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  • Bead blast or not

    I bought a cheapo chinese one shot lube pump to install on my mill. The first thing I did was take it apart and clean it. Now it's made from cast aluminum and is painted some kind of silver, unfortunately they also painted it on the inside. And already some of the paint is flaking off, don't want to introduce particulates into my oil channels so I want to remove the paint from the inside.

    I was thinking about glass bead blasting it, since paint stripper isn't kind to aluminum. But I am worried about introducing even worse particulates into the machine by doing that, I am reminded of what I was told by a friend, never bead blast anything that has anything to do with sliding surfaces. Impossible to get properly clean again, some particulate will always find it's way where it shouldn't be.

    So my question is, was he right? What chemical options are there for stripping the paint from the aluminum?

  • #2
    I use paint strippers on aluminum all the time. Not wimpy ones, either--methylene chloride based strippers. You do want to avoid anything with lye in it, though.

    Ed
    For just a little more, you can do it yourself!

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    • #3
      Fine glass beads are designed for this application. Wet is better than dry.
      Like any mechanical component, scrupulous cleaning post bead blasting is a neccessary requirement, say in a degreasing bath.

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      • #4
        I got an ultrasonic cleaner big enough to fit it. I had read of plastic media being suitable for this, but I only have glass bead media. But I only have a small blast cabinet for dry media.

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        • #5
          Walnut shells for blasting.

          Regards Ian.
          You might not like what I say,but that doesn't mean I'm wrong.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by ed_h View Post
            I use paint strippers on aluminum all the time. Not wimpy ones, either--methylene chloride based strippers. You do want to avoid anything with lye in it, though.

            Ed
            AFAIK Dennis is also living here in Finland and the "good old" paint strippers are verboten nowadays in here (and EU in general)
            What is left for consumers is lye.

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            • #7
              A "Friend" was tasked by the ex swtsmbo to clean a pressure cooker body. He used beer pump cleaner. She came back with the handle. Lye, beer pump cleaner, caustic soda, all the same chemical, GREAT for dissolving Aluminininum.

              Regards Ian.
              You might not like what I say,but that doesn't mean I'm wrong.

              Comment


              • #8
                If it was me , I would put the part into a small container of Lacquer thinner for a day or two and then scrub it out with hot soapy water. In fact I would probably do that whether it had paint on the inside or not.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by DennisCA View Post
                  I bought a cheapo chinese one shot lube pump to install on my mill. The first thing I did was take it apart and clean it. Now it's made from cast aluminum and is painted some kind of silver, unfortunately they also painted it on the inside. And already some of the paint is flaking off, don't want to introduce particulates into my oil channels so I want to remove the paint from the inside.

                  I was thinking about glass bead blasting it, since paint stripper isn't kind to aluminum. But I am worried about introducing even worse particulates into the machine by doing that, I am reminded of what I was told by a friend, never bead blast anything that has anything to do with sliding surfaces. Impossible to get properly clean again, some particulate will always find it's way where it shouldn't be.

                  So my question is, was he right? What chemical options are there for stripping the paint from the aluminum?
                  Use aircraft paint stripper, safe for aluminum. I would skip the glass beads as it isn't worth the chance. They can get lodged into small pits or openings in the aluminum and are almost impossible to get out without a vib cleaner. Chinese paint with also probably come off with laq thinner as mentioned.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by vectorwarbirds View Post

                    Use aircraft paint stripper, safe for aluminum. I would skip the glass beads as it isn't worth the chance. They can get lodged into small pits or openings in the aluminum and are almost impossible to get out without a vib cleaner. Chinese paint with also probably come off with laq thinner as mentioned.
                    So-called "aircraft" stripper is Methylene Chloride based (or used to be, at least), and is reportedly now banned in the OP's country. They are phasing out MC strippers in the US, but right now, you can still get it.

                    Another pretty effective stripper that is aluminum safe is DOT3 or DOT4 brake fluid. Not real fast, but pretty effective.

                    Ed
                    For just a little more, you can do it yourself!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I would advise against bead blasting for this as you don't need to risk forcing any abrasive particles into places where you might not be able to flush them out.
                      Paint stripper won't hurt aluminum. I've used it on several types of alum.

                      JL.................

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                      • #12
                        Walnut shells if you are going to blast it.

                        Brake fluid if you want to soak it in a liquid for a couple of days.

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                        • #13
                          Have you thought of soda blasting?

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by barracudajoe View Post
                            Have you thought of soda blasting?
                            I believe the August/September issue of Machinist's Workshop has an article on modifying a Harbor Freight sand blaster to work with soda.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by barracudajoe View Post
                              Have you thought of soda blasting?
                              +1

                              I once soda blasted a snowmobile engine using an old spot sandblaster (the really crude kind that suction feeds from a glass pint jar). It worked great to get the old flaky, black paint off.
                              Location: Northern WI

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