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Old 07-10-2010, 06:08 PM
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Media Blasting Setup

Okay well basically my story is this, I've been building stuff out of scrap for a long time. My thing isn't so much automotive stuff but fabricating my own tools from junkyard scrap. Its cheap, efficient, and often times you can build high quality tools for a much lower price and you can customize it so it can do anything you'd ever ask of it. For the longest time the only way I could remove rust was to use a 4.5 inch grinder and wire wheel setup, and after countless hours using a respirator and 50+ wire wheels I had had just about enough of wire wheeling. I learned about sand blasting and decided it was a much easier route to go and I began construction on my very own junkyard sand blaster cabinet. I wanted to build it out of full steel and I wanted the cabinets weight capacity to be around 1000-2000 lbs so I could fit almost anything inside, anvils, engine blocks, whatever. This is what I have so far after about 400 hours.


That is the inside of the hopper

I used an old hardware store cart I got from a junkyard. I used that as the base for my cabinet as it is very study and probably made of 12 gauge thick steel pipe. It also has hard rubber wheels and is always very easy to wheel around. I made the hopper from some pieces of 1/4 plate and some 12 gauge sheet steel. Its welded on both sides at every seam. Many parts where the 1/4 plate is close to touching the supports on the cart are also welded and I used some rebar to fill the space if need be. This is a bit of a dated picture.
There is also a hole in the bottom of the hopper now with a piece of pipe welded on and threads on the bottom with an end cap so I can easily drain out the media. The inside space of the cabinet will measure about 5ftx3ftx4ft tall.

Here are some more recent pictures with the 200lb steel grating table I constructed from solid 1 inch rebar and 1/2 rebar. It took about 500 welds. The table warped up a little so I may heat it up at certain parts and straighten it out. There will be threaded ledges at each of the 4 corners inside the hopper to hold it down with bolts so I may not need to heat it and straighten it out.

Its an immensely strong cabinet thus far, I have personally walked around inside the hopper and on top of the table and it can easy take my weight.





I recently also bought a 5hp compressor 80 galleon tank that gives me about 15cfm at 90 psi.



I was hoping do the rest of my rust removal at my local college because I still have to construct the upper portion of my cabinet. They have a big cabinet and blast setup there. My college's metal shop is closed for an year and a half due to renovations so it looks like I am on my own for rust removal. Since I have the compressor I figured I might as well just do the blasting here at home since I don't have any other options.

I've only done sand blasting once using my college's cabinet so I'd like to outline what my plan is and see if you guys think it would be safe or not since you guys have much more experience with sand blasting.

I do all of my metal work these days using a fresh air respirator system. I have the turbine products breathe cool system.



I have the welding hood that mounts inside the welding helmet for the welding that I do, and I have a 1/2 mask respirator that hooks into the line as well for my grinder and wire wheel work or whatever else.



I've already bought my pressurized sand blaster unit from harbor freight. I got the 90 Lb. Pressurized Abrasive Blaster.


http://www.harborfreight.com/90-lb-p...lid-93889.html

My plan is to use steel grit abrasive to blast the remaining rusty scrap I need clean so I can finish the top portion of my cabinet. Since I use a supplied air respirator system I figured it would be safe to do this blasting in a confined area like say a 11x11 tent. This is the tent I bought.



I chose steel grit because it can be recycled many times and takes off paint and rust really well supposedly, I haven't worked with it yet. It also doesn't contain silica dust I believe correct me if I'm wrong. So basically the plan is to setup a big tarp, setup the tent and go in with my fresh air 1/2 mask respirator, ski goggles, ear plugs, coveralls, gloves, and a hood over my head and blast inside the confined tent and hopefully it will contain all of the media so I can recycle it as it is about 1$ per lb. I am listing this all out because I want to know what you guys think. I have little experience with blasting so I'm relying on you guys as to weather or not you think this is a good idea.

Also I haven't yet purchased the steel grit media so if you think there is something that would work better let me know, but bare in mind I want to use something with little to no silica.

Once the cabinet is done I'll be sure to update you guys and post pictures I might even write an article or two on building a junkyard cabinet.

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Last edited by DonaldShimoda; 07-10-2010 at 06:22 PM.
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Old 07-14-2010, 04:39 PM
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You know there are guys that buy tools and guys that make them. You obviously have the expertise, the fab skills and the needed tools to build this kind of thing. I'm sure you know that steel shot and alum. parts don't go too well together but for rusty steel and cast iron then have at it.

