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1911 Pistol Smith
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9,449 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I recently acquired a pistol that had some holster wear and a scratch on the slide, the person had attempted to remove the scratch with a scotchbrite pad much the way you would for a brushed stainless finish. I have bead blasted before but, mostly to completely refinish the pistol. So, color was not going to try and be matched or left merely blasted. So, I got a #150 glass bead and replaced my Garnet media and began sand blasting the entire pistol to make sure it was uniform. When it was done I was astonished at how much it looked like the original and I blew out the dust, and washed the gun with warm soapy water and dried thoroughly. I was extremely happy with the appearance. However while oiling and putting back together, I rubbed the whole gun down with a light coat of oil... I have left it sit for a few days and while the finish is completely smooth and even, very uniform it is more of a light grey, then a Matte Stainless finish, No sheen at all. What did I do wrong? Is there something else I should have treated the frame, slide and parts with? I mean lets face it they are going to get oil on them when cleaning? Is there something specific they treat the finish with to keep that little bit of gloss appearance? This is a Dan Wesson Valor BTW... I may very well just send it in to have it done by Dan Wesson, but any clues on what I might have did wrong for future reference. Again finish was nearly perfect when I got done, might have needed to be shot with a bit more pressure, I did the same thing on my Trophy Match to restore and it was near a perfect match.. as the blasted part was more grey on it with brushed/polished flats. Any help at all would be appreciated...
 

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1911 Pistol Smith
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9,449 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
Going to try again at a higher PSI and further away from part. Thanks to Mike AZpoolguy for the advice and information. Hopefully this will do the trick.. If not, I can and will (if not right) send back to DW for a complete bead blast back to factory~!
 

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1911 Pistol Smith
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9,449 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Ok. I think I'm shooting in the 80-100psi range.
I got mine set at 80 now, all taped off and ready to go, was watching a movie but, headed to the shed now. Too hot out there in the day time. Just a metal 24x36 steel building, no insulation one window, one man door and one roll up door, when it's 85 outside it's 110 in there lol. Might be about 80 degrees about now lol and I got the fan running.
 

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Deo Volente
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7,016 Posts
There was a polishing thread about a year ago?
Alpina9 did a polish job on his stainless pistol that you could use to signal satellites! :D
 

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1911 Pistol Smith
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9,449 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
There was a polishing thread about a year ago?
Alpina9 did a polish job on his stainless pistol that you could use to signal satellites! :D
I have did some mirror grade polishes, I just wanted this one as close to factory as possible. I refinished the Trophy Match that is my avatar photo. And I high polished a couple Taurus revolvers. The revolver actually looked like a nickel or hard chrome finish when done, you could literally see your pupils in the finish from 3 feet away lol. I can bead and refinish to an acceptable finish on most guns, it's getting back to factory and keeping that satin blast finish that's stumping me...
 

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1911 Pistol Smith
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9,449 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Okay this is what I am after, the problem is keeping it this way, Seems when I add oil it darkens... Right now it is just washed with dish soap and water and air dried. Problem I am having is keeping it satin finished. Someone said silicone, but not so sure that is a good idea as it would be slicker then cat ****...
0704170057-2.jpg
 

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1911 Pistol Smith
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9,449 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Ok. I think I'm shooting in the 80-100psi range.
Okay another question I didn't even think about asking. How long should I go on the blasting. I mean I know you can dust over it pretty good and get the look I have, but if I stay after it longer would it maybe put the peening closer together and tighten up the pores in the metal so to speak? I know everytime I tape this off to blast it, it takes me about 1-1/2 hours to get it tight to my desired coverage. So, if I have to do it again, I would like to make it count. I think I shot this between 70-80, Maybe I should try 90psi I also did what I told you I was going to do and got about another 18" of hose to add to my gun. So had a lot more flexibility with the distance. But, boy them bulky ass glove sure do make it hard to hold a slide catch, or mag release while blasting lol
 

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1,431 Posts
I'm not expert, I've done exactly 1 bead blast touch-up.

But, I think you're going the wrong direction with air pressure if you're wanting a fine pearl bead blast finish. I'd go with about 40 lbs and slow, 8 inches or so away from the surface. Do you have any scrap metal you can practice on?

Maybe one of the experienced custom builders will chime in with their wisdom. :)

This was 80 grit glass bead, at 50 psi. I was going for a darker finish to match the factory finish.

 

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1911 Pistol Smith
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9,449 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
The first effort was at 40psi, and the pistol was completely gray when oil was added. No pearlizing, until I reached about 70 psi. My glass bead is more like a 120 grit which is considerably lighter then the 80 grit. This last effort did the trick I believe it come out silver instead of grey...
 

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1911 Pistol Smith
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9,449 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
I'm not expert, I've done exactly 1 bead blast touch-up.

But, I think you're going the wrong direction with air pressure if you're wanting a fine pearl bead blast finish. I'd go with about 40 lbs and slow, 8 inches or so away from the surface. Do you have any scrap metal you can practice on?

Maybe one of the experienced custom builders will chime in with their wisdom. :)

This was 80 grit glass bead, at 50 psi. I was going for a darker finish to match the factory finish.

I also have an e-mail into Shawn Sastri at Dan Wesson to see if he will privy me to what pressure and what size glass bead they use from the factory. Worse case scenario is I send it to them for a total refinish... The treating of the metal to keep out dirt is where I am now. I have heard oil, or wax, but the oil turned it dark last time, almost half afraid to add the oil again. I guess I could just put it on the grip safety and see what it does... I did shoot it this last time at 80psi at about 8" away..
 

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1911 Pistol Smith
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9,449 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
Okay this is what I am after, the problem is keeping it this way, Seems when I add oil it darkens... Right now it is just washed with dish soap and water and air dried. Problem I am having is keeping it satin finished. Someone said silicone, but not so sure that is a good idea as it would be slicker then cat ****... View attachment 69125
Well I did a little spearmint (hillbilly language for experiment) lol, I rubbed the grip safety with my fingers and it turned grey just from the oil in my skin. Now it is not as grey, or gray as the first time, but still is wanting to grey out. I haven't touched the frame and slide other then to wash and dry... But, it has darkened a touch. I am cursed in looking at this stuff in my garage as I have fluorescent lighting that shows every hair line imperfection.. makes it really rough on a perfectionist like myself.
 
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