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Posted this in the paint forum section, but didn't to see too much traffic, so I wondered if you all might have some opinions for me.

Basically I am interested in a quality blasting cabinet. Looking at something at least 36" wide up to maybe 48". I have been doing a lot of looking, and am getting lost in what items/details/specs I should be considering/looking for. From a lot of looking, I am looking at perhaps a Skat Blast 960-SE Patriot Abrasive Blasting Cabinet, or seem to keep finding myself looking at Bad Boy Blasters as well. Does anyone have any opinions or recommendations?

I guess I should add that I am not really interested in a Harbor Freight model, looking more for an industrialish (is that even a word) model.

Again, thanks for all the help. I should probably add that I have a 60 Gallon IR compressor, 3HP, SS3L3, capable of 10.3CFM, 135PSI Max.

Again, thanks!
 

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Make your own with your ingenuity. The Skat Blast boys had a set of plans at one time for a moderate price and it was a good plan that could either be modified to suit your own needs or just using their plans.

If you are in an area of high humidity use a good grade of exterior plywood. This will "Draw" the moisture away from the blast media. The folks that use metal cabinets in high humids can attest to having plugging problems. Wood minimizes that. A good shop vac can be modified to serve to remove the dust build up. On the lamo-use 500W and tempered glass in front as well as the viewing glass which should be tempered and removable.

Attaching a few pictures of one we made some years ago and it has served well. Maybe that will help with ideas? Good luck.
 

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don't buy the $99 from tractor supply. total crap leaks from every joint and the siphon system sucks. i constantly have to keep shaking and rocking the cabinet to get it to pick up. now they do have a self standing that might be better around $370- i think. but you are defiantly going to get what you pay for in this instance. i have actually considered taking the parts from this $99 one i bought and making my own out of wood. my 2 cents
 

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Fella above with homebuilt has right idea. I also got those plans. Easy to make into 48" wide with same sheet of plywood, so that is what I did. Wish I would have caulk sealed all the joints inside, they do leak some sand, but find and slowly. I made bigger window of safety glass. Used plexiglas inside at first, the window gets fogged pretty quick. Plexi was expensive, so got the best heavy indoor window plastic, kinda like vinyl and wrap it around a plexi for shape, tape on and it lasts about same, and is cheaper. I have shop vac for vac set-up, but that rig other fella shows is much better, and won't clog as much. Shop vac clogs quick. Put in two spot lights, one each way. They don't last long when bumped with parts when on, but give best light. Flourescent didn't work too good. You get shadows easily in that cabinet, even with good light. I run a 60 gal 6 hp compressor, but it runs constant to keep up on longer blasts. It will work, just could be bigger. Use good air water filters. The guns, tips and inner parts all wear fast. I like TP tools parts (Scat Blast) and have bought their hardened steel tips, about $50 and they last real long time. Ceramic last just minutes, plain steel not much longer. I have even worn out the forward portion of gun that holds tips in past. You can get that part seperate at their store. I always need to get in and push sand back down to center, it wants to collect at one end in cab alot. I have found that filling with more sand doesn't work any better or maybe worse than just 100 lb bag load. I made that tin drip rail on door to try to keep sand in when opening, works fair. I want to make a tray for under door for when opening to catch sand, otherwise is on floor. I have a pile of sand there when I do long projects now. I made my window open on hinges to change the glass/plastic, much nicer than unscrewing all the time. Make sure you use felt or sponge seals at window and dooor openings. I belive that TP tools is one of best cabinets out there, and service/parts is great! Good Luck! :fing32:
 

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Wow, plywood blasting cabinets, absolutely brilliant! I worked in a metal shop in my youth, with a full size industrial (steel) unit, never in a million years would dream you could use plywood! That experience also spoiled me to the point that I wouldn't spend $5 on one of those HF units.

With the plywood, do you need to put some sacrificial wood in the back and bottom of the unit (the places most likely to be hit with overspray)?

Speaking of sacrificial... One good trick to extend the life of the window glass is to cover the interior (working) side of it horizontally with strips of masking tape. When you need to use it, peel one small strip, about 4 inches wide (the width of the masking tape high). This way, you only destroy a 1x4 inch section of the glass at a time. When you can't see out of that strip anymore, peel another 4 inches away.

This may sound strange, but you really only need the "window" to be as wide as your eyes are apart. Works brilliantly...

Mike
 

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don't buy the $99 from tractor supply. total crap leaks from every joint and the siphon system sucks. i constantly have to keep shaking and rocking the cabinet to get it to pick up. now they do have a self standing that might be better around $370- i think. but you are defiantly going to get what you pay for in this instance. i have actually considered taking the parts from this $99 one i bought and making my own out of wood. my 2 cents
Do you have a palm sander? If you hold it against the side (without the sand paper) it may help things vibrate down.
 

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I don't have the space for a dedicated blast cabinet, so I made one out of vapour barrier attached to a 3' x 5' panel with folding legs and a window and a shop vac port mounted in it. Fold it up for easy storage and vacuum the sand off the floor when I'm done. I screen the sand when I pour it out of the shop vac into buckets. If the lighting in the shop is good, it's not bad inside with all that clear plastic for walls. It's easy enough to add lighting, either in the top panel or with work lights shining through the sides.

