Lotus Elan

Sand blasting cabinet

PostPost by: martinbrowning » Mon Aug 22, 2016 11:40 am

Hi folks, Thinking about buying a sand blast cabinet (several resto projects on the go)- looked at Sealey products so far. Questions are
-is it worth buying one
-air supply is not a problem but do I need extraction system as well
-anybody got a recommend for one


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PostPost by: SimonH » Mon Aug 22, 2016 1:30 pm

Looking at the quantity of bits I need to blast for my car I would say,
1, If you have the space and good enough air supply, yes, compared to what I will end up spending on de-ruster and having bits done.
2, Don't know but don't think so.
3, Its probably the quality of the gun and what media you want to use rather than the actual box I would worry about. As long as its contained with a good window and built in gloves I would think its ok. I don't know of one 'home standard' make over another. Sealey stuff seems ok but they are all generally made in China, as are most tools these days it seems.
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PostPost by: DavidLB » Mon Aug 22, 2016 2:16 pm

I've got a Sealy that was used for my rebuild of my plus 2 I found that you do need some form of extraction as the dust build up during blasting obscures the job I rigged up a vax cleaner to it which worked reasonably well with the glass beads I was using.
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PostPost by: prezoom » Mon Aug 22, 2016 3:12 pm

Many years ago, I bought a DYI kit from Eastwood, and have been using it ever since. The biggest problem is the lack of taper below the cabinet where the media is stored. The steeper the better, as the media in mine, glass beads, tends to pile up in the corners and not drop down to where the media pickup tube resides. I am constantly sweeping the media towards the pickup.

The screen provided to separate the parts from the media is far too course, and small parts can drop through. I wound up buying a much finer screen, which lays on top of the one provided, and have had no problems since, especially when doing nuts, bolts, and washers. Make sure the method of securing the gloves is stout. The Eastwood method allows the gloves to become detached from the cabinet. Mods were soon in order.

I too used a cheap small vac to collect the dust. After the glass beads destroyed the bearings in the vac, the next one I bought has been used with a paper diaper over the foam, and has lasted a bit longer, but the bearings are beginning to howl in protest. Even with the dust collection, I wind up with dust all around the cabinet.

One of the good features, is the light box that fastens to the top of the cabinet. Have noticed the units from Harbor Freight do not have this feature. Also the brighter the inside of the cabinet the better.

My suggestion is buy the best you can afford, in both the blast cabinet and the dust collector.
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PostPost by: c42 » Mon Aug 22, 2016 8:01 pm

If you have room go for it, I have extraction but most important is a good light source - I use a halogen spotlight.

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PostPost by: Certified Lotus » Tue Aug 23, 2016 11:07 am

I have a media blaster in my garage and find it amazingly useful. One of the best tools in my shop. In addition to the comments on lighting and filtration, you need to have a large air compressor to operate one of these. Even a small cabinet will require a compressor with a 60 gallon tank and 10 scfm minimum.
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PostPost by: tesprit » Tue Aug 23, 2016 5:17 pm

Certified Lotus wrote:I have a media blaster in my garage and find it amazingly useful. One of the best tools in my shop. In addition to the comments on lighting and filtration, you need to have a large air compressor to operate one of these. Even a small cabinet will require a compressor with a 60 gallon tank and 10 scfm minimum.

I have to agree that my media blast cabinet is one of the best tools I ever purchased for my garage. It is very versatile so it can be used for everything from removing heavy corrosion on large parts to cleaning delicate parts with no material removal at all. You just need to use the correct media for the job and change it out with fresh media when it begins to lose its effectiveness.

I bought my commercial grade unit over 20 years ago so it came with proper lighting and a dust extractor unit so when I use it the visibility is perfect no matter how much dust is produced. As many of you have found, when a shop-vac is used instead of a proper dust extractor the vacuum motor will fail in a very short period of time due to grit contamination in its bearings. Most guys using small, inexpensive hobbyist blast cabinets with a shop-vac have found that if they install a dust trap inline before the shop-vac their shop vac will last for a very long time. Here is an example of a homemade dust trap that can be made for very little money: http://www.thegaragegazette.com/index.php?topic=65.0

As mentioned above it is also very important to have a properly sized air compressor that puts out high CFM air because media blasting requires large volumes of air at a constant pressure for good results. If your compressor's output is too small you will constantly drain the air tank and have to wait for the tank to be refilled before you can continue blasting. This is very frustrating and time consuming so make sure your compressor output is adequate for your blast cabinet.

Once you start using a media blast cabinet you will wonder how you got by so long without one. Just make sure to set it up properly and it will serve you well for years.

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PostPost by: Bud English » Tue Aug 23, 2016 7:08 pm

I built a dust trap similar to the one Dan linked. An added a cyclone extractor, in my case a rubberized plastic traffic cone. Between the cyclone action and the static charge built up on the plastic cone and bucket, all but the finest dust is kept it out of the vac.
20160823_114236.jpg and
20160823_114401.jpg and

The input is through the tube in the side of the cone and the output to the vac is through a tube in the top that extends 2/3 of the way down towards the pointed end of the cone.

I'm four years in with the same vac and have had no problems. My small compressor, on the other hand, is toast. :(
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PostPost by: Grizzly » Thu Sep 01, 2016 8:12 pm

I use a Blasting Cabinet on almost a daily basis and the advice i'd give you is buy/make as bigger Cabinet as you can (small ones are a pain to manoeuvre parts inside and fill with dust quickly), rig up a series of cheap lamps inside (light is always a problem as soon as the dust starts to settle on the screen or when the grit starts to take to attack the lamps, the dust issue can be helped with reasonable extraction/vac) and then there is the screen it's self...... i have a lexan screen with special shot blasting tear off's stuck to it, but even so i can get through them at quite a rate when using Aluminium Oxide (they go cloudy in about ten minutes flat)
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PostPost by: fattogatto » Tue Nov 22, 2016 2:56 pm

I second the opinions that a blast cabinet is extremely useful. A requirement really, especially if you have the air. An extraction system is required. Assuming you are in the UK I don't know if these guys are available to you.


In any event, they have all of the parts necessary and much of the expertise can be gleaned from their website. I just had to replace my vacuum motor after over 20 years of use.
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PostPost by: Famous Frank » Thu Nov 24, 2016 7:47 pm

I've owned a few blasting cabinets. I could not live without it. My last two I purchased from www.tptools.com also and I've been extremely happy. I currently own the Model 970. It came with the vacuum and I added a kit to quiet it. Look at their website. Biggest problem is not having dry air!!!! Go for it!

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PostPost by: Donels » Sat Nov 26, 2016 9:04 pm

Yes get one they're incredibly useful. All the comments about an adequate air supply are correct, but without doubt you'll need a dust extraction system otherwise you'll quickly block the cabinet filters and dust will escape everywhere, I know I tried it. Also you can't see what you're doing. I made a dust extraction system from a five litre plastic paint can and some plastic waste pipe fittings. The inlet pipe runs straight down to about 3" from the bottom and the outlet pipe is at the top. Fill the can with about 3/4 litre of water. Connect to a vacuum cleaner. Mine isn't 100% effective and I need to clean the vacuum filters weekly. The difference pre and post extraction system is incredible. The other thing you need is a water extraction device between the compressor and blast cabinet, otherwise the moisture traps the dust and blocks the blast nozzle.
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