Sunday, March 4, 2012

Blasting and Coating

Now that Ms. Rusty is all plugged up and protected, I sent her into the blast cabinet.  Here are pictures of her viewed from the door of the blast cabinet and through the window.
In the blaster2In the Blaster
At first I was a bit scared to start taking off her paint, wondering how hard it was going to be and having second thoughts about this whole crazy plan of powder coating her.  But I reminded myself that she REALLY needed a new coat of paint at the very minimum, and bead blasting her was going to be easier, and more thorough, than trying to use paint stripper.
For those of you who are interested, I used aluminum oxide media in the blast cabinet.  I chose this media because it is more abrasive than silica (sand) and therefore would ultimately minimize the total exposure time in the cabinet for Ms. Rusty.  In the end, it took about 3 hours of total blast time to remove all the old enamel.  That took most of a day as I took several breaks to rest my ears (from the sound of my husbands monster air compressor) and arms (it’s tiring to maneuver a heavy hunk of metal is a small blast cabinet). 
In the end, I’m quite pleased with the results.  I didn’t do a thorough blasting of the bottom part of Ms. Rusty, just enough to prep her for powder coating so that is why you can see some black on her legs in the pictures below.  I almost thought about just clear coating her because I kind of like the way she looks completely naked!
After blasting FrontAfter blasting endAfter blasting backAfter blasting motor end
Before taking her to be powder coated, I had to replace several of the plugs that fell out during the blasting process.  I was surprised that the tape held up rather well during blasting, but I did end up removing it from the tension area.
Here she is all ready for powder coating!   Ready for powder coating - front
And after powder has been applied - Powder applied - front
Then she went into the oven to cure the powder and convert it from a dull powder to a glossy enamel coating.  After Ms. Rusty came out of the oven my husband noticed that there were several tiny bubbles on the bed of the machine, and the coating looked a bit “thin” on parts of the harp.  So a second coat was applied after sanding the bubbles out of bed using sand paper. 
Here is Ms. Rusty fresh out of the oven after 2 powder coat treatments.
Finished coating - frontFinished coating - backFinished coating - insideFinished coating - end
Unfortunately, the bed still has several bubbles – they came back again after the second coat.  They will need to be sanded out before decals can be applied.
Finished coating - bed
My next post will show how I dealt with those pesky bubbles, if I can figure it out.Thinking smile


  1. Ms Rusty may need to get a new name soon. No more rust.

  2. Cheryl, I was thinking the same thing! Maybe a "Rename Ms. Rusty Contest" is in order?

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