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1963 Etype Coupe

63 FHC – Media Blasting

Today was a big day. The mobile media blasters showed up and cleaned up all the important pieces back to bare metal.

Media blasting is the modern term for what used to be called just “sand blasting”. Sand has fallen out of favor, mostly because the silica in real sand was causing lung damage to the guys that had to sand blast every day. Workarounds have ensued. Glass beads is a term I hear a lot. And of course there are is a wide variety of materials used to blast, depending on what the requirements are. Anyway, the father/son team that did my job is O’Tooles Mobile Dustless Blasting out of Durham, NC. The mobile part is they come to you. The dustless part is they can work with a slurry of water and media, which knocks down the dust and keeps the sheet metal cool. In my case they did traditional dry blasting with a silica free glass media. It’s looks like beach sand.

I had done my own blasting on the 67 2+2 15 years ago, using a black media. I remember it being a miserable job. These guys showed up with a massive compressor and their blast nozzle was about 2″ in diameter. I had a small compressor and my nozzle was about 3/8″ in diameter. All this adds up to they could move a lot faster than I could. Size does matter.

Me, back in my younger days, blasting the paint off the 67 2+2.

I didn’t want to put myself through that again, especially in the middle of the summer. O’Tooles showed up and 6 hours later they had blasted the body shell (inside and out), the bonnet lower section, the bonnet wings, and the deck lid (I’m getting a new bonnet center section). For well under $2000. Well worth it, in my opinion.

The really really good news is that we found no rust or corrosion. Nada. Man, what a relief. I had been pretty confident but you never know what you will find under the paint or undercoating. The blasting of course removes the paint down to bare metal. It also removes plastic body filler, and traditional tar type undercoating. It roughens up but doesn not remove lead used at the body seams. You will see some black in the photos, which is generally seam sealer. They were able to get a lot of the seam sealer but I had them leave any that was really stubborn. It’s designed to be painted so not a problem going forward. We did most of the work on the rotiserrie. When the body shell was done, I transferred it to my shop cart and took off the rotiserrie attachments, allowing them to come back and blast where the rotiserrie had been attached. After they left I spent some time with my leaf blower getting sand out of the car but I am sure once I get it back on the rotiserrie more will fall out of the cavities as the body is rotated. They used twelve 50 pound bags of sand. It is now deposited on the concrete apron in front of my shop but is not objectional, at least to me. I thought I would joke with the guy doing the blasting that he probably never dreams about going to the beach on vacation but I figured he’d heard that line too many times.

The owner said if I kept the car out of the weather it wouldn’t flash rust. I don’t believe that. In my next article I’ll take about my initial efforts to apply protective chemicals to forestall flash rusting.

The brown at the back is where the rotiserrie attached. He cleaned that up after I took the photo.





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