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snowman
10-25-2010, 04:34 PM
Need a little feedback on a blasting cabinet.

I get a lot of cheap industrial tooling at auction, basically I'll buy anything I can to make a buck. I know my prices on machinist tooling, so I know when and what to buy. Right now I've got five or six steady rests that are waiting on "restoration". Meaning I need to strip the paint and repaint them. Got em cheap, but as they are, they won't bring $10...if I repaint them, I'll get $100 pretty easy. I've got a whole bunch of crap like this. Rusty, and needs to be cleaned up.

I'm not a hack, and won't do "machine restoration", but on parts like a steady rest, or a tailstock, etc, sandplasting works just fine as long as you don't touch the precision sliding surfaces. I need to clean up rust and old paint...and get this crap out of my basement.

Can anyone recommend the HF blasting cabinet?

Jim Caudill
10-25-2010, 07:25 PM
Personally, I think the blasting cabinet topic has been covered enough. Pretty much a cabinet is a cabinet is a cabinet. Some of the things that matter are comfort (height, gloves, arm hole openings, etc), access doors, lighting, function (ventilation and the actual blasting nozzle). Go to www.TPtools.com to get an education. You can buy an HF cabinet, seal it or not, and try it out. If it works for you, then you're done. If not, then you will wind up going to TP tools and buying whatever you need to modify the HF cabinet to get the comfort and functionality you desire.

If HF copied TP tools or Trinco faithfully, then it will probably work just fine. If they didn't pay attention to the details, it may frustrate you.

rebel54
10-25-2010, 07:35 PM
I have a HF blasting cabinet. It works ok, the only problem I have is that it leaks like hell even though I tried to seal it and the inside light stop working after a week. But for the price I guess I can not complain to much about it.

gnm109
10-25-2010, 07:53 PM
Need a little feedback on a blasting cabinet.

I get a lot of cheap industrial tooling at auction, basically I'll buy anything I can to make a buck. I know my prices on machinist tooling, so I know when and what to buy. Right now I've got five or six steady rests that are waiting on "restoration". Meaning I need to strip the paint and repaint them. Got em cheap, but as they are, they won't bring $10...if I repaint them, I'll get $100 pretty easy. I've got a whole bunch of crap like this. Rusty, and needs to be cleaned up.

I'm not a hack, and won't do "machine restoration", but on parts like a steady rest, or a tailstock, etc, sandplasting works just fine as long as you don't touch the precision sliding surfaces. I need to clean up rust and old paint...and get this crap out of my basement.

Can anyone recommend the HF blasting cabinet?


Despite the fact that some think the blast cabinet issue has been adequately covered, I'll recommend the H.F. Cabinet. Good thing we're on HSM, you can't recommend any Asian equipment on some other sites.

The picture below shows my H.F. Cabinet. I bought it as a floor demo IIRC arond 1995 or 1996 for $100. The cabinet itself is excellent with the following changes needed:

1. The H.F. gun with the ceramic outer tips and soft metal inner tips is simply no good. I used it for a few weeks and then replaced it with one from Snap-on. ($80 in 1995) The Snap-on gun has tungsten carbide inner and outer tips. I also have a spare new Snap-on gun with carbide tips that I swapped for and, after near 15 years, the tips in the gun I use have negligible wear when checked against the new gun with a digital caliper (also a cheap Asian one). I think you can also buy carbide inners and outers for less than the price of the Snap-on gun. Also, if you could find another source, you wouldn't have to beg His "Royal Highness", the Snap-on man. Those guys are hard to catch and even harder to buy from if you are an HSM weenie like I am.

2. The smallish fluorescent light that comes with the cabinet is not much good. I replaced that with three CFL bulbs that are covered with Mason jars. That gives me plenty of light. (Cost me about $10 and I had to drill some holes and string conduit on the back of the cabinet. I also added an on-off switch on the outside in a box)

3. I don't know what type of glass they give nowadays for the window but mine was just regular glass. I replaced that with a piece of tempered glass that I ordered from a local shop. It's considered unbreakable by ordinary means. I cover that with a sheet of clear plastic inside and change it every six months or so when I can no longer see inside. (Glass was $20, IIRC).

4. The arm holes were OK but I made some out of some stainless steel dog food bowls....because......well....just because. I use 10/32 studs with round brass battery nuts on the window and arm holes so I can change rubber gloves when they get holes on them. The H.F. rubber blast gloves are very good.

5. You will definitely need something to exhaust the dust and collect the fines from your blasting. I use a vintage Cyclone brand 2 hp 3,450 rpm unit that sits on a 55 gallon barrel. It rolls around the shop and I use it for woodwork also. It's got an amazing amount of vacuum and it gets 99 % of the dust.

All in all, with those changes, the H.F. cabinet is great and would compare with many that are five times the price. I use it frequently when I'm workng since everything I own has a coat of rust or old paint on it. LOL.