I don't have the best equipment for blasting, but I've only needed it for a few hours or days every so often, some times with several years between uses. Clean-up is more work, but not tying up floor space for something that big that is seldom used is worth it.
 

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I got the little Harbor Freight model, and while I won't disagree with what others have said about it, I've still easily gotten my money's worth out of it. Not a whole lot of room in the smaller version, but man did it save me some time. The gun part lasted about a year, and then no matter what I did it absolutely refused to put out one more grain of sand.

I replaced it with a bigger looking gun from Tractor Supply and it worked better than ever. I only use it for small stuff and only once in awhile when I'm doing tractor restorations. Like I said, paid for itself easily. However, just like in the case of building a barn, go much bigger than you actually need, and it may almost be big enough once it's complete!

:D
 

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As also a owner of the HF blaster I will say that it does need some work... but as a starting point, its not that bad. But thats what it is.... a starting point. Ive worn out my first gun, and spent hours getting it set up like I want. .. But I did not have the big money to buy a top line one, or the time to build one, so its worked for my use. As for a nicer one... I would be looking at TP tools. They have a nice line. Ill be buying some replacement parts from them once I get to mine, and get it back up and running.
 

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I don't have one,but always wanted to build one.As others,I like wood material idea--but I would line the bottom with tin,so it would slide down the return better.
 

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I once worked for the Barber-Greene Co. In the plant they had this Roto-Blaster.
It had a large door with a rotating table inside. A Harley frame was dwarfed by it. Close the door, hit the ON button and in seconds your part was clean, having been blasted by steel shot.
 

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Now that's just cheating...
Mike
 

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On the subject of the spot light bulbs...............normal spot light bulbs are not designed to be bumped while they are on......with that being said, you CAN get a bulb that will withstand just about any kind of abuse that you throw at it......short of dropping it. I work in a receiving warehouse and I have "dock lights" that are mounted on the wall beside each door and contain "spot light" bulbs. I had the "admin. assist." order bulbs one time and a whole case lasted less than a month because the guys were always bumping into the with the forklifts or pallet loads. I called and talked to a sales rep at Grainger and explained what I wanted and he told me which bulb to get for my application. That case of bulbs lasted well over 2 years. And if you could see some of the dock lights, you would wonder how they even worked at all.
 

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I once worked for the Barber-Greene Co. In the plant they had this Roto-Blaster.
It had a large door with a rotating table inside. A Harley frame was dwarfed by it. Close the door, hit the ON button and in seconds your part was clean, having been blasted by steel shot.
Many large fabricating shops have one. Wheelabrator is another name for them. A dozen rims done in 40 minutes, including time to flip them over!
 

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I did forget to mention I lined my back and left side (which I blast against most times) with some flat sheet steel I had. I didn't add to hopper angled bottom, that seems good. The 2 x 2's used to hold up the expanded metal table DO get worn down alot. Will be quite awhile for them to wear too thin though. I also cut my expanded metal floor into three sections so I could lift one out to push sand back down to center and retrieve fallen part. Mine always builds up the sand to left side, and I have to go in once in awhile to push/shovel it all down to center and to pick-up tube end again. They have a Vibratory motor to shake the bottom to make it move itself better, but was kinda pricey for a motor with offset weight on it! Not sure it would work on plywood anyway. Tapping with hammer doesn't work!
 

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Here's the thread of the one I built a few years ago. I at first had a 11 cfm @ 90psi 60gal air compressor, it wasn't enough. I upgraded to a 2 stage 18cfm @ 120 psi now it gets the job done. I also added a shop vac system to it, make sure you use a fine particulate bag in it or it'll clog the filter and blow dust everwhere till it does clog. I also use the window protectors from TSC. At first I didn't, had to replace the plexi after a short while, installed the protectent film and and still useing the same one.
http://www.mytractorforum.com/showthread.php?t=39627
 

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I am currently building my cabinet from plywood. I had an idea that might solve the clogged shop vac issue. My cabinet will be permanently mounted in my garage on exterior wall. I am going to have a positive pressure system to vent out dust. the dust will be vented out the top corner of the cabinet out the garage wall to a dryer vent on the outside of the garage. only 6 inches of hard duct work to dryer vent cap. the positive pressure will be from the exhaust port on my shop vac. to a connection on the opposite side of the cabinet about 6 inches above the work surface. Therefore never pulling dust into vacuum I cant see there being that much dust build up to become a major problem and if it does i will just reverse the system and buy the dust filter for the shopvac.
the interior of my cabinet is 48 x 24 x 30 I can get most of my garden tractor parts into it.. I am going to seal the seams with silicone caulk just to make sure before i Button it all up...
 

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Did some quick online searching for ideas, there are some pretty inventive people out there!

I saw some pics, videos and rough plans for cabinets made from everything from old oil tanks (the large ones for your house), 55-gallon drums, a slop/shop/utility sink, and even a rubbermaid tote.

The beauty here is that many of these items are often free on craigslist! Add a window, a light, some gloves and a few fittings, and even for a giant one, you can be done for well under $100.

I'd personally love to make one of of a 55-gallon drum, but my garage space really won't allow for that. I'd be better off making something that can be disassembled and stored flat after each use.

Mike
 
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