What It Is
Vapor blasting, which has also been called wet blasting, wet honing, and probably a dozen other names over the years, is the # 1 restoration technique for aluminum, brass, copper, and bronze parts. This technology has been used since the 50’s for restoration on motorcycle and ATV parts. While we do offer restoration on parts for the sport parts industry, we are the first company I am aware of that offers this service specifically for outboard and antique outboards restoration.
There are great advantages to vapor blasting over the various other means of restoring non-ferrous parts. Vapor blasting is generally faster, more-efficient, and has better coverage than any other means of cleaning parts. Because this is such an efficient parts-cleaning method, this is a huge advantage to you as a customer because you get better parts returned to you at a significantly lower cost.
What It Is Not
This is not soda blasting. Soda is caustic. It's good for cleaning metals but it tends to hide in blind holes and seep out over time, causing oxidation, rust, and even corrosion. It is not glass beading. Dry glass bead leaves aesthetically sound finishes but dry beading tends to leave media in the surface of the part and that is not good for your engine. It also leaves a little bit of surface roughness that doesn’t happen with vapor blasting. This is not ultrasonic cleaning. Ultrasonics can leave a part in pretty clean condition but it won’t even come close to the cleanliness or surface finish of a vapor blasted piece. We actually own a 17,000 dollar ultrasonic cleaner here and it makes a great pre-soak hot tank. If you’re interested in a really good ultrasonic cleaner, we have one for sale. We can find a cheaper method of hot tanking.
How It Works
Prior to vapor blasting, particularly greasy or carboned up parts are soaked in a hot tank for about 3 hours to soften up grease, carbon, and oxidation on the parts. The part is then disassembled as necessary. Gaskets and screws are removed. At that point, we begin the vapor blasting. This process combines a mixture of chemical, very fine glass bead media and water to refinish the part without the use of any harsh or abrasive chemical or media touching your part. This gently removes corrosion, oxidation, rust, and stains from the part. Unlike dry beading of any sort, this will produce a smooth, satin matte finish that is as close to a factory finish as any we’ve ever found. The part is then rinsed free of any leftover media, the threads and blind holes are rinsed out, and parts are finished with a corrosion inhibitor to ensure that the part stays in that condition for as long as possible. If both steel and aluminum are on the same part, then the steel is treated with a separate corrosion inhibitor. This is often the case with things like flywheels and carburetors.
Send Us Parts for Restoration
If you would like to send in parts for restoration, please click the link below to download the parts form. Print the form, fill it out, and send it with your parts.