Originally Posted by Faster
True sandblasting is a bit harsh... and potentially damaging. Most use soda blasting as a more controlled way of removal, and even that can remove gelcoat. Retclt's sandblaster setup could probably do it, just use a gentler medium. At work we use a glass beader to clean parts - another "gentle" sandblaster application.
If you use a "sandblaster" I'd practice at a distance and see how effective it is and whether or not you actually remove material, rather than just dirt and grime.
You're right Faster. Sand blasting can be harsh if you aren't smart about it. I’m speaking from my own experience only. You can use as low or high a pressure as you want. I had deep molded in nonskid and when using 40psi and fine playground sand (3 bucks a 40lb bag) I had an incredibly clean paint removal with no harm to the original 40 year old finish underneath. It was also so fast and easy a cave man could do it.
Soda blasting is very popular lately. If I ever do it again I'll probably go that route. The key is to use the finest media you can find. I sifted my playground sand for the occasional larger pebble. I bought a can of glass bead (so fine it feels cool when you stick your fingers into it) for cleaning old metal parts, spark plugs etc. The blaster is a fun little toy . . . and a back saver.
Forgot to add . . . . . . . the sandblasted nonskid was the perfect prep for paint.