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Forum topic by poopiekat posted 11-23-2016 10:45 PM 656 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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poopiekat

4320 posts in 3571 days


11-23-2016 10:45 PM

Topic tags/keywords: sand blasting rust tools restoration

Okay, here goes: Most of us have either wanted to sandblast their old tools, or have some degree of proficiency in the technique already. The purpose of this thread is to explore the various systems available, and what kind of safety equipment we need. Anyone who has a preference for one type of compressor or another, or any stories you have, here’s a chance to chime in!

Myself, I have the cheapo bench model import, available in myriad colors depending on your retailer. They are all about the same. Mine has auxiliary vacuum, but it is too powerful, as small as it is, and it tends to suck in the sides and top so I only run it with the door open, after use. It clears the cloud of dust in 10 seconds or so. It does a good job of retaining the grit, and reusing it over and over. The room stays fairly clean and dust free, but I sometimes use a disposable dust mask as well as safety glasses just in case. The results on steel and cast iron are pretty good!!
Some pics and mods I made coming up soon!

Okay, a view of what you get: the blaster head is plumbed to your air source, and venture action draws sand up the inlet hose to the nozzle. These units have a filtered pressure equalizer with filter so that the cabinet doesn’t pressurize. I put a thermostat housing from an old Dodge gooseneck, and attached a hose. Voila!! More to come…

Here’s my recent blog about a transitional plane restoration project, which was largely dependent on sand blasting: http://lumberjocks.com/poopiekat/blog/96290

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!


13 replies so far

View paratrooper34's profile

paratrooper34

915 posts in 2789 days


#1 posted 11-24-2016 02:32 AM

Interesting topic. I recently purchased a sandblasting cabinet and compressor to run it. I got it to facilitate the restoration of a 1972 Triumph Trident motorcycle, but it will come in handy with a bunch of old tools I want to clean up.

The compressor is a 60 gal 240v Craftsman unit. It is up and running finally now that I plumbed the air line and had an electrician wire the 240v and some 120v outlets for the vacuum system and general use system and to run my parts washer.

The sandblaster is a Harbor Freight unit. It is currently being heavily modified as they are not very good units from the store. There are multiple videos on youtube that show how to modify them. I made the top so it will open which greatly enhances loading and unloading and gives the capability to place larger items inside. It also makes glass change out easier. I added an interior light (the one that comes with the cabinet is junk) and a box with a switch and outlet. All the interior seams were sealed with urethane caulking. I switched the air intake and vacuum port to to make them more efficient. I cut down the bottom screen so that it sits a little deeper in the cabinet to allow more room for items inside. I also made a cut out on the exterior shelf to allow room for adjusting the media control which will be drawn from the small opening on the bottom. I still have to add the media control valve, regulator, plumbing, and vacuum system. It is beginning to get cold here and my garage is unheated, so this will probably take a while before I get it finished. I can update as I finish this and get it up and running.

-- Mike

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poopiekat

4320 posts in 3571 days


#2 posted 11-25-2016 12:12 AM

Wow, Mike, you went for the deluxe floor model unit!
This really is the way to go. I’ve had goofy spray-gun contraptions that Sears used to sell, made to be used in the great outdoors. You stuck an inlet pipe into a bucket of sand and go to work. Of course your sand media gets used once, and disperses, which is fine if you have a bottomless source of sifted sand! There’s also little spot-blasters, with the media contained by a rubber shroud. Those are okay for rusted out nicks in automotive surfaces. The cabinet is the way to go, for sure!

Mike, are you running a water separator? I’ve got a little unit on the compressor outlet that seems to work okay. My first hour of use, without the water separator, leaked water onto the sand…not good. So I try to run dry air, and I blow out the drain hose of the tank weekly, I think the manual suggests daily bleeding. Here’s hoping for a successful resto on your Triumph!!

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!

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MrUnix

6000 posts in 2036 days


#3 posted 11-25-2016 02:11 AM

I’ve had goofy spray-gun contraptions that Sears used to sell, made to be used in the great outdoors. You stuck an inlet pipe into a bucket of sand and go to work.

I have the ‘deluxe’ version of one of those :)

Play sand at the BORG is cheap and works well, but using sand is really dangerous and you need to ensure you are wearing a respirator. Silicosis isn’t something you want to mess around with.

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

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splintergroup

1699 posts in 1059 days


#4 posted 11-25-2016 03:49 PM

I have one of the original plastic HF units as pictured by Poopiekat. The gloves have rotted away (replaceable), but the most annoying thing is the plastic window. I’ll replace this with glass at some point, but otherwise it is a serviceable unit.

