Rusty Bowtie

General Category => Tricks of the Trade => Topic started by: Coley on December 30, 2017, 12:47:50 AM

Title: Inexpensive blasting cabinet
Post by: Coley on December 30, 2017, 12:47:50 AM
25 years ago I wanted to build a sand blasting cabinet for my shop.  I like to blast my castings to make primer stick well to them.
I had a small plastic bottle with a blasting tip, but it didn't hold much sand and I had to do it outside.
The solution is to get a free metal cabinet that was 65" tall, 35" wide and 25" deep.  Having an appliance store nearby, I picked up a side-by-side ref /freezer cabinet, with the cooling parts already removed.
I used plywood for the front panel, the glove panel and the window panel at the top. A farm store had a nice old scrap steel feed grinder plate for the surface to put parts on to blast.
I also had a plumbing shop right next door to get a gas water heater induction blower for removing the dust.
I used some pipe that I had to make the nozzle for blasting.  Some rubber hose and I was set.
Originally I used metal blasting tips, but they wore out way too soon. Ebay sells 1/4" internal hole ceramic  tips and they last for years.  The total cost to get it up and running was less than $ 35.00, so far.  Including a piece of glass for the window and a piece of plexiglass for the inside light window and the metal to make the bottom sand holder.
The window is on a plywood panel that you pull out and then slide into the top through a coupe notches that are covered when it is down.
I should have tapered the sides of the sand box a little more so that the sand goes more into the center and not build up on the side.  An air gun adapted to make a foot pedal for controlling the air for the nozzle was a good thing also.
I use this blasting cabinet almost every day for cleaning castings to weld, prime or just remove the sanding marks from finishing.
You can also use rubber tape to put on  glass and the razor blade a design to be etched in the glass for a tray, window or whatever.
The light inside is on the top and shows through a plexiglass panel.  I put a hood over it and that helps keep the 2 light bulbs clean.  A switch on the top turns on the lights and the blower.  The blower is attached to some PVC pipe and gets the dust outside.
For blasting compound I used to use silica sand, but now use black lava compound from Walmart.
Construction took one weekend.
The cabinet is tall enough inside to take a cowl panel from a 1964 Chevy.  Just lift the tray and prop it up against the back wall.
I didn't use gloves in the hand hole panels so I could insert small parts without opening the door.  Just hold the part with the rubber (inner tube) covering your hand.  I use a rubber glove  to hold the nozzle.
The open end of a hose in the last picture is the air hose that is needed to let the sand come up the blasting hose.  It goes into the side of the pickup pipe down in the sand.  Without it the sand fills the nozzle tube and nothing comes out.
Title: Re: Inexpensive blasting cabinet
Post by: EDNY on December 30, 2017, 09:20:09 PM
That's a great idea...I thought about locating one of those old metal freezer chests (floor type) since they were constructed of metal. Then gut it and install heating elements from an electric stove to make a powder coating oven.  Would be a lot easier to lift up the door and hang parts.
Title: Re: Inexpensive blasting cabinet
Post by: Coley on December 31, 2017, 12:35:59 AM
Yep, for a well built steel container they are great and cheap.  When I used to have an investment casting system I used an old electric stove with a hole in the bottom over a catch can to dewax my molds .  Then I put the molds in an old gas fired kitchen stove and used it to burn out the balance of the wax and dry the molds for pouring.  All for free and easy to convert.
Last fall I bought a welding rod drying cabinet and now use it to dry plaster molds.
A few years ago I saw an article about making a waste oil burner in Mother Earth News.  I built one and used it with oil until the neighboring business didn't like the small soot that it let off.  Now I burn wood in it and save over $ 200.00 per month.  On weekends when they are closed I burn waste oil.  So many items are out there to repurpose!