Let's see what wet blasting or vapor honing can do

Discussion in 'Projects/Builds' started by fatcaaat, Apr 12, 2019.

  1. fatcaaat

    fatcaaat Well-Known Member

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    Well, I received my cabinet from vaporhoningtechnologies. Model VH450 industrial/production line. It's a smaller unit with the same power as the big ones. Enough space for anything motorcycle related.

    To put it to the test right out of the box, I found not just the crumbiest set of engine cases I have, but it also happens to be a set which is in the top 3 of worst condition cases I've ever had in my hands. These cases came from an engine that was open to the elements, the piston froze to the cylinder so bad that I had to use a 5lb hammer and about 30 min to beat the piston out. Clutch and stator plate was off, and it looked like it was stored on the dirt that was wet often. 100% of all steel internals were throw away other than the clutch drive plate and shift shaft.

    I kept this engine because it was an H and matched to the H frame I have, and thus will put together at some point. If this were a regular 3-speed model, i would have throw the whole thing right in the trash.

    It was completely caked up with dirt, which the vapor hone does not do a good job with, but I used a small screw driver and pick and loosened up anything that was caked on. Here are the results after 45 total min of work...blasting, scraping, picking and repeat. I don't think you can ask for better results. The cases look like they were just cast. It does not change the surface texture of the original casting.

    I'll have to do a small weld and feather on a very small section of gasket surface, but seriously, I wish I had this 10 years ago when I was cranking out an engine build every month. I may offer this as a service once my jeep project is complete.
     

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    #1 fatcaaat, Apr 12, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2019
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  3. scooter

    scooter Well-Known Member

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    Very nice - nothing like the right tool for the job
     
  4. red69

    red69 Well-Known Member

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    Looks good. I was thinking of buying one of those, but at this point in life, I should probably leave that work to someone else.

    I have an S90 case that needs work.

    Bob
     
  5. red69

    red69 Well-Known Member

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    What does that model cost?

    Bob
     
  6. scooter

    scooter Well-Known Member

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    0A5E4A3E-184A-46DC-9821-513525E9045F.jpeg fatcaaat - just a thought - to get rid of some of that initial crud, I like to let the ultra-sonic cleaner do its thing. Maybe add a pre-clean before the vapor blast.
     
  7. fatcaaat

    fatcaaat Well-Known Member

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    Thats. GreT idea but my ultrasonic isnt big enough for those. What ultrasonic are u using.
     
  8. kirrbby

    kirrbby Well-Known Member

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    Every time I see parts...especially engine cases that were vapor honed I think, "that looks PFG".
    It's a different shine/sheen, kinda Xtra brite, that makes me do a double take.
    I wonder how it will "age". If it will oxidize some with time, + dirt and grime and, salt here in Michigan. I wonder how it would look with a quick scotchbrite scrub.

    Cleaning cases by hand sux. Getting them clean in the nooks and crannies by hand is all but impossible.
    The vapor honed cases look fantastically clean.
    I'm giving it a solid A, based on the pics I've seen.
    If you'll be offering this service, I will be sending some stuff your way.
     
  9. kirrbby

    kirrbby Well-Known Member

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    Please show us a pic of the left side case after you do it...including the CS area. Those, are the nooks and crannies.
     
  10. fatcaaat

    fatcaaat Well-Known Member

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    WIthout ever seeing what an engine case looked like out of the factory in the 70's it's hard for me to understand what it should look like. But about 2 years ago I had a brand new from factory honda nice engine case in my hand. I would say that the wet blast surface is pretty much the same as that one.

    I do need to do some experimenting to get the results I want. I think I can mess a little bit with the pressure and the grit. I also want to use the dry blast cabinet first and then the wet blast and see how they work in combination.

    As for the other half, i'm attaching pictures of that. Additionally, attaching some pictures of what it did to a hub, backing plate, fender, and tail light. Kirby, the backing plate and fender are what you recently sent me...i did nothing but pop them in the blaster for quick passes. The hub was about your average condition hub and the tail light was pretty messed up, but I did give that one some attention.

