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Small Sandblast Cabinet

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  • Small Sandblast Cabinet

    Has anyone used one of the small benchtop sand blast cabinets that HF and Enco are selling? Do the guns work OK? Overall impressions? Do they require a shop vac to keep dust down? I would like to be able to bead/sand blast small parts before applying finish and I don't have room for a stand alone cabinet.

  • #2

    I bought one of the cheap ones from Northern Tool about three years ago. About $200 IIRC.
    I have used it to bead blast the parts of several large machine guns and small cannons/mortars and lots of small parts with good success.
    I do have a large air compressor and you need one to blast for long times.
    I have worn out the nozzle at least once.
    The worse problem is the short life of the window. Buy extra stick on protective covers. You will need them.
    I use mine outside when possible and wear a mask to avoid breathing the dust that comes out of the cabinet.
    Last edited by Seastar; 03-04-2009, 11:57 AM.
    I cut it off twice and it's still too short!


    • #3
      I got the small HF one, $99 on sale, and like Seastar, I used the crap out of it. Never had a minutes problem with the gun. All I ever ran thru it was glass beads and my window lasted a looong time, and I even quit fooling with the protectors- couldnt get them to stick and visibility with them was poor. Changing out the media is just about impossible with the bottom hole - I quickly learned to just scoop out the majority of it and vacuum out the rest. Didnt come with a light, so I added a $9 under-the-counter flourescent from wallyworld. I rigged up a vacuum on mine, it was just too big a help not to. Cant see how you could hardely go wrong at the price-----
      If everything seems to be going well, you have obviously overlooked something........


      • #4
        Bill, you mention cleaning it out. Is that to switch abrasive type or refill a hopper? Is a seperate external hopper required with one of these or is it a self contained unit?


        • #5
          Is that to switch abrasive type or refill a hopper?
          Glass beads will turn to powder with use and at some point you just have to dump them out and start with a fresh batch, --of course the more you use it the faster it deteriorates. Also, as the glass deteriorates it starts putting off more and more dust, making visibility more and more limited, and the more need for a vacuum set-up. And, of course, if you wanna change over to walnut shells or aluminum oxide, etc.

          Is a separate external hopper required with one of these or is it a self contained unit?
          Its self-contained, -- the small HF unit, and many others that look identical, dont have legs & are designed to sit on a bench, etc, so in order to open the 'drain' hole and let the media out you have to finagle the cabinet - somehow - over a container which can be very awkward.
          If everything seems to be going well, you have obviously overlooked something........


          • #6
            The HF, etc. units should work just fine, but for the price of a sheet of plywood and some 2x2’s you could make your own. I made mine and the only problem is I should have made it bigger.

            The suction guns are cheep and work just fine for small jobs. However be prepared to replace the nozzles. I use sand and it wears them out fairly quickly. I make new nozzles by cutting a piece of ½” drill rod to length, drill a hole through it, and then harden them.

            I would definitely recommend using a shop-vac to catch the dust. You most certainly do not what to breathe the dust.

            You will what to tape a piece of thin disposable plastic over the window to protect it. In addition I have found that a piece of fiberglass window screen in front of the protective plastic helps to protect the protective plastic.

            If this is to be used for small parts and if space is an issue what about making a box that could be used for sand blasting and as a spray booth?


            • #7
              I use one of the cheap bead blast cabinets too

              Tape ALL the seams with that Foil Tape they use for HVAC ducts on the inside before you even attempt to use it. Damm things leak like a ....

              Also get a roll of "Saran Wrap" for the window and you'll thank yourself later "Wrap On - Wrap Off". Mother won't notice her saran wrap is missing from the kitchen for at least 2 weeks

              First thing the kid is going to do is point the nozzel directly at the plexi glass to see if any thing is coming out


              • #8
                my cabinet started life as an in-the-wall oven, has a 1/8 plate door and an external hopper. The exhaust fan pulls air in through the hole where the sand falls out into the hopper, then blows the dust outside the building. The door has an opening about 2x5 inches that I cover from the inside with clear package tape. That way the sand doesn't stick to the glue. I've used it for around 15 years. To change the sand shake the cabinet real good,dump the old sand in a garbage bag and throw it in the garbage.