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Hot Rods Harbor Freight Blast Cabinet

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by OLDSMAN, Jan 2, 2015.

    Joined: Jul 20, 2006
    Posts: 1,762


    About three years ago I bought a floor blast cabinet from Harbor Freight. The cabinet was good quality, I added some angles at the bottom of the legs on the sides and back. When I moved the cabinet when it was full of sand, the legs bent, not enough strength there. I was never satisfied with the way that it cleaned the parts, It did clean rust and old paint, but was very slow. Last week, it quit sucking up sand and was only blowing out air from the nozzle, I took it all apart thinking there was a hole in the pickup tube, it was O.K. along with the hoses to the gun. I called Harbor Freight to see about getting another gun, they said they no longer supplied the gun, but were recommending TP products for a replacemnent gun. I used some TP products several years ago, and they were excellent units. I ordered a gun from them, and it arrived today. This gun made a new blast cabinet for me. It actually cleans rust and paint in no time at all. I think I bought the cabinet for a little under $200, payed $60 for the gun, but boy was it worth it
  2. Don's Hot Rods
    Joined: Oct 7, 2005
    Posts: 8,319

    Don's Hot Rods
    from florida

    We have had two of the HF blast cabinets over the past few years (the large floor model) and I can not wait until we get a real blast cabinet and I can toss this one out. We took our time and caulked every seam before we put it together and it still spews out sand everywhere when using it. I have to wear a dust mask and even then I am blowing black dust out of my nose for hours afterwards. The entire area around the cabinet in the shop is filthy from the dust. I even hooked up a shop vac with a water filter and it still leaks sand out of every seam.

    It is a means to an end, and I have cleaned a lot of parts with it, but we hate using it and only do it as a last resort. One of these days I will bite the bullet and buy a real blast cabinet.

    lothiandon1940 likes this.
  3. fast30coupe
    Joined: Nov 15, 2009
    Posts: 967

    from Illinois

    I did the same thing, but instead of caulk I used roof sealer and bushed it over all the seams twice it works pretty well now

    Posted using the Full Custom H.A.M.B. App!
    slammed and fourspeedwagon like this.
  4. LWEL9226
    Joined: Jul 7, 2012
    Posts: 241

    from So. Oregon

    I had the same problem, and used a similar cure plus I bought a gun with foot pedal from TP...
    The thing now works pretty well, but still leaks media all over.....
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  5. 19Eddy30
    Joined: Mar 27, 2011
    Posts: 878

    from VA

    Pretty much the same hear too , It's a dust cabinet !!!
  6. Boatmark
    Joined: Jan 15, 2012
    Posts: 234


    You guys are not encouraging . . . I was looking at the HF cabinet yesterday. I guess I'm spoiled - I used to work where I could use the company's SnapOn blast cabinet, and it would take anything off anything. . fast! Had access even after I moved on. Now they moved and that deal is over. HF is more my budget, but from the sounds of experiences here I think I will keep looking for a good used (but higher quality) one with some life still in it. I don't use it much, but I really don't want to spend as much time cleaning up as I did using the blaster. Thanks for the input . . . .
  7. 56premiere
    Joined: Mar 8, 2011
    Posts: 1,428

    from oregon

    I have one that was given to me used, it don't seem to leak. But when my vacuum is hooked up the static electricity hurts like hell. Any body have a solution?
  8. Canus
    Joined: Apr 16, 2011
    Posts: 102


    56premiere, have you grounded the cabinet? If not, connect a ground wire to a known good ground. This should eliminate the static problem.
    slammed likes this.
    Joined: Jul 20, 2006
    Posts: 1,762


    I had the same problem with dust but used silicone and pretty much got the dust problem solved. I can live with this blast cabinet now
  10. khead47
    Joined: Mar 29, 2010
    Posts: 1,530


