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Debating on getting a sand blaster

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  • Debating on getting a sand blaster

    I know, I know this is a miller forum but I know a lot of people on this forum have first hand experiance with this kind of stuff.

    Basically I'm thinking about purchasing a sand blaster, any recommendations ? Was told to get a pot kind, probably was going to get one from harbor freight.

    My question is, I'm going to be doing a lot of car parts, such as headers and turbo manifolds. Will a sand blaster leave a nice finish on pieces ? Anyone have any pictures to show me. I just need some convincing.
    http://www.rcautoworks.com

  • #2
    A pot blaster is very slow, but will do a fine job on small items. I wouldn't recommend them for large items. For larger items I would suggest a pressurized blaster, but they are more money. Aluminum parts are very hard to keep clean after you sand blast them, glass beads work very well on aluminum. Sand blasting opens the pores and glass beads close the pores.
    You need a large air compressor for any sand blaster, If you cant maintain air pressure it wont blast very well.
    22 years welding experience
    CWB Certificate
    SMAW-all position Steel Alloy
    GTAW-all position Stainless Steel
    Welder Red Seal Endorsement -Canadian Interprovincial
    Pressure Welding Certification

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    • #3
      I have the HF sand blaster that I bought on sale last year. It works okay. I use beads in it, not sand, and it left a great surface on thin body panels. It definitely makes a mess though. I will be building a cabinet for it sometime, hopefully next spring.
      BTW, I just got a 20% off coupon via email from HF. It is good for 1 item. Let me know if you need it. Expires 12/14, and must be used in stores.
      Joshua

      Mine is the pressurized tank style. I don't know if that is what you mean by pot style.

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      • #4
        The Chipmaker built one - seems pretty easy

        Any machinist types may know the Chipmaker - www.frugalmachinist.com
        In his typical frugal style he welded up a sand blaster; you can buy the glove inserts, nozzle, etc. and make the rest from sheet steel. His site describes how he did it (on his 'Projects' page) - with pics.

        See - sandblasters are not OT after all!

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        • #5
          Well I own all three types, Siphon from a hopper type, Pressurized container type and a blasting cabinet.
          All three have good points and bad points.
          The siphon model and the pressurized model are good for large parts, i.e. car doors, fenders and complete bodies and frames. The down side of these types are: very messy and they consume a large amount of air. If you do not have a large dedicated area to do your blasting, your sand becomes contaminated very quickly. This occurs when you sweep it up along with twigs, small leaves, etc. You then will have to run your sand through a filter/screen before you can use it again.
          The blast cabinet is by far the best. It is clean and all your blast media is contained in one place. The down side is, you are limited by the size of the cabinet, as to what will fit inside. Mine will do small and medium sized parts, i.e. valve covers, manifolds, cyl heads etc. It also uses a lot of air.
          My compressor is a two stage, 7hp with a 100 gallon tank and all my plumbing is 1" pipe. It still gets a good workout when using my blasters.
          I hope this helps you decide.
          Millermatic 251
          Synchrowave 180
          Hobart Beta-mig 200
          Lincoln SP175
          HyperTherm 380
          Victor O/A

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          • #6
            I bought a 5 gallon pressurized sand blaster. I am very dissapointed in how slow it is, I really thought it would be the cats pajammas, but it is really messy, gets sand all over the place, I was sheeding sand out of my eyes for days, and that was with a set of glasses and a face shield on. A pair of goggles helped. You'll want at least 18cfm @100psi for a half decent blaster performance, like this little 5 gallon unit. If I knew then what I know now, I probably would have saved myself the money. That said, there are oments when it is worth the trouble, namely when a wire cup won't fit into tight areas.
            hre

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            • #7
              Originally posted by jolane
              I have the HF sand blaster that I bought on sale last year. It works okay. I use beads in it, not sand, and it left a great surface on thin body panels. It definitely makes a mess though. I will be building a cabinet for it sometime, hopefully next spring.
              BTW, I just got a 20% off coupon via email from HF. It is good for 1 item. Let me know if you need it. Expires 12/14, and must be used in stores.
              Joshua

              Mine is the pressurized tank style. I don't know if that is what you mean by pot style.
              Have the same coupon, thanks.

              So would a 15 gallon compressor be to small for a sand blaster ?

              Maybe its not a good idea after all.

