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Do it yourself sandblasting (Harbor Freight)

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by 53Chief, Nov 14, 2005.

  1. 53Chief
    Joined: Oct 25, 2005
    Posts: 113


    Has anyone used a small sandblasting unit, like the ones at Harbor Freight? I removed the from clip from my car, and want to clean up the entire area. They seem pretty cheap ($60-$199).

  2. s.r.i.
    Joined: Aug 6, 2005
    Posts: 1,078

    from Hell

    If you mean the pressurised pots, yup, and they work good. I do it in a corner of brick walls on a concrete slab. Once I'm empty, I sweep up, filter through a screen and on my way again.
  3. El Caballo
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 5,856

    El Caballo

    Be careful reusing media, you may be embedding oxidization into your panels.
  4. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 37,081


    not a problem in AZ where rust sleeps, but it might be in the humid belt....
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  5. ricky from va
    Joined: Aug 4, 2004
    Posts: 116

    ricky from va

    I have bought 2 of them one pressure pot type and one that just sucks from a hopper. the pressure pot or tank one will not work with play sand not even when i use bigger tips. so its useless to me the other one wtih the hopper and tube works some times with the sand. guess if i pay the big bucks for some media blast shit the pot will work. but if you plan on using play sand it sucks.
  6. If you already have an air compressor, etc. Lots of dust, therefore outside is best. Media isn't cheap, Playsand is okay if you keep the pressure down, otherwise one shot turns it to dust. You can re-use industrial grade grit, sift the turds out, but it costs more. If you expect to use a lot over the next couple of years, have a 1/2 ton bag delivered. Front clip, figure two days. Mine is in the corner gathering dust, use it for real small jobs, I take fenders to the industrial blaster, about $40 per on the average.

  7. rattlecanrods
    Joined: Apr 24, 2005
    Posts: 352


    I used one to blast my entire A-sedan. I worked well with Silica Sand (Very Fine Sand) and I recycled it multiple times by vacumming and sifting. Make sure you use protection though ie charcol respirator. The whole process made a huge mess in my garage but it worked.

    Make sure you have a big air compressor, they like a lot of cfm...

    In hindsight I should have taken the body to the local media blasters. They are surprising cheap.
  8. Make sure your air is REALLY dry when using play sand. the stuff is wet when it comes out of the bag down here (condensation), let it dry for a while before dumping it in.
  9. Rocket
    Joined: Mar 7, 2005
    Posts: 284

    from Austin Tx

    i bought a cheap one from harbor frieght and some glass media, it worked great. the glass took the paint off and left the metal smooth as a baby's ass.
  10. 53Chief
    Joined: Oct 25, 2005
    Posts: 113


    Thanks for the feedback, my first step looks like I need to get a bigger compressor.
  11. screwtheman
    Joined: Mar 24, 2005
    Posts: 846


    I'd also suggest investing in quality ball valves to replace all the cheap ones when they wear out and break. And at least one air trap for the pressure pot inlet. Media blasting is fun (I've used both glass bead and aluminum oxide). But it's dirty work and I usually have to forget how much it sucks before I'm dumb enough to do it again. :D
  12. 67Imp.Wagon
    Joined: Jun 16, 2001
    Posts: 1,191


    Mine did'nt work well at first either. I've used the play sand from Home Depot and it clogged alot.

    I have found if I sift it through a peice of screen first that helped alot. I was also getting moisture from my line that would cause it to clog.

    I bought one of the disposible in line filters at Harbor Freight for a couple of bucks and put it on the end of the hose right before the tank and everthing works great now.
  13. ntxcustoms
    Joined: Nov 10, 2005
    Posts: 890

    from dfw

    I have a 40 gallon pressure pot from Harbour Freight and found a few things from using it everyday. Like said before, make sure the air coming in is very dry.I replaced the dryer that came with it with a better brand. The first one broke in one week anyway. I use number 4 grit silica sand which is labeled as blasting sand on the package. It comes in 80 pound sacks and is as cheap as the smaller Home Depot play sand. The business I buy it from is a masonry supply company. Replace the ball valves as just about all of the ones on mine have fallen apart. I use the largest nozzle that came in the package, but i adjust the bottom pot valve down as not ot waste too much sand. This keeps the pressure up and cleans just as well. Also down the road you might want to get a dead man valve, I can't stand fumbling with the cut off when wearing heavy gloves. By the way Tractor Supply carries a brand called Clarke that might be a little more but already comes with a dead man.

    Sandblasting is the worst part of the job, but all that clean metal sure is sexy.
  14. RustyCoupe215
    Joined: Nov 11, 2005
    Posts: 185

    from Owings, MD

    I bout a 40 lber fron Harbor Freight, and it works great!!! I used to to blast my entire 34 Plymouth Coupe, and frame!!!!!! I actually ended up replacing the baster nozle with a clarke unit and modified the bottom valve cause it sucks ass. it would clog and give me all sorts of problems so I enarged it and took out the check valve so when its on...ITS ON. Also use an after market air dryer as recomended, by others. The stock one usual. STOCK usually sucks.

    I used 80lb bags of sand from Home Depot however I found a nice screen off an old window and sifted the sand twice to remove all the bigger media which would clog and be overly abrasive. I also bought bagged play sand and aluminum oxide from ACE hardware. The paysand from ace was too wet, so I dried it out on some 4x8 tarps and emptied another into a drywall style bucket in the shed to help it dry out. The Home Deopt sand works the best. You may have to sift it but its definately dryer. I found the cheapest and dryest way was the Home Depot sand mixed with aluminum oxide. WORKS WONDERS. THE Car turned out great!!! Screw taking it to a blasting company. Its about the same after all is said and done. Besides you did it yourself. What can be more satisfying???? Blood, Sweat and Dust!!. LOL!!!

    ~Rusty :cool:

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