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Sand blasters

Sand Blasters

New thread.  The discussion on welders was helpful -- I'm trying to make
the transition from gas to MIG.  Could we start a discussion on hobby-scale
blasters and media?  CFM recommendations, tip life, brands, type of feed,
etc. - Jim Warren

Thanks, James -  I made my own media blasting cabinet ten years ago and it
has been indispensable for restoration work.  I use two different types of
media, glass beads and granulated slag (sold under the trade name "Black
Beauty"). Previously I used white silica, but this is no longer available
here owing to health regulations related to silicosis of the lung.  I use
the glass beads at fairly low pressures, say 40 to 60 psi, for delicate
work, like cleaning carburettors and Whitworth nuts and bolts I wish to
salvage.  The black grit is ideal for heavy duty rust removal and I
generally crank up the pressure to 90+ psi. As a general rule on compressor
size, bigger is better.  I have a 2 h.p. twin cylinder DeVilbiss rated at
9.0/7.5 cfm at 40/90 psi and it is more than adequate, although it works
pretty hard to keep up when I'm into heavy duty stuff.  Some 5 h.p. single
stage units do only a little better than this - if you really want
performance, get a two stage 5 h.p. All the hardware you need to build your
own cabinet, as well as plans, are available at moderate cost from a
company called TIP Sandblasting.  Be sure to get the exterior foot operated
air valve because trigger-type air valves fitted directly to the gun do not
stand up in the hostile environment of the blasting cabinet.  Ceramic tips
last longest; I find the medium size delivers the fastest results at the
air volume I have available.  Be sure to install a good water separator - I
use two.  In hardware stores up here in Canada one can buy a tough
shrink-wrap like product used to seal off windows from winter draughts - I
apply this stuff to the inside of the cabinet glass using two-sided tape,
draw it taught with a heat gun, and it protects the glass from pitting for
several hours until the film becomes too frosted to see through and needs
replacing.  I used a shop vac for evacuating the cabinet for a time, found
it too noisy and went to a blower that evacuates the cabinet to the outside
of the garage - makes a hell of a mess in the snow, but it's a lot quieter.
- Nick

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