              I had my eye on these types
              http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=34202

              http://www.sears.com/sr/javasr/produ...&bidsite=CRAFT
              http://www.rcautoworks.com

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              • #8
                don't be measuring your compressor's capabilities by the tank it is attached to. You need the hard facts and figures. CFM at stated PSI.
                hre

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                • #9
                  Take a look at what size parts you'll be blasting. If you know you wont be needing it for anything big look at a cabinet type. Self contained blasting media, wont make a huge mess and you won thave to clean up a mess every time. I have a cabinet and a pressurized blaster. I use the cabinet way more but the pressurized is nice for the few big parts I need it for.
                  http://www.northerntool.com/webapp/w...74&R=200103074
                  http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=34202

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                  • #10
                    The need for sandblasting equipment can be addictive. I started out with a home made pressure sandblaster made from a 30 pound propane tank and a 5HP/2Stage/80Gal air compressor.

                    From there, I purchased a 5 foot Tip sandblasing cabinet.

                    Then, I graduated to a Schmidt 300# pressure sandblaster with a Bullard air fed helmet and a 100CFM Ingersol Rand rotary compressor.

                    Then I went a purchased a 175CFM compressor to run a 1/4" tip. Where will it ever end?

                    BTW, my Ingersol-Rand 100CFM air compressor is for sale. It's a rotary compressor powered by a 4 cylinder gas engine. Runs pretty good and makes quick air. It would be more than enough for gouging. $700 for the compressor - I'm in the central Texas area.
                    Attached Files
                    Millermatic 35
                    Miller TB302G
                    Ellis 1800
                    Smith & Victor Torches
                    Optrel Satellite
                    Arcair K4000
                    Ingersoll-Rand 175CFM Diesel Air Compressor
                    Home Made Welding Trailer

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                    • #11
                      I used a pressurized/syphon type blaster for years. It was made by Tip who specializes in blasting stuff. They sell all types. It held about 150 lbs of sand. I used an ingersol 100 cfm tow behind compressor to power it. Blasters use large amounts of air. This size would most likely be overkill for what you would do. A smaller pressure/syphon type would most likely work the best unless you only have small items then a cabinet would be best. Be very careful blasting sheet metal as you can ruin a piece very quickly by distorting it if you do not know what you are doing. Also this does make a big mess unless you use a cabinet. Proper safety gear must be used such as respirator, hood, gloves etc. Sand has been known to cause silicosis. In NJ I stopped doing it because DEP/EPA regulations were to much trouble to comply with so we send stuff out to have it done. It might be easier to find a local guy to do it for you.---MMW---
                      MM250
                      Trailblazer 250g
                      22a feeder
                      Lincoln ac/dc 225
                      Victor O/A
                      MM200 black face
                      Whitney 30 ton hydraulic punch
                      Lown 1/8x 36" power roller
                      Arco roto-phase model M
                      Vectrax 7x12 band saw
                      Miller spectrum 875
                      30a spoolgun w/wc-24
                      Syncrowave 250
                      RCCS-14

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by gangel99
                        Any machinist types may know the Chipmaker - www.frugalmachinist.com
                        In his typical frugal style he welded up a sand blaster; you can buy the glove inserts, nozzle, etc. and make the rest from sheet steel. His site describes how he did it (on his 'Projects' page) - with pics.

                        See - sandblasters are not OT after all!

                        Great link Gangel, that frugal fella is one busy man.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Coalsmoke
                          don't be measuring your compressor's capabilities by the tank it is attached to. You need the hard facts and figures. CFM at stated PSI.
                          SCFM Delivery At 40 psi 4.9 SCFM
                          SCFM Delivery At 90 psi 3.5 SCFM

                          I'll be getting a bigger one soon.

                          Stupid question, but do the cabinets come with anything ?
                          http://www.rcautoworks.com

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                          • #14
                            you need to triple that compressor's ratings to properly run the smallest of blasters, unless you are only doing stuff the size of teaspoons and silverware. I'd send it out right now if you can, and later on when upgrading the compressor seems viable, then look into getting a blaster. If you are getting a compressor soon, you'll want about 11cfm at 90 psi on a 60 gal tank absolute minimum. This will give you a couple of minutes blast time, but then you'll have to wait about 3 minutes while it plays catch up. Also, make sure your duty cycle on the compressor is ok. Many of the cheaper ones are 10+cfm, at 50%DC, which unfortunately is absolutely useless in a sandblaster setting.
                            hre

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Drag Racer View Post
                              A pot blaster is very slow, but will do a fine job on small items. I wouldn't recommend them for large items. For larger items I would suggest a pressurized blaster, but they are more money. Aluminum parts are very hard to keep clean after you sand blast them, glass beads work very well on aluminum. Sand blasting opens the pores and glass beads close the pores.
                              You need a large air compressor for any sand blaster, If you cant maintain air pressure it wont blast very well.
                              What we have done for our shop is get a direct pressure blaster made by Raptor Blaster . This works really well for most of the body parts we have to clean and finish.
                              The RB4836 Direct Pressure Blast Cabinet is an industrial use sandblast cabinet for blasting medium to large sized objects.

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