Buying up that must-have shop equipment can drain your wallet pretty quick. Reader Hugo J Cardoso decided to build his own bead-blasting rig instead of shelling out for it — he built it to his own custom specs and wound up with a blasting box anyone could be proud of. He gives us the word on how he went about it.
Get the biggest compressor you can. You will still want a bigger one. I use the smallest compressor on the planet, a 25 liter, 1.5Kw, 75 euro model. It kind of works, I can clean a set of engine casings in a couple of hours but even for sporadic use, a bigger one would help a lot.
Surf the net. It’s all been done before. Make sure the cabinet is well sealed. If you still have dust coming out, try installing a vent to release interior pressure or even a fan/ ventilation system. I haven’t had problems with dust because I sealed all joints on both sides using silicone. I was also careful in making sure that the frame on the door side was nice and even to get a good seal on the door. I used adhesive foam tape there, the kind you use to seal doors and windows. I also have a vent to let air out. Then again, the glass beads are new. When they start breaking up and turning into dust, this may be a problem.
Make sure the bottom (in a V shape) is steep enough to make the sand flow down and cover the suction point. My bottom could use a little more steepness (that didn’t sound right…) I like the window at 45 degrees, allows you to look forward and down.
You’ll have to figure out the relation between work plane height, window position and arm holes height. Try to mock it up if you can. It’s important when it comes to comfort. Put a hole at the bottom to change media quickly.
Make sure it can go through the door. The width is 93 cm and the depth is 70cm, I think. There’s no need to make it too deep because you won’t be able to reach things (and it won’t fit through the door in one piece).
Moisture building up inside the air line may be a problem. I’m thinking of getting an air filter to get rid of the moisture.
Hugo goes on to recommend a few resources that’ll help you build your own sweet blasting box — and he points out that flames make everything better. Hugo, we couldn’t agree more.
Toolmonger Photo Pool [Flickr]