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beadblasted golf club putter

Sandblasting 101

Although sandblasting can’t improve your golf game in any way, it can spice up your bag and impress your weekend foursome.  When I first learned about sandblasting, I got the impression that it was a process used for large metal parts to remove areas of rust, paint, and corrosion.

Of course these are all valid uses of sandblasting, but through my experimentation with golf clubs, I realized that I could use this technique to give a professional look to used golf clubs.  Although it is an investment to set up, sandblasting is a quick, efficient way to turn an old club into a new one.  In this post, I will take you through all the things that you need to purchase, the proper technique, and other considerations when sandblasting golf clubs.

Before we Start- Lets Distinguish Between Glass Beads and Aluminum Oxide

Before getting into various details about this technique, I wanted to clarify that “Sandblasting” and “Beadblasting” are the same thing, just using different blasting media. On this page, you will learn more about this, but it is extremely important that you use the correct blasting media!

Below are pictures of each so that you can see the difference:

Aluminum Oxide blasting

Glass Bead blasting

My Definition of Sandblasting

Essentially, sandblasting is a technique where you utilize air pressure to propel fine, abrasive media at a surface to achieve a uniform, professional looking finish.

Materials Needed

  • Abrasive Sandblaster Cabinet I know that some of you won’t want to spend $130 on a pre-made sandblasting cabinet, but I highly recommend it, or at least building your own.  If you choose to skip the cabinet altogether, be sure to blast in an open area, and don’t expect to recover your blasting media.
  • Air Compressor I am no expert on air compressors, but I know that oil lubricated compressors are much better for sandblasting than the oil-less ones that are so popular these days.  If you are not planning on using it for anything but small parts and golf clubs, please don’t go out and spend $400 on a brand new, heavy duty air compressor.  Despite what you might read online, a small compressor will do the job just fine.  The compressor that I have linked to is a good option for what we are trying to accomplish.  If you can find a used compressor on Craiglist or Ebay, that is also a good option.  Buying a used compressor may allow you to get a higher quality compressor for less money.  While shopping, make sure that the compressor can exceed 100 psi, is oil lubricated, and has plenty of good reviews.
  • Blasting Media- there are various “medias” or abrasives that can be used.  Here are the two that I use:
    • Glass Beads– for general refinishing, you will need 80-120 grit glass beads.  This will resemble the Scotty Cameron factory finish.  I personally veer towards 80 grit with the glass beads, but anything in this stated range will produce good results.
    • Aluminum Oxide– for my polymer finish tutorial, you will need 180 grit aluminum oxide.  This is otherwise known as “fine” aluminum oxide.
  • Compressor Attachments There are just a few small parts that you need to connect the air compressor to your cabinet.  Some compressors (if purchased new) come with all the necessary parts.  If you are purchasing a used compressor, I recommend purchasing a kit.  Although you will receive a few parts that you don’t need, I think purchasing a kit like this beats trying to purchase individual parts.

If you are bold enough to purchase the required materials, here is a quick video that will help you set up your cabinet with your compressor and sandblast:

I hope this post helps!  Just a few things to remember when sandblasting:

  1.   Blast at about 90 psi
  2.   Use the correct media (glass beads vs. aluminum oxide)
  3.   Small, oil lubricated compressor.  You don’t need to spend your rainy day fund on something this big.
  4.   Blast AFTER you have removed all the nicks and dings!
  5.   Always have the hose submerged in the blasting media

Got some sweet refinishing photos? Send an email to thediygolfer@gmail.com with the following information to be featured in the community refinishing gallery.

  1. Any attribution you would like (i.e. Instagram Handle)
  2. Your first name
  3. A link to your photo album (i.e. Google Photos, Dropbox)
  4. (Optional) Descriptions of each photo (how you did it)

Want to submit your own tutorial? Please see my tutorial submission guidelines.