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Homemade Blast Cabinet
Posted by: rick4130 ()
Date: January 14, 2009 01:40AM

I just wrote this article for my club's newsletter, but you guys get 1st crack at it. Enjoy!

Homemade Blast Cabinet

(OR, “Why didn’t I build this before I restored the car?”)



When I started working on Corvairs, I had no real tools, barely a garage, and zero know-how. Along the way, I picked up tools like a large air compressor and a simple “blast-out-of-a-bucket” kit from Home Depot. It’s basically an air hose with a pickup tube and a trigger. It worked great outdoors, with a facemask and some heavy gloves, but I still got sand in my ears, and everywhere else. But it was really effective on rusty body seams, door hinges, etc.



I wanted to contain the blast zone to a small area, and have the ability to recycle the grit. Looking at blast cabinets available, the sky is the limit in regards to size, and price goes with it! So, I was almost ready to buy a smaller, table-top unit but I figured there is enough Made in China crap already. I looked around the house and realized I had much of the required hardware to make my own.



I set a budget (well under $50) and got some miscut 2x4’s (50 cents each!) and 1 ½ sheets of plywood at Home Depot. 1 small piece of Plexiglas was all I needed for the window, and everything else I scrounged up at home. I laid out the possible sizes from my available wood, and figured I could build a 2x3 box, with angled sides 2 feet deep.



The other pieces I used were some 4” toilet flanges, holding some rubber gloves on with hose clamps. I cut an old vacuum hose to make a hookup for the shop-vac (to relieve the pressure and suck out the airborne dust while blasting). I mounted a light inside, and also built up a little shelf in there, so I would have a place to rest parts on, but also so I wouldn’t need to completely fill the bottom of the cabinet with blast media. (It came out way bigger than I expected!)



The hole for the window was cut out; I mounted the lid on some old hinges, and lined the top edge with weathersealing adhesive foam. Next, I caulked every seam at least twice, and it was done! I mounted the whole thing on 4’ long 2x4’s, plus put it on some old casters I had lying around. It came out big and tall, but it is actually the perfect height for me when standing up.



Now if I only had something to sandblast!

Rick MacDonald
'63 700 Sedan

rick4130@yahoo.com

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Re: Homemade Blast Cabinet
Posted by: tomkern ()
Date: January 14, 2009 01:51AM

Looks awesome. My homemade one is just a huge cardboard box with an old window on top and some holes cut in the side. Yours makes mine look stupid. Heck, mine always looked stupid, but it works. The biggest problem I have is seeing what I'm working on. Mine would work much better with a light inside.
Anyways..great work.

Tom

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Re: Homemade Blast Cabinet
Posted by: Mike J ()
Date: January 14, 2009 01:58AM

Wow Rick, that looks fantastic. I was thinking about something like that yesterday. Thurs morning I'm heading out to Harbor Freight to get some needed tools to drop the Corsa drivetrain. Since I have to have a bunch of suspension parts sand (or media) blasted, I was thinking of picking up a blaster but didn't know how I was going to contain it all. Now I think I do.

Thanks

Mike J
Northern Calif
Rescue, CA

65 Corsa ~ Sold !!
www.fquick.com/MikesGarage

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Re: Homemade Blast Cabinet
Posted by: beguiled ()
Date: January 14, 2009 02:46AM

very nice, i built one almost exactly the same a few years ago and lined the rear with thin sheetmetal to stop the wood from being eaten by sand and sewed some pants legs onto thick rubberized gloves and attached them to the arm holes for protection of my hands and arms....sold mine to a guy for $150.00 last year, cost about half that to build in the first place.

Shawn S.
Charles City, Iowa
1962 Corvair Monza (Black with Red interior)
1963 Corvair Spyder (Red with Black interior)
Member of ICE (Iowa Corvair Enthusiasts)
63 Spyder_small

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Re: Homemade Blast Cabinet
Posted by: patpaldino ()
Date: January 14, 2009 02:53AM

You're a pretty crafty guy! Nice job there!

'65 vert ~ Worcester, MA

SOLD!

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Re: Homemade Blast Cabinet
Posted by: vaporloc ()
Date: January 14, 2009 03:29AM

That is great Rick. I like the toilet flanges... Thats cool.. we have one at the boss's shop.. I can't remember who makes it but I do know it is a slow process. Good for small things but if you want to sandblast a set of wheels, pack a lunch and maybe a snack too.. I think they are all that way...

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Re: Homemade Blast Cabinet
Posted by: marv ()
Date: January 14, 2009 07:04AM

Ya did a great job

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Re: Homemade Blast Cabinet
Posted by: polymer ()
Date: January 14, 2009 11:18AM

Great job Rick. Now you can kill hours in front of it.confused smiley

Shameless plug for my site.. Jerry's World of Toys. Restoration information and more.
[www.polymer52.webs.com]

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Re: Homemade Blast Cabinet
Posted by: hughest ()
Date: January 14, 2009 11:45AM

I built one out of a white, plastic 55 gallon drum. It works great for me. I didn't have to put a light inside. These are "under-construction" pictures. I built a frame for a lexan window and attached it over the square hole. The nice thing for me, with my packed garage, is that I can break down the assembly and hang the parts from my rafters.

