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Stripping Paint

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Over the years I've tried many different methods to strip both factory and aftermarket paint off various pieces of rolling stock.


Lot of professional painters that I know of just paint over what's there but I feel stripping back down to bare plastic or metal results in a much finer finish...and details such as rivets or bolts aren't as prone to disappear under multiple coats of paint.   


I tried brake fluid, Pine-Sol, Purple Power, 90% Isoproplyl Alcohol, Goo Gone, Chemical paint strippers on metals etc.  All with varying degrees of results. I've chemically burned the skin on my hands on more than one occasion and then there's the problem of disposing all the aforementioned products. 


So I've spent about all winter rigging up a blast cabinet. I started with a Harbor Freight floor standing model that's been modified. Also assembled a cabinet exhaust system that uses a ShopVac and cyclone dust collection system.


I tried it out yesterday as it was about 60 degrees outside but humid with thunderstorms...still it was 90 degrees warmer than last month when it hit -30 below zero fahrenheit.  


I blasted the shell, end walls, doors and truck frames on a USA Trains RPO car. Took about 2 hours and that was with breaks for me as I don't like standing for prolonged periods.


This was painted in PRR Tuscan brown & black. I'll paint into Union Pacific yellow & grey. I need one for my 15 car USA Trains UP passenger train and it seems that USA won't be producing these again.


I really like this blasting setup! It's fast and when done just walk away and you're still clean...no stinky chemical smell.


Oh and the blast media that I'm using soda by ARMEX. ARMEX owns the Arm & Hammer brand and the blast media is simply a larger coarser baking soda. Non-toxic water soluble...heck people eat this stuff!


I have done lots of sandblasting over the years on heavy equipment using silica sand but that will warp thin metals and dissolve plastic.


As seen here using "baking soda" is great! Not destructive at all! :Slightly_Smiling_Face_Emoji(24x24):  














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And one of the reasons why I absolutely adore the USA Trains streamlined passenger cars. That is the body is an aluminum extrusion which makes it nice & heavy!

And they produce most all the cars found in a passenger train with detailed interiors for each type of car.


Like this RPO interior that could be heavily detailed if one wished!! 







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Chuck, I have the sister 'Legoland Green Mill" over the years for summer dispaly here in Northeast Pennsylvania, the "clear Coat" has been flaking off.  After eMails with Legoland, they suggest crushed almond shells for the blasting, baking soda too light.  ? - this coarser Baking Soda you reference, do you think it may work?  I have not been able to locate almond shells as described.

I for one appreciate your knowledge and pictures in explanation!


Pennsylvania Arizona GRR

"Route of Snowbirds" 

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