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I got a sand blasting kit for Christmas and just started playing with it by blasting some car parts. I want to use it on our cabinet doors to prep for staining or painting (undecided).

My question is, do I need a different configurations with the blaster to use soda vs walnut vs sand, etc. Basically do different media types require different setups (nozzles, hoses, pressures, etc)

I'm mostly interested in

  • Soda
  • Walnut
  • Glass beads
  • Sand

I did soda blast a few things the other day using the hardware I have and used baking soda I bought from the store. It did the job, but seemed like I was wasting a lot of the soda as it would often come out in large puffs.

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Soda blaster add-on kits are available for "conventional" hobby level sand blasters. They have a smaller orifice and a valve with which to adjust the airflow and media flow. Soda blasters are also quite prone to clogging from the slightest bit of moisture or oil in the line. It behooves one to have a quality water/oil separator in the line prior to the soda/sand tank. They are frequently mounted on the frame or handles of the soda/sand tank.

Soda blasters will not damage more fragile substrates such as fiberglass but will remove paint from such surfaces. Sand blasters can abrade metal surfaces which can be desirable, but in the case of thin wall (aircraft) tubing, such abrasion reduces strength. The appropriate media for such materials is usually bead or nut. Bead and walnut media is more expensive, but the value of not damaging expensive aircraft structures is a good balance reference.

You will likely get the smallest amount of damage to wood by using a properly configured soda blaster add-on kit.

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Generally you want the most aggressive media that won't chew up the surface. You may have trouble finding a medium that will strip wood without chewing it up.

Yes, you adjust pressures for different media.

As far as sand -- no. Get "black beauty" type media. The reason is sand will powderize and expose you to risk of silicosis.

  • I was planning to try soda first to eat away the clear coat. What about nozzle sizes, can I just use the same nozzle for each media type? – DustinDavis Jan 19 '17 at 23:51
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My advice is to get some stripwood and test with that

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