MISTER DRIFTER! Thank you for allowing me to share some thoughts here. So, I spent the whole morning screening the medium that I got with the used sandblaster I purchased last weekend. Truth of the matter is that after seeing your parts come out so clean, I sourced a local shop to do the parts prep for me but the cost was on average $20-$40 a part and considering I'll be blasting everything from calipers, clutch and brake levers to rims and handlebars on two bikes, I decided to look into getting a blasting cabinet second hand if the price was reasonable. Local automotive tool supply shops had a decent standup cabinet for $350 (just over $400 after taxes) and a tabletop unit for $250 still a little steep in my opinion, so I snagged a look on some online classified postings and came across this beauty for $200 cash and despite having to drive an two hours round trip I still felt it was a good deal considering I have a 99 Honda winter beater that has a trailer hitch so the gas only cost me $25 making it a pretty good deal.
Princess Auto - New Blasting cabinet examples
So, here is one of the handlebar pieces that bolt on to the triple tree to represent the before condition. The bike is an 84 RZ350 and you can see that the part is in average shape for its age.
A quick blast (3 min in the cabinet) really did a good job at stripping the tough powdercoat to a clean and simple matte finish.
Then an equally quick hit on the bench grinder wire brush for a high shine
Here is a before and after of the handlebar ends
And this is the final shot of before and after paint and clear coat. I have decided to go with the polished steel look instead of the black powdercoat look. I just hope the VHT rattlecan clearcoat is strong enough to last the test of time without going yellow or chipping off
All in all, I am very happy with the end result and for the price, I really don't think you can beat the ease of restoring a pile of old parts for a measly $250 bucks. Again, I credit you Backdrifter for taking my build to the next level with the motivation you provided with your most excellent build thread and I totally agree with you that a sandblasting cabinet is practically a must for these kind of restorations.
But as excited as I am to finish my RZ bikes I am itching to see how Jim's bike is going to turn out in all its fully restored glory.