I recently bought the pictured bench top blaster from Home Depot, I haven't used it yet, but will when we get warmer weather. I plan to use glass beads for media unless something else would be better. Hopefully I can use it for most of the small items. I still need something for the big parts, will cross that bridge when I get to it. This will be my first experience in abrasive cleaning. I know I need an airline dryer of some type, any recommendations.
As long as your air is fairly dry a dryer is not needed, but will not hurt, unless it restricts your air flow. You need all the air most home compressors will produce. I use glass beads for use in a cabinet. Sand, garnet, or black beauty ect is too rough for some of the parts you may want to clean. You need a good bright light in the cabinet and a vacuum cleaner hooked to it. Also I recommend the glass beads that advertise low dust. I get my glass beads at Tractor Supply Co. They last a long time and are low dust. Also pre clean the parts before blasting. Large chunks of dirt, big flaking paint, grease, ect. will clog up the gun and contaminate you glass beads. I also recommend getting a fine screen to use to clean out the trash from time to time. You will wonder how you ever got by without a bead blaster after using it awhile. Good luck....
I use Black Beauty,which is a carborundum.I like it very well.
Good advice Donnie. I would add using a face mask or face filter seams in the cabinet leak for the amount of air you use. sealing them before loading the cabinet is not a bad idea
I use very fine glass beads even on rusted iron. Works fast enough for me and leaves a beautiful finish.
Be aware of your air pressure when using the glass beads. To much pressure turns them to dust. I might be off on this but I believe I cranked the pressure down to 80 psi. I get by pretty good with glass for fussy parts. I use Black Beauty when the job allows for something more aggressive. Be aware of the dangers of silicate sand, wear a mask if you use it. An air dryer is a real benefit. Have someone whose used a blast cabinet give you a quick walk-through if you have an opportunity. There are little tricks like holding your thumb over the outlet hole in the gun to clear it and make sure you keep a constant supply of media. Also, it's beneficial to have a good amount of air volume. Wintertime blasting works good in the Northern climates because the air is so dry. A more humid summer climate is a pain. Some blast guns are better than others. Always be sure to clean the "glass" off on your door before changing the film on the inside. Your cabinet is a pretty good one. It's a little small but it's like mine and they work pretty good. I had to cut small slits in the bottom side of my gloves because they become kind of clumsy when the vacuum inside the cabinet pulls them out and they're "stiff". I cut them because I have some arthritis in my Hands and after an hours worth of blasting the pain from attempting to bend my fingers and fighting the gloves was a little tough on me.
Cracked glass is great, and it used to be way less pricey than beads also does a really fast job. We didn't have to change the media out near as often using the cracked glass, but as for lights or anything you want a slick finish on back off on the pressure a little and change your blasting distance. Also tried aluminum oxide it was very aggressive but lost it's bite way too fast it's not worth the extra money...
Where do you get cracked glass?
I've been using sand from the local lumber yard for years. It's imported from – guess where – Sand Springs, OK. It costs less than $6 per 80 pound bag. I screen it and use it over two or three times.
Sand and Black Beauty are great for most chassis stuff. I use it on my big pot type blaster for outside use all the time. But if blasting engine parts glass beads are best. There are other things like walnut hulls and aluminum oxide that will not imbed in the cast engine blocks and cranks ect. I think the best all around media is glass beads. It cuts good, last a long time. does not embed in the engine parts, With practice, You can even clean chrome parts up pretty well with it. I think walnut hulls would be better on the chrome but I have had good results with used glass beads and hold at a distance from the parts. One trick I learned because my gloves and sleeves wore out to fast is I just buy good thick janitor style common rubber gloves at the hardware store and take a pair of legs cut from a old pair of blue jeans. I staple the gloves "cuff" to the pants leg and then fit the pants leg to the cabinet clamp ring. They are very flexible and "breath" from the vacuum cleaner vacuum on the cabinet. The mask is a good suggestion. I do not useally use one, but my vacuum keeps a negative pressure on the cabinet and does not leak any dust till I shut it off. I do wear a mask if I am putting in and taking out a lot of stuff because there is a little dust from handling the parts and opening the door. The good glass beads that are "low dust" is in my opinion the way to go if only using one media type.
