View Full Version : Budget Sandblast Cabinet

Gary Pope
11-06-2002, 06:56 PM
Can anyone recommend a blast cabinet for under $250. Also, would my 4CFM compressor be enough to blast with.


11-07-2002, 12:30 AM
Check out Eastwood. I think they have an online catalog. Specs usually describe capacities.

11-07-2002, 12:30 AM
Check out Eastwood. I think they have an online catalog. Specs usually describe capacities.

11-07-2002, 04:48 AM
In doing an article, I found several sources on building your own cabinet. From everything from cardboard to welding up the sheetmetal yourself. I will dig through the research and try to get it posted by this weekend. In the meantime you might hit Google if you are feeling brave in this direction.


11-07-2002, 10:51 AM
If there is a Harbor Freight in your area, check them out. I was looking at a fairly large blasting cabinet with the built-in gloves and, well, here:

Sand Blasting Cabinet (https://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/Displayitem.taf?itemnumber=39170)

(Its a little more $$$ than you were looking for, but they have others that are less (Like one that sits on a bench for $69)

Basil graemlins/thumbsup.gif

[ 11-07-2002: Message edited by: Basil ]</p>

11-07-2002, 02:40 PM
My own experience with an early "budget" blasting cabinet was not unfavorable, but I learned that my expectations were too high. Mine was a Cyclone brand, molded plastic benchtop unit. It worked well as long as the media(beads) were clean and fresh. The beads wore out quickly and when they became powdery and dirty clogging was a continual problem. The plastic box itself was warped(out of the mold I assume) and this made servicing difficult. If I were to do this again I wouldn't necessarily spend more on the cabinet, but I would certainly budget more for beads and the protective films for the plexiglass window.
My recall fails as to the cfm required but 4cfm strikes me as low. 100 psi is probably sufficient but the volume is what determines how long you can work before you get ahead of your compressor and have to wait for it to catch back up.
I,ve seen and done some good work with a friends "tube in a bucket" rig, but it's messy and wastefull of media with the same clogging problems when one tries to reuse it even once.Even so we beaded the manifold on my TR-7 and then painted it with Hi Temp Clear and it still looks good after seven months in use.
I hope all this verbage yields something useful. Good Luck. Dale

Gary Pope
11-08-2002, 10:38 AM

I was actually looking at the cyclone site and their molded bench unit looked good and at only $135 seams like a possibility. I have heard that the metal welded types can have media leaks at the seams.

I have a portable bucket type, but it is so messy and difficult to use and you media ends up in the garden. Also, you can't see what your doing because of the dust storm.

I noticed that the Cyclone bench types had a extraction hole that you hook up your shop vac to.

11-08-2002, 12:26 PM
Yes ,the cbinet I had did have the hookup for the shop vac. They wanted to sell me theirs but as I had a good one I declined and used mine. As I recall that worked OK but visibility was still not very good in the small cabinet. I guess what spoiled me was seeing the one at the college that I taught at for a semester, it was first rate and large with plenty of air both volume and pressure. Even with relatively fine beads it was fast and efficient. It had all the filtering stuff and a large sump and given the constant use and abuse it was subject to, did not seem to need a lot of attention. I sold my plastic one shortly after my stint with the college intending to upgrade, but never did. Good Luck. Dale

