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Thread: Bead Blasting and rust

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
    FISH4BUGS's Avatar
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    Bead Blasting and rust

    To all those that work with metal: I have some Hensley & Gibbs moulds that i bought that had been improperly stored in a storage locker and became a bit rusted. The blocks themselves and sprue plates have cleaned up rather well (they will never win any beauty contests, trust me) but the cavities have a fine coating of rust.
    The cavities are not (apparently) too bad.
    Before I start digging in to work them over, someone suggested I have the cavities bead blasted. I am not sure what they meant but whatever "blasting" gets done it cannot remove any metal, just the fine rust in the cavities.
    Is there some way to do this without removing any metal in the cavities OTHER than by hand?
    I have no objection to doing it by hand with Naval Jelly, steel wool and a pointed wood stylus, but if the bead blasting works, I'd save myself a ton of work.
    ANY ADVICE?
    Collector and shooter of guns with selector switches and threaded barrels. Collector of suppressors, SBR's, AOW's and SBS's. Lead and brass scrounger. Never too much brass, lead or components in inventory! Always looking to win beauty contests with my reloads.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master


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    Watching. My preference for the cavities especially would be Evaporust. If blasting were the only choice I would tend toward baking soda rather than bead.
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  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    first do not bead blast. try getting them not and cast some bullets. they just mite be ok. if not while hot put a nail in the mold sricking out of the sprue hole and pore a bullet do this for each cavity. now you have just made a lap. now you can lap each cavity.

  4. #4
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    You can use dry ice as blast material, they sell it in bead form.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master

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    I purchased a older RCBS 38-150 kt mold that was in pretty bad shape a couple years ago , to clean it of grime and light rust I soaked it in a citrus acid hot water bath and scrubbed it with a tooth brush the block came out white metal clean , so I set it on the hot plate to complete dry , after putting it back together I oiled it down good .

  6. #6
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    Most people refer to glass bead media as bead blasting. Much more aggressive than I would like, however soda blasting using baking soda would work well.
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  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    I wonder if using crushed walnut hull ( tumbling media) would work as a blasting media.
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  8. #8
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    Evaporust for the win.
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  9. #9
    Boolit Master BNE's Avatar
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    Bead blasting will leave a dimpled look. Like a golf ball, it on a much smaller scale. While not removing metal, it will move metal. I think it would ruin the finish of yours casts.

    We use bead blasters on a regular basis at work. It is not good for all finishes. Soda blasting would probably work to removed rust and not damage the mold. Maybe.

    I have tried the dry ice and was disappointed. It was not aggressive enough to remove oxide off of copper. It takes a special machine to use and it was disappointing when I tried it.

    BNE
    Last edited by BNE; 02-24-2018 at 11:15 AM.
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  10. #10
    Boolit Master maxreloader's Avatar
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    Evaporust works excellent... it ONLY eats the rust, zero metal. It does take the bluing off so be sure to treat accordingly afterwards. I have used it successfully many times. A quick polish of the cavities with Clover wouldnt hurt either but go slow and easy.
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  11. #11
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    Good old white vinegar, put it in and let it soak a bit.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master

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    Glass bead blast will leave a matte looking finish normally and while not removing much metal it does "rearrange" it some. Sands are very abrasive some more so than others. Black Beauty cuts very fast and clean but on a tin roof may cut holes also. walnut isn't as abrasive as sand gives a very fine matte duller finish but may also round corners. walnut does good under lighter pressures is slower and gives nice finish. Under lower pressures corner rounding shouldn't be to bad. Ive never worked with baking soda but have heard it does good on fiberglass items. Rice has been used in the food industry mainly do to any that gets left is edible.

    If its light rust one of the rust restorers ( eavaporust) may work or simply a light polish with oil and a flannel patch or q-tip. Anything "aggressive" may remove metal and change sizes. You might try toothpaste and a soft cloth or q-tip also.

  13. #13
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    take a lead bullet from the mold (even if you have to cast one while its still rusty. screw a good sized wood screw into the base and cut the head off of it. Chuck it up in your drill spray a bit of kroil or wd40 on it and spin it in the mold. Id about be just the bare bullet will remove most of it. If not put some polishing compound on another bullet and try that
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  14. #14
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    Evaporust or white vinegar. No blasting if you want the bullets to be the size and shape of the original cavity
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  15. #15
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    Evaporust. No contest.
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  16. #16
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    No need to say it again, but I will EVAPORUST! BTW, if you use with anything that has oil or grease on it, work to remove the grease before soaking in the evaporust. Spray down with carb cleaner or other solvent and dry off. Makes the evaporust work faster, and keeps it cleaner and will work longer. BTW, don't dump it out put it in another container and mark accordingly. 'used evaporust' It WILL work for a lot longer than you think... just need to soak longer. I've used a couple of gallons of the stuff rebuilding a few table and radial arm saws and drill presses. Great stuff!

  17. #17
    Boolit Bub PhantomRider64's Avatar
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    A friend of mine used this product to remove rust from some bike parts. He said it worked very well and did not affect the underlying metal.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    Muriatic acid, used it to clean a motor cycle tank, works amazing. Got it at Home Depot for like 7bucks

  19. #19
    Boolit Master AllanD's Avatar
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    Muriatic (hydrochloric) Acid removes rust in hours or minits
    Acetic Acid(Vinegar) does the same thing but in hours or days
    Citric Acid (available at Walmart in the canning supplies (housewares) works well at rust removal
    as does any "organic"(carbon bearing) acid (such as malic or tartaric acids (available from winemaking/Homebrew (Beer) suppliers
    Oxalic Acid (commonly sold as "Barkeepers friend" removes rust as well.

    One of the best rust removers is Hydrofloric, but it is dangerous to work with.

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  20. #20
    Boolit Master
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    Phosphoric Acid is what's in "Naval Jelly", I wouldn't use that on Aluminum tho as I think it'll eat it. Does remove rust from steel, it can leave a "Parkerized" type stain / finish on the work piece though. (Parkerizing is also known as Phosphatizing etc.)

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