicable because they are those that are only found in the Museums.
Getting Down to Sandblasting
Sandblasters work off of compressed air and are either pressure feed or suction feed which are the cheaper of the two. The only drawback is that part of their energy goes into drawing up the material however; they don’t require an expensive pressure tank. Pressure feeds do require a pressurized tank, but they work extremely well.
Sandblasting is effective cost saving and messy. Should only be done outdoors. With the right grade of sand the results taking it right down to the metal and removing the rust pits. It works effectively on other parts as well. Make sure you apply a flash rust treatment to prevent rust till you get the primer on.
The one thing to remember about sandblasting is do not over do it. As soon as you hit the bare metal stop.
You can use silica sand for various other grades just be sure to be careful with what you use. For light touches, you can use the ground or English walnut shells.
The siphon blasters are a lot less expensive than the pressure blasters. Remember to remove the hardware and trim before blasting and make sure you wear the proper body protection as well ensuring you have a proper hood and gloves. Preferably, a supplied air hood would be ideal.
Sandblasting can be extremely effective provided the right techniques, tools and materials are used in a safe environment. Many individuals are against sand blasting because of the damage it can cause. They are right it can work against you but only if you go beyond what is required. The whole key to success is stopping when you hit the bare metal.