Oh, yeah. I've used all different grades of glass beads, walnut shells, and lately copper slag down through the years and they all work. The copper slag is really cheap, too, like 100 # for $9.00. Glass is far more expensive. The H.F. ccabinet will hold more than 100 # of media.

The only fault I've found with copper slag is that periodically, the unit will stop pulling media due to cavitation in the pickup tube. This is, I think because of the relatively large size of the copper grains. This is immediately cured by putting your gloved finger over the tip while pulling the trigger. It will "burp" the tube and then it will work again. It doesn't do that with glass but, as I said, the copper slag is cheap.

Someone above mentioned leaks. They don't leak after you've gone over them with silicone on the seams.

That's my story and I'm stickin' to it. :)



http://i144.photobucket.com/albums/r188/gnm109/Machinery/CycloneA.jpg

Bill Pace
10-25-2010, 07:53 PM
I've got the big HF cabinet, and I love it. (the small one is pretty crappy, that was my first one:(). I had a problem with the gun running glass bead - thats all I use in it - when the bead would get worn and have a lot of suspended dust, the gun would clog with 'mud' from the dust. I switched to a plain $10 siphon hose gun I had and have had no more problems. I used common sense in assy, and rtv'd the areas where leaks were likely to occur and I only have a couple very minor dust leaks (I bet the best cabinets let a little dust escape). The light is still functioning after about 2 yrs. I added a vacuum rig to it, which is just about a necessity with a cabinet.

I got the thing when it was shown 'on sale' at $189 or $199 and with a %20 coupon got it for $160 or so -- I figured I could do a little patching on it for that price!, but it has been a very pleasant surprise. The fit and finish were very good, paint was really nice, and the hardware even fit up nicely - I'd go buy another one in a heartbeat

H8Allegheny
10-26-2010, 08:45 AM
If you want to have the ULTIMATE blasting cabinet, either build your own or talk this guy into building one for you:

http://davepropst.com/Article/Art5/Article5.htm

I've been collecting stuff for over a year to build one of these beasts!

Brian
Taxachusetts

garagemark
10-26-2010, 09:05 AM
I bought one of the older TP cabinets (46"), and I love it. I also opted for the small bag filter instead of the glorified vacuum. The cabinet is sealed well and the filter keeps the sight area very clear. I have run glass beads, aluminum oxide, walnut shells and silicon carbide through it, with never a fowl. Only mods I did to it was to add some better lighting inside. I also would suggest a carbide nozzle though. The ceramic nozzles don't last long for me.

For a gravity feed unit, it's been a good one. I haven't really wished for a pressure feed cabinet, so it must be OK for what I do.

My two penny opinion.

On edit- WOW! Dave's cabinet is a serious piece of work!

MichaelP
10-26-2010, 10:49 AM
After a very unpleasant recent experience with TP, I went with Trinco MASTER MODEL 36 CABINET. I didn't regret it a bit. Very well made equipment that doesn't require any DIY additions, competitive price (speak to them: they give nice discounts to home shop guys) and nice people to deal with. Highly recommended.

garagemark
10-26-2010, 10:58 AM
I have heard more than one person say they have had problems with TP as Michaelp has stated. Too bad. When I bought mine, the old man that owned it (Thurmon I think) was a great guy to work with, but it must have fallen into disarray when he retired and sold the company. Glad I did business with them before the shiit hit the fan.

Jim Caudill
10-26-2010, 01:37 PM
TP tools, I believe, was Truman Indistrial Products (TIP tools). I bought from them some years ago (12 to 15) when I visited their store and purchased a "scratch and dent" model, benchtop cabinet. I thoguht it did a good job, but the lighting was poor. I sold that unit and purchased a Trinco cabinet from my (then local) J&L Industrial Supply store. I liked several things about the Trinco, but did not like the diameter of the arm hole openings, the way the openings were finished, nor did I like their gloves. Since TP Tools sells every component separately, I purchased their gloves, glove collars, spare window (same size as Trinco), and their siphon blast gun. I enlarged the cabinet openings to accept the TP Tools gloves and mounting collars, and installed the new blast gun. The arm openings and gloves made the Trinco much more comfortable, but I didn't think the new blast gun worked as well as the Trinco gun, so I switched back. My Trico seems to need the "back purging" more than the TP Tools cabinet did, but that could be due to other factors than the design of the siphon tube. I have friends that come over to use my cabinet, even though they have their own, industrial cabinets and auto trade show brands. They all claim that my cabinet does a much better job than their own. I'm still not 100% satisfied, but it works ok for now.

On edit:
I just called TP Tools to ask them for clarification about the former name and owner; it was indeed Truman Industrial Products. I asked them how long ago the company was sold, and he said "probably 11 or 12 years ago". I noted that Robert Zwicker is now the president of the company. I'm quite sure that I bought from them before they were sold. We also purchased a "99er" pressure pot sandblast unit. It doesn't appear that they sell pressure pot blasters anymore, nor do they have the hoods and respirators that they used to sell. I guess product liabilty made them a risky item to keep selling.