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#481061 03/13/13 1:08 am
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I've gone and bought a compressor, right nice little model. I needed for a job or two in the house for the lovely wife.

But I've concluded it may also serve me well as a unit to be the backbone of a blasting cabinet.

Which raises the question (at least for me), what type of gun kit would I need for aluminum bead, soda, and maybe a bit of sand thrown in for good measure? Anyone have a set up they're happy with? Not happy with?

Ideas are most welcome!

Cheers

Richard


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Richard, I bought a chinese cheapy from Harbor Freight because I thought there couldn't be too much to a simple cabinet, right? Then I went through a lot of frustration and not a little expense making the thing usable. There is also a lot of difference in which blasting media you decide to use. I don't mean to give you sticker shock, but you might get some ideas by looking at the TP Tools page. They are a high quality company in Canfield, Ohio (about TP Tools). I have bought supplies from them that I think are excellent. Their site is well laid out, with good links to everything. Even if you don't buy from them, there is much good info on compressors, air piping systems, filters, dust extractors, cabinets (from DIY home-use kits to large commercial units), blast media, and more. It is a good place to start reading on the subject.

There are some things to consider, no matter what sort of cabinet you get. Without these in place, you will not be happy:

  • An adequate supply of dry air. Any moisture reaching the blast gun will continually plug it, making you crazy! Air piping properly arranged and with water traps comes into play here. The size of compressor affects that word "adequate".
  • A good light inside the cabinet. I use twin 24" fluorescent tubes. A friend has a large cabinet with two incandesent floods inside -- bright, but so hot I cannot stand to use it for very long.
  • A sealed cabinet. Don't expect to get that from Harbor Freight without some (quite a bit of) work on your part.
  • Decent, leak-free gloves attached to the cabinet. I bought a pair from TP Tools and replaced the junk that was in my HF unit.
  • Some sort of dust extraction system with a filter bag to trap the particles.
  • The proper spot to place the cabinet. I built mine onto a cart which I roll outside when I use it. This isn't so nice in the dead of winter, but I will not use it inside the garage. If permanently installed in one spot, I'd recommend a dust extractor that vents outside through the wall.

That ought to get you started. Oh, if you have a friend who will let you use his/her cabinet on occasion, that might be an option to explore -- seriously!

Ray


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Hey Ray, I appreciate the direction and ideas. I do have a friend who has some type of setup, but I'm not sure what theirs consists of. It seems they said they ran sand through theirs.

At times, I'd like to run soda through it and if I were to get comfortable enough with it, run alumninum bead.

A lot of your post answers questions I had, such as gloves and venting. I also like the idea of having a portable table to roll it about - perhaps for use on a sunny day. Outside.

I appreciate the tips and the link. I'll be taking a gander at it now!

Thanks bud!

Richard


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Rich, regarding soda blasting, that TP Tools site sells an add-on unit for their cabinets to allow soda blasting. In my ignorance, I simply cleaned out the glass media from my cabinet and filled the hopper with soda. It worked sorta okay, but I was simply letting the used soda settle back into the hopper from which my gun was siphoning. There it mixed with the new soda in the hopper and contaminated it. Here's why they say to use an extra hopper for the soda:

While soda blasting, the media is drawn out of the external hopper into the cabinet and through your Power Gun. The powerful soda blast then removes years of contamination without etching or disturbing the surface underneath. The used soda media falls down into your cabinet funnel where it is collected and later discarded. (Soda media cannot be reused or recycled, as it breaks down to dust upon impact.)

This seperate source container could probably be done with a bit of work in my HF cabinet, but I have not tried it.

Just one more thing to think about.

Ray


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Rich I've also got a nice little compressor I bought mainly for blowing a bit of air through things. Anyway I thought I would use it for doing some sand blasting. I can tell you a sand blaster needs a LOT of air. I think mine is a 2hp and it was running non stop and still running out of air very quickly so that I would have to stop and wait for the air tank to fill up again. I would probably get about 20 seconds of air out of it before it started to gasp!
I just got one of those el cheapo jobs that you stick the hose in a bucket of sand (about $20 here. Probably ten over there at Wal Mart or whatever). I just did it on the front lawn and top dressed the lawn at the same time!
Anyway it did the job on my Commando barrels - just.
I think if you want to get serious about it you need a large compressor.

Last edited by M Shearer; 03/13/13 9:04 am.

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+1 on what M.Shearer sais about the amount of air that is required for a blasting box.
Your nice little compressor wil run out of breath very quickly when used for blasting parts.
An average small blasting unit requires approx. 10-15cfm at 80psi.

Last edited by Peter R; 03/13/13 10:37 am.

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Appreciate it, guys. I think I've got a 6cfm. And M, that's one thing I'd like to do - cylinder barrels.

Well. On the brighter side, I can perhaps talk the wife into getting a larger capacity. How busy are you lads? Up for a conference call? laughing

Appreciate the insight and tips. Ray, I'm going to save the web site you sent. Looks like they have about everything I'd need!

Cheers mates

Richard


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Rich, my compressor is an Ingersoll Rand, 3HP, 230 volt, rated for 11.3 cfm @ 90 psi, with a 60 gallon tank. I have to let it catch up from time to time when I am using the blast cabinet, but it generally does a pretty good job.

The two best things I got from that site, were--

[1] Skat Magic blast media: I had been using glass beads from HF to try to blast the rust and paint from my cyl barrels. All they were doing was bouncing off. The paint was untouched. I got this stuff from Skat Blast which is made from fractured recycled automobile glass, and made short work of it.

