The Eastwood Master-Blaster is a dual-blaster uniquely capable of switching over from soda to another form of specialized media merely by turning valves. Not only switch completely, but utilizes both valves to regulate a combined mix of abrasive media. For example, adding roughly a 20 percent mix of aluminum oxide to soda creates a coarser, more aggressive result. Although it's still referred to as sandblasting because it's a good catch-all term, you could use sand as an abrasive in the Master-Blaster, but it's highly recommended that you don't. Eastwood affirms this to the point of stating it is dangerous to use ordinary sand in its blasters.

My first project for the Master-Blaster was to get started prepping my 1969 Buick Riviera for a repaint. The car still has its original acrylic lacquer finish and if it wasn't for a factory-installed vinyl top causing severe rust damage we'd only be talking about sandpaper right now. I chose to begin work on the roof, the Riviera's worst area, first for several reasons.

First, I wanted to get a handle on the rust situation before the car rusted itself into a convertible; second, I wanted the Buick to look more presentable. The presentable part explains why I elected not to remove the stainless steel vinyl top, and window moldings before I started blasting, grinding, and spraying primer.

This story could have been about how to take your car to a professional sandblaster, but I prefer the hands-on approach. That said, readers will have to decide for themselves what their DIY threshold is. For example if you don't like the hassle associated with spray painting a car, you're really not going to like the fun that goes along with sandblasting. Of course, a lot of the hassle can be minimalized with the right equipment. For instance, the Master-Blaster comes standard with a pullover head sock with a clear screen that works well; I tried it first. Another option is to buy a face shield, but leaving the top of one's head exposed means a gritty scalp. The Eastwood deluxe sandblasting hood worked best for me. No matter what one chooses for eye and face protection wearing an effective particle mask, or respirator underneath is an absolute must. I didn't wear gloves, so I can say it's a bad idea not to. Of course if you don't mind your hands and arms feeling like a dartboard you'll be OK without gloves.