    Mine leaked like crazy from day one. Got rid of the POS.
  11. My buddy bought one to bead blast a run of parts for an assembly. The cost of everything was still cheaper than sending the service out. It did leak like a sieve... he tossed it out right after the job was completed.
  12. I have the HF cabinet and use it for sugar sand, its a super fine sand I use on carb bodies and delicate items etc etc, when we built the cabinet we sealed every seam, it still leaks like a screen door :) its a great cabinet for the money though and we still use it every day. just wear a dust mask and have the big fan blowin'.
  13. Bought one a few years ago. Leaked bad. gun did not work right. I bought a different gun and it blasted great. emptied it out, cleaned all the seams and doubled sealed it with bathroom calk....still leaks. I put a board under it to catch the beads and every two months refill it...dust everywhere. I use it everyday for carb parts and small pieces. Buy cheap, get cheap....
  14. Don's Hot Rods
    Joined: Oct 7, 2005
    Posts: 8,319

    Don's Hot Rods
    from florida

    When I see some of those car shows on TV and they are using a high dollar blast cabinet I drool ! I keep looking on Craigslist for a high quality used one, but they don't seem to show up there much.

    In defense of the HF one, we have used the hell out of it and have cleaned a lot of rusty parts with pretty good results, but I can't figure out how the dust still gets out like it does. I really over did all the caulking in an effort to seal it but I can even feel the sand hitting my arms as I am using it.

  15. I bought both a HF floor model sand blast cabinet, and a compressor from HF at the same time a few years ago. yes it is dusty, but it gets the job done. my gun crapped out, and as someone else stated HF no longer supplies a replacement gun. I went down the street to Tractor Supply, and got a very good gun there for about $ 29.00. the blaster works fine now. About 12 years ago I bought a Christmas special blast cabinet from TP products for about $ 1000.00. it worked fine and didn't leak. When my son, Dual Quad, here on the H.A.M.B. moved to New Hampshire the TP unit went with him. for the amount of blasting that I do now, the HF $ 200.00 does fine.
  16. About 20 years ago,possibly longer,Eastwood sold the plans to build a big plywood cabinet along with the parts to assessable it,gloves,window, foot operated valve and the air vacuum system.

    It's the big red piece of equipment in the background and is what I have used in the shop and it has cleaned hundreds of parts over the years. HRP

  17. GearheadsQCE
    Joined: Mar 23, 2011
    Posts: 2,090


    I've been think about buying one also. Have used a Trinco in the past and it seemed to have media pick up issues. Some dust, too.
    One thing that might help me, is that I have a 5 HP dust collection system. When my cabinet builder son moved his stuff to a new shop, I kept it here. That thing will suck start a Harley! Could actually reclaim the media, as it feeds into a cyclone separator. Anyone else pull the air out of the cabinet, HARD?
    I would spend the money for a better blaster, if I need to, but I would rather spend it on my car(s).
  18. 59Apachegail
    Joined: Apr 30, 2011
    Posts: 1,115

    from New York

    I don't own a shop I probably use mine less than these shop guys do. It works great for me but it took some tweaking. I used a 25% off and got the cabinet for $188. My wife used 25% off and got the re circulator for $137 (helps with dust a lot) I use mine in the basement but only use plastic beads and Alum-oxide. My cabinet paid for itself after two projects. Local blaster charges $100 an hour. It could be faster and my hand hurts after holding the trigger for so long.
    1) I sealed the hell out of it with silicone, including the top glass.
    2) Replaced the door seal with a thicker one
    3) Screwed in angle brackets and added castors and some rigidity
    4) Replaced the light with a flood light

