The noise you don't really notice, at least I never do, but sand and any other type of blasting media gets everywhere. Its hard to clean out of little crevises and the inside of trunks and other areas your blasting, but I still like it.
According to my brother (he's a body man) media blasting (plastic beads) is the only way to go. It's more costly but, you don't have all the dust and it's easier to cleanup than sand. As far as noise get your ear plugs out (not so bad if outdoors). Also a compressor with some serious CFMs would be best.
Yeah sand blasters have to have serious cfm flow from your compressor. When I was looking at some of the smaller compressors, the main thing I noticed was that you had to get a pretty decent sized one for sand/media blasting.
Hey, it's a blast. (Sorry, had to get that in) I have done a lot of blasting. Everything from wood to glass to metal.
Noise: If you build a compartment in your shop to contain the compressor, you will like it. Your neighbors will as well. Put in a vent so the heat will escape, but not the noise.
Where: I would build or buy a small blasting cabinet to contain the sand/media. This controls the waste by recycling the blast medium. It is also easier to do smaller parts that way.
Doing large projects in the driveway is not a bad idea. The dust can disipate in the air, and the left over sand can either be screened for reuse, your kids will have plenty of sandbox sand (must be filtered or screened) or, sand holds water, so spread it on your lawn to enhance the neighbor hood.
Get a hold of the Eastwod catalog. They sell many medias. They also recommend different media for different projects. Plastic, sand, silicone, even walnut shells.
There is your information, now just go pound sand!
Be sure to wear a blasting hood, dust mask, leather gloves, Pants (no shorts), and blue jean jacket works best for me. That sand hurts when it bounces back at you. I have one of those 10 gal units from Harbor Freight. Works great for small parts. I take the large parts and have them done. Got a guy that dose it pretty cheap. And no mess on my part. But, I agree it is a very fun thing to do! <img src="graemlins/mwink.gif" border="0" alt="[mwink]" />
Yes, sandblsting is the way to go to clean those parts!! Once you set one up, no matter how big or small, you will wonder how you ever got along with out one!! The cabinet type is best!! No mess and media is recyclable. It will save you a lot of cleaning time and money. I have a unit from Tip Tools & Equipment, Canfield, Ohio. they can be found at www.tptools.com and usually have an advetisement in Street Rodder Mag. Good hunting and cleaning!!!
silica is now a know carcinogen on par with asbestos. there are alot of silica free blasting mediums out there be sure to use them. i would not use sand ever again even with a respirator as sweeping it up even can be considered dangerous. never ever go lay out on the beach without your full respirator!!
Just thought I would add a tip; I've been doing some sandblasting lately on my HOT ROD and found that you don't even have to spend all that money on sand,,,If you have access to a washed sand pile you can filter the sand through a house window screen (wrapped over a funnel)to separate the big sand rocks,then screen it again while putting it into the sandblaster.It took me approx. 15 minutes to get 100lbs.It works perfect,but the sand has to be dry,otherwise it will clump and plug the sandblaster.If you do you sandblasting on concrete you can sweep up the sand after your done and reuse it a couple of times. When you consider the total cost involved in sandblasting an entire vehicle, this would really save you big bucks. In regards to the sand getting in everywhere; I sandblasted for about three hours and even had sand in my WALLET.
be sure to consider your compressor operation (in addition to all of the above). Compressors suck in air from your shop and if you blast out in the open inside the shop, your compressor won't last long. For any inside blasting you MUST have a booth. I use a 100 ft hose for outside blasting with the shop doors closed. This way there is no danger of sucking any of the sand into the unit. I have a 7 1/2 horse unit with a 60 gal tank. It works fantastic for blasting. This is a valuable tool if you set it up right and one that you will be glad to have if you intend to do much with old cars.
Silica found in the sand used for blasting is mined and not from your local beach so your biggest cancer risk at the beach is still the sun. Silica is popular because it was the original and cheep but there are so many other materials available for blasting these days and none of them are as dangerous as silica. Glass bead is good but I heard good things about, crystalgrit. It is used for blasting coated and uncoated steel, can be recycled several times and prevents flash rusting. I'm just not sure if you can get it is small quantities. Check out Virginia Materials for more info.