View Full Version : sandblast cabinet?
11-07-2009, 06:12 PM
hey, just thinking about another project for my students. Has anyone ever built their own sand/media blast cabinet. I found kits online that come with the gloves, rings, plexiglass viewer, etc. If you've done one before let me know what went into it. Thanks!
I did one years ago out of plywood and have used several comercial models.
It should be a good sheetmetal working project. The gun and the gloves are the hard part, but are readily available, the rest is simple fab work. Be sure and design it so it seals well on the lid/ door, include an interior light of some sort, and make a provision so that a shopvac/dust collector can be attached to help create a negative pressure and evacuate the dust.
11-07-2009, 10:21 PM
thanks alot for the info! that really helps.
11-07-2009, 10:39 PM
tp tools sells good cabinets
and kits this one is under a grand
11-07-2009, 10:42 PM
I bought my blasting cabinet from a local maker, but it's a 55 gallon drum on its side. It's one of those drums that has a removable end that fits over the end of the drum and a band that goes around it to clamp it to the drum itself On the left end, about 2/3 of the end will unclamp from a single clamp at the top (It doesn't use the original ring compression band) and will lift completely off to get larger parts onto the sandblast shelf. You'll need an Inlet vent somewhere to allow air into the unit, or the vacuum cleaner will just pull a vacuum in the chamber and quit sucking the dust out. I put a fan controller on a small vacuum so that I could control the speed of the vac and pull the dust out without sucking all the media out with it. The gloves, blaster nozzle, air quick connects and related parts are available at Harbor Freight. This would be a cool project.
11-07-2009, 10:55 PM
thats sounds pretty good. thanks!
11-07-2009, 11:16 PM
the door is a main leaker needs good sealing
the veiw window needs to be shatter proof and it gets dusted fast so it will need to
be replaced when veiwing get limited
make sure it well vented a good vaccum system aint cheap
it will trash a shop vac ( tryed one didn t last 2 days )
11-07-2009, 11:40 PM
One thing I'd like to add regarding the vent/vacuum system. Where you connect it to the cabinet, you'll want a good deflector over the opening so you don't suck your blast media out of the cabinet. Also try and position it over to one side so it isn't in the middle of the main work area. You want to evacuate just the airborne dust.
11-09-2009, 11:17 AM
I built one about ten years ago out of plywood, and believe I still have the plans in AutoCAD if you're interested. I can convert to .pdf and post, I believe...
I never got the vaccuum hooked up to it (as I planned), but it worked pretty darned good regardless...
11-09-2009, 11:48 AM
I'll take em in AutoCAD if you are givin out plans!!!
11-09-2009, 01:28 PM
No pictures as it is tucked away right now, but I built one out of an old dryer. Gutted all the stuff and you are left with a nice light sheet metal shell. cut the bottom part into wedges and tapered them in so the sand collects there and the siphon pickup tube is down there as well. I am using the 'stock' dryer door, but I mounted a locking knob and put in some pretty thick foam to seal it. I put some replaceable plexi in the door, and got the long cabinet gloves from the local harbor freight equivalent store. I started trying to weld up the seams but I really REALLY sucked at welding thin stuff so I riveted it all together then sprayed the seams with rubberized undercoating. Whenever I have used it I have absolutely zero dust in the shop. The cabinet is vented near the top, and I used a shop vac whenever it was on.
bottom line is that an old dryer is an awesome starting point for a home build blasting cabinet.
11-09-2009, 08:16 PM
I would like to see the plans you used for your cabinet if you don't mind posting them.
Thanks and have a great week,
11-09-2009, 10:22 PM
i would love to see those plans. it would really help. Thanks.
11-10-2009, 05:46 AM
Here is a link to a post from the past that littlefuzz posted.
11-11-2009, 04:10 PM
Sorry for the delay; I've been looking, but haven't found them yet...
11-11-2009, 06:41 PM
I really want to build a blast cabinet as well, so i'm going to build one in cad and release all the plans to everybody on here. I'm going to set the budget to $350 and see what I can come up with. Give me a couple of days
11-13-2009, 11:32 PM
I have a collection of 4 military trucks. Most cabinets are small for my needs. My project this winter is to build a blast cabinet out of a 250 gal home heating oil tank. I will slice it in half(in the middle) and spotweld some 1/4 angle iron around the cut. This will serve to keep the metal straight and I can put gasket material on it if it leaks. The rest should be cake. It has the leg mounts, weld in a sloped piece of steel from left to right(in the bottom) so emptying the sand will be easier, install a light and shielded vent(or two) for vacume. A latch here or there, some holes for gloves, maybe a foot trigger so my fingers don't tire too much. Beer holder, oh wait. Anyway, if you think about it, they lend themselves to be built into blast cabinets.
11-14-2009, 03:45 AM
My Miele vacuum has had 2 rough years with my diy blasting cabinet. Even though air passes the motor for cooling.
Pre-clean - (box with pipe in and pipe out and a deflector catches grit/glass and passes dust and broken grit)
Second stage- a soda bottle acting as a cyclone with a quick-release (kitchen drum) dust catch did the trick.
Allways had a bag of moisture eating stuff in the grit cabinet (to stop it getting lumpy) and a good water separator in the air line.
The cabinet in the picture above shows the gun and the valve in the cabinet. Your valve will get stuck because the grit gets between the outside pin and the housing. Next to that the gun is too high and limits your freedom. Better get a horizontal unit. Dunno where to get them, built my own.
I disassembled my cabinet due to space requirements but I wil surely make a new one when i've got enough space.
11-20-2009, 12:17 AM
The issue of the service life of the vacuum unit hasn't come up on my system. I installed a $29 vacuum from Home Depot 5 years ago and it's still working like new. Clearly you do have to be careful with the installation. The inlet for the fresh air should be opposite the side of the exhaust so you get fresh air moving across the work area. As someone else mentioned, you DO have to put a baffle plate over both the intake and exhaust ports to avoid media escaping the blaster. I stuff filter media like that woven stuff used in air conditioner filters into each of the baffles. Use a speed controller on the vacuum to keep from sucking too hard. Finally, the biggest thing to do to prevent the vacuum from being eaten by media is to always use a HEPA filter in the vacuum and clean it often. That way, only very highly filtered air runs across the motor.
Since you are designing this yourself, try and keep the plexiglass window as far from the blasting shelf as you can comfortably reach to increase the life of the plastic. Also, make the plastic easy to remove/install and then you can use those peel-off plastic protectors and just change the protectors when it gets hard to see through. It will be much cheaper than replacing the plexiglass.
The thing I like the LEAST about every blasting setup that I have ever used is that the gloves built into the cabinet become a sweaty mess in no time at all. I always wear thin cotton gloves on my hands inside the big rubber gloves, but it's still nasty when you've been blasting for a while (at least in the summer here in Texas).
Here is a link to TP tools plans to build a cabinet out of wood, but I'm sure you will use steel or aluminum sheeting instead.
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