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Blast cabinet - how useful

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  • Blast cabinet - how useful

    Have considered getting a blast cabinet for some time and I see that princess auto has them on for 1/2 price:

    Question is, for those of you who have one, how much use do you find you get from it? Do you use it for anything besides cleaning rust & paint from small parts?

    Does it make more sense to use the electrolysis method of de-rusting & forget the cabinet?

    Anyone have the P auto unit? Comments on quality?

  • #2
    My blast cabinet sets unused for long periods. Then it will be used allmost daily. I use it to put a soft finish on stainless rifle barrels. I don't have any way of working around on that application. I really like having it particularily for a finish that holds paint. It is probably not a good allocation of resources but I would probably do it again. It really is not that hard to build one but some of the economy models are not very well executed. There is a guy here that builds some small units in 55 gal bbls. I would recommend that you get one that is large enough don't skimp on size.
    Byron Boucher
    Burnet, TX


    • #3
      I haven't used that model but I doubt the "heavy steel construction" part..........I have found pressure pots to be superior to syphon and a dust/seperator system is nice......that said depending on what your working on they can produce nice results relatively easily.

      You could ask do I have spare space and enough air to work it?
      Opportunity knocks once, temptation leans on the doorbell.....


      • #4
        I wouldn't be without my cabinet and indeed I'm thinking of at least one more (if not two), with it's own media. I built my own to the same dimensions as the Princess Auto/Sealey/Valley Tools/Machine Mart. etc. etc.....

        Mine works just fine on a 3hp Fiac (14 CFM displacement) although it will run almost continuously. I'm about to add an Eductor (second venturi) to the base of the hopper to blow media though the pickup line to the gun. It should improve the efficiency quite a bit.
        Paul Compton


        • #5
          Thanks fellas.
          Cleaning parts, texturing surfaces, artistic work like etching glass, anything other applications I'm not thinking of?
          Last edited by Herb W; 06-23-2010, 10:00 PM.


          • #6
            Final musings before this thread fades into oblivion...
            Thinking of pros & cons of blasting vs electrolysis for part cleaning.
            Blasting pros: quicker - no waiting while parts sit in solution. Parts are dry when done - no messy cleanup (except mebbe some dust) Control of surface texture. Control of aggressiveness of cleaning.

            Blasting cons: Cost - initial cost of equipment & ongoing cost of media vs minimal cost for electro setup & supplies. Space requirement for cabinet & dust control. Dust

            Am I missing anything? Comments... observations ... experiences ?
            Last edited by Herb W; 06-23-2010, 09:56 PM.


            • #7
              IMO, a must have.


              • #8
                Originally posted by Herb W
                Thanks fellas.
                Cleaning parts, texturing surfaces, artistic work like etching glass, anything other applications I'm not thinking of?
                Machine tool restorations - a must have


                • #9
                  Herb W. I hope I can give some insight. Me too wanted one and a few years ago bought the exact same cabinet.. (Drat!!! at a lot more $$$$ )

                  Mostly works fine, except that it is DARK in there! So I had to add lights, lots of lights! Oh, I forgot...

                  First thing is the dust!.. You have to get this thing connected to a vacuum cleaner to take care of the dust. Then the vacuum plugs up solid.

                  OK, I'm still not there yet, but must have a bag house vacuum system to take care of the dust problem.

                  So there are two things... dust and light to take care of.

                  Otherswise looks like a good deal.. I have used mine a lot. sits for days, then will use it for hours....

                  Go for it!!!


                  • #10
                    I recently got one of the blow molded ones from MSC and have been using it for glass beading 6061 and the finish from it is beautiful. Much faster and easier than scotchbrite for some parts.


                    • #11
                      I had a big blast cabinet...damn thing was useless.

             wasn't always...
                      Had it outside under a roof.
                      I had to do some air Arc gouging on a skid steer not far away from the cabinet.
                      I put up a piece of plywood to deflect molten fireworks away from the arm holes.
                      I know now...if you put the plywood on the welding cable...then pull on the cable to get more length...well this can move the plywood...
                      Then....head down, arse start gouging with lots of air pressure.
                      Funny thing that....them darn white hot sizzlers...they are pretty sneaky lil devils
                      You actually can get a whole pile of them to fit into one of the blast cabinet gloves...
                      See above...(head down, arse up...)...You aren't birdwatching so you just might not notice a customization process has begun inside your blast cabinet...
                      You just may not notice...that now both of those gloves are on fire inside your newly painted cabinet.
                      You will soon need to replace the carbon rod...hopefully you may notice that the hose inside is now ablaze also...
                      You may also be interested in the fact that the plexiglass windows in the cabinet are now an inferno also.
                      Soon may find it getting pretty hot outside...
                      And kinda smokey...
                      Hmmm...don't think anyone is burning any blast the smells etc...must have blown down the valley.
             COULD just turn around and look...?
                      Well...isn't that special?....
                      HOLY $HIT!
                      The cabinet is a raging 3 alarm fire now!
                      You run for the extinguisher not far from the cabinet...
                      Ooops...upon arrival, you see your blast cabinet starting to sag and the walls buckling...
                      A total write off...
                      Nah...don't get's not worth it???
                      Last edited by torker; 06-24-2010, 01:18 AM.
                      I have tools I don't even know I own...


                      • #12
                        Russ........can picture it all now.........LOL

                        Herb there in a nutshell is the crash course in blasters.........when the stars align can be a damn handy shop fixture......then the other side is barely better than an exercise in futility........honestly though the machine/media/reclaim system and setup have a lot to do with for your original question I can't honestly comment.......I have used many Empires with all the bells and whistles usually with slightly unimpressive results.......others have been spectacular.........the good part of this one is it leaves lots of $$$'s in your pocket for tweaking and the results maybe satisfactory out of the box????

                        Pls let us know it's performance if you go ahead and purchase.......
                        Opportunity knocks once, temptation leans on the doorbell.....


                        • #13
                          Thanks much guys!

                          Russ: Sounds like an "I can't believe I just did that" event.

                          P Auto goofed - didn't have any cabinets in stock for the sale, but they did give me a raincheck. When I get it & try it, I'll report back.