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Thread: Soda blasting floats?

  1. #1

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    Soda blasting floats?

    Has anybody ever soda blasted their floats? Iíve seen airframes stripped with it and it turned out nice it just leaves soda everywhere. Iím mainly wanting to try blasting to remove some light surface corrosion around rivet heads.

  2. #2
    behindpropellers's Avatar
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    No. It will ruin them.
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    Seaplanes North does it. If I was refinishing another set of floats that's what I'd do.
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    So I would assume if they do it then it won’t hurt them.

  5. #5
    cruiser's Avatar
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    All rivet heads or a few? A reclaiming vacuum blaster can be directed at individual rivets without causing other problems/needless work. Glass bead media works well.

  6. #6
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Works on thick aluminum but gotta be careful about staying on it too long. The other issue is it gets in every crack and crevice and is hard to get out and causes issues later on holding moisture in those areas you can't see.

    I wouldn't glass bead aluminum, to agrees I've in my opinion. Easy to use etch and Scotch Brite around rivets heads.
    Steve Pierce

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  7. #7

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    The guy who did mine used crushed walnuts shells, he was worried anything else would ripple the skin, turned out great, he was so gentle with his pressure that on large parts of the floats he was able to just take off the silver and leave the green primer.
    Staying alive in an airplane has a lot more to do with mastering ourselves than mastering the aircraft.

  8. #8

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    Soda is water soluble, right? Rinse with water?

    Chemically stripping layers of old paint off a set of floats is a huge pain in the butt. What do you do to finish a chemical strip job? Rinse, rinse again. Blow out the seams and rivet heads with compressed air. Rinse again.
    Last edited by stewartb; 04-10-2018 at 09:47 AM.

  9. #9
    Todd long's Avatar
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    Clean,clean,clean , then clean again. The slightest residue left will keep the paint from sticking correctly. Works good with the right sized equipment, won’t warp them. A have a friend that works at a place that does a lot of custom corvette rebuilds. That’s what they use on all the fiberglass parts. It still saves the gelcoat.
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  10. #10
    Alex Clark's Avatar
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    Walnut Shell or Corn Husk only. Baking Soda will corrode aluminum over time. Blasting it into seems is a bad idea.

  11. #11
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stewartb View Post
    Soda is water soluble, right? Rinse with water?

    Chemically stripping layers of old paint off a set of floats is a huge pain in the butt. What do you do to finish a chemical strip job? Rinse, rinse again. Blow out the seams and rivet heads with compressed air. Rinse again.
    Yep, gotta rinse, rinse and rinse. Worked on a P47 years ago that had been soda stripped. Every time we worked on it there was more soda. Just seemed to keep coming out of places.
    Steve Pierce

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  12. #12

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    How about Melamine? The material is crushed plastic that many switch plates in housing are made from. It cuts more aggressively than Walnut which can be used as a final cleanup.
    Last edited by CharlieN; 04-11-2018 at 05:15 AM.

  13. #13
    Grant's Avatar
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    I'm not sure how well it will work but I have seen dry ice used before. No clean up at all...

  14. #14
    sniffler's Avatar
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    about 10 years ago we used dry ice blasting to remove the popcorn ceiling paint from spancrete panels, it was time consuming but worked really well We left the old carpet in and the popcorn paint would fall pretty much straight down as the dry ice flashed off, you do need a bunch of ventilation or you will have oxygen issues

    I have not tried it on aluminum panels but have a hunch it might just work. The guy that did the work told us how he used dry ice blasting to remove charred wood from large wood beams after a fire

    Found these videos


    https://youtu.be/PJ3ePgotYJ8


    https://youtu.be/l_9nITRz--0


    https://youtu.be/meRkI-9YvnQ

    randi

  15. #15
    Skycop's Avatar
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    You tube "soda blast airplane" Sure looks like it works great. There is a company near Minneapolis that has done several planes. The soda is non abrasive so it will not hurt the aluminum, glass, chrome etc. But the pressure can stretch the Aluminum if you crank it up crazy high. They say under 90 psi is great. They have done floats as well. I guess it would be wise to go "with the seams" as to not trap the soda? I would be easy enough to direct the flow with a little pre planning.

  16. #16
    Alex Clark's Avatar
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    There is a guy up around Kasilof who used one of the newer Citrus based paint strippers last year on his 180. He said he sprayed it on and left it overnight in a warm hangar. The next morning most of the paint was off the metal and there are no ventilation problems. I am outside right now using the old style stripper and a pressure washer.
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  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex Clark View Post
    There is a guy up around Kasilof who used one of the newer Citrus based paint strippers last year on his 180. He said he sprayed it on and left it overnight in a warm hangar. The next morning most of the paint was off the metal and there are no ventilation problems. I am outside right now using the old style stripper and a pressure washer.
    ive tried the citrus paint stripper before and Had to go back to the stronger stuff.

  18. #18
    Alex Clark's Avatar
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    We had a parts cleaner in my Air Guard unit that used a Citrus based cleaner that was heated and some sort of enzyme filter pads. One night some of the SPs stole a 5 gallon can of the cleaner to wash their patrol truck. It was sparkly clean for awhile and then a couple weeks later huge pieces of paint started to detach themselves in the wind.

  19. #19

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    Another cheap option you might try Alex. We used a medium bristle steel wire wheel for a bench grinder, about 7 inch, adapted on to a an old two handle body shop air polisher. Ran it very slow so you could see the wheel going around on lots of different floats with corrosion and tough areas after the paint stripper.
    Used the same method and air frames also. Running very slow around rivets it cleaned things up without marking the rivets or creating and heat. Nay sayers were always were talking about how that would create a problem with dissimilar metal corrosion. Have floats and planes we painted 30 years ago and never saw that issue.

  20. #20
    Alex Clark's Avatar
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    I use those nylon head gizmos with the abrasive imbedded in them, and my air grinder. This was not my thread so I was not looking.

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