Sandblast a bar?

Arborist Forum

Help Support Arborist Forum:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.

Walt41

Addicted to ArboristSite
Joined
Dec 4, 2009
Messages
6,165
Reaction score
2,917
Location
NY
Anyone ever sandblast a bar to clean it up? I’m thinking about giving the bar of my MS261 a go in the blasting cabinet to smooth it out and clean it up, I was going to then hit it with the pressure washer and a new coat of paint, grease it and install a new chain. Am I too far afield here?
 
You might find a belt sander more expedient. Since I try to revive quite a few bars every year for the vintage saws I bought the surface preparation tool from Harbor Freight. Even the worst bars take only a few minutes to polish to near new condition.

20230731_165818.jpg

20230731_075937.jpg

20230801_125854.jpg

The surface preparation tool takes off paint and rust very quickly, but also does a nice job of preserving any etched details like the Oregon bar in the second photo.

Mark
 
If the bar has a nose sprocket the blast media will ruin the bearings unless you seal the bar groove and grease ports (if it has then) with wax. Media blasting would create a unique surface finish on a hard nose, though thorough cleaning would be important.

We blast thousands of pounds of steel a day, I wouldn't personally suggest blasting a chainsaw bar, but if you have a small cabinet and do thorough prep it could work. Depending on your desired outcome there's likely better alternatives, like @heimannm's for instance.
 
Anyone ever sandblast a bar to clean it up? I’m thinking about giving the bar of my MS261 a go in the blasting cabinet to smooth it out and clean it up, I was going to then hit it with the pressure washer and a new coat of paint, grease it and install a new chain. Am I too far afield here?
you don't want the rails to be rough but the sides could be blasted if your careful and tape off the top and bottom rails. Best thing to blast it with would be something like soda or walnut shells.
 
You might find a belt sander more expedient. Since I try to revive quite a few bars every year for the vintage saws I bought the surface preparation tool from Harbor Freight. Even the worst bars take only a few minutes to polish to near new condition.

View attachment 1182751

View attachment 1182753

View attachment 1182755

The surface preparation tool takes off paint and rust very quickly, but also does a nice job of preserving any etched details like the Oregon bar in the second photo.

Mark
Couple things to be aware of with the tool... One, I opened up the gearcase on mine and unpleasantly discovered there was an acute lack of grease insider. There are 3 spur gears and 2 roller bearings inside and they all need adequate lubrication and the minimal amount of grease inside won't provide that so the tool will fail way before it's time. I added quite a bit of synthetic grease after I removed the minimal amount of Chinese fish oil grease that was inside the gear case. I want mine to last a while.

The fasteners that secure the gearcase halves are Torx screws not Allen heads btw and the gearcase is gasketed as well so no lubricant leakage. It's a nice prepping tool for me. Never sanded a bar, I just buy a new one myself.

Secondly, HF has the the wheels on sale presently, for 14 bucks each (ITC membership price). Not the scotchbright wheel but the 2 other wheels. I use mine mostly for weld prep on stainless and mild steel and I need to keep my wheels segregated as to materials so I don't get any cross contamination when TIG welding. The Scotchbright wheels are still the same price as usual, I believe 24 bucks each.
 
If the bar has a nose sprocket the blast media will ruin the bearings unless you seal the bar groove and grease ports (if it has then) with wax. Media blasting would create a unique surface finish on a hard nose, though thorough cleaning would be important.

We blast thousands of pounds of steel a day, I wouldn't personally suggest blasting a chainsaw bar, but if you have a small cabinet and do thorough prep it could work. Depending on your desired outcome there's likely better alternatives, like @heimannm's for instance.
Good point, was thinking about that as well. In this case I think walnut shell media would be a good choice.
 
Walnut shells should be fine, and not round the bar edges.

I'd liberally grease the nose sprocket before blasting to protect the bearings, and again after to push the media out as to get the most life out of the bar given the expense put into it.
 
Couple things to be aware of with the tool... One, I opened up the gearcase on mine and unpleasantly discovered there was an acute lack of grease insider. There are 3 spur gears and 2 roller bearings inside and they all need adequate lubrication and the minimal amount of grease inside won't provide that so the tool will fail way before it's time. I added quite a bit of synthetic grease after I removed the minimal amount of Chinese fish oil grease that was inside the gear case. I want mine to last a while.

The fasteners that secure the gearcase halves are Torx screws not Allen heads btw and the gearcase is gasketed as well so no lubricant leakage. It's a nice prepping tool for me. Never sanded a bar, I just buy a new one myself.

Secondly, HF has the the wheels on sale presently, for 14 bucks each (ITC membership price). Not the scotchbright wheel but the 2 other wheels. I use mine mostly for weld prep on stainless and mild steel and I need to keep my wheels segregated as to materials so I don't get any cross contamination when TIG welding. The Scotchbright wheels are still the same price as usual, I believe 24 bucks each.
That is something.

Chinese fish oil and not grease. So many tools these days cost a pretty penny and yet are not made to last.

As a carpenter, I have some tools ( circular saws) that lasted since bought new in 1989 and will still cut wood another 30 years.
Some newer tools, like you say, it would be wise to go over with experienced tech/ repairman's eyes and grease up, inspect brushes, fasteners etc on.
 

Latest posts

Back
Top