Thanks to everyone for the help. The many suggestions have given me more to think about during the continuing winter weather.
Today in Northern NY is 16°, Snowing hard and very windy. Spring is one week from tomorrow, hope the weather then will agree with the calendar. I really want to get the blaster set up and try in out.
Here's a tip from a truck body builder I used to use:
Get a long air hose. From the compressor, pass it up and over the very highest point in your shop (usually up in the peak of the roof). Then down to the blaster.
When he moved to a shop with a low roof, he put a bunch of strategically placed nails in the wall, and looped the hose over them, in a "snake" pattern, with the hose always ascending, never descending or sagging. Then from the highest point, down to the blaster.
The idea is this: As a compressor runs for a long time, as it does when blasting, the air it puts into the tank gets warmer and warmer, and then hot. Hot air can hold more moisture than cold air, as we all know. Then, when the moisture-laden hot air is released from the gun, it suddenly cools (the same way Freon cools your house), and it drops the moisture - right on your work and into your sand supply (or, if you're painting, onto your pretty new work).
The long, ascending hose gives the hot air time to cool, and drop some of its moisture. That condenses on the inside of the hose, and runs down.
Periodically, he would pop loose the quick-connect where the hose connected to the compressor, and you'd be amazed at the amount of water that would gush out!
Also, he just as often drained the water from the tank. That hot air can pick up that water, as well.
David the Cracked glass came from Granger if I remember right...
After checking around Harbor Freight had 25 pound glass 80 grit on sale for 26.00 as I remember a month back. Even with my five horse two stage I put a quick shut off ball valve just ahead of of the blast cabinet because a large nozzle is used to blast. Starting with 160 pounds regulated down to 115 after ten minuets of use pressure would drop to 90psi Shutting the air off would bring it back up quickly.
I am with Steve. I've been blasting body tin for ever with river sand. after all these are mod t'!!!!!!!.charley
Keep your compressor a ways away from the blast cabinet and use black threaded steel pipe for the air lines. It is a great temptation to use glue together plastic water pipe for air lines -- it's cheap, easy to hook together, etc.
Don't do it.
I had plastic air lines all over my shop and was so proud of how good they looked and worked and how quick they went up and laughed at the guys that said it would shatter unexpectedly into little shards that could hurt you or somebody bad. I would point out to them that it was rated for 150 PSI and I was only running 100 PSI so there was lots of safety margin. Mine shattered while I was off playing music for a week or ten days, my 5 HP compressor ran constantly and got so hot it's a wonder it didn't start the garage on fire. Pretty much ruined it. 20+ years later I still occasionally find a little shard of shattered air line on the back of a shelf or somewhere in the garage.
I spent two days taking out the plastic and putting in galvanized 1/2 inch pipe with all steel fittings and brass MILTON taps, not the cheap China ones. The metal pipe cools the air, I have drains and I'm not worried about it exploding and driving a shard of plastic in me. I also shut the air compressor off when I leave.
This works for us. We put a truck air dryer from
Napa on the shop compressor with 3/8 copper tubing
through the wall for when it spits. We have an
industrial blast cabinet and simply keep a 40 watt
drop light in there like welding shops back then
always had an old refridg.with a drop light in
there keeping welding rods dry...
river sand graded and dried , was 22.00 a ton. store in 55 gal barrels. oh what is glass but sand?? .charley
Hmmmm. Maybe I should quit spending 7¢ a pound and start using something that costs $1.04 a pound. I'll have to think real hard about this.
See Steve's video, "Adventures in Sandblasting" below:
Clever idea using the exhaust from a vacuum cleaner as a fresh air source, I hope that vacuum cleaner had a fresh filter bag in it!
