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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Small parts are always a pain to blast and park. While losing a small part in the chalky precipitate in the bottom of the park tank is a pain, losing one in the blast cabinet is even worse. Came up with a good solution today while restoring a sporterize 1903A3. My wife let me use an extra 3" diameter loose tea infuser she had laying around (cost $4.00). You can put the parts in it, lock it closed, blast them and then just dip the whole thing in the tank as it is stainless. It worked very well. Just wanted to share with the board.

 

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Be sure to keep some screen material on hand to repair the holes that will be cut into the screen from the media blasting through. You can also make your own by folding the screen material in half and stapling the ends to form a pocket.
 

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Blasting small parts has always been a problem and there are no commercial devices that will do the job and are durable. I've used pairs of kitchen sieves of different sizes bolted together or clipped together with office paper spring clips. Made holders from small tin cans with wire mesh taped or hose clamped over the top and a hole in the center of the mesh for the blaster orifice. Used small funnels taped to tin cans with the spouts cut back for the blaster orifice. Any of these will work for a while but if one has lots of small parts to blast over time, the only solution is to have lots of ways to do it.
Warning! Wire mesh will dissolve and come apart and leave hole if the blaster is pointed at one spot too long, even with lower air pressure. Vigilance is required so that you don't blast a small hole without knowing it and a part will fall thorugh into the media tank.
One solution for me so far has been cutting a section out of the middle of a 5 gallon poly bucket. A section about six or eight inches high works OK. The expanded metal floor of my blaster cabinet has holes that most small parts won't fit through. Placing the parts in the poly ring and blasting them over ther rim of the ring with lower pressure works and the plastic ring keeps the parts corralled. A metal ring would not move around as much, but the poly ring can be held with one hand.
Another way I do it is to use a small vice grip to hold the part while blasting. Takes more time, but is reliable and safe. FWIW
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the warning on cutting a hole with the media. I guess aluminum at velocity will cut stainless just like a lead bullet will blow through a steel car rim at 3,000 fps. At $4 a pop I could afford to use them in a somewhat disposable manner but cutting a hole and inadvertently dumping the parts would suck. The magnets also sound like a good idea. Does the magnetic go in the park tank with the part? I try not to touch anything after blasting.
 

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When I have a small part that has a hole in, I run a piece stainless steel safety through it and make a large loop then blast. Other small parts I put in a tumbler with abrasive.
 

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I do not cook my magnet. We use rubber gloves to handle our parts before cooking. I also will rotate the part on the magnet to blast all sides
 
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