Saving an SFT (56K? No way.)
Hey everyone, just wanted to share my afternoon project on Friday. Looking at the title, some of you may say... Why would you bother saving an SFT?
Well, a little background first. I had to stop playing regularly back in 2004, college was just too overwhelming, and trying to juggle it with a job and paintball thrown in wouldn't have worked too well. So I played about once a year in '05 and again in '06. I used a borrowed marker in the '06 game.. an SFT Shocker. I've wanted one since then, just because I love the way it handles.
I know a lot of people on here have a really bad attitude with regard to SP, and I share some of those sentiments, but since I own 4 shoebox shockers and an Impulse, it's kind of hypocritical for me to take that stance. Let's keep those politics out of here, please.
On to the story:
Browsing through the F/S section one day, I came across an SFT that had been spray painted and had an eye problem. I'm not going to name the seller, but he already was taking flak for spray painting this marker in his for sale thread. I threw him an offer, got it for a sweet deal, and a few weeks later, the gun arrived. The seller was straightforward in all communications, and he said that the gun had shot like a dream. I opened it up, and noticed that there was no harness connecting the solenoid to the board. A quick jump on MCB, a few PM's, and I had two harnesses on their way to me (Thanks Deathwish_DW!).
Got the board installed (seller also sent a spare Nerve board), threw in an old battery, aired it up... no leaks, and I shot a Halo-full of RPS through it. Awesome.
Now comes the project - removing the spray paint.
Everything laid out, ready to do work:
Details of the spray paint job:
You can see the torn eye harness. I have a good one on the way.
So here we go.. I found pictures of before it was spray painted over on PBNation, but don't worry, we'll be seeing the same thing here soon.
Before we get started, let me post something for the overly-litigious: I take no responsibility for how badly you will fvck up your gun if you do this. These chemicals can be very dangerous, and you should not handle them, or look at them.
That said, lacquer thinner is very effective at removing spray paint, or any other type of enamel paint. It will not, however harm anodizing. Anodizing dye is protected by the oxide layer of the aluminum. It requires a heavily caustic highly alkaline solution to chemically strip anodizing.
That said, lacquer thinner will melt styrofoam and certain types of plastic. You certainly wouldn't want this to come in contact with delrin, or any jewel stickers or buttons. I held off on stripping the barrel and ASA since they have jewel decals, and I was not at my own home, and did not have access to my heat gun for safe removal of the jewels.
Even though there is overspray on the solenoid and manifold, I will not be attempting to strip them at this time. The pneumatics have proven to be leak free and perfectly operational.
Here's everything I'm going to be working on:
I laid down some newspaper, at first on a wooden table outside. This stuff will go to your head, so it needs to be done in a well ventilated area. I eventually moved to the concrete slab in case the thinner soaked through the newspaper, and then into the garage with the doors open and fan blowing since it started to drizzle.
Two swipes in, and it's already coming off. Unfortunately, I won't end up with a beautiful blue NXT frame, as it seems some joker took a wire brush or wire wheel to it. Amateur. I may bead blast it to even out the finish, but more on that later.
The frame is totally stripped in this shot. The silver is where the anno was taken off by some abrasive. I'll deal with that later, but for now, I'm just glad not to have sticky spray paint staining my hands and gloves.
Started work on the body. I did not remove the bolt, bolt guide, firing can, solenoid inserts, etc. because I wanted this process to be minimally invasive. I was not pouring the thinner over the parts, just dabbing a blue "Shop" paper towel soaked in thinner and using q-tips dipped in thinner for more precise areas. Contact with thinner would likely cause some o-rings to melt and others to swell.
Points of interest on the body:
I left some silver in the shocker logo.. I like the way it looks, and serves as a reminder of what was once covered by icky sticky spray paint drips
I know that it was painted twice. After a few swipes along the top of the gun, I found where someone scratched a d!ck into the top of the gun, in the first coat of spray paint. You can imagine how badly I hoped that it didn't go through to the anno. Thankfully, it didn't.
All parts stripped and ready to be reassembled. I left the broken eye out of it, but reinstalled the scew and eye cover w/ detent to prevent losing the small screw.
All back together, and after shooting some paint. The barrel will wait due to the aforementioned jewel stickers, as will the ASA. I also had one of my old Shoebox All-American barrels on hand, as well as an All-American stainless, but there wasn't as good match with the paint.
I also had to switch the tanks. My crossfire (with the DYE cover) only had around 600psi in it, and I wanted to be sure it was shooting just like before, so I put on my Pure Energy, which had around 1200psi.
This process took around 2 hours start to finish, with a few breaks in between for a snack, getting distracted by the TV during reassembly, and just having to get away from the smell of lacquer thinner for a while.
I've been staying with my girlfriend for the past week while her parents were out of town. She came home just as I finished installing the grip panels. Thankfully, she was impressed with the progress and let me go shoot it a bit in the woods before spending time with her.
So many thanks to her and to her folks, even though they'll probably never know I did this unless they somehow find this forum.
A few parting thoughts:
I may put the NXT frame on my Rainmaker after I powder coat it gloss black. I have a Black SFT frame also that I was going to use on the RM. I also have an FBM trigger, so I'll need to see which one I prefer... the FBM or this CP sling.
I still haven't pulled the bolt to see if it's an HE bolt assy.
I should also note that while the inside of the ASA was painted, there is no trace of silver inside the new macroline hose I put on there, so I don't think I'll be replacing it. It will be completely disassembled and soaked in thinner soon, and I will put up pics of that as well.
In case anyone asks, the inner bore of the barrel (both pieces) was masked somehow and has no spray paint inside. Ditto for the breech, although the one shot I have looking into the breech does show some broken ball residue. I swabbed in there carefully with a thinner-coated q-tip just to be sure.
I know there are already a few comments below, so I'll put in a disclaimer that for a while, only the first post was up and visible. Thanks though for your comments and support. Hopefully you guys come back and see the end result. :)
OMG No marker should be THAT mistreated!!! Hope you got it free, becuse your going to need to put some time into it to get it back to its former glory.
dear god, i would give him flak to for that.
i might suggest a new asa. he sprayed inside and you do not want pieces getting into the hose and gun. i think it would save you in the long run.
Updated the thread by filling out the second and third posts. Thanks for your comments guys!
I looked at the first pic and thought "Oh, that doesn't look all that bad of a spray job"... and then I scrolled down to the second.... :eek: Looks like you've done an excellent job so far! Keep it up!
very good job sir.
btw if you need a blackheart board for that shocker i have one for sale.... it come with eye, eye screw, manual and original box.... pm me if ur intrested.... and good luck with that bad boy!!!
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