What can you do with a sandblaster? Do you own a sandblaster? What would be the best Sandblaster to buy for a small shop?
I don't know, but if you're thinking about trying it, be sure to take the proper safety precautions.
Google search "silicosis".
Sand blasting for frames and thick metal works like a charm but on thinner metal such as door skins you have to be more careful and back up a bit. There are some thinner metals that can heat up pretty fast with regular blasting sand and warp. For me proper sand blasting is more of a art or developed skill set.
With little or no practice, a sand blaster is useful for punching holes in metal.
I have used a bead blast cabinet for many years. It has a vacuum dust recovery attachment that keeps sand out of the air around the box.
It is a great tool for paint removal and corrosion removal. I have had several over the years, my current unit is from Harbor Freight. It was on sale at half price on July 4, 2015 so it cost $106. The vacuum attachment cost another $125.
Buy the absolute biggest compressor you can buy. A minimum 60 gallon two stage would be a start. Can you do it on less? Yes, but the duration of blasting and severe duty usage of the compressor thus potentially shortening its life can all just lead to frustration.
TP tools http://www.tptools.com/ makes some of the best stuff out there.
Cheap ones don't work too well. If you get one, it may be best to go to a place like TIP rather than Harbor Freight.
I have a Harbor Freight cabinet blaster. Believe it or not, it has worked very well for years. The only problem I've had with it is the cheap light inside. I've replaced it with a regular light bulb, and that was a good fix.
Ditto what Larry said. I bought a TIP unit 30 years ago, it was no better than the current Harbor Freight unit. In fact the dust collector from TIP was almost useless.
I bought a small light fixture at Lowes and installed it inside to improve the lighting.
My experience has been that cheap is fine. What matters is the compressor, as Chad says. The bigger the better. You want a long pipe from the compressor tank to the blaster to allow the air to cool and water vapor to condense, then another air tank to collect the moisture before the air gets to the blaster. I've bought a lot of my equipment at auctions for far less than the cost of new stuff, but know your prices before you buy. Sometimes a bidding frenzy will drive the cost of an auction item higher than the retail price at a store.
Here's a video on blasting with a home made hood and a bargain air supply to keep the sand out of it.
Very good for cleaning up the metal getting it ready for painting. Be sure to prime immediately after the blasting is done. You should use some Metal prep first then primer before it rusts.
It is also very important to use a good respirator and a face mask to keep sand out of your eyes and lungs. Sand in the eye can scratch the cornea and sand in the lungs never comes out or dissolves, so keep it out!
I have a cheap harbor freight blaster. For 40 bucks it works fine. I also have a blast cabinet for small parts and it is really good for anything up to wheel size. I have a place where I take frames and rear axles. Just remember most sandblasters are a lot of work if your doing big parts, frames, axles, wheels ect. Its a must in my opinion! ! Tim
Building on what Steve said, I had an education on moisture removal from a professional in a truck body shop, who used his air supply for blasting and painting. Water in the air supply is your enemy in either case.
What he did, was use a very long hose, and looped it over a board at the very top of the ridge of his shop's roof. Then back down.
At each end of this hose, he had a cheap moisture trap.
His rationale was this: The air is heated by the compressor, and by being squeezed into the compressor tank under pressure. Simple physics tells us that the warmer the air, the more moisture it can hold. Stated a different way, the warmer the air the more aggressively it holds on to the moisture that's in it. So, he had a pressure regulator, then a moisture trap on the outlet of his tank. While the pressure regulator was set to "max" for blasting, it still has a small orifice in it, which tended to cool the air somewhat.
Then as the air traveled up the vertical hose, it cooled more, and dropped more moisture on the walls of the hose, which ran back down and into the trap (no loops or kinks allowed).
Then as the air traveled down the second vertical run it cooled some more, and dropped more moisture into the trap at the end.
He also had a small tank after the trap at the end, which collected more moisture as the air cooled more.
He drained the tanks and traps as often as he could. He also made sure to stop using air quite often, to allow the whole system to cool. This wasn't as critical when painting as when blasting, because the paint gun used a small fraction of the amount of air the blaster used.
I grant you this was in New Orleans, where the humidity in the air was often thick enough to cut, but the principle is sound.
Years ago, my T club had a *sand blast party* where we rented a diesel powered compressor and a sandblast system. We found a vacant cul-de-sac in a new home development area where we set up the operation. The club gathered all of the candidates for blasting and we spent all day cleaning our stuff. We were able to reclaim the the sand from the clean pavement. I managed to blast a complete TT frame and running gear in this episode.
Today I am planning on doing the same thing in my driveway...another TT.
I use this with a shop vac hooked to my blast cabinet.
It does a good job keeping the dust down.
Gotta get me one of those, my shop vac filter takes a real beating when I use my blasting cabinet. Thanks Ed!
It's amazing how well it works.
Not much dust if any ever makes it past the cyclone into the shop vac.
If a 150 psi air blaster works well, how about a 2500 psi water sand blaster. Seems like that would do more work, faster, if outside. I have used mine on cast iron furniture and thought it worked well. Kind of messy but for bigger stuff, does well.
I have both a TIP top load cabinet and a pressure tank that I have had for a long time with good results. In the cabinet I use glass beads for small lightly rusted or dirty parts.With the pressure tank I have been using crushed slag.I have found that for rust the 60 or 80 grit works the best,for paint a larger 30 grit works better but it seems to leave the metal a little rougher.I have done frames,axle housings,anything else including fenders and other body pieces without any problems with the tank pressure at about 80 pounds. NEVER use silica sand!I hope this may be useful information. Frank
Frank, it took me awhile to recognize how much better it is to set my regulator around 80 psi. A good dryer on a minimum 60 gallon with two stage pump keeps up just fine for me. I prefer glass beads for light work. If I ever get to where I'd want to restore anything I'll get a little bigger cabinet. Right now I like my Model T's to look just as they did when I bought them. And yes, they ain't pretty, but they run good and all three have rebuilt running gear.
Steve you can get a very good and inexpensive filter masks also hoods from Harbor Freight. I would strongly recommend to you to get rid of the home made hood for the sake of your health. Steve is corrected about getting a good buy on used equipment - check craigslist. Lots of hobbyists buy the tool and sell the car then sell the tool at a fraction of the cost.
I've had my "Little Blaster" cabinet for over 15 years and still love it. Either/both ends open to allow you to put something long in it. Built in vacuum, and large enough for wire wheels or T engine blocks, or differential housing halves. Blasting is a must if you want to powdercoat. I burned up 3 compressors after getting this cabinet before I finally bought a large 2 stage that can keep up with it. I farm out the big stuff like frames and use a small pressure unit from Harbor Freight to go outside and do something like a spot on a tractor, or other small job on a large item. I used the cabinet today on a 15x8 front tractor wheel to reveal rust pits around the tubeless valve stem hole that had been allowing a slow leak for years. Blasting is handy for lots of things!
I still think Steve looks like Commander Cody in that rig lol.