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Does grit blasting really work better than alcohol paint stripping ? HO scale Brass Key Imports H-5 2-10-2 repair and paint prep only.

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  • Does grit blasting really work better than alcohol paint stripping ? HO scale Brass Key Imports H-5 2-10-2 repair and paint prep only.

    Hi builders,

    The answer is; Oh yes it does! Another modeler had posted pics of a brass model (this one of course) he had just cleaned and wanted to paint for his layout. NO WAY that model is ready for paint I said.

    I saw this model had a truck load of major problems that needed to be addressed before any paint. The following pics (only) are what I found and corrected before sending back this really cool model to be painted.

    I found major solder issues like big solder blobs,
    loose joints,
    loose parts,
    parts not properly soldered in the first place,
    long brass wires left inside the superstructure (these can easily interfere with a decoder for shorts),

    I also found remaining paint in tight crevases throughout the model along with a broken fireman side rear most brake shoe which was superglued on.

    The tender had one of the trucks superglued and neither side frame would twist., the main truck mount bolster was loose along with one side bunker banding seam, the front smokebox headlight was soldered on crooked and I repaired the crooked trailing truck and I made a proper front pilot truck axle brace to allow the axle to freely roll and not slip off.

    One final note: The boiler was lined with lots of lead weight and I elected only remove the excess that didn't need to be there.

    The following pics speak for themselves (even if out of order a bit) . As always I hope this gives some Ideas or helps one to understand a physical grit blasting is a more thorough process over a chemical washing alone.

    Any questions or comments welcome (except those on price of a grit blaster) we all know one can afford what one can afford or not.
    Thanx Thom...

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    The end! Hope this helps. When this gets painted I will show the updates. Thanx Thom...
    Attached Files

  • #2
    Very interesting Thom. I can't believe the soldering job on some of those parts. It couldn't have come from the factory like that or or did it? I do have to ask about the grit blaster you are using. I wouldn't buy one for just a few jobs I would use it for, but have an interest because I probably could cobble one up for the few times I would use it for. I bought one off those cheapies from Harbor Freight and it didn't work that great. A picture or two of your blaster would be appreciated. Thanks.

    Bernd
    New York, Vermont & Northern Rwy. - Route of the Black Diamonds

    Comment


    • #3
      It's straight now! What a mess it was. Did you use baking soda?

      Philip
      Philip

      Comment


      • #4
        Hey Bernd & Philip,

        ha, lesson learned moving forward (don't say not to talk about something cuz the one's who actually read the print will want to talk directly about that. That's ok, I'm teasin'.

        Bernd, Yes you are right, this model solder blobs are from the factory like that. They're terrible. But hey we all know that brass models back in the day were a hit or miss on quality. Usually when a new model came out the newer ones were the crappy ones because the person soldering was just learning how too or simply not very good at it and usually towards the end of the run those models were soldered a lot better than the first.

        If you buy one, I promise you'll use it for a lot of things. I was at a train show many moons ago and a guy was trying to sell some bead blasting booths and the price was ridiculously high and so at the end he didn't want to bring back the demostration cabinet he was using (with no paper work or box or warranty), so I offered to take it at as is and I got 60% off.

        Now I still had to buy the gun(s) and other parts and pieces which took a little time (some trial and errors) of course, but I love it. I bought different size guns and still use a passche' smaller one and a medium gun type.

        Philip", I used grey Alluminium oxide 220 grit mostly (I also tried using baking soda for a while), but I like using the white oxide now. I use this thing almost everyweek and since I bought a California 6gal tank quiet compressor (I can use it at night as well).

        I grit blast plastics to clean off flashing:
        to remove or cut down solder blobs:
        to remove tarnesh:
        to prep delrin for paint:
        I grit blast designs on Glasses for momma and friends for gifts:
        I grit blast wood pieces for momma's arts n crafts:
        I've even used to clean up some rusty old tools and parts etc.
        I should charge her for my time huh?

        Almost every week I use it. I also have a heat/sonic chemical/water cleaner to remove all the grit in tiny places of my brass models (that part sucks because that tiny grit hides everywhere so it's easier to sonic clean it for 10 minutes afterwards.

        Sorry I have no pics of it right now perhaps after covid is passes. Hope this helps guys.
        Thanx Thom...

        Comment


        • Philip
          Philip commented
          Editing a comment
          Sounds like useful media.

          I have the cheap Harbor Fright tool.

          I use baking soda to give tooth to metal figures and it works good removing parting lines. It also does a fine job on top rail wood on gondolas to make a worn appearance. Baking soda for me is slow and clogs frequently. Never tried aluminum oxide.

      • #5
        I have a commercial bead blaster using glass beads that I’ve used for auto parts and cleaning rust old “antiques” as well as preparation of old 1950s Tonga toys for restoration. Works off house air in my shop. I’ve never used it for anything delicate like ho scale. I started on an aluminum toy truck once and it was too forceful on the metal. You have to go easy on some surfaces to prevent warp as the force of the grit can heat the surface.

        Thom, what RR was that 2-10-2? DM&IR? Interesting array of air tanks.

        Grit blasting leaves a nice etched like surface for painting.

        Thanks for the lesson/illustration of your work
        Karl Scribner-Curmudgeon

        Cedar Swamp
        SW of Manistique, MI

        AVATAR Image stolen from Model Train Stuff advertisement in my e-mail

        Comment


        • #6
          Special K~,
          Yes I believe it is DM&IR. It's been over a year and I have it for only a week. It's supposed to be painted soon by a good painter and when the owner sends me pics of it I will post. Glad you got something positive out of this thread. Yes I use the grit for the tooth effect for the paint to hold on too.
          Thanx Thom...

          Comment


          • #7
            Thanks Thom. Sounds like you've got some nice equipment to work with.

            Bernd
            New York, Vermont & Northern Rwy. - Route of the Black Diamonds

            Comment


            • #8
              Have you ever tried a shaker ? I have one that I use for cleaning ammo brass and tools occasionally . They're not as aggressive as pressure blasting but they are easy to use and dont take up much space. You can use just about anything for the abrasive , right now I have just plain ole builders sand in mine.

              Comment


              • #9
                Originally posted by GeeTee View Post
                Have you ever tried a shaker ? I have one that I use for cleaning ammo brass and tools occasionally . They're not as aggressive as pressure blasting but they are easy to use and dont take up much space. You can use just about anything for the abrasive , right now I have just plain ole builders sand in mine.


                Yes I've used a tumbler and a shaker (a round glass tube type) many many years ago with abrasive sand, but never considered for brass trains because back then the sand was too course and brass is too soft (delicate).

                Unless I'm missing a new type tool that you're talking about?
                Thanx Thom...

                Comment


                • #10
                  Originally posted by Bernd View Post
                  Thanks Thom. Sounds like you've got some nice equipment to work with.

                  Bernd



                  Hey Bernd,
                  I don't know, my tools are basics, common that most others would or could use. Like anything in building, tools require work and pratice to master.
                  Thanx Thom...

                  Comment

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