Tom in Baltimore
I'm Maintaining The Fleet

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Re: Homemade Blast Cabinet
Posted by: Wabbitkiller ()
Date: January 14, 2009 12:40PM

Nice work Rick!

I'll build my own once I get to the point where I'm going to start the rust and/or paint removal from some of the smaller parts. I'll be blasting the underbelly of the car, and that will have to be done outside, but there's no reason to waste blast media if you don't have to!

Chris

1965 Monza 95 Convertible 4 speed

Olathe, KS (Kansas City)


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Re: Homemade Blast Cabinet
Posted by: Mark Pietz ()
Date: January 15, 2009 06:39PM

Rick,
That is too cool!

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Re: Homemade Blast Cabinet
Posted by: 4carbcorvair ()
Date: January 16, 2009 01:32AM

I use a cardboard box too. grinning smiley

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Re: Homemade Blast Cabinet
Posted by: Richard ()
Date: January 16, 2009 05:57AM

I made this cabinet because it was the size I wanted, but I didn't want to give up this much floor space on a permanent basis. By removing eight screws, this cabinet breaks down into five pieces plus the straight legs. It stands 65" tall and is 44" wide. The window is full width, has a light, an air intake vent on the back and the media drains into bucket. It's a simple siphon feed from the bucket I have sitting on the top.
I almost forgot, there are also four screws holding the grate that is made out of rebar.
I have been making the window out of thin plexiglass, but it needs replaced again as it gets hammered fairly easy.

It's made from thin wall 1" square tubing and 1/8" pressed board for light weight and is easily replacable, but has held up well. The bottom is single section, upside down pyramid made with 1/2" square tubing.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/16/2009 06:02AM by Richard.

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Re: Homemade Blast Cabinet
Posted by: rick4130 ()
Date: January 16, 2009 01:03PM

THAT is cool!

Rick MacDonald
'63 700 Sedan

rick4130@yahoo.com

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Re: Homemade Blast Cabinet
Posted by: Gary ()
Date: January 18, 2009 07:00AM

Congratulations on getting it built and thanks for writing about it. My still unbuilt blast cabinet is a 265 gallon fuel oil tank, which should be large enough to accept some serious sized stuff. I recall reading another description of a home-made cabinet in which the author said he went through two shop vacuum motors due to fine grit apparently passing through his air filter. He then revised his system so that his shop vacuum blew air into the cabinet (pressurizing it) rather than sucking air from it. I don't recall what he used for a filter. Also, from what I have read elsewhere, the choice of blast media has a huge effect on the amount of dust created and on the longevity of the grit. Apparently silica breaks down rapidly and causes major visibility problems, especially when compared with glass beads.

Gary from Rochester

If you can't fix it with a hammer, you must have an electrical problem.

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Re: Homemade Blast Cabinet
Posted by: rick4130 ()
Date: January 18, 2009 05:23PM

HI Gary..so far I have only used playground sand, and "black beauty" slag, both outdoors..

I'm sure the cabinet would be better suited to a media that doesn't blow apart like the sand does...I'm planning on experimenting this weekend with it!

Rick MacDonald
'63 700 Sedan

rick4130@yahoo.com

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Re: Homemade Blast Cabinet
Posted by: Richard ()
Date: January 18, 2009 05:51PM

Going through filters is an expensive pain.
I found this water filter on a truck forum but haven't built one yet. Unbelievably simple. I don't think I'll use PVC from the cabinet, but the rest of it looks good.

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Re: Homemade Blast Cabinet
Posted by: rick4130 ()
Date: January 18, 2009 05:54PM

like...a bong?

Rick MacDonald
'63 700 Sedan

rick4130@yahoo.com

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Re: Homemade Blast Cabinet
Posted by: Wabbitkiller ()
Date: January 20, 2009 03:03PM

The bucket 'o water will work okay (but not ideal) if dust control is what you're aiming for. You'd still want to run the air through some sort of filter (fiberglass furnace filter might work) before you hit the water tank though. Otherwise you'll end up with a bunch of muck. I'd also use a pipe with a series of holes drilled in it to go onto the water. You don't want huge bubbles, but tons of smaller ones to maximize surface area of air that contacts the water. It may be a good idea to hook a couple of water buckets together in a series to make sure you catch all of the dust.

Chris

1965 Monza 95 Convertible 4 speed

Olathe, KS (Kansas City)


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Re: Homemade Blast Cabinet
Posted by: Richard ()
Date: January 20, 2009 04:01PM

I'm not sure you understand how it works. The cleaner is between the cabinet and the vacuum cleaner. The water level is about a half inch above the bottom of the inlet tube so as not to burden the vacuum cleaner. The air, dust and grit is separated by the water by the simple fact that dirt is heavier than water and air is lighter. The vacuum pulls the air from the sealed chamber above the water and is replaced by the air exiting the bottom of the tube.
A series of bucket cleaners would serve no purpose, but would require a larger vacuum cleaner.confused smileyconfused smileyeye rolling smileyeye rolling smiley

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