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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I haven't seen much blast cabinet discussion on here, but does anyone happen to enjoy the use of a blast cabinet and have an opinion on different blast media?

I just upgraded to a nice big floor standing unit and have only previously experienced that quartz sand stuff. I've heard alot about aluminum oxides and glass beads as being good for the automotive hobby type uses. I obviously don't do any fancy delicate stuff, and utilize it for stripping and metal surface prepping, and would like to hear what others have found to work best.



Thanks in advance.

--billyM
 

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I use glass bead in mine for cleaning up aluminum casting and basic stripping.
 

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I haven't used any for blasting parts, but in High School I worked in a Glass shop doing etching and glass carving. Most of what we used was Silicone Carbide, Walnut shells or just plain Sand depending on the desired effect. Used both a Siphon (shown) and a straight Pressure system. I believe that the Silicone carbide would be too strong an abrasive for just wanting to clean something up, and the Walnut shells might be a too soft for surface prep. I don't remember exactly how tough it was. Sand would probably heat up the surface too much causing some warpage depending on the part or surface.
 

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glass bead and straight pressure system do the job, i use it to clean, brass, aluminum, steel and other materials.
 

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I've been using Dupont "Starblast" for just the general purpose you describe.
 

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I used sand on parts that have oil/grease/carbon deposits, and some of the specialty product on cleaner/oxidized parts. We did this to avoid contamination of the reservoir. Beads loose some of their effectiveness when they have sludge attached. You end up changing the media more often.....I was assuming that this is a recirc unit and not an external supply.
 

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Buy some medium grit sand and some glass bead. You'll end up just leaving the glass in most of the time. Its all you want to use on aluminium, and will resurface most steel parts that don't have anything too tough on them. Sand will leave a very rough, abrasive finish and is too much for aluminum. I only put my sand in when I want to strip the stock powder coating off a set of 5m valve covers or something similar. Changing media is kind of a pita, to be honest its really best to have 2 cabinents. I would like to get another at some point just for sand.

Can't say as I've ever run into an item where I thought the glass was too much and that I needed walnut shells. Alot of people say to use them on aluminum wheels but I've always been happy with the glass finish and as it is glass takes longer then I'd like to strip things down.
 

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baking soda
i use a homemade sand and soda blaster lol
the soda works pretty good
 

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For rusty items I use alum. oxide. It doesn't slide down as well in the cabinet but a couple thumps with the knee and it's where it needs to be. You can use higher pressure than glass and it lasts longer IMO.

For metal items with not much corrosion and aluminum I use glass beads. Use low pressure (60psi or lower if my memory is correct) or the beads turn into powder fast.

I have used plastic beads on interior parts. Works great on plastic and shines it well.

For a cheaper alternative buy play sand from the box stores. It cuts pretty fast and cleans well.

Harbor freight has a pretty good combination of media.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Guys, thanks so much for the input.

How do you guys vent yours? Do you have an actual dust capture unit, or do you just run a shop vac like I plan to?

--billyM
 

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Guys, thanks so much for the input.

How do you guys vent yours? Do you have an actual dust capture unit, or do you just run a shop vac like I plan to?

--billyM
Shop vac. Another tip. I bought a big roll of clear plastic a decade ago from a drafting/engineering supply house much cheaper than buying the sheets they sell specifically to protect your glass window. I forget what the stuff is called, but its thick and optically clear, essentially the same stuff only you have to cut it yourself. They use it to make clear covers for sets of engineering plans. I think it was about $20 and at my current rate of usage, should last me another 25 years.
 

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ive heard of alot of people using play sand since its cheap and easy to find. im also very curious about soda blasting since if what your blasting is too big for the cabinet, you can just wash it away and not have your garage or driveway look like a beach.
 

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I use the supplied vacuum unit that came with the blaster. Make sure you use a vacuum with a very good filter and clean it very often! Mine has burned out the motor 2 times in 6 years.

Also, install good filtration because any moisture at all will make a mess.
 

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This is a caution I ran into while looking for a blast unit. Something to think about. This is more for sand blasting outside a cabinet.

DO NOT USE SAND. SAND WILL CAUSE SILICA DUST, WHICH IS THE CAUSE OF SILICOSIS DISEASE, A CONDITION OF MASSIVE FIBROSIS OF THE LUNGS. THIS STATEMENT INDICATES POTENTIAL PERSONNEL HAZARD. FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH THESE INSTRUCTIONS MAY RESULT IN PERSONNEL INJURY.

WEBSITE FOR SILICOSIS:

http://www.osha-slc.gov/SLTC/silica_advisor/mainpage.html
 

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This is a caution I ran into while looking for a blast unit. Something to think about.

DO NOT USE SAND. SAND WILL CAUSE SILICA DUST, WHICH IS THE CAUSE OF SILICOSIS DISEASE, A CONDITION OF MASSIVE FIBROSIS OF THE LUNGS. THIS STATEMENT INDICATES POTENTIAL PERSONNEL HAZARD. FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH THESE INSTRUCTIONS MAY RESULT IN PERSONNEL INJURY.

WEBSITE FOR SILICOSIS:

http://www.osha-slc.gov/SLTC/silica_advisor/mainpage.html
:ugh:
 

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yeah theres alot of health concerns associated with sand blasting. I always use at least a thick professional style dust mask, but usually my full on partiuclate respirator that I use during welding. I can feel the shit getting into my throat if I don't use a filter. My cabinate is fairly well sealed, but it never gets it all.

Shop vac here too. I need to fix my water trap on my compressor, it doesn't do shit right now. I have to stop and let my compressor cool off after blasting for more then 10-15 mintutes as it runs constantly and eventually gets hot and starts condensing water in the tank. Makes a mess out of the sprayer gun, but its not too hard to clean out once the water dries.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I haven't had any issues with my compressor keeping up thus-far, but have considered an additional piggy-back tank to further keep it from cycling so often.

The main reason I upgraded to the current blaster is because my last one was a little leaky around the edges. I preferred to use it outside due to that, and want something I simply toss a part in, hook up the shopvac, and blast to my heart's content!

Thanks for all the input guys. I think it's important that we focus as much on the tools as we do the cars we use them on. I can't tell you how much time I've saved with little tricks of the trade or otherwise inexpensive tools that really are needed (read, pulley puller) in many circumstances for quick and easy work.

--billyM
 

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crushed walnut shells
 
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