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Swamp Witch
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6,239 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys, one of the things I missed being able to do is sandblasting. At my old garage I could just set up outside on a tarp when the weather was fair and blast away. Unfortunately, I think my condo association would lynch me if I tried that at my home. Like many of you, I have a limited amount of workspace and a budget, so I decided to try to come up with a solution for sandblasting smaller parts indoors. I wanted it to be first and foremost inexpensive, but also compact, portable, easy to put together and replace parts, and easy to modify and improve. Of course it had to be effective too. I think I accomplished all those goals with this project. Please note, if you want to build yourself a really nice blasting cabinet, up2L8 already made a build thread for one, and I highly recommend you check it out if that's what you want.

List of materials and cost

18 gallon clear Rubbermaid storage bin (or similar...go as big as you want, but I wouldn't go any smaller than what I used) -$10
Sandblasting gloves from Harbor Freight-$7
Sandblasting gun of your choice. Price varies, but mine was $20 from Harbor Freight
Duct tape or Gorilla tape (which is what I used)-You probably already have this, or $3-5 if you don't
5-foot swivel whip hose from Harbor Freight-$6

Total cost: $43

Building this thing is very easy. Mark out where you would like the gloves to go. The hole diameter needs to be 4.5" for the glove openings to fit properly. I cut the holes using my dremel tool and a circle cutting attachment, then I rounded off the edges with a file so they wouldn't cut through the gloves.


Next, fit the gloves. I sealed the gloves to the bin using strips of Gorilla tape. I chose this tape because it's strong, but also because I can peel it off and replace the gloves when necessary.


Next, you will need to drill one or two holes in the side of the cabinet for your gun. Since my gun has a hopper attached directly to it, I only needed to drill one hole for the air hose. If the fit is tight enough, you don't have to seal it. This is where the whip hose comes in handy, since it will stay with the cabinet and be self-contained. I put a quick release on the free end of the whip hose to connect to my main air hose. Here's how it looks finished:



So, how does it work? Not bad, considering how cheap it is! Yes, the top leaks, so I think that can be improved by applying a bead of silicone to the lip of the opening, or maybe some weatherstripping. But it does keep the media mostly contained. It also does cloud up, but the media seems to settle after a few seconds, so that's not so bad. You can put a light inside it if you want, but the good thing about using a clear bin is that you can just point lights at it from the outside. Eventually the bin will permanently cloud up from use, so a window of plexiglas could be put in the top too. Really, there's a number of ways this can be improved very inexpensively. That's it! :)

NOTE: You should still wear eye and respiratory protection when using this, since you don't really want to be breathing in blasting media. It also gets pretty loud, so earplugs or earmuffs are a good idea too.
 

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Swamp Witch
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6,239 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
I used it tonight for about a half hour or so to strip the front exhaust bracket for my bike. Anyway, I discovered a few things. First, it's a good idea to toss a rag in the bin to wipe down the inside as the dust collects on it, or else it becomes difficult to see. Second, putting some weight on the cover really helps keep the media in. Third, the gun with the hopper attached on it gets pretty heavy for me after holding it up for a half an hour. Yes, I have weak wrists :( I doubt this would be much of a problem for most of you, but it will make me consider using a different gun. Also, the hopper does run out of media fairly quickly, so I had to stop frequently to refill it.
 

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Swamp Witch
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6,239 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
I like it.......................... But you cant be *******. You dont live in the south. And you dont look like any ******* I ever seen.
You know, when I made this post I just knew someone would call me out on the ******* thing. Yeah, I live in New England. So technically, it would be a Swamp Yankee blasting cabinet, and not a ******* blasting cabinet ;)
 

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Swamp Witch
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6,239 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
My only thoughts would be static electricty? Is there a build up?
Only a small amount, enough to make the dust stick to the inside (and outside) of the bin. I take it you're concerned about an explosion hazard, right? I don't think it's something to worry about. It gets opened and closed and touched with bare hands a lot, so any strong charge would be dissipated quickly, and I haven't gotten a shock from it yet.

On another note, the cabinet is going to get its first upgrade today. I have a piece of plexiglas I'm going to install on the top, so I don't have to be hunched over peering through the side of the bin to see what I'm doing. Cost of upgrade: free! I've had that piece of plexi forever...seriously, it's probably 20 years old by now.

Of course I'll post pics once it's done.
 

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Swamp Witch
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6,239 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Thanks, Robbo! When you don't have a lot of space, or a lot of money, you have to get creative! :) The great thing about this cabinet is I can store the media in it too and just put the whole thing on a shelf when I'm not using it.
 

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The Soft Serve Enigma
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16,719 Posts

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Swamp Witch
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6,239 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
So Phoebe, given the choice, which of these would you use if you did this again?

The gun you've got
http://www.princessauto.com/worksho...blasters/8140709-gravity-fed-sandblasting-gun

Or this siphon feed for $4 more?
http://www.princessauto.com/workshop/air/sandblasting/sandblasters/6320360-sandblasting-gun
Siphon feed all the way, and I'll probably end up buying one. That's what I used to use at my old garage. I would just stick the siphon in a 5 gallon bucket, and I'd never run out of media during a blasting job. Unfortunately, I kept all of my sandblasting stuff in one corner of my old garage, and that just happened to be the place where the roof started leaking badly, so all my media and my gun were ruined. I had like 200lbs of assorted media too. :(
 

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Back at it for now.
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1,545 Posts
Only a small amount, enough to make the dust stick to the inside (and outside) of the bin. I take it you're concerned about an explosion hazard, right? I don't think it's something to worry about. It gets opened and closed and touched with bare hands a lot, so any strong charge would be dissipated quickly, and I haven't gotten a shock from it yet.

On another note, the cabinet is going to get its first upgrade today. I have a piece of plexiglas I'm going to install on the top, so I don't have to be hunched over peering through the side of the bin to see what I'm doing. Cost of upgrade: free! I've had that piece of plexi forever...seriously, it's probably 20 years old by now.

Of course I'll post pics once it's done.
Actually not really thinking of the explosion as much as I was thinking of you standing there with your hands in the box and your hair standing up on end. :D

As for the plexiglass. If you cover the inside portion with some clear plastic film that you can remove, then it will peel off and you dont have to buy another peice of plexiglass when it gets all sand blasted up. Just my .02. But I like the idea a lot. :party-smiley:
 

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Swamp Witch
Joined
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6,239 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
Actually not really thinking of the explosion as much as I was thinking of you standing there with your hands in the box and your hair standing up on end. :D

As for the plexiglass. If you cover the inside portion with some clear plastic film that you can remove, then it will peel off and you dont have to buy another peice of plexiglass when it gets all sand blasted up. Just my .02. But I like the idea a lot. :party-smiley:
Haha, nope my hair did not stand up on end, I just got covered in dust, that's all.

The piece of plexi I'm using is about 1/4" thick it looks like, and it's a bit of a mess, so I need to clean it up first and polish it. When it clouds up, I'll just polish it up again instead of replacing it. I'll be posting pics about it later.
 
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