    I am pretty happy with mine for the price. Seal, seal and seal some more.
    slammed likes this.
  19. seb fontana
    Joined: Sep 1, 2005
    Posts: 5,792

    seb fontana
    from ct

    I have a HF cabinet also, but not to much leaking issue, more so with crap hand me down vacuum..Put a good vacuum on and found that blocking the air intake to the cabinet would suck all the sides in !! Gloves too !! So I made a flap out of sheet metal that is adjustable to cover part of the air intake hole to create some negative pressure in the cabinet to let air in where sand would possibly come out..So far, so good..I also wanted to be able to move the blast cabinet around so I mounted it on a 2x4 frame with casters and screwed the legs to it..I had trouble with it running out of sand [I may be miss judging the volume of sand to put in] so I got a cheap $10 electric sander and screwed it on the outside of the funnel about half way down to vibrate the sand down, had to put a speed control on it as it would vibrate so much I would get a woody.o_O
    Dick Stevens and saltflats like this.
  20. okiedokie
    Joined: Jul 5, 2005
    Posts: 3,525

    from Ok

    I have had a HF cabinet for several years and it has been just fine for my needs. It has never been a leaker, have no idea what the difference might be. The gun did wear out a couple of years ago and I bought one at Northern Tools that works great. $20 it seems. I have two friends who also own the HF unit and they never have complained, one is building cars everyday and says he loves his. I would buy another personally. All three of us did update the lighting in the cabinet.
  21. I to have a HF cabinet. Works well. I changed out the gun for a TP Tools Skat Blast gun and install a Skat Blast pickup tube, made a big difference. I also use the Skat Blast gloves. When I bought mine I only paid like $175 shipped to my door! Got my moneys worth I don't know how many times over again. I use 1/4" single pane house glass and get it from a local glass shop for $10 a piece. The width and length is fine I don't care for the height and the angle of the door and opening. I plan on adding on to the top and making a bigger door.
  22. Home made from two 55 gal drums, an ancient Sears siphon-feed sandblaster, and a discarded electrical panel...

  23. seb fontana
    Joined: Sep 1, 2005
    Posts: 5,792

    seb fontana
    from ct

    Crazy Steve, looks space age!
  24. You got that right,if the gloves were hanging out it would resemble Robbie the Robot! HRP
  25. vtx1800
    Joined: Oct 4, 2009
    Posts: 816


    a few years ago we bought the floor model Harbor Freight sand blaster, I hooked a "ballast" (a used up shop vac that I gutted) between the shop vac and the cabinet, I never had any real problems with leakage, hand hot tired holding the trigger and the compressor (a five horse) couldn't keep up. It worked but had shortcomings (including being too small for long items) Last year we bought the biggest one they have (and it uses a floor pedal) as well as their vacuum system that mounts on the blaster cabinet and don't see any leakage issues to speak of. It has a door on either end so I added an extra two feet to the one end and was able to blast the dash out of a 49 Ford in it. We also upgraded to a newer compressor (went from and 1983 Campbell Hausfeld five horse to a 10? year old Sanborn five horse two stage compressor and 80 gallon tank) and even though I can't compare to other brands we are pretty happy with it.
  26. 54 Chevy
    Joined: Sep 4, 2010
    Posts: 357

    54 Chevy

    I made two out of plywood in high school years ago
    that worked great. They are cheap two build. I am going to build me one soon.
  27. 49ratfink
    Joined: Feb 8, 2004
    Posts: 17,218

    from California

    I bought one several years back and never had a problem with dust. I used it with my craftsman shop vac. once you replace the gun it seems to work great.
  28. Fedcospeed
    Joined: Aug 17, 2008
    Posts: 2,011


    TP Tools, miles ahead of HF.I wanted my HF one out of the shop so bad I gave it away.Junk
  29. Wooster
    Joined: Nov 30, 2010
    Posts: 88

    from Soso, MS

    Bought a 780TL (top load) years ago from TP Tools. Added their vac system later because certain blast materials make a lot of dust and could not see good inside. Only regret is not getting a larger unit. They also have kits and plans to build from plywood.

    Posted using the Full Custom H.A.M.B. App!
  30. Brand Apart
    Joined: Jan 22, 2011
    Posts: 544

    Brand Apart
    from Roswell GA

    not sure I get how OP said it was "good quality" and then described how it doesn't work. some of these home made units are cool though definitely inspiration for when I have a bigger shop

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