Plumbers cant check plastic pipe with air, water has to be used because it does not expand. The same is true on ship tanks guess they can blow a hole in the ship if they let go. A 3500 pound water compressor wheel is turned by hand with the tanks full. White PVC pipe breaks down with light and is not allowed inside a home. CPVC is. I don't know what peck pipe specks are but that's what most plumbers are using.
I personally use a 3/8 inch hose from my compressor to the blast cabinet.
Dry air is very important and it takes a large volume of air. The instructions with mine highlighted using a 1/2 ID line from compressor to the dryer at the cabinet--no quick connects or fittings that restrict air flow. Worked great (after getting a good 2 stage compressor) until I moved it to a new location right beside the compressor. The fix was to replace the 6 foot hose with a 30 foot one that is coiled in the floor. The extra length hose allows the moisture to form in the hose and get caught in the trap before getting the sand (or other media) wet. In the picture of the unit above, I didn't see a vacuum unit. Without one it will probably be hard to see what you're doing for the dust!
Has anyone opened one of the sand tubes sold a Lowes. The ones you would put in a doorway to keep water out? Not much money for 80lbs if it works. -- I go by new houses after the brick is laid. They will most likely give you the left over sand. Spread it out on the garage floor let it dry and screen it. Work, but cheap.
Depends on how small is small. Uncle Stan had one of those vibrating tumblers full of small parts running when I visited a few years ago. If he likes it, it must be good. A part would appear out of nowhere and then disappear. Then something else would pop up briefly. I don't know the proper name for it unfortunately. I suppose it must have been knee-high and electric obviously. Seems to me the media was little green chunky stuff ... not beads. I remember looking them up on eBay after I got home and had planned on buying one, but never did. Hmmn ...
I have a long 'loop' of 1/2" black pipe that runs the length of the garage and back, then drops to my drier. This allows a lot of cooling for the air. At the point where it makes the loop I've got a T so I can drain any water that collects.... total run is about 30' of pipe, and it works good.
I do plan on using a shop vac when I get the unit moved out of the basement and to the garage. Right now it is just sitting on the workbench in the basement. I think I can attach the shop vac to the main filter discharge on the cabinet.
My compressor is a Craftsman vertical on a 30 gallon tank, rated at 6.8 CFM at 80 psi. The specs for the blaster states consumes 5 CFM. It recommends using 80 PSI. It should be able to keep up, I hope. I am not sure what is meant by a 30 foot hose coiled in the floor is it just laying on the floor or am I missing something. Thanks for all the help and suggestions, keep them coming.
It's just laying in the floor. The extended run from the compressor to the box (whether is coiled or a nice run like Gary has) allows the moisture to condense in the hose and be trapped in the drier/moisture trap. Peter explained it above. A short run puts the moist air with the sand and makes mud--or at least makes it damp to the point it doesn't work well.
Thanks, I am planning on a dryer of some type. I have seen air line filters that say they trap some moisture and other dirt. Some are desiccant dryers, what type are most people running,someone suggested a truck air brake dryer.
Any one use a two tank system? With an extra eighty gallon tank I am thinking about it with the large blast cabinet bought last weekend.
We use a two tank system and really like it, for many reasons not just blasting. Motor blew up on compressor 1, took off motor, hooked up tank from new to share with old, then from there to the shop lines.
Thanks Brian, Cycle times would be twice as long wondering if moisture would mostly collect in the pumped tank or the shared tank.
William the sandblasting cabinet you have purchased is the same one that I have. I got tired of not being able to see through the dust and finally attached it to my Shop-Vac and OH what a difference it made. Also wanted to say that I have been using 600 psi PVC air lines over forty years up to 165 psi without issue. The first 10 feet out of the compressor I use steel line because of the heat that can be at the beginning of the line. I know many don't like plastic , I'm just saying that I have used it a long time. It must be done right with no hanging lines and eveything fastened so it can't move. One more thing, try not to leave your compressor on when your not going to be around.
Ace hardware has blasting "white" sand for $8.00
I moved my blasting box to a outside shed because of room and dust.
