View Full Version : parkerizing prep

December 16, 2008, 13:30
Has anyone gotten any good results by using a SS wire wheel on a dremel as opposed to sandblasting? These are once parked parts that need to be redone.

Ron Walker
December 16, 2008, 13:48
The brush tends to leave the metal a little shiny and not uneven enough. I prefer blasting as it leaves a better surface for the park to work on. Just my opinion. Ron

L Haney
December 16, 2008, 18:19
Blasting will open the pores on the steel and increase the "tooth" for the park finish to latch to. It'll be more durable that way. I's also much easier to get a uniform texture. Is the problem access to a blasting cabinet?


December 16, 2008, 18:42
The wife just got me a blasting cabinet for Christmas. If you are near central Kentucky come on by and use it. I will be putting it together later this week.

December 17, 2008, 06:57
not just access to a blasting cabinet, but rather where to put it and a compressor in an overcrowded garage. RTgunsmoke, forget it, I'm not spending $600+ on equipment and leaving it in the porch or the living room.

December 17, 2008, 11:46
The stainless brush can leave lil' bits or rubbings on the surface and that will make your park streaky with silver streaks.

December 17, 2008, 12:18
ok, point is clear. It's just that on the shooters solution website they had this thing and I said lets see.

Scott S
December 17, 2008, 12:50
If you have just a few parts you need done, it's much more cost-effective to send 'em off to have them blasted and parked. After you invest in park solution, a park tank, a compressor, and a blast cabinet, you've spent a big chunk of change.

Several outfits here on the 'Files offer parking service, including the one who replied in this thread.

December 17, 2008, 14:51
Originally posted by gunplumber
Brownells talks wire wheels too - If their catalog said "must sandblast for good results" then there wouldn't be as many buyers. So instead they push that good results "might" be possible with stuff that the buyer already has - like a dremel tool.

Ahh ha, never thought of that one.

December 18, 2008, 14:23
Originally posted by gunplumber

If you want a nice park finish, you must sandblast. You must use the appropriate medium in the appropriate grit at the appropriate air pressure. Accept this fact. It is the first step toward spiritual growth. 80-120 grit. I like 80, I have reasons. Finer is not "better", in fact, finer can give worse results. I have no issue with 120, other than its longevity. Silica sand (beach sand) will fill your lungs with fine dust and kill you.

OK, my neighbor has one of those non cabinet sand blasting things and a compressor. He says "do it on teh sidewalk"

Question #1 can I use silica sand outdoors? safety hazard?
Question #2 How do I not destroy the driveway, or are there no effects?

December 18, 2008, 14:45
If you wear a dust mask, preferrably from a welding supply high efficiency one yes!

Before I got my blast cabinet I did this all the time. It also forces you to consider the blast media to be disposable- one time through the gun. Disposal of the sand is no problem-just sweep into the lawn.

The results are comparable with aluminium oxide also. By the way, silica sand fractures upon use, produces lots of fine dust after recycling a few times. When you then decide you cant see into your cabinet, and really want to replace with aluminia, it is a royal pain to clean up. Trust me on this- I know.

December 18, 2008, 14:48
thats why I go with sand, so I can just sweep it into the lawn.

Scott S
December 19, 2008, 13:28
You can purchase sand specifically for blasting. That's what I use. There's a materials supply outfit a few miles from my house, and I buy 100 lb bags of fine blasting sand for less than $10 a pop (last time I purchased was a few years ago, so prices are probably higher).

Not only will you need a very good respirator, you need full-coverage eye protection and heavy gloves. Hearing protection is a good idea, too, as blasting is kinda loud. Be prepared to get sand into every nook and cranny on your body. The first time I blasted I did it in the backyard without a cabinet, and I'll tell ya it was a frickin' mess.

December 19, 2008, 21:51
The things people go thru to save a few bucks :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

Unless you are doing multiple kits worth, it isn't worth what you are going thru.

How do I know??

I have 3 S&W wood presentation cases that the internal flocking fell apart. So, I priced the flocking compound. I priced the adhesive. I priced the special appicator gun to do a professional job. Remember, I paint and park so I do think I could handle it.

By the time I got done buying the stuff, I figured I probably won't get it to my liking the first time--there is a bit of a learning curve on anything.

After considering all that, I contacted a guy that I heard does it. He told me to send him my box liners, a check for $35 a set plus return postage.

He did a very professional job and it actually saved me money. I didn't think I could do a better job and the tools and stuff were more than I paid--and I didn't have to go thru the BS involved. Wouldn't be worth it.

And I had the things back in a week.

Now yes, if I need to do more, I would save money. But how many would I need to do to pay for it all and my time?? This guy does it, has the learning curve down solid and did a beautiful job very quickly.

That is a no-brainer for me.

December 19, 2008, 22:08
Originally posted by gunplumber

If it was labeled "asbestos sand" would you use it? The effect on your lungs is the same.

Darn right, Mark.

I saw a guy die from this silicosis years back. Not pretty. I don't mess with it.

December 20, 2008, 12:15
"...Silica sand is actually banned for blasting in the UK and western Europe.

The dangerous part of Silica is crystalline silica. That is what will cause silicosis if you get enough, over a long enough time.

The blasting sand I have bought is guaranteed something less than 1% crystalline silica.

The next thing is how long, and how much exposure is required for the effect. Even with Asbestos, it usually takes decades of near daily exposure for the effects to be found on a study. Asbestosis was first ID'd in shipyard workers ~20 years after WWII. Those poor slobs spent the whole war spraying Asbestos with the cloud of dust so thick you couldn't see across the hold of the ship. Silicosis, is normally found in hard rock miners who spend a lifetime in a dusty mine, or other occupational exposures (like every day), that produce dust.

The next part of the problem is regulative agencies can neither proove or disprove a minimum safe level. Obviously they will error on the side of caution, and expect that the folk doing the process are doing it all day, every day for 30 years. Blasting an occasional firearm, or repainting a rusty tractor one time in your life is very different.

Bottom line: Aluminia is much preferable. Blasting cabinets are much better, but if you use reasonable precautions, your life is probably in more danger going to the store to purchase the amorphous silica than in using it. Take your own informed choice.

December 22, 2008, 17:05
ok, question #2 has anyone here cooked parts in soap water for degreasing?

December 22, 2008, 17:41
The answer depends on if the wife is at home or not.
I've used the oven to cook out (no more than 225 deg) some nasty gunk from a few receivers that were caked in who knows what. Then into the friendly dishwasher. Of course on the Pots and Pan setting. Don't remember the type of detergent, but it was a liquid type. After the dishwasher use (or whatever method you choose) make sure that all moisture has been removed.
Not my prefered method, but have had good results on really bad caked on junk!

The dishwasher works great on wood stocks too, if they'll fit!

Hope this helps,


December 23, 2008, 10:30
I give my parts a squirt of Acetone right as they come out of the sandblaster. It removes any dust. Then they go directly into the park bath. Make sure you squirt into a collection bucket and nowhere near your burner or heating element, and do a quick shake to remove any loose acetone.

Scott S
December 24, 2008, 11:34
I don't know what type of sand it is, Mark. The bag is clearly labeled, "Blasting Sand". Doesn't really matter to me, though, because I use a negative pressure blast cabinet. However, next time I go buy some, I'll ask about silica content.

Originally posted by gunplumber
I can't believe you are finding NON-silica sand for $0.10/pound. It has to be silica sand. Aluminum oxide typically costs around $0.50/pound or more. Garnet a little less.

Silica sand is actually banned for blasting in the UK and western Europe.

If it was labeled "asbestos sand" would you use it? The effect on your lungs is the same.