Now this is an area that I have had mixed luck with in the past. I have a hand held blaster with a top feed bin on it for aluminum oxide and glass beads. Most restorations I have seen used bead blasting to clean up the aluminum parts. The first BSA I restored was cleaned in this manner. I did not like the rough finish it left and I found it hard to keep clean. I wanted to keep the casting glaze on the aluminum so I decided to try something different. Soda blasting seemed to be the next logical step.
I put soda through my hand held unit and it worked alright, but plugged up quite a bit. The carburetors were done with this blaster. I also went through a lot of soda-blast media, which had been purchased from Harbor Freight. A friend of mine had a soda blasting unit which he loaned to me after I explained the issues I was having to him. It was a unit with no cabinet. It worked very well and I would not hesitate to use it again if I had a better place to operate it. Air pressure makes a significant difference in how well it cleans and if the work piece surface is abraded. I also found soda blasting could be used to clean up chrome. I did not do much experimentation with this, but I will in the future.
Before and after pictures of the Monoblocs.
The casting glaze remained if I did not set the air pressure to high. It did not clean as well as bead blasting.