By the pics this will obviously be able to hold just about anything short of a locomotive diesel engine. I'm assuming you live way outside of town or from the nearest neighbor because that thing will be LOUD!!! Anyway nice job and good luck blasting away.

EDIT: Ok, just saw the compressor, even though it's an 80 gal. I doubt it will be able to keep up with a continuous blasting. The gallons don't mean squat, it's the compressor's ability to keep enough air in the tank, like the duty cycle on a welder. It will be ok, just not like a BIG industrial unit.

Last edited by 327NUT; 07-14-2010 at 04:52 PM.
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Old 07-14-2010, 05:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 327NUT
You know there are guys that buy tools and guys that make them. You obviously have the expertise, the fab skills and the needed tools to build this kind of thing. I'm sure you know that steel shot and alum. parts don't go too well together but for rusty steel and cast iron then have at it.
Why thank you , yeah steel is much harder than aluminum so I wouldn't use it on that.


Quote:
Originally Posted by 327NUT
By the pics this will obviously be able to hold just about anything short of a locomotive diesel engine. I'm assuming you live way outside of town or from the nearest neighbor because that thing will be LOUD!!! Anyway nice job and good luck blasting away.
Yeah I wanted to make it have a huge weight capacity.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 327NUT
EDIT: Ok, just saw the compressor, even though it's an 80 gal. I doubt it will be able to keep up with a continuous blasting. The gallons don't mean squat, it's the compressor's ability to keep enough air in the tank, like the duty cycle on a welder. It will be ok, just not like a BIG industrial unit.
Its a 5hp 2stage 80 galleon with about 15-16 cfm at 90 psi. I read in the TP tools faq that a 5hp 10-15cfm compressor can continuously run a medium sized tip. Actually I just looked at it again and it never said continuously. But I asked some people before I bought the compressor and they said it should be able to run continuously with a small to medium sized tip. I'm hoping it will but I'll find out soon enough anyway lol. But yeah I agree galleons don't mean much its all about the CFM rating, you would not believe how many times when I was looking for a compressor how they would choose to not list the cfm rating, its like the most important aspect of the whole compressor!

I know I need to still finish the top portion of the cabinet, see so far I've only been using wire wheels to get rid of rust. I was only until later that I was able to use my colleges blasting setup but they are closed now for a year and a half due to renovations. I still need to build the top part and I have a lot of rusty steel scrap. I don't want to buy more wire wheels so I figured I would just blast the rest of the parts.

My plan is to setup a big tarp, and then setup the tent and go in with my fresh air 1/2 mask respirator, ski goggles, ear plugs, coveralls, gloves, and a hood over my head and blast the rusty scrap inside the confined area of the tent and hopefully it will contain all of the media so I can recycle it. I have little experience with blasting so I'm wondering if you guys think it would be safe to do this kinda of blasting inside a confined area like a tent using a fresh air respirator?

Last edited by DonaldShimoda; 07-14-2010 at 05:28 PM.
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Old 07-15-2010, 12:22 AM
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I have a 60 gal 220v. 3.5 "running hp" rig that is rated at 13.3 cfm @ 90 psi. If I use a die grinder or a D/A sander for too long a stretch I will have to stop for a few to let the compressor catch up. Thats ok though, I'm not doing any production work and I very seldom have to use it for any length of time.
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Old 07-17-2010, 08:17 AM
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You also need a good water trap system. If you're going to be blasting a lot - I'd buy a refrigerated line dryer.

Any moisture in the lines will clump up your media and you'll constantly be dealing with getting your blaster working...been there - "done with that"

At a minimum - youd be better with something like this. I havent installed the line dryer yet - but I use my Snap-On blast cabinet and never have a problem with moisture.

Water Problem with Air Compressor

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Old 07-19-2010, 09:14 PM
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I have a moisture separator that is coupled with the air regulator and there is a second one on the blaster pot it self. That refrigerated line dryer sounds like a good idea though.
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Old 07-21-2010, 11:54 PM
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I like the big copper cooling coil with the drain legs at each low spot (actually, that would make it better, if where you have the valves you actually had a T and short down leg before the valve to give the water somewhere to sit where it won't get blown through when you get a little more of it and use a lot of airflow...).

I'm surprised that the HF air filter is working for you, I couldn't get mine to stay sealed no matter what I did, the o-rings kept blowing out...
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