Sandblasting 101 - Vintage Mustang Forums
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post #1 of 31 (permalink) Old 05-07-2019, 12:05 PM Thread Starter
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Ok, so I've used a sand blaster for years, but I'll be honest, I've always fought with getting a good consistent performance. I feel like 90% of the time I'm getting barely any blasting power, I mess around with the hose, or I pulse the trigger and then it goes like gang busters. Maybe for a minute, more likely 10 seconds.

Anyone got any tips? We're just using a harbor freight cabinet. I've looked at getting an upgraded gun, assuming itd help, but most didn't really look any better.

I'm humbly open to all input. 🙂

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post #2 of 31 (permalink) Old 05-07-2019, 12:47 PM
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Originally Posted by gijoe985 View Post
Ok, so I've used a sand blaster for years, but I'll be honest, I've always fought with getting a good consistent performance. I feel like 90% of the time I'm getting barely any blasting power, I mess around with the hose, or I pulse the trigger and then it goes like gang busters. Maybe for a minute, more likely 10 seconds.

Anyone got any tips? We're just using a harbor freight cabinet. I've looked at getting an upgraded gun, assuming itd help, but most didn't really look any better.

I'm humbly open to all input. 🙂
1. Use the finest material you can find. Mine works great with Fine and pretty good with Medium. It doesn't like course at all, goes like crazy for maybe a minute then starts clogging.

2. Use dry medium and use a dryer on air supply

3. Start air flow THEN slowly open the sand hopper

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post #3 of 31 (permalink) Old 05-07-2019, 01:37 PM
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The biggest problem is usually inconsistent sand feed due to moisture in the air supply.
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post #4 of 31 (permalink) Old 05-07-2019, 02:07 PM Thread Starter
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After doing some research, our siphon tube may just be a crappy design.

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post #5 of 31 (permalink) Old 05-07-2019, 02:18 PM
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If you feel that the gun is clogged, put your palm over the gun orifice and pull the trigger. This will force air back down the tube and clear any obstruction. Also don't use glass beads larger than 80 grit, the larger stuff tends to clog. I tried black beauty one time and couldn't get it to flow properly, I went back to aluminum oxide for steel and iron and use glass beads for aluminum.
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post #6 of 31 (permalink) Old 05-07-2019, 02:19 PM
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I don't have any feed problems and I have a HF cabinet also. Make sure to replace the air hose if it hasn't blown out yet !

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post #7 of 31 (permalink) Old 05-07-2019, 04:16 PM
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I use the HF bench top cabinet with playground sand from home depot. The gun that came with the cabinet broke, and feed hose would collapse. I use a different hose and gun that I also got from HF before I got the cabinet. Other than that, most of my problems stemmed from clogging up the gun with crud that blasted off the parts. I installed a screen below the grate and have had no issues with clogging since.
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post #8 of 31 (permalink) Old 05-07-2019, 04:54 PM
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Just a PSA on using playground sand. If you use playground sand and do not use a mask you can cause serious lung damage (silicosis). Something about the dust it creates.



Our blasting cabinet uses HF aluminum oxide. I use a HF external blaster with soda or glass for softer metals.
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post #9 of 31 (permalink) Old 05-07-2019, 06:51 PM
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I almost gave up on my blast cabinet shortly after getting it. Trouble was moisture in the air. Made it unusable. Installed a substantial drying system and now it works like a champ. After a while I do get some clogging when blasted material gets in to the beads/sand but as others have stated you just cover the tip and force air backwards to "burp" it. Eventually you have to replace the media or I have also screened it to get out any larger particulate.

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post #10 of 31 (permalink) Old 05-07-2019, 07:58 PM
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Long time lurker new to the forum. Had all the same problems so much I hated to use the cabinet. Upgraded to this and it is night and day. Works great now. I'm in the Northwest, so general moisture is always a problem, but haven't at a single clog in over a year.

https://www.tptools.com/USA-Cabinet-...-Kit,2320.html
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post #11 of 31 (permalink) Old 05-07-2019, 08:10 PM
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The pickup tube that HF includes with the cabinets now isn't very good. The older ones had a double tube like the pick up tubes in the smaller benchtop cabinets. There are endless videos on utube about modding the HF cabinet. There are sellers on ebay but you can usually buy the parts yourself for less from the suppliers.

You can make your own feed siphon for the bottom of the cabinet with some pipe fittings and nipples. It does not have to go in the bottom like in most builds. If you make your siphon straight it can go right into the side of the dump flange so it's easier to dump the media.
This is the metering valve that most upgrade to. There are new and old versions and the price varies more than you would think. https://www.idsblast.com/sandblasting-supplies/713

The gun itself isn't very efficient as well and there are many many different ones you can use. The best option is a foot pedal and one of the small guns that fits in the palm of your hand. More comfortable in a small cabinet but nearly 3x the price.

This is the gun style that most go to as well. There are different orifice sizes. https://www.idsblast.com/sandblasting-supplies/4874


That site may not be the best pricing but its one of the more comprehensive suppliers I have found. Also forgot to mention the foot pedal. This is the best deal on a foot pedal and gun combo I have found. $70 at eastwood (who would have thunk it) https://www.eastwood.com/eastwood-bl...l-and-gun.html
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post #12 of 31 (permalink) Old 05-07-2019, 08:57 PM
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I'm on my second TP cabinet (upgraded to larger for the second cabinet). To me there is no comparison to the HF. Having said that I bought an additional cabinet, that being from HF. I got tired of clearing out my usual crushed glass to run glass beads and back again. The TP has the crushed glass for the majority of blasting. The HF has the glass beads. To make the HF work for me, I had to re-calk the seams, replace the gun with a TP gun, install a TP light fixture, make a better syphon tube, buy a generic foot pedal, and use the TP vac from the TP cabinet. Not ideal but workable as I can make the switch now in seconds!
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Last edited by RogV; 05-07-2019 at 09:02 PM.
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post #13 of 31 (permalink) Old 05-07-2019, 09:05 PM
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Just a PSA on using playground sand. If you use playground sand and do not use a mask you can cause serious lung damage (silicosis). Something about the dust it creates.
Yep! Been there, done that, and have that. Free silica will cost you in the end.

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post #14 of 31 (permalink) Old 05-07-2019, 09:17 PM
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Yep! Been there, done that, and have that. Free silica will cost you in the end.
Thats nothing compared to the old r12 leak detectors... It had a flame and a piece of copper in the flame. Then a vacuum hose you placed around the fittings etc to find the leak. The flame turned green when the refrigerant was burned creating Phosgene gas....
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post #15 of 31 (permalink) Old 05-07-2019, 09:38 PM
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Thats nothing compared to the old r12 leak detectors... It had a flame and a piece of copper in the flame. Then a vacuum hose you placed around the fittings etc to find the leak. The flame turned green when the refrigerant was burned creating Phosgene gas....
We used to strip cars in a garage with a propane torpedo heater going including bleeding out the AC. Yea, that would make the chest burn a bit. Used a lot of brake clean for good measure.

I've done everything stupid that you can do to damage your lungs. And I succeeded. I know the warning labels are out of control with every part for anything having a Cali prop 65 warning label on it, but a least think about it.

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