I need some help with purchasing some sandblasting equipment. It's not something I know a whole lot about. Here are my question, concerns and thoughts.
How large are these things? I have a small shop with a limited amount of space. I do have an open area behind it covered by a shed roof.
Are they or is it portable? If I want to clean up a small item like a block or shroud, then I can go to the unit but if I want to clean up something much larger and heavier, something that would be a P.I.A. to move, can I take the equipment to the project? Or, if like an air compressor, all you need is a longer section of hose.
I'm using "sand" as a general term as I understand there are other types of particulates that are better to use, do a better job, safer, less expensive, etc. My question is, does someone make a unit that uses different types of particulates (sand, pecan shells, beads, soda, etc.)?
Should I buy new or used? I have a budget but I've learned my lesson over the years to stay away from the cheap stuff and get off the dime. You get what you pay for.
I have some limited knowledge/ experience on the subject.
Basically you are hooking up an air hose to a feeder unit that mixes the "sand" and air and blasts it thru a nozzel. So the distance between the compressor and the feeder is only limited by the amount of hose that you have.
I have access to a buddies shop that has a 100 gallon air compressor.I have used a small cheap sears unit , holds about gallon of sand at a time, works fine for small stuff , would not want to do anything larger than a kart frame. and that would take couple hours.
Point being that even with a small unit this compressor was working hard. I dont think you would have any success with say a 5 gallon compressor. The volume of air used would take the compressor too long to recover. If you are just doing small stuff, (block, head ect. ) and have time it might work.
The benefit of a cabinet is mess containment, the recycling of blast media, and comfort. Blasting outside with the hood on is hot and messy. There isn't enough blue tarps to contain the mess, it gets everywhere. The bigger the cabinet the bigger the piece you can get into it.
Had a job restoring one of those clocks you see standing on Main St USA. Took it down , back to my buddies shop, would not make a dent with the above system. Set up a make shift tent arena ( blue tarps, drop cloths, scaffolding, rope,bubble gum) and brought in a pro. They used a pull behind the truck compressor, the kind you would see with a jack hammer, or blowing out sprinkler lines. Their hose to nozzel was about 1 1/4". They blasted the #@!* out of it with sand, good job but there is still sand after my cleanup. MESSY.
The blasting material " sand" is referred to as media. From coarse to fine sand, slag from mills, plastic pellets, nut shells all depends how aggressive you need to be to remove the finish and how delicate the object is. Your finish may laugh at walnut shells or a coarse sand could blast right thru your object. All the units will use the different medias.
The compressor is the main and expensive thing.
You can use baking soda and a pressure washer " soda blasting"
Google blasting with dry ice , pretty cool.
I am sure a "real" expert Steve from " Millers BLAST from the Past Blasting and Collectibiles" will be checking in on this subject.
Last edited on Sun May 20th, 2012 02:48 pm by Kevin Brown