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Sandblasting Cabinet Round Two: VacuBlast

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  • Sandblasting Cabinet Round Two: VacuBlast

    As some of you will remember from an earlier thread, I was in the market for a sandblasting cabinet and needed an education. After getting some good advice, I decided to look for a used, industrial blast cabinet at auction. Funny thing is, instead of buying a blast cabinet, I wound up buying a Milwaukee 3H mill, a model H dividing head, a vertical head attachment for the 3H, a Hammond of Kalamazoo wet carbide grinder, and (thanks to a member here who alerted me) a Monarch 10EE I am now done purchasing machinery or tooling until the coffers have replenished! I will post seperate threads on these other machines eventually. BUT, amidst the flurry of auction purchases, I found a VacuBlast cabinet on Craigslist and bought it.

    The sandblasting cabinet is a VacuBlast model 200-S. I spoke with the president of the VacuBlast company who said a new one runs about $7k. He also told me he would buy this one for $615 to refurbish or part out. I paid $300, so I think I did alright but it does need some work. I've got the user manual for it and will be ordering some replacement parts (e.g. the oval gasket for the glass window) from VacuBlast but I was wondering: can I use a different manufacturer's gun and nozzles? The reason I ask is because VacuBlast deflected my question about a carbide nozzle, leading me to conclude they do not offer such a thing. I was thinking about buying one of the carbide setups from TiP Tools (https://www.tptools.com/S-35-and-C-3....html?b=d*8026) but wasn't sure if it would be compatible with the VacuBlast. The VacuBlast has a media re-claimer so the suction tube seems pretty long to me - it comes out the bottom of the inverted cone and goes up to enter at the top of the cabinet. Total length of that hose is probably 10'.

    A few other notes about the cabinet:
    1) It's not super convienient for the home shop due to it's size and number of access points. You basically need clear space on three of the four sides: the glove box side for actual blasting, the door side for loading, and the back for knocking the dust bags and changing media.
    2) It needs new gaskets everywhere, new gloves, and the foot pedal got damaged by the forklift. The glass looks remarkably clean, though. Need to make up some protectors for it.
    3) The dust extractor is a 300 SCFM blower. I haven't turned this on yet, but I expect it is going to be noisy.
    4) The reclaimer has a vibratory sieve. I may need to replace some of the rubber mounts there. Time will tell.

    P.s. Any advice on blasting with soft media like walnut shells? The cast aluminum covers from the aforementioned 10EE need to be stripped and I was wondering about trying walnut shells. Obviously I don't want to damage the underlying aluminum, so an aggressive media is out. So are many chemical paint strippers.

    I don't have any pictures of it in my shop but here are a few from when I bought it:
    Last edited by Fasttrack; 02-26-2020, 01:23 PM.

  • #2
    That looks really nice. I've not long bought the ubiquitous "HF" cabinet and bought or made the various necessary upgrades for that, all in spending more than you have on what looks like a really nice, good quality cabinet with dust extraction. In terms of media I am aware of walnut shell being used on cast aluminium wheels and other car parts, but having said that, I've personally blasted aluminium castings with garnet through a full size industrial blast pot, although not on full power, and they were keyed up nicely. For thin, fragile castings, I'd recommend blasted at a lower pressure/flow, but still with some hard media such as garnet or ally oxide, if you want to make a nice key for paint on the oxide layer. I think walnut shell would be better for a "finished" look for bare ally?

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    • #3
      Hi Fasttrack,

      Glass beads are a very good media for aluminum and a nice finish, I used it in my HF cabinet with good results. I think any of the major manufacturers guns will work with your cabinet. I would only look for something with the same size of inlet and nozzle sizes to match the volume of your unit.

      I am doing the same thing with a blast cabinet by Zero Blast and it uses the same style of dust collector. I'm in the process of building a dust collector portion of the system as the unit I got only had the reclaimer and blower but no dust control.

      One thing that I would suggest is cut the window out as large as you can and build a frame to hold rectangular glass in with regular closed cell window glazing tape. This way you can get many pieces cut and not pay a large price for oval glass. Besides the larger the window the better you will see what your working on. I also cut some of the top out of mine, enough to hold a framework with glass and 2 LED strip lights for lighting. Again a regular shape, and it removed the light from in front of the unit where it was mounted just above your head.

