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✔ Article reviewed by Ethan Orenstein. Bringing motorcycles back from the dead since 2013. Learn More.

How to Sand Blast & Polish Motorcycle Parts

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If you’ve purchased an old motorcycle that has been sitting for long time, chances are you’ll need to remove a lot of grime, rust, and corrosion as you repair and rebuild it.

For really corroded or dirty parts, a sand blaster will make your motorcycle project a whole lot easier. If you find that all the scrubbing and solvent in the world is not getting the job done, then it may be time to move to the blasting cabinet.

The first thing you’ll need to begin sand blasting your motorcycle parts is:

  • a sand blaster cabinet.
  • an air compressor.
  • a media gun.

A sandblaster works by pulling blast media from a hopper through the nozzle of a gun that controls the flow of compressed air.

To clean your motorcycle parts with sand blasting:

  • Just turn on your air compressor.
  • Load up your media hopper with your sand blasting material.
  • Take aim at the dirty parts you want to clean.

Sand Blasting Media for Motorcycle Parts

Depending on the job, you’ll need to select the right type of blasting media. You have 3 main options:

  1. Walnut Shells:
    • Walnut shells are good blasting media for parts that are not too badly corroded.
    • The walnuts will clean the motorcycle part without removing metal or damaging the surface of the part.
    • Walnut shells are a good choice for cleaning dirt and grime.
  2. Glass Beads:
    • Glass beads will not take off metal, but they will harden an bind to the surface of a part.
    • This can be useful when cleaning certain engine parts as the glass beads will restore the surface of the metal on the engine part.
  3. Sand:
    • Sand is useful for removing heavy corrosion from your motorcycle parts.
    • You have to be careful though, because sand will chew through metal if it is applied to the part for too long.
    • Sand is also difficult to remove complete and is not recommended for internal engine cleaning.

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Content Editor: Ethan Orenstein

Ethan is not just any motorcycle enthusiast. With a decade of experience riding, maintaining, and restoring a range of motorcycles, Ethan brings a wealth of knowledge to the table. Many of the tips and tricks shared on this site are born from hours spent wrenching on personal bikes. Paired with his experience as a journalist covering DMV & insurance topics, is a must-visit site for any home-mechanic. Every article has been carefully reviewed and edited to ensure accuracy, authenticity, and simplicity - all to help bring your bike back from the dead and onto the road.

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