Charles #677556
02-02-2003, 05:16 AM
Only three months late coming into this thread, but I thought I'd throw in my few years (over twenty) experience at sandblasting..
I avoided the word "media blasting" because I have not used anything that would cut rust like sand does.. Word of note, one must use the finest sand available (I use #4 when I can get it, #3 the rest of the time.. It is available at professional builder supply stores --not Home Improvement stores)
I use two "types" of methods.. the first is a 100lb capasity pressure blaster (requires a minumum of a "real" Five HP Compressor (not a 5hp motor with three capasitors fitted to it). Plus, my compressor is a twin cylinder, Two Stage with an 80 gal tank and my pressure blaster will "work" that compressor.. but the compresor "stays ahead" of it.. That's the key to getting finished with your car and parts.
I blast the "hard parts" (frame, suspension parts, etc.) with the fresh, sharp sand.. as the sand wears into a finer grit, I start blasting the sheet-metal. I use 60lbs psi max input to the pressure blaster and ALWAYS use a "low angle" and NEVER hold the nozzle on one spot or area more that a few seconds as this is what causes panel warp! I "wave" the nozzle back and forth, allowing it to remove one layer of paint at a pass.. for stubborn paints or rust, keep "waving", eventually it will come off. Don't "rush" the job as that WILL warp a panel.
As that sand continues to be beaten down finer, I then move to the nuts, bolts, washers (yeah, I sandblast those as well! Especially the hard to get Whitworth) interior trim and garnish mouldings.. The sand is almost a powder by this time, it is a very dusty environment. but the powder produces a satin-like finish on the pieces, enough to give "tooth" for the paint to stick, but no scratches or pits are produced.
In order to "preserve" the sand for multiple uses, I simply bought some rolls (20'x100') of clear plastic sheeting and cordoned off a corner on my shop. I used 1x2's to tack the plastic to the ceiling and the two corner walls. The "open" area is attached at the ceiling.. Try to use one continous sheet for the perimeter walls then weight down the sheeting at the floor.. I found that "to be blasted" parts work rather well.. This way, the sand can be scooped up, strained, and reused about 3-4 times. Overlap the "opening" by at least ten feet. This helps reduce the dust "seeping" out into your garage or shop.. It isn't 100% effective, but better than nothing.
While some "dust" does escape, it is minimal (don't be doing any painting while sandblasting!!)
I usually buy ten 100lb sacks of sand at a time.. When doing the "hard parts" I only use "new" sand.. I scoop it up and place it into a 55 gal steel barrel that has a removable top. This allows me to then use the "beaten down" sand during the "next phase" of blasting.
It also goes without saying that proper protection be worn at all times, hood, resperator, rubber gloves and I order the full Tyvek suits, If I'm careful about taking the suits off, I can reuse them about a half-dozen times, at least... they help keep your clothes cleaner and the wife happier.. Sand isn't good for washing machines, either.
On the Cabinet Blaster, all come with a suction feed type blasting gun.. It's totally useless as it takes forever.. I simply cut a hole in the side of my cheepie plastic cabinet (bought new for less than $100 at Harbor Freight) and, after removing the nozzle and on/off valve from the end of the blast hose, I fed the hose from my pressure blaster into the cabinet, then replaced the nozzle and valve.
I also use my H-D Shop Vac.. it's about 80% effective except when using the "powder" sand.. then it's about 30% and requires more frequent cleanings of the filter.
Speaking of which, the most important thing about using your shop vac on your blast cabinet is to get a couple of (not cheap) optional paper filters that go over the vac's suction intake to the motor.. Failing to do this WILL result in sand eating your motor in short order. Plus, the paper filter MUST be cleaned frequently, least it clog up, losing it's suction, resulting in a contained dust cloud in the blast cabinet.
The replacable PVC (PCV?) "covers" that tape to the inside of the viewing window are a MUST as well. I don't trust the double-sided tape that comes with some covers, I add a strip of masking tape, overlapping at the corners, completely around the permiter of the "cover".. failing to do this will allow sand and dust between cover and window, resulting in poor visibility and additional scratches on the window... the pressure blaster will frost a "cover" in no time.. cheaper than replacing the viewing window.. not by much, but easier.
A resperator is a MUST even while using the blast cabinet as they aren't as "tight" as they are suppose to be.. and Silicosis is a permanent death..
Something you all should know, but, like me, probably forget.. Once your part is sandblaster, NEVER touch it with your sweaty, greasy hands, unless you like rust growing out from under your fresh paint. Go to your local pharmacy and buy a box of "Exam Gloves".. these aren't Latex.. Plus, get the "Unpowdered" type.. A little harder to put on your sweaty hands,but less residue to remove from your, now, "in-the-white" metal.. Blow off the parts with double filtered air (I rigged up a "clear type in-line" paint gun filter to a "Quick Disconnect".. works great..just keep an eye on the dessicant, once it turns color, dispose and replace). After the dust is blown off, wipe down the part with a product like PPG's "Cleaner/degreaser". I've tried the Eastwood "Pre-Prep" stuff with mixed results.. go with what works and doesn't cause you extra work.
Tack-off the part just prior to priming.. which needs to be done within 24 hours of sandblasting. Now, having said that, I have left parts "raw" for up to four months (in north central Texas) in the enclosed sand-blast area.. the sand acts as a dessicant and helps holds the humidity down.. The plastic walled enclosure helps keep the moist air out. Each regional area will vary.. best to prime the part quickly.
Sorry to be so windy, but, to be done correctly, one must look at sandblasting as an art like body-work, painting and quality mechanical repairs... all require careful attention to the details to "get it right"..
I hope this is a help and a benefit to those so interested.

66 fhc
02-05-2003, 08:55 PM
Great explanation of the process. I'm printing it up and putting it in my "How TO" file graemlins/thumbsup.gif

02-15-2003, 09:56 PM
If anyone is interested, here's another write up from Chuck Cougill's ShadetreeMGB.com site