Preparing the Steel Ellipses

Preparing the Steel Ellipses

Now I've done a bit of testing, I'm a lot happier and more comfortable with what I've got to do. The test rectangles showed there was a small improvement with rounding the edges so I decided to do that.

rounding using wet 'n' dry paper.

I degreased as before with the caustic pumice paste and then sandblasted the ellipses in the blast cabinet:

Blasting the ellipses in the blast cabinet.

Comparing the surface qualities of the non-blasted (left-hand side) with the blasted (right-hand side):

comparing the non-blasted with the blasted surface of the ellipses.

The plaques were blasted with compressed air, washed with a scrubbing brush and then placed into the sonic cleaner for good measure

into the sonic cleaner after sandblasting

for 5 minutes at 55°C

sonic cleaner settings.

If there's any dust particles left on the plaque after all that then there is no justice!

I dried off the steel with a heat gun to dry it fast and avoid any rusting

Quick drying with a heat gun.

That leaves me with eight sandblasted plaques ready to enamel

elliptical plaques ready to enamel.

I sorted out the slightly rusty plaque to the left by re-sandblasting it. However, a bit of rust is not a problem for enamelling; the enamel itself becomes a strong acid when heated to fusing temperatures and can dissolve a bit of iron oxide. It's really the grease and oils that can hide inside the rust that are the problem. Anyway I got rid of it all the same!




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