I want to learn about soda blasting

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Forum topic by Tenfingers58 posted 05-06-2013 03:54 AM 1801 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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96 posts in 2678 days

05-06-2013 03:54 AM

I was participating in another thread about rust removal when the subject of soda blasting came up.

So to keep from hijacking Sirgreggins thread I decided to start this one.

To answer Bill White’s questions
Yes I have a compressor it is a single stage 5hp with a total storage capacity of 160 gallons. The single stage compressor cycles on at 110 psi. and cuts off at 135 psi. The reason for the large storage capacity was I worked in a tractor trailer shop and used 1” drive air guns and many other large air use tools. I don’t work there anymore but I still have my equipment, including the compressor, a pressure pot blaster and a siphon blaster for use in a blasting cabinet. Neither got much use when I worked there. Most of the sandblasting we did was with a 125 cfm diesel powered compressor and slag from the steel mill. It rounded corners and sharp edges and left a surface similar to concrete. However the surface it left was an excelent surface for primer and paint on trailers and truck frames. Sand blasting also made a huge mess if not done outdoors away from the shop.

I now have the possibility of getting some woodworking machines that were stored indoors but humidity or condensation has left a rather heavy coating of surface rust.

I need a way to clean these machines to bring them back to useable condition. I would rather not use chemicals. Soda blasting seems to be a safer, more environmentally friendly way to go.

Some of what I need to know is,

Can I use the sand blasting equipment I already own or is dedicated soda blasting equipment required?
What is soda blasting media?
Where can I get it?
Pressures and orifices needed?
Results I can expect.
Is it very different from sandblasting?

5 replies so far

View waho6o9's profile


8191 posts in 2577 days

#1 posted 05-06-2013 05:24 AM

The soda medium can be purchased at harbor freight. You’ll like the way it works, it’s

similar to sand blasting and I’ve found it to be effective as well.


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Bill White

4931 posts in 3960 days

#2 posted 05-06-2013 11:22 AM

Get a big bag of baking soda at Sam’s/Costco, etc. Baking soda is a clean product, won’t damage the item, environmentally friendly, you can do it in your yard without any needed cleanup from the medium, and it sorta neutralizes the surface which helps prevent the rust “flash” you sometimes get from sand blasting.


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96 posts in 2678 days

#3 posted 05-07-2013 03:47 AM

Will baking soda kill the grass / flowers?

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10401 posts in 3648 days

#4 posted 05-07-2013 04:11 AM

Try to take this in a nice way – I have owned
over 50 woodworking machines with iron tables
over the years and currently own about 20.

I’ve been wire brushing machines for years – it
works fine. You are wasting your time fussing
about other options. A quick wire brushing and
finish up with 320 grit sandpaper and wax brings
cast iron to a good condition for woodworking.

If a steel brush scares you (I use a steel cup brush on
a 4” angle grinder on fine and costly machine tables),
use a brash brush. Brass burshes are slower but
get the job done.

Wire brushing does not wreck the brown patina
old cast iron acquires the way orbital sanding does.
I like patina, so I brush, sand and wax. The only
drawback is it takes a little elbow grease.

If you want to free-up severely coroded mechanisms,
blasting is an option. I have never, ever found blasting
necessary. On extremely old or abused machinery,
such extreme treatments may be the only reasonable
way to return a machine to service.

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96 posts in 2678 days

#5 posted 05-07-2013 04:52 AM


I also have a fair amount of wire brush experience. Mostly rust removal on trucks & trailers. Like most machines they have a lot of places you just can’t get too with a brush. On the machines I hope to get the rust has losened the paint all over so I’m thinking of blasting because I can’t get in all the webbing. If it was just flat surfaces I have a 5 inch knotted brush in a 7 inch grinder that would make fast work of the tables and fences / tops. I just can’t get the webbing derusted before paint.
I’ve worked with metal most of my life. Now I’m in the process of switching to wood. It’s a LOT easier to lift. For example a one foot 1.5×3.5 weighs a little less than 18 pounds. I’m not ‘restoring’ these machines, I just want them to look nice and last forever :)
I don’t anticipate problems with the mechanisims. (hope I didn’t curse myself there) A day or so in Kroil works wonders for loostening them up. The machines aren’t really in bad shape and I don’t want to spend the summer working on them. I’ll do what is needed and not a lot more. Well maybe this winter.
I thank you (and everyone else also) for your suggestions. I guess I should have been more clear about the condition of the machines and what I wanted to do with them. I want to work with them, not on them.

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