    It definitely gets in the nooks and crannies and cleans everything. With the media I'm using, it will not remove caked on grease and dirt. That would have to come off before you put it in the wet blast. It will not remove gasket materials either. Again, these cases are some of the worst i've every held in my hands...including anything I've ever picked up and looked at at swap meets.

    What do you think of these results?
     

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  11. fatcaaat

    fatcaaat Well-Known Member

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    I did go ahead and try some different combinations on things and have produced some results I am really quite pleased with. For aluminum hubs, I went ahead and blasted them dry with glass media on low pressure. This quickly removed the paint and smoothed the surface out. Then I popped them in the wet blast and ran them with the very fine media. The results are nice enough that I don't believe I'm going to paint them. I think I'm going to leave them raw and just put some wax polish on them...at least for the application I plan for them. I need to find a complete junk engine case and I'm going to experiment with that as well seeing how I can use the dry cabinet to clean and smooth and then wetblast to finish. On a pretty dirty carb, the wetblast made the thing look like it just came out of the box. Overall very pleased with where I"m heading with this.
     
  12. Tripod

    Tripod Active Member

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    Youre getting good results. It does seem to change the finish on the engine cases from aged patina to something different. Im still glad I got the cases on my z50 vapor blasted.

    You can easily make back the cost of the tooling by offering services.
     
  13. scooter

    scooter Well-Known Member

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    42B04EC5-0258-419A-AF2D-49CB6E09D137.jpeg 73D6F4B1-5117-4A91-BD3A-44F39A7563C1.jpeg fatcaaat pics of my ultrasonic cleaner. It’s off ebay and have been very pleased with it. It’s just big enough to fit a CT70 case.
     
  14. kirrbby

    kirrbby Well-Known Member

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    Mine is a Branson 5210. I bought it used on eBay and have been very happy with it as well.
    I want to say mine holds 6 liters. 3+ gallons. A set of cases fit in mine too, with the strainer basket in place. It will get cases clean, but it won't scrub off anything that's stuck on...baked on, or corroded into them.

    The pic above, of the left side case looks excellent to me...the one of the stator cs area. The color, sheen, finish looks right in that pic.
    I don't know what new cases look like either. But I've seen the good lookin areas on some cases and carbs and such...that's my standard. When parts come out of the us cleaner looking great...bright aluminum...that's my standard. Even cases that are grey, and a bit weathered, but still nice and smooth...I call that great lookin as cast finish.
     
  15. Gene2313

    Gene2313 New Member

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    They came out looking awesome.

    I have a big machine I scored a while back that I’ve yet to fire up. It’s like a sand blaster but instead of sand, it uses dry ice. You place a big block of dry ice in it and it shaves the block up and shoots the chips out of a hose. The size of the chips and pressure they’re shot out are both adjustable. There’s no cabinet but clean up isn’t nessasary as the ice chips magically disappear.

    You got me wondering how well it would work.
     
  16. racerx

    racerx Administrator
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    Probably very well...for its intended applications. Unfortunately, it ain't gonna be cheap. Have you priced dry ice lately?:eek:
     
  17. Gary

    Gary Active Member

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    I can never even find dry ice when I needed it. That machine sounds like the ones that are used to remove mold from wood structures ie say like if you pull down drywall in a bathroom and there is mold in the studs
     
  18. racerx

    racerx Administrator
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    For that, I'd get a respirator, trigger-spray bottle, and 5% concentration chlorine bleach. $30 total and very effective...if temporarily noxious. At current prices it's surprising that nobody makes dry ice jewelry.
     
  19. Gene2313

    Gene2313 New Member

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    I’ve never actually bought dry ice before. No wonder I was the only guy that bid on it! lol

    I got it from an injection molding company that was going out of business. They had an auction. I was told it was used to clean the molds without having to take them out of the machine. They also couldn’t use anything too abrasive so as not to change the surface of the mold.

    Oh well....
     

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