Decent blast cabinet?
I am shopping for a decent and reasonably priced abrasive blast cabinet. I would like it to be large enough to comfortably blast a 19" motorcycle wheel and be able to run on a 10CFM@90PSI compressor. I think top loading would be the best so larger parts can be placed more easily. I plan to use aliminum oxide grit. I have been snooping around a little but all I have found are really thin gauge units that doesn't look very durable. I am not picky about it being an import or not, I just want something that works and will hold up to some serious home shop use.
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I have used and owned a couple of the cabinets from TP tools, and while they are good, I actually like the TRINCO cabinets nozzle and blasting ability better. What I ended up doing was buying a new TRINCO cabinet from J&L Industrial supply and then buying new gloves and retaining rings from TP Tools. I opened up the "arm holes" in the TRINCO cabinet and used the gloves and mounting rings from TP Tools. I didn't like the feel of the rubber gloves that came in the TRINCO nor did I like the sizing (I felt like my arms were too constricted). I also like the lighting system much better on the TRINCO design. I now feel like I have the best of everything.
I got this one on sale for $160 http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=93608.
I've put dozens of hours on it, and have been pretty happy with it. I use slag media. There's really not much to the inexpensive cabinets to set them apart. You have to take a giant leap in dollars to get any additional useful features. Just make sure you dry the air at the cabinet. Moisture will cause constant clogging of the nozzle and much aggravation (a hard lesson learned!).
consider a good used industrial cabinet
I picked up a used industrial-quality bead/abrasive blasting cabinet (made by Dee-Blast) about 2 years ago from a local machinery dealer. It was not cheap at about $650 used, but I sure am glad I spent the extra money versus the cheap-junk offerings from Horrible Freight, or the automotive supply places, or such.
After a couple years use, I would not be without it.
It is ruggedly built, has good built-in lighting, and decent access for loading parts thru a large side-opening door. I like the side door for heavy parts--do not have to lift things so high. It also has the real life-saver, IMHO, that being a very effective dust exhauster/filter system built-in. You can blast all day and not have problems with dust obscuring your view of the work, unlike many cheapo units. Dust obscuration is a real annoyance and slows things down a lot. I also note that the garage stays clean due to the effectiveness of the filter bags. They have not required any maintenance since I bought the unit.
Expect that any bead blasting cabinet will require maintenance/replacement parts. The most frequent need is replacing the ceramic or hardened steel nozzle inside the blast gun. The glove box gloves will eventually need replacement.
The bigger issue with a bead blasting cabinet is air usage. If you think that 10 CFM is adequate, think again. Yea, you might be able to get away with that, but progress will be painfully slow. Bigger really is better here. When I purchased my cabinet, the gun supplied had a small nozzle installed, that did not require much air. It worked, sort of, but progress was slow. I had to replace it due to wear and wound up with a larger nozzle. That was a revelation. WOW. That sucker will really strip rust fast now. Mine requires something on the order of 15+ CFM, which means a REAL 5HP compressor at an absolute minimum. By real, I mean rated 5HP continuous duty. Anything less will suffer a quick death.
Be sure to use the search feature on the forum here to see the very informative post by Forrest Addy about the ins and outs of buying air compressors. That is a true mine-field for the unwary. I am looking for a suitable, locally available, upgrade to my existing Sears Crapsman air compressor.
Media. Glass beads are the closest thing to a universal blast media. If you are doing a lot of heavy rust/scale removal, something more aggressive will be the ticket, but don't use it on any softer metals such as aluminum. I am doing a car restoration. Glass beads are a good compromise.
Moisture. Moisture in the air supply is a killer. I built an air distribution system out of 1 inch copper tubing for my garage and have never had a drop of moisture since. Money well spent. Use the serach feature or the internet to research how such a system is layed out (slope, size of lines, drain points, take-offs for air, etc.). There was a web-site with a diagram of this which I copied with excellent results.
Good luck and enjoy.
I would also add that the mylar film shield that protects the glass from frosting will also need replacement from time to time.
Originally Posted by bronto48
I also went with a Trinco with a small dust collector...this does a very decent job for what I have to do. It can keep a 5hp T-30 compressor busy!
I bought my Trinco 36" cabinet about 30 years ago and am happy with it. The dust collector works OK for the price, but units that cost much more will do a better job. The original gloves were not oil proof rubber and disintegrated when i got some mineral spirits on them. The second pair of nitrile gloves lasted about twenty years before getting a hole in the left index finger. I am still using gloves number three, which I bought from my Mac Tools truck. You want cloth lined oil proof gloves. A year or two ago, I replaced the worn out Trinco gun and pickup tube with one from TP, and it is working well.
I have a Curtis (real) 5 HP/80 gal. compressor, and think 10 CFM @ 90 would mean waiting for the tank to pump back up often if you blast for more than a minute at a time. I think you can use a smaller orifice in the gun for small compressors, but that just slows down the blasting volume. Either way, a small compressor means slow blasting.
I am also looking to purchase a blast cabinet in the next couple of months. I am looking to blast fabricated parts before painting. Has anybody had any experience with "Bad Boy Blasters". I saw them on E Bone and they looked OK. The problem is I have zero experience with blast cabinets and do not know the advantages of each feature. My blasting experience is limited to CO2 blasting.
I just hooked up my shopvac and I don't have problems with dust obscuring my view. You can use a water trap between the shopvac and the blaster if you're worried about the shopvac. I wouldn't by the Harbor Freight unit for production, but for home use it's fine. I've blasted many, many dozer parts that looked like they came off the ocean floor without any problems. The more expensive units are better at getting the used media back to the gun, but I'm glad to beat on the hopper every once and a while to save $400!
Have you looked into a blast system that uses a pressurized pot instead of a siphon type gun? I have used one for outside blasting and I find it uses a lot less air and has a more aggressive cleaning action, but I have not used one in a cabinet. I must be overlooking something because my experience shows the pressure pots to be much more efficient and yet the siphon guns seem to be the norm.
Yes the pressure pot systems work a million times better, used to have a shop and we built from scratch a cabinet that used a press pot blaster. The pot was directly under the cab for drainback of abrasive through a big poppet valve so the operator stood on a 3 foot high platform and the whole blaster was about 11 feet high.
Our shop built dust collector was 4 ft by 4 ft by 8 ft high, 1.5 hp blower with a 16 inch aluminum high pressure paddle wheel type blower from grainger. 4 Donaldson -Torit filter cartridges each one was 12 inch dia and 48 inch long. Filters about $75.00 each but last a long time. Dust falls off them into trash cans inside the unit when you turn off the blower. Home made cyclone seperator between the blast cabinet and the dust collector to catch the good media so we could return it to the blaster.
The only other practical setup for a low height pressure pot fed cabinet with the pot not under the cab is to have a conveyor belt setup that catches the abrasive at the bottom of the cabinet and transports it over and up into a hopper above the pressure pot. When the pot is depressurized a rubber cone shaped valve drops and the abrasive can flow down back into the pot.
See clemco.com for real industrial nozzles and hose
for instance their 4 ply 1/2 in ID abrasive hose lasts an amazing amount of time, picked up from clemtex in houston
I bought a cheapo metal sand blasting cabinet that was screwed together. All of the seams leak dust. When it warms up a bit, I'm going to take it outside, and hose it off.
Next I'll loosen up all the screws and seal all of the seams with RTV before re-tightening.
Then I'll put a real attachment on the box for my Shop-Vac.
I wish that I'd tried a plastic enclosure.