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Kelly
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257 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a question if I blast wood with Soda will I have a problem using stain or painting it after that. I know with a car you have to wash it but washing this old wood chair wouldn't be a good idea. Should I use corn cob instead?
 

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One of the main reasons I bought a sodablasting out fit was to do furniture, my wife dose up antique furniture as a hobby, she use to get them stripped with costic soda but all the places doing this type of work closed down (mainly because they were all dying from the chemicals) so I saw an opening for this work and the people selling my equipment said "strip furniture, yes mate no worries" wrong! I quickly found out that soda is too rough on a lot of timbers, especially soft timber as in antiques, it just ripped the stuffing out of it, even when I backed the psi's right down and cut the air back it was still too rough on timber for furniture restoration, which was a real shame because I had people lining up to get there furniture stripped,I had antique shops calling me asking when I was getting my equipment because thay had heaps of furniture for me to strip for them I would of had a decent business just doing that, but I just can not do it for them because it just burs the crap out of them
 

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Trial and Error Opperator
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I agree, I’ve tried to do some interior doors and molding and the soda ripped the heck out of it. Try all kinds of ways; even put a water nozzle on to soften the blow, still no luck. With the doors I had better luck with glass at low psi, the harder media (glass) knocked the paint off faster than soda but you still had to watch out for ripping of the wood.
Did a house with cedar shakes, the shakes already had a worn down grain look to it, and the soda worked good. I wouldn’t try it on smooth new wood….
Let us know how the Corn Cob works, I have had similar calls on old furniture too. :thumbup:
Have you tried Plastic beads or walnut shells???
 

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Todd
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848 Posts
i am in the middle of a kitchen remodel on my own kitchen right now and the pantry has a built in that was not able to be removed.so when i got the kitchen down as far as it would go i blasted the built in with corn cob right inside the house.i have a zip wall installed so it did not make a mess in the rest of the house.i have to say i started with soda on the doors first at my shop and was not happy with the results.i then went for the corn cob and got the same results...no good.i continued to strip but i had to sand the snot out of the wood to get it somewhat looking good.i actually like the way it turned out but 99% of your customers wont.it really wears the softer meat down quick and leaves the harder more pitchy wood alone.i use a non toxic stipper made by franmar called soy-gel striper...works great but it has to be left alone and yes i think it does a good job but not something you could get paid properly to do...it is a labor of love owning a old home...
 

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This is the youtube video that got me looking into sodablasting for furniture http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tbxjTI3trIY&feature=channel_page this is the mob that I bought my equipment from. when I saw this video I thought wow how easy and quick is that to strip furniture there has to be a way to make money from this, but no. I was once told by a wise person "believe nothing you hear and only half of what you see" I have found that in the sodablasting / media blasting business that this is a saying to live by.
 

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Kelly
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257 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yeah I too got kind of sucked into this business but I still think I can make money at it. I should have learned more about it before I got it but it still is a lot more versital then other mobile business's. I have been trying to find a small business for a long time was almost going to go into the mobile concrete business with a couple of those 3 yard tow around mixers. I just didn't feel like there is enough out there too many others doing it with larger trucks. Have you guys ever heard of sponge media? wonder if that would work on furniture. I have sanded down a chair before it is so much work. I hate strippers the smell and it's almost as slow as sanding.
http://www.universalminerals.com/library/article_softmediablasting.pdf
 

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Trial and Error Opperator
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2,018 Posts
Idontknow,
I just watched the video it looks like he is using a small Ceramic type nozzle. This would cut the PSI down a lot.
The Natrium Soda that I use comes in 3 sizes, I have only used the Middle Grade. They make a fine, I wonder if that would be less damaging to the wood.
Ya I feel I too got sucked in also. The soda is good for certain things, but you quickily learn there’s a different media for every job.
Before I bought my equipment I was asked to invest in DRY ICE, I told the guy No, I wanted to offer more than just one product.
 

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I have blasted some wood in the past, but have turned down more than I have done. Some projects the soda works great, and with wood the harder the better. The paint or finish needs to be hard too and if it is cracking it is better. Any wood that is soft or coating that is soft and the grain will be raised. Un finished wood that needs to be cleaned is not that bad, but the customer has to be aware of the finish left behind. I cleaned up this piece, there was no way for them to sand all parts, the entire mantle was hand carved flowers from stock that was 4-5" thick Mahogany well over a 100 years old.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1nsIovlpFbw
the grain was raised but it was not an issue on the carved pieces and the flat sections could be sanded
 

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Glen
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Very nice web site Gale. I see you do a lot of tenting with boats. I have not had to yet. Is it difficult to move around with all the hoses then? I read one post which said about using ithink it was agricultural felt for the back of the tent. Because it lets air out. Do you know anything about that. I see you mentioned rust removal with the soda. Is that just light rust? I didn't think soda did too much for that. I stick with crushed glass for the rust. But I'll play around some with soda to see
 

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I think Dyer said it best - "you learn quickly, there's a different media for every job"

I use Soda only for fire restoration on wood framing - works great and assists in containing the soot smell on job sites. Well, I've briefly used it elsewhere but mainly only for fire resto.
 

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Trial and Error Opperator
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2,018 Posts
I used sponge at my last job, the company was trying new blasting media. I personaly feel its a waste of time. We blasted for 1/2 hour or so, then cleaned up and sifted it through a cleaner for next 5 hours.
we was cleaning surface rust from bad paint on Navy Boats. they was concerned about damage to equipment already instaled. the metal had been blasted and painted, but was showing rust stains through the paint. It worked realy slow and left a huge...huge mess to clean up.
It might work on wood, but I do remember having a special blast pot with a small ogger in it to move the grit to the air flow.

I try'd to get them to use Plastic, But I was just a number at the Boat Yard.
 

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Why not just accept that wood is composed of 'summer wood' and 'winter wood'? There isn't an easy way to refinish it well. Trust me as a 58 yr. old son of a woodworker. Wood is what it is and it takes time to do it right.
 
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