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Old 28-09-2015, 11:46   #1
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Hull Stripping - Soda Blast, Sand

I have another hull to strip down and barrier coat.
I have scraped, sanded, and sand blasted previously. I heard that soda blasting had drawbacks. I have seen areas of my hull chewed up thru the gel coat by over zealous sand blasting.

I'm sure this has been addressed here before, but not sure where to look, so I'll just apologize for the new thread and hope for some advise and direction.

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Old 29-09-2015, 13:04   #2
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Re: Hull Stripping - Soda Blast, Sand

I am not an expert but you deserve a reply. I'm not sure about soda blasting but the common grit used in many yards has the ability to leave grains imbedded in the glass. There are other materials available that have less potential for harm. I seem to recall walnut shells being used.

If no one else with more experience chimes in I would suggest a web search on boat sandblasting.

The walnut shells are rather hard. I use them to clean brass shells before reloading.


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Old 29-09-2015, 16:33   #3
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Re: Hull Stripping - Soda Blast, Sand

I had my bottom sodablasted.

The sodablasting is supposed to be able to remove paint and not the epoxy barrier coat. Of course, this depends on how old you barrier coat is and the skill of the person doing the soda blasting.

We ended up having to re-epoxy anyhow.

Interestingly, Harbor freight is now carrying do-it-yourself soda and abrasive blasting equipment for cheap. No need to pay someone to do it.
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Old 29-09-2015, 16:46   #4
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Re: Hull Stripping - Soda Blast, Sand

Search dustless sanding on the Internet. There are franchises all about the US at any rate, uses water and fine glass I believe, but seem to specialize in boats and cars.


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Old 29-09-2015, 17:06   #5
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Re: Hull Stripping - Soda Blast, Sand

The latest thing seems to be dry ice blasting, it's supposed to be more environmentally friendly.

Frankly I wouldn't put a sandblaster anywhere near a yacht due to the excessive abrasion. Soda blasting seems to be the go and requires far less operator skill to do a good job.
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Old 29-09-2015, 17:13   #6
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Hull Stripping - Soda Blast, Sand

Quote:
Originally Posted by haiqu View Post
The latest thing seems to be dry ice blasting, it's supposed to be more environmentally friendly.



Frankly I wouldn't put a sandblaster anywhere near a yacht due to the excessive abrasion. Soda blasting seems to be the go and requires far less operator skill to do a good job.

At the now Boeing helicopter plant in Mesa Arizona they have a robotic "arm" to strip layers of Carc paint off of aircraft, it looks like a big vacuum head and consists of incredibly powerful IR lights that first flash the paint, then it is blasted with CO2 pellets.
The draw to it is the only residue is dry paint dust, that was before all this greenhouse gas craze, I assume they didn't actually create any CO2, just condense it from the atmosphere.
It causes no harm to either soft aircraft aluminum or composites.

I found it.
http://boeing.mediaroom.com/1998-06-...pache-Fuselage


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Old 29-09-2015, 17:58   #7
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Re: Hull Stripping - Soda Blast, Sand

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Originally Posted by haiqu View Post
The latest thing seems to be dry ice blasting, it's supposed to be more environmentally friendly.
I was wondering why this isn't a more popular option. We have this done on our industrial heat exchangers on a regular basis. Only mess to clean up is the stuff that gets blasted off. Any entrepreneurs out there?

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Old 29-09-2015, 18:38   #8
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Re: Hull Stripping - Soda Blast, Sand

I had our hull soda blasted, next time I will find some guy who uses a 7" pad with 16 grit. I thought the blasting job was uneven. The whole point was to have a ready to paint surface. I would have needed to sand after the blast job to make it fair. Why not just sand to begin with ?
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Old 29-09-2015, 18:58   #9
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Re: Hull Stripping - Soda Blast, Sand

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Originally Posted by zboss View Post
I had my bottom sodablasted.

The sodablasting is supposed to be able to remove paint and not the epoxy barrier coat. Of course, this depends on how old you barrier coat is and the skill of the person doing the soda blasting.

We ended up having to re-epoxy anyhow.

Interestingly, Harbor freight is now carrying do-it-yourself soda and abrasive blasting equipment for cheap. No need to pay someone to do it.
Likewise, I had the bottom soda blasted. I plugged up all the thruhulls so no soda got inside. While the gelcoat was left intact, some of the barrier coat was removed and I ended up replacing it. That turned out to be a good thing, since the old bottom paint was always peeling from the barrier coat and I was able to correct that.

One safe alternative is walnut shell blasting, but I think sand blasting is too aggressive for paint removal from gelcoat.
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Old 29-09-2015, 19:14   #10
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Re: Hull Stripping - Soda Blast, Sand

Thanks for all the words of wisdom. Lots of mixed experiences out there.
I am one who leans toward if you want something done right... However, not everything I attempt comes out as planned either.

Guess I'll read up on the web a bit and try to decide if there is a local source I can trust with the proper method. It would be sort of 'fun' to try soda blasting myself. The CO2 sounds fascinating. My son has the entrepreneurial bent. Who knows...

Best wishes all and for those of you up north, good luck with your winter projects. For the rest of you, fair skies and a nice breeze!
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Old 29-09-2015, 19:24   #11
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Re: Hull Stripping - Soda Blast, Sand

We had our boat soda blasted several years ago to remove many years of bottom paint. It came out perfect - smooth and clean. A quick light tooth with 80 grit, a coat of barrier epoxy as a tie-coat primer and bottom paint.

I have seen nightmare bottoms resulting from sand blasting. If you go that way, not only do you want a reputable yard, you want the actual reputable person operating it. Sand blasting paint over gelcoat is a bit of a learned art.

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Old 29-09-2015, 19:32   #12
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Re: Hull Stripping - Soda Blast, Sand

So nice to hear a story with a good outcome!
Sand has always provided mixed results for me so Soda will likely be my next approach.
thanks much Mark!
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Old 29-09-2015, 20:12   #13
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Re: Hull Stripping - Soda Blast, Sand

Here is a video about "Dustless Blasting". It really looks like a good process.

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Old 06-11-2015, 09:46   #14
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Re: Hull Stripping - Soda Blast, Sand

We use the Dustless Blasting system along with sugar sand, it works great, removes the paint very nice. You just have to start with low pressure and about 18" from the material, then slowly increase pressure until it starts stripping the paint. What most people do is get in a hurry, turn up the pressure to get the job done quick, and wind up messing the job up. Low pressure and take your time, it will come out nice.
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Old 06-11-2015, 09:55   #15
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Re: Hull Stripping - Soda Blast, Sand

I'm torn between soda or sand blasting, and just using a rotary sander. I plan to leave the aluminum bare, as the lower portion of the hull is bare as well. Once I get the paint off, I'll probably buff the entire hull just for aesthetics.
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