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Thread: Harbor Freight Sand Blast Cabinet Modifications

  1. #1
    holescreek's Avatar
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    Harbor Freight Sand Blast Cabinet Modifications

    I could have titled this thread "How to void your warranty"!

    Here are some things I have done to make my HF blast cabinet more friendly to use for my gun work among other things.

    Here is the unit as it sat a few days ago. I added an extension onto the side today but I'll get into that later. The unit itself is sitting on an old metal cart. I cut a square hole in the shelf the blaster is sitting on so I had access to the drain hole in the bottom of the unit. I added a water filter to the side of the cabinet and cut a long slit in the top of the cabinet, and added a lexan window so that the flourescent light on top could shine into the cabinet. The switch turns on the vacuum and turns on the light. I can flip the switch with my knee.


    Inside the cabinet you can see where the air enters the cabinet from the water filter. You can also see that the hose that carries the media is coming up from outside the cabinet, well maybe you cant, it's under the glove.



    The hose feeding the media is shown below. It is connected to a copper "t" fitting at one end. The other end of the T goes inside the cabinet and picks up the media. The short leg of the T is a vent with an unsecured copper cap resting on top. This allows air to be sucked in behind the media which increases blast pressure and prevents clogs.


    This is the pick-up end of the T fitting inside the cabinet:
    Last edited by holescreek; 06-18-2010 at 04:20 PM. Reason: additions

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    holescreek's Avatar
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    Here is the light showing through the cabinet:


    Today I needed to blast a barrelled action that was too long to fit inside the cabinet. I bent a sheetmetal box and a cap for one end and cut a hole in the side of the cabinet


    I caulked all of the seams and pop riveted it over the hole in the cabinet to save time, I covered the seams with aluminum furnace tape.


    Here's the new addition. 8" wide, 6" tall and 10' deep.

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    cool ! i have the same one! I need to get a new window some where and a new blasting gun. I messed mine up

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    holescreek's Avatar
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    I have always kept mylar covers inside the glass on my cabinet. When it gets too hard to see through, peel it off and stick a new one on. I used to use the ones in the link below but the last time I ordered from somewhere else and bought a roll of mylar. Wholesale tool sells a lot of this stuff, there is a car repair supply company (Eastwood?) that has way more.

    New windows:
    http://www.wholesaletoolcompany.com/...FU9V5wodjQmxRA

    Mylar covers that stick to the inside of the window to protect it:
    http://www.wholesaletoolcompany.com/...FU9V5wodjQmxRA

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    links didn't work correctly but i'll find in on there thank you!

    what media are you using? I use black beauty it's good stuff non toxic. the sand from play grounds ect I was told has silica in it

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    holescreek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RogueHK View Post
    links didn't work correctly but i'll find in on there thank you!

    what media are you using? I use black beauty it's good stuff non toxic. the sand from play grounds ect I was told has silica in it
    I used "black diamond" from TSC or glass bead from HF.

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    I found this very informative, I do not know if I have the same one, or one just a size lower. I do not have the light flange sitting above (where your flourescent light is), was that an add on? I do have a grommeted hole (I see one on yours), where a light could be installed.

    I have used my blasting cabinet, but do not have it set up as good as yours, slowly adding to my shop (would like a box and pan brake so I could also build your extension).

    I do not have a vacuum, but am interested in putting one in, is it better to buy a dedicated
    vacuum or if one has any old wet/dry vac can one hook/unhook as needed? Reason I ask this question, are vacuums for sand blasters subject to the abrasiveness of the blasting media?

    I found this very informative. Sorry if these are considered ignorant questions, maybe in 20 or so years of playing with things like this, I will be able to share some of this expert advice as well.
    All the way, and then some!

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    holescreek's Avatar
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    Those are very good questions!

    The light was added. I cut the slit in the top of the cabinet and sealed it with a piece of lexan. The light is screwed on top.

    They do make special vacuums for use with sand blasters, a company named "Cyclone" makes them and they cost about $250. I chose to use a regular shop vac to save both room and money. It has been running with the sand blaster almost daily for several years now. It really helps to keep the dust down so I can see.

    Having a 36" box and pan brake and a foot shear really makes short work of these little projects. Once you start buying tools it's hard to know where to stop.

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    Quote Originally Posted by holescreek View Post
    Those are very good questions!

    The light was added. I cut the slit in the top of the cabinet and sealed it with a piece of lexan. The light is screwed on top.

    They do make special vacuums for use with sand blasters, a company named "Cyclone" makes them and they cost about $250. I chose to use a regular shop vac to save both room and money. It has been running with the sand blaster almost daily for several years now. It really helps to keep the dust down so I can see.

    Having a 36" box and pan brake and a foot shear really makes short work of these little projects. Once you start buying tools it's hard to know where to stop.
    Did you buy a light at home depot (or other) and just cut off what you did not need on the reflector?

    As far as the shop vac, if a regular one will work for 2 or more years, at the price of those things, unless one used it a whole lot (which I just use mine on occasion), I am not sure a 250.00 one would be worth the investment unless one were going into a full commercial production environment. A regular one may serve my purposes...

    What kind of tool do you use to do your sheet metal cutting (i.e. the hole in the side for your extension, and the light), I know there are many ways to cut this, but the right airtool may be what I want
    All the way, and then some!

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    holescreek's Avatar
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    I just bought a cheap flourescent light and made a sheet metal holder do attach it to the top of the cabinet.

    The cheapest tool to use would be an air nibbler since you could start from a drilled hole. I used a plasma cutter since the blaster is next to my welding area.

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