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Topic Review (Newest First)
04-16-2010 06:11 PM
kenseth17 I have to media blast at work every now and then, even more often now that we are down to only a few workers. Just recently spent 3 days blasting a huge city garbage truck, with a big lift arm , tons of corners to try to hit, while hauling a big hose up and down a ladder, hoping it stays level in a big sand pit while crawling up and down it, being able to see what your doing for maybe a minute or so before the lens should be changed. If there were more jobs right now, or they didn't have a air supplied hood, I probably walk.

Now maybe a car on a rotissery wouldn't be quite as bad as that, but definately not a very fun job. I'd look into something else. And like others already mentioned, anything less then a huge industrial compressor, and you'd be there forever and a year trying to blast anything.

My compressor at home is a bit bigger then yours, and can't imagine how long it would take to blast a complete car with my little harbor freight blaster and the compressor I have.
04-16-2010 03:47 PM
Originally Posted by slate84
Hello everyone,

ps. also when reading media sizes like gound glass what does the mesh 40/70 indicate.

That mesh size is roughly equivalent to sandpaper grit size so an 80 grit mesh is or should be like 80 grit sandpaper..As far as your idea just set up for what you like to do and yes once in a while someone will see your work and want you to do something for them. The major problem for the small mom and pop is to get enough customers in to generate the cash flow needed to support oneself so having a regular job somewhere and doing a bit of sidework works out for most guys. As far as blasting is concerned all I use is the crushed glass and all that I do is small stuff as a matter of convenience for me.

04-16-2010 02:17 PM
your dream garage...

i had a dream too.. my own 24x24... brother said go as big as u think u need and add 8 ft.. so i went 24x40.. not big enough, another 8ft would be just right.. and i'd recommend a pole building... alot cheaper and 10ft ceiling too.. i did mine for under 10k complete.... Oh and think of a metal roofing.. about the same as shingles but i did mine in one day, me and son...
keep your head down and come home safely.. (V/N 1966)
04-16-2010 01:48 PM
Old Fool
Originally Posted by shine
and the only thing at harbor freight worth carrying out the front door is the cash register.
ROFLOL, no truer words have ever been spoken.
04-16-2010 01:45 PM
Jon Just added this thread as a link to the Media blasting wiki article (and a link to Norton's articles page). Still a lot of work to do on that article, but it does have a strong collection of links.
04-16-2010 12:42 PM
shine i put my shop in for 1 reason. i hate sanding off paint and fighting rust. i do my stuff and a few every now and then to buy new media or fuel ... or just beer money . i dont really do much. fitzwell is the one running it and he can have all the suit time he wants. i can tell you this much , every small blaster is a pos . cheap ones suck. i've owned them all and threw every one of them away. all the major blst equipment co's sell from huge to tiny. they cost a little more but they will work every time with out fighting them. this is a good web site to learn on. it explains the medias and equipment needed to use it.

and the only thing at harbor freight worth carrying out the front door is the cash register.
04-16-2010 12:00 PM
slate84 again, i do just want to say thank you shine and tubtek. i know what your talking about as far as people wanting to do it on the cheap, i've read about every blasting topic on this site, most twice. I wasn't trying to make it out as some get rich skeem, but a realistic i want to get into media blasting for the benifit of me and the group of people i associate with as a hobby first and if i could get some side jobs as a distant second. Im affraid i came off wrong on my intentions and i really trully value your input.

do you have any opionions on that eastwood dual tank rig?
04-16-2010 11:58 AM
slate84 1234567890
04-16-2010 11:43 AM
slate84 shine, thank you for your straight forward honesty and i take it to heart, i guess that i need to clarify that buy small business, i ment like lemonade stand business small. haha, the cars that i was going to learn on are old gutted drag cars and the bodies pretty badly beaten up so he really wasn't worried. but like my last post, i'd just do it word of mouth for friends and people in my club. i cant even phathom the kind of setups you guys have, but im by no means trying to rivel any local place, just help out the guy that doesn't want to pay 250 to get a set of old valve covers blasted and coated. again, if i could make enough to eventually pay it off and maybe support my car habbit a little, thats x amount less dollars that i have to explain to my wife why i needed to spend it on "car stuff".
04-16-2010 11:29 AM
shine i had to build a 30x40 building , 16x25 blast room , used compressor 4k , blast pot 4600 , suit , nova hood , rotisserie , big shop vac , tables made from 3/8 expanded metal to tie parts on . it got expensive quick . it is more for my work than anything else. you'll find once you start charging the going rate the customers dry up fast. search this forum , all anyone is interested in is how cheap they can do it . they will destroy a body before they will pony up the money to have it done right.

fyi a barrel of plastigrit is about 900 bucks . diesel is about 3.00 a gal. my rate is 100 an hr for blasting. good luck with it.