[2] An idea to remove water: When I installed my compressor, I ran air piping to five different drops around the garage, using 1/2" black pipe. On that website I sent you, they have piping diagrams, but for reasons I won't go into, I didn't follow them completely. I then suffered water in my lines which continually plugged my blast gun, even after I mounted a water trap on the outside of the blast cabinet. I finally modified just the drop where I always plug in the air hose for the cabinet, using an idea from the website. It looks like this:

[Linked Image]

The air supply comes across the ceiling and drops down the wall. In normal use, the upper ball valve shown here is open, and the lower one is closed. As the water-laden air comes down the pipe, the water continues straight downward into the drip leg, but the air makes a 180° (actually 270° I guess) turn and enters a water/particulate filter before it proceeds through the quick disconnect air hose and out to the cabinet outside the door. When I am done, I close the upper ball valve and open the lower one (where the bit of black tubing is attached) to drain the drip leg into a can. This also relieves pressure from the air hose, which I usually leave attached. This made all the difference in the world.

A friend came over when I was running all the piping (above a drop ceiling) and told me what an idiot I was. Hadn't I heard of air hose???

He may be right about the idiot part, but the five air drops have sure had a ton of use without having to uncoil and drag around a bunch of air line. I had my fill of that when I was trucking and had to air my tires at the truck shop.



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I see that Harbour Freight has a nice box for $120. Gun nozzles come in various sizes, use a small nozzle, about 3/32", saves air. Different media cuts different. Aluminum oxide grit cuts anything, now! As it wears down to fine powder it cuts to a finer finish. I've recycled it for months so it's cheap in the end. Sand breaks down very fast to dust and doesn't cut that well. Glass bead gives a nice finish but doesn't do much on thick rust. Walnut shell for engine or carb work, doesn't leave grinding compound in the works. Hold the nozzle close to the part, at an angle, more clean for less air.
Part of the learning curve is pressures to use, I like 40-60 psi, and just how to be more efficient with the air you have.
A 1 1/4" hole in the box coneccted to a CHEAP shop vac will take the dust away. Good filters because the air coming out is flour sized grinding dust.
A cheap kitchen flour sieve will let you clean and recycle your grit so you don't clog the nozzle as often.

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Ray, I've fought an air compressor air line all day today installing hardwood flooring.

It does raise one question, though. Is the house next to you for sale? laughing Not that I'd be wearing out my welcome at your house. Your utility shed may be a different story.

It's the same principle as the wall sockets for electricity. I see it as pretty handy and you're not dragging a hose around all day nor fighting to get on this side or that.

@Pat, I've heard of HF stuff for so long I may as well check some of it out. A box for that price isn't bad at all. Appreciate the head's up.

Have to get back to flooring. My wife earlier today asked my brother-in-law if his sawzall was an electric knife.

Hey, his answer of, "It's awesome on a turkey" impressed her. I may be up for a sawzall! smile

Cheers mates

Richard

Last edited by T140V-Rich; 03/16/13 10:05 pm.

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Hey Rich,

Just a word of caution. Be careful about all those home repairs/remodeling. On some occasions a significant other will realize that if you're able to do a small repait - you could certainly build a new kitchen. etc. The voice of experience here - I've certainly got myself in trouble here in the past.

On the other hand a sawzall is a very handy tool. I used one yesterday to cut off a kickstand lug off a donor frame. A little over a year ago my neighbor gave me his old blasting cabinet. He had got a bigger/nicer one. Funny thing though he just loaded it up with his forklift and dropped it off in my driveway when I wasn't there. The significant other was not pleased. So it's been behind my shop for awhile. Good thing though, for some reason none of the local scrap iron thieves have taken a fancy to it yet !

Billy



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Most blasting boxes have a clear plastic face. Grit sands them very quickly. Clear Mylar plastic sheets taped inside over the face works well but the cheapest I have found is clear wrapping paper at Christmas. A layer lasts about an hour but at 50 to a roll, who cares! You can now see what you are doing.

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Most blasting boxes have a clear plastic face. Grit sands them very quickly. Clear Mylar plastic sheets taped inside over the face works well but the cheapest I have found is clear wrapping paper at Christmas. A layer lasts about an hour but at 50 to a roll, who cares! You can now see what you are doing.

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That's about how it started Pat. Sly ol' gal. Asked how much it'd cost to have new curtain rods installed. Installed, mind. Well, that got me dander up, as some are oft to say. So I installed curtain rods. Nice ones. Wooden support frame. Then a door knob....

She began to realize after several projects her husband seemed to be a cross between Mike Rowe and Christopher Wren, although I refuse to build the dome of St. Paul's over our home. I like the dome where it is, thank you very much.

Appreciate the tip on the glass face. I'll see about finding some type of clear mylar to cover it over. Makes sense!

If your friend's dropping off blasting boxes, let me send you my address. But then again I'll be the one who's got signs of construction going on year-round. Shouldn't be hard to find. Just follow the sound of the nail gun.

Cheers

Richard


Last edited by T140V-Rich; 03/19/13 12:24 pm.

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Originally Posted by T140V-Rich
That's about how it started Pat. Sly ol' gal. Asked how much it'd cost to have new curtain rods installed. Installed, mind. Well, that got me dander up, as some are oft to say. So I installed curtain rods. Nice ones. Wooden support frame. Then a door knob....

Cheers

Richard



Well at least you got a compressor out of it Rich


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That I did M! That I did. wink Got lots of plans for this little compressor too!

Cheers mate!

Richard


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