my questions are pretty simple. whats a decent cheap gun to get, or does it matter since this is not a commercial and not a precision application?
I don't think it is that critical for what you are wanting to do.
what sort of hose should i use for the diy gravity fed system i am going to make - 5 gallon bucket + funnel ftw
I would think you could find a replacement hose for an existing system pretty inexpensively.
what grit sand should i use since the more abrasion the parts have the better the spray on liner works, but i also need to get into fairly tight little corners and curves?
If you are stripping ABS Plastic, I wouldn't use sand at all. I would expect that sand would chew right through it. I would think something like walnut shell would work for the ABS. Whatever you use, make sure you wear a respirator. Sand can cause a very nasty disease called silicosis.
what psi would you guys recommend running it at, and what cfm/size should my compressor be for doing this non stop?
Blasters hog a lot of air. you will want the biggest compressor you can afford. You may also want to do some research on hooking up multiple compressors. I've heard though have no experience that you can put to smaller inexpensive compressors and tanks together and allow you to put out more air with out beating up your compressor too much.
i have a crap older compressor with a leak, that is apparently full of water, and am emglo that is supposed to work, and a bunch of spare motors and parts. ill trade it all for something newer, emglo is large.
If it has a leak in the tank, I'd be wary of blowing a tank.
is there ANY way to avoid condensation on larger compressors? like will a newer one be much better than an older, or do i just have to run a filter and long line? point me in the right direction
You need to drain the tank or put an automatic drain on the tank. You need a system to allow water to separate. This should include running some lengths of pipe including drops, and using filters. This is really important when using blasters, painting, etc. Certain tools benefit from installing inline oilers. Not a bad idea to have several drops set up for using different tools. For example I have a drop that includes an oiler for use with air impact wrenches, etc. I have a separate drip and line for use with spray guns and my plasma cutter, since oil is bad for them.
Hope this helps.