Soda Blasting demo

We all like new tools. New versions of soda blasters mix water with the soda at the nozzle, which eliminates the cloud of powder. The process and results are quite different than my sandblast/glass bead cabinet which is more aggressive. The SS100 transmission and clutch housing was painted dark green and had some kind of hardened adhesive dripped all over it. I had painted the fan wrong with epoxy paint. The head is the elusive “bronze coated High performance” option which is another subject, but I’m thinking that I’ll leave it unpainted. The soda leaves aluminum surfaces matte, somewhat similar to glass beading. image image image image

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Did you find that the soda blasting was a reasonably quick process? For instance how much longer did the fan take than if you had bead blasted it?

One thing about soda blasting: the powder WILL find its way into every crook and cranny.

It was quicker than I expected. Not as fast as sandblasting with aluminum oxide, but definitely faster then 80 grit glass beads. It does get into everything although it washes away easily. I had tried a dry soda blast setup and this wet process is more contained and seemed faster. I used ARMEX XL soda which is their large particle size version. I was wearing shorts and when the splashback hits your skin you feel it…

Being faster than glass beads is a plus. What size compressor did you use?

Yea: had a customer’s 914 done: took ~3 hours to do the entire car, but it got EVERYWHERE.

Good thing was, after epoxy priming the bare metal, the soda just washed out of the small spaces. The cost was WELL WORTHit, not having to chemically strip it.

7 1/2 HP, twin cylinder, 80 gallon tank. Because I got tired of waiting for my old compressor to catch up when sandblasting. The soda blasting/water mixing nozzle is only about 3/8 inch diameter so it uses much less air than my sand blaster. The instructions said to set the air pressure on the soda tank at 60psi and that worked fine.


Greetings All/Dave XK,

Question on the soda/water blasting…

If you are doing steel, doesn’t the whole water issue negate doing blasting on steel? It would seem that you get the paint off and first thing that uncoated metal sees if water?

Greetings All, DaveXK,

It also leads me to wonder what happens on “nested” parts that are riveted or welded and can’t be disassembled?

We had a Healey frame and substructure phosphate bath and then neutralized. Several years later there was seepage from those areas, and the car had spent time in an oven.

Would think if the stuff could “get everywhere” this could happen here as well?

The rust problems seems similar to sandblasting. You need to spray steel parts with one of the phosphate coatings within an hour or so. The soda blast equipment suppliers claim that the soda process leaves metal protected somehow. I’m an engineer, and that doesn’t seem logical. Sure, it’s highly alkaline, but washing off the Soda negates that. So, nothing is perfect, but so far I’m liking this wet soda blast process. Because I really dislike paint stripper and wire brushes…

I delayed Tweety’s strip-down 5 years, till I had the money to get it media-blasted.

I share your …dislike.