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Deadfall sandblaster

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  • Deadfall sandblaster

    I was thinking of making a sort of a sandblaster. I'm sure this has been done before somewhere. Basically it would involve a transporter or conveyor that would continuously pour sand from as great a height as I can muster onto a rusty part that needs cleaning. Another idea I had was to build a drum that would rotate and a part to be cleaned would be mounted in the center. Sand in the drum would be drawn up the sides by paddles as it rotates and continuously pour sand on all sides of the part to be cleaned. The idea is to avoid a lot of the problems that sandblasting involves and to get a good result without having to manually manipulate the tool. I'd like to make something that as Ron Popeil would say, "set it, and forget it!"

    Any ideas or suggestions will be appreciated.

    Spence

  • #2
    More than a few people have bought a cheap HF cement mixer for this purpose, and they apparently work reasonably well. Vibratory units work better, which probably explains why Google yields 57,000 hits for vibratory tumblers.

    I don’t think a â€?sand dropper’ would be a very fast or efficient way to accomplish the task. If rust is your main problem, I presume that you have seen the many posts on de-rusting using the electrolysis method. I think this would meet your “set it and forget itâ€‌ criteria nicely.

    Or… you could just “setâ€‌ the part in a windy location in the nearest available desert. It could take awhile though.
    Location: North Central Texas

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    • #3
      Just a few months back someone posted about using sand with a little diesel added in a cement mixer to clean rusty bolts and nuts when rebuilding an old tractor.
      North Central Arkansas

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      • #4
        The problem is that the terminal velocity of falling sand is probably a few tens of miles per hour while the sand coming from a sandblaster nozzle is up around the 400 to 500 mph range. Big difference.
        Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here

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        • #5
          Build a rotoblast machine.

          A steel conveyor that rolls the parts amidst a lot of shot in a drum type machine.

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          • #6
            --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

            The problem is that the terminal velocity of falling sand is probably a few tens of miles per hour while the sand coming from a sandblaster nozzle is up around the 400 to 500 mph range. Big difference."--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

            Yep, several hours to days in the tumbler, versus minutes with a good blaster.
            North Central Arkansas

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            • #7
              I wouldn't use sand anyway. Get a bead or media (soda) blaster. You'll get the rust and leave the good metal that way. Sand'll take everything.

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              • #8
                FYI, I just got a notice from harbor freight that they have a cheap (price and construction quality, I'm sure) 5lb, vibratory tumbler for $40. Hows that for timing?

                Here's the link...
                http://www.harborfreightusa.com/usa/z.jsp?id=93252

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                • #9
                  Terrible timing. Now you'll have to buy something from them.
                  I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-

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