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4805 posts in 3797 days


#5 posted 11-25-2016 06:41 PM

I woosied out, and use soda blasting with a stupid cheap HF soda blaster gun. Do it out in the yard. Don’t have to worry about sand, disposal, bad stuff in the lungs.
Works pretty danged well for the smaller items I restore.
Mike, the ‘72 Trident is a super cool cycle. Have not seen one in years. I was a Norton fan.
Bill

-- bill@magraphics.us

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poopiekat

4320 posts in 3571 days


#6 posted 11-26-2016 01:11 AM

Bill White,
What kind of surface finish do you end up with, with soda blast media?
Brad: When you use play sand, do you have to screen it first?
Splinter: Mine came with auxiliary plastic windows with a self-stick border. They protect the glass, and they’re replaceable.

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!

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splintergroup

1699 posts in 1059 days


#7 posted 11-26-2016 03:20 PM


Splinter: Mine came with auxiliary plastic windows with a self-stick border. They protect the glass, and they re replaceable.

- poopiekat

There is a good feature!
I use copy machine transparency film that I scotch tape onto the glass. They last about as long as the original plastic. I’ll have to poke around HF for a box of replacement covers like what you have and see if they are the correct size. It would make life a tad easier 8^)

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poopiekat

4320 posts in 3571 days


#8 posted 11-26-2016 04:14 PM

Splinter: Wow, transparency films, I never thought of using those! There’s a bunch in the office supply closet at work, a roll of thin double-sided tape and back in business.

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4805 posts in 3797 days


#9 posted 11-26-2016 05:37 PM

PK, the finish is a soft matte finish, and works pretty darned well for most applications. Finish will vary based on the metal being blasted as you can imagine, but the soda will remove most gack without a lot of effort.
I really like that the soda won’t damage/erode threads or machined surfaces as much as sand. Helps keep tolerances as they should be.
Clean up is a snap, and no residual abrasives with which to deal.
I buy the A & H baking soda in big bags at the borg. Very reasonable in price.
Bill

-- bill@magraphics.us

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paratrooper34

915 posts in 2789 days


#10 posted 11-26-2016 07:39 PM

Pookiekat: There is a water separator, it is the piece hanging down on the right side.

For the glass, I did this (referenced from the videos I saw): I kept the double thick glass that came with the cabinet. I threw away all the plastic crap that came with it. I then got a 2’ x 3’ piece of glass at Lowes and had them cut it into three pieces, 1’ x 2’. I will use the 1” x 2’ pieces (one at a time) underneath the double thick piece. When one wears out, swap it. The cost of the glass was $15. The videos said the glass lasts much longer than the cheap plastic. I have yet to use it, so I cannot say for sure.

-- Mike

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poopiekat

4320 posts in 3571 days


#11 posted 11-26-2016 09:51 PM

Great info, guys!
Now how about an internal light? What are you guys using? I saw the light available separately, in a flyer, for $20 CDN. I rushed down to buy it, only to see that you had to buy an additional power supply ( $22!) to run the light!!! So, I skipped that option. I have not put it in, but I did buy a LED work light for $7 that runs on AAA batteries. When I find my stash of foam mirror adhesives, I’ll put it in. Right now I roll the cabinet to a spot directly under a ceiling-hung fluorescent shop light. Good illumination will no doubt improve my aim. LOL, no toilet jokes, please!!
Yeah, Bill, I’ll definitely give Baking soda a try, but it looks like I’d be tasked first with removing every trace of my greengrit first, which may happen when the grit is too worn out.

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!

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poopiekat

4320 posts in 3571 days


#12 posted 11-26-2016 09:59 PM

Brad: Yup, those things are still around! If I had a cheap source of sand, and saw no need to recycle spent media, and the weather cooperated most of the year, and I did a lot of things over 24 inches in length, yeah I’d definitely own one of those!

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!

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paratrooper34

915 posts in 2789 days


#13 posted 11-26-2016 10:29 PM

This is my light set up. It is a clearance special from Lowes that I paid $10 for. It is plenty bright enough, swivels and it has a hard, thick plastic cover. I wired it into a 4 gang box with a switch and outlet. The switch turns on the light and outlet (which will be used for the shop vac). In the pics you see the vacuum port to the right of the light. It was modified to have a slope so media will not collect there and sealed with aluminum tape. In one of the pics, to the right of the electrical box, you can see the air intake port which has a cover on it that can be opened and closed as needed.

-- Mike

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