Paul- Where I live is high desert, so line moisture is not as much an issue for us. Having said that, I really do not recall a difference between the two. We have drains on both of course. Yes, when you kick them on, the initial build up takes twice as long. But it sure will spin the lug nut off a semi...
I've never seen 600 psi plastic pipe, it's definitely different than what I used. I used the white line from the local plumbing store. Rated for 150 or 200 lbs PSI.
I think part of the issue is if you get some oil inside the air line it will cause the plastic to deteriorate.
By the way, if you have plastic air lines in your shop in Montana anyway, your insurance company will not accept liability. Don't believe it? call your insurance company.
As I recall, and it's been probably over twenty years since my air lines blew up, we were loading the "bus" to leave to go play some show dates and a couple fairs in Wyoming and South Dakota, one of the guys in my band checked the tires, turned the compressor on to get air to blow up a tire and didn't turn it back off. Knowing how gig days, road trips, load days, etc., go and how frantic the days before an auction can get the last thing on my mind was probably whether he turned the compressor back off after he checked the tires. (Actually, I hadn't shut off the power to the compressor, just the air to the shop) Whether I thought of it or not I can't say but I probably wasn't worried anyway because I had good plastic air lines. It blew while we were gone.
Thirty one years in the auction business has brought me 400+ auctions, lots of them for the heirs of dead people. Every time an auctioneer advertises an ESTATE AUCTION somebody died. It has been interesting over the years to hear how people die. Gunshots, heart attacks, car wrecks, one guy fell off a ladder while he was changing a light bulb in his shop, some were just old and worn out and died in bed, a couple were young and foolish and brave, none so far have died from plastic air lines that exploded -- maybe next year.
The little plastic shards from my plastic air lines would have killed somebody or "put their eye out" for sure. The bigger ones were like sharp, wicked knives 2 to 6 inches long, lots of little ones. About a three foot section of pipe just vanished. I used to have a little box of the shards, if I can find it I'll post a photo.
As always, your mileage may vary. Do whatever you want, it's your shop, your life and your eyes.
I would not use plastic airline, probably in the beginning the 3/8 " rubber hose currently on my compressor. When I am sure where I want everything I would put in steel pipe, probably galvanized. Although I have noticed on here some people say Black iron.
Not sure why. Wouldn't Galv. stay cleaner and not rust.
Galvanized pipe is normally used for water but the galvanizing is poor quality from what I have seen.
Black iron is normally used for gas because galvanizing flakes off plugging up regulators etc. Street pressure is much higher then home appliance pressure at a few ounces.
Insurance normally will pay only ten percent of your home value for detached buildings.
An attached garage should be covered with home insurance. My shop is detached and ten percent does not cover replacement so a separate policy is used.
Just for kicks I will call my plumber to find out the specs on peck or PEK pipe that stuff can freeze without breaking but special tools are used to crimp fittings
There is lots of code change state to state. Here foundation footings are or were eighteen inches below ground for ground freezing lift. In Alaska I guess its six feet.
I use schedule 80 plastic pipe. Good for 200+ psi. In the past 20 years,have blown one coupling apart,because I didn't get enough glue on it.I put it in overhead and have many low point bleeders on it. I drain them (when I think of it) and it works fine. Just be sure to let all joints cure before using. I ran about 10 foot of galvanized pipe and a copper line to compressors,so heat would not soften plastic. YMMV
I didn't know about the flaking problem with galv. So maybe black iron is better. I also had been wondering about Schedule 80 plastic. I have a 10 ft piece of 3/4" sched. 80 that I bought by mistake for waterline a few years ago, wall thickness is a lot more than sched. 40.
Its interesting around here the gas company uses a yellow think its polypropylene pipe for service pipe in the street, large rolls of it are on the installation trucks it has an attached locater wire.
Have you ever set a white plastic PVC bucket in the sun for a month then smacked it? usually will crack easy. Buying lots of G sale stuff you don't know if PVC pipe was stored in the sun or not. I am guilty but only use it out side for watering.