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Bead Blasting? Not sure if it is or not :)

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  • Bead Blasting? Not sure if it is or not :)

    Hi all,

    I want to add a finish that is easy and reasonably durable to some aluminium parts, it would need a reasonable size tumbler (which i don't have) and I'm also unsure if that is a good finish anyway. I have a part in the picture that shows the result as good as i could get, its hard to picture. Someone said it was bead blasted hence the post title.

    I don't have a cabinet either but would not mind getting one, probably one of the many 220L DIY jobs off the 'bay.



    Does that look like bead blasting?
    I gather this would be glass beads?

    I have a 3Hp compressor with a pretty big tank and the parts are not so big, I would also like if possible to only apply the finish to selective surfaces?

    The parts show feint mill marks which i wanted to remove/cover up as a way of improving the finish.

    Any ideas welcome
    Thanks
    Last edited by Davek0974; 03-26-2018, 10:18 AM.
    If it does'nt fit, hit it.
    https://ddmetalproducts.co.uk
    http://www.davekearley.co.uk

  • #2
    Hard to say, but probably. I bead blast AL all the time with 70-140 mesh beads, then coat it with a marine clear coat, but any automobile clear coat works fine. Choose matt to gloss. Nice and durable finish. If you don't coat it the finish it's easy to marr and hard to clean. You could of course anodize after BB. You can mask off (tape) areas you don't want to texture.
    Last edited by lakeside53; 03-26-2018, 11:28 AM.

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    • #3
      Without seeing the whole part, that could be an as-cast finish if it were a casting. If it is made from "billet" then I'd say it is sand blasted with relatively coarse grit. Glass bead blasting generally leaves a softer/finer finish.

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      • #4
        Bead blasting aluminum is not usually durable. If you think about it, you are reducing the contact area, so any impact will cause more damage.
        At the end of the project, there is a profound difference between spare parts and left over parts.

        Location: SF East Bay.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by gzig5 View Post
          Without seeing the whole part, that could be an as-cast finish if it were a casting. If it is made from "billet" then I'd say it is sand blasted with relatively coarse grit. Glass bead blasting generally leaves a softer/finer finish.
          Nah, that was a piece of sheet metal, 5mm thick. It was made for me years ago but i don't have any contact with the guy now.
          If it does'nt fit, hit it.
          https://ddmetalproducts.co.uk
          http://www.davekearley.co.uk

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by danlb View Post
            Bead blasting aluminum is not usually durable. If you think about it, you are reducing the contact area, so any impact will cause more damage.

            Ah, that makes sense.

            Really i want to remove any fine 'machine' edges - the part is a hand-held item so needs to 'feel' good.

            Is anodising a home-shop prospect? Durable?

            Just looking for a finish that adds to appeal
            If it does'nt fit, hit it.
            https://ddmetalproducts.co.uk
            http://www.davekearley.co.uk

            Comment


            • #7
              It looks like aluminium metal spray coating. It is not exactly the finish that abrasive blasting would give, so it probably counts as bead blasting which does not remove so much metal.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Davek0974 View Post
                Ah, that makes sense.

                Really i want to remove any fine 'machine' edges - the part is a hand-held item so needs to 'feel' good.

                Is anodising a home-shop prospect? Durable?

                Just looking for a finish that adds to appeal
                Lots of home anodizing setups. You can also just send it out to be done.

                Try clear coating coating a piece.. you might be suprised how durable it is.

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                • #9
                  Thanks, i'll look into anodising, clear-coat will not hide the fine machining marks.
                  If it does'nt fit, hit it.
                  https://ddmetalproducts.co.uk
                  http://www.davekearley.co.uk

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Davek0974 View Post
                    Thanks, i'll look into anodising, clear-coat will not hide the fine machining marks.
                    Having played with anodising in the distant past, I think that anodising will not cover up the machining marks - if anything it will highlight them!

                    Ian.

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                    • #11
                      Ok, thanks.

                      Maybe I'll go back to looking at blasting/media finish
                      If it does'nt fit, hit it.
                      https://ddmetalproducts.co.uk
                      http://www.davekearley.co.uk

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I nice finish to aluminium can be had by cleaning thoroughly then putting in a bath of hot caustic soda solution.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by The Artful Bodger View Post
                          I nice finish to aluminium can be had by cleaning thoroughly then putting in a bath of hot caustic soda solution.
                          Sounds interesting, would there be a picture of this finish anywhere??
                          If it does'nt fit, hit it.
                          https://ddmetalproducts.co.uk
                          http://www.davekearley.co.uk

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I am sure here must be a picture on-line but I have not looked for one.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by The Artful Bodger View Post
                              I am sure here must be a picture on-line but I have not looked for one.
                              Thanks, just did some you-tube research and the finish appears very similar to bead-blasting.

                              I have also just this minute got hold of the guy that did my part years ago and he tells me it was glass-bead-blasted but can't recall what grade/size media he had back then, now retired and does not do it anymore. Its a start at least, I might order one of these up...

                              https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/SwitZer-M...19.m1438.l2649
                              If it does'nt fit, hit it.
                              https://ddmetalproducts.co.uk
                              http://www.davekearley.co.uk

                              Comment

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