and the state WILL get involved

and don't get me started on soda ......
04-16-2010 11:23 AM
slate84 i completely agree with you and you nailed it on the head with the guy making some spare change out in his garage after supper. I guess i would be more than happy doing small part blasting and coating on valve covers, headers, and random suspension parts up to stuff like hoods or even a door panel with the soda blaster. i know around here you can't get a set of rims blasted and powder coated for under 350$ and i believe i could do that in a night with well under $150 invested.

what do you think about those media's to blast?

i guess eastwoods little dual blaster video made me think that that little unit would get me into to the realms of full cars, but i'd be fine with a fender here or there.

haha, still think my first gen rx7 wouldn't take that long, haha
04-16-2010 11:05 AM
TubeTek Blasting things the size of car bodies and frames requires both blasters and compressors that are way beyond hobby class equipment if you expect to make any real progress, or hope to ever do enough work to make it into a business.

The learning curve for bodies is real steep too. I've got a big Clemco blaster I've used more than I'd care to remember and there's no way I'd tackle a car body of any value until I'd first blasted half a dozen junkers to learn the proper technique. My Clemco needs a minimum of 200 cfm to run at low blast pressures, plus another 15 or so cfm to supply air to the vortex cooler that supplies air to the blasting hood. On a frame where you can jack the pressure on up, it'll keep a 350 cfm compressor loaded up pretty well.

Honestly, you could buy yourself a mid level bead blasting cabinet, a used home kitchen type oven, and one of the cheap powder coating rigs out there, and make some decent side money blasting and coating smaller parts. You could do it for little investment and with no worries about getting afoul of the regulatory mess associated with industrial type blasting.

There's a decent market for this type work because typical industrial coating operations don't want to fool with orders consisting of a piece or two of this and that. They'll either outright refuse the work, or quote it at a rate that'll make most people walk. Can't blame them for that, because their business model isn't set up on small volume work. OTOH, a guy who's doing small parts in his garage can easily spend a little while after supper and pocket $100 or more for the effort.

In contrast, the cost for a suitable bigger blasting rig and a used diesel compressor big enough to feed it would eat up $25,000 before you'd ever pull the trigger the first time. In addition, your blasting room would need to be more on the order of 20 x 30 feet since body blasting requires you stay well away from the sheetmetal surface to avoid wrecking it.

For the unfamiliar, big blasting might look like highly profitable stuff, but the reality is the operation itself is inherently expensive so the profit isn't nearly as big as it might look at first glance. Running a big blaster is fun for about 2 minutes until the WOW factor wears off. After that, its just plain hard work. I think you'll find guys like Shine and others here who do inhouse blasting as a part of their business will likely tell you they do it in house only to maintain control over the results as it relates to the remainder of their business. They probably won't tell you they do it because its fun, easy, or a quick route to riches.
04-16-2010 10:18 AM
slate84 hey, im proud of what i do and to serve my country, it scares me to think of what if america was like afghanistan and we all drove old toyota camerys. haha. i live and will operate in south dakota so as far as blasting booth permits go, i think it should be pretty lax but i will still check in with this. i would plan on this "side hobbie" getting to big but if it would i'd def get my ducks in line as far as business and permits go.
04-16-2010 07:57 AM
merlinsoars First off let me say THANK YOU for your service to the country

As to the media blasting, cant really help much except read all you can on the subject. Research Research Research.

Dont know where you coming back to but make sure before you get to far down the road you check into local and fed air permits for operating a blast booth (that i can help with)

Thanks again Brother
04-16-2010 06:24 AM
Starting a small blasting business.

Hello everyone,
Im currently deployed to Afghanistan and finally will be returning home in september. Upon returning home i will be building my dream 24x36 garage and i have been planning on devoting a 24x12 enclosed area in the garage to blasting (and some powder coating on the other side). I have a 11cfm @ 90psi 60gal compressor and I've been looking at getting the eastwood dual blaster set up and was trying to decide what medias id like to try to start blasting with. I have two friends with project cars that are willing to let me blast there there cars along with my own. I've read everything i possible could as far as soda blasting and i feel i have a firm grip on that, but as far as the media blasting i'm still tetering on what medias would cover the largest areas of use and be most effective. After some experiense i'd like to start doing this on the side as it took my boss 6weeks and $600 to get two fenders and the top of a hood soda blasted locally. even if its just enough to pay for the equipment and a couple car parts here and there.

I was thinking if i started out with soda, starblast-( as i understand it would work really well for lighter sheet metal removing light rust and paint, and is highly reusable) then something like black diamond for heavy rust and metals like frames.

Any suggestions on medias you'd feel fit better or any sort of suggestions please let me know. as you can see im trying to cover three main areas, super light work such as fiberglass and super thin metal, light-med paint removal and light rust, the just all out rust cutting.

ps. also when reading media sizes like gound glass what does the mesh 40/70 indicate.

thank you for all advise, i really appriciate it and hope i can turn it into a lucritive little side hobbie. Lowe's doesn't pay me enough for my car habbit

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