      Keep us posted as we all learn from each others projects and experience.


      TX
      Mr fixit for the family
      Chris

      http://clemtex.com/products/blasting...SAAEgL2APD_BwE


      https://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net/fo...esign-question

      Comment


      • #4
        Thanks guys! I'll check out garnet for a media and Chris, that's a great idea regarding the window. I'll probably make do with the oval one for now - maybe plug the gap in the gasket with tape or similarly crude method until the glass becomes too scratched to use. Then cut a larger, rectangular opening for glass I can get at the hardware store.

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        • #5
          Hi Fasttrack,

          That is exactly correct, easy to get at the local hardware store vs a glass shop cutting a special shape, or you tying and loosing a lot of glass in the process.
          You would be surprised at the low cost of a 50# bag of blast media, it isn't that much even for glass beads for blasting. Media is a consumable and does not last a long time, so I actually have a few 5gal. buckets with lids (got to keep it dry) that have different grit and types of media for different applications. Now, when I get the big cabinet going I'm not sure how easy it will be to change media vs the counter top unit that I used to have, but we'll see.

          TX
          Mr fixit for the family
          Chris

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          • #6
            Welcome to the 10EE club. The mystery 10EE buyer has been revealed.

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            • #7
              Is that a siphon style,don't see 2 hoses going to nozzle?

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Tundra Twin Track View Post
                Is that a siphon style,don't see 2 hoses going to nozzle?
                Yes, it is a siphon style. You're probably looking at the blow gun. The blast nozzle is the clunky looking thing hanging from a retractable leash.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by RB211 View Post
                  Welcome to the 10EE club. The mystery 10EE buyer has been revealed.
                  Thanks RB211 - I'm sure I'll have plenty of questions as I get into it. I ran one for a little while back in college but that's my only experience with a 10EE.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Fasttrack View Post

                    Thanks RB211 - I'm sure I'll have plenty of questions as I get into it. I ran one for a little while back in college but that's my only experience with a 10EE.
                    Have yet to run mine, it's still on the pallet. Need to drain the oil, refill, clean it up, make sure the oilers work and other stuff. But before any of that gets done, need to make room for it.

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                    • #11
                      You could also use soda to blast soft things. Works as well as walnut at low pressure, leaves a very fine texture.

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                      • #12
                        Glass beads, in different grades, especially used wet rather than dry are ideal for engine components, c/heads, crank cases etc for degreasing, cleaning and putting a wonderful finish on.
                        However, complicated oil ways etc need strict cleansing or masking off.
                        Glass beads are no good for paint removal.
                        For paint removal you want masked off gasket faces or any critical areas protected, and use al/ox (pink or white), garnet and sand, in that order.
                        Walnut shells and other similar stuff (olive ?) i never got on with, but is generally used for applications like glass beads (without the lustre or fine finish) but it won't damage internal components if you have'nt got all of it out, like glass will.

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                        • #13
                          I am a big fan of getting a pile of polycarbonate plastic sheets cut, and taping one to the inside of the glass. Those sheets are about 50 cents and it's great to be able to instantly restore 100% viewing. Much easier than replacing glass. Then, you can get some extra strong glass cut. Now it's safer and easier to use.

                          metalmagpie

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                          • #14
                            A fine metal screen in front of the glass will extend the life by at least 5X. It does degrade the view a bit, but with proper lighting it isn't a problem.
                            Southwest Utah

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                            • #15
                              I have used a few different blasting machines and this is the gun I like the most https://www.ebay.com/itm/REPLACES-CL...QAAOSweHtdsG4U and you can get different size nozzles in A/O or carbide nozzles. as for glass I went to a glass shop and had them cut me some glass and I got tempered safety I read that it last longer than laminated safety glass and from what I see it does in my machine. somewhere I have seen a retrofit were you put a new window assy on your blast cabinet that has a roll of plastic film on rollers and as the film get eached you just roll the new into place never did like the indvil plastic ones with the tape with a big machine you can get into they are ok but a smaller machine like yours and mine it a pain now I am older ken

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