Inexpensive sand blasters

javertOctober 19, 2012

I need to sandblast a number of old metal lawn chairs, and I would like to hear from anybody who has used one of the inexpensive units - like sold by Sears, Northern Tool, and Harbor Freight in the $50-$100 range. I have an air compressor that will drive it, but will it actually do the job? I have read of folks using play sand as the abrasive; is this feasible? Anybody with first hand experience, please give me some feedback.

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I have used a siphon type vs pressure with fair success. A pressurize type ballooned when I tried to get more production from it with about 100 psi. On this level It's slow and messy but will work. On the pro end, my 1970 VW's thin metal buckled/rippled from the sand's grade (heat) needed to remove layers of paint/clear-coat. I had too much Stuff to want a hopper and the cup (as a paint gun) was fine on my level of work.

Matco Tool's, Handi Blaster worker fine for me on a slower level on fine work (behind the pro's major blast). The two grades of sand came from a Swimming Pool supply and I feel the fine was about a grade as play sand

    Bookmark   October 19, 2012 at 11:04PM
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gator_rider2(z8 Ga.)

Any listed place have one all made china now I got mine from agri supply its red bucket type holds a bag sand sand I get my bags at tractor supply most come with hood and goggles you need that. Sand ok if don't have to much dust in it I always turn back to east when sandblasting so drift go off from work. Sand get in aver crack on body. Do work over barrel you recycle some sand. can't use wet sand it will bridge easy.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2012 at 11:08PM
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I have one I bought at Northern several years ago. It works well enough, but remember...moisture in the sand is your enemy, so if you use play sand, you need to make sure it is VERY dry...nothing is more frustrating than dealing with clumps and clogs.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2012 at 9:12AM
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1. My old 70's Matco Handi Blaster (50 - 160 psi) looks differ from the related I saw at the link below. It shows it might be related with the 3 ceramic protected tips.

2. Good tips on recycling sand, protection and you still will have challenges (containing, protecting). A step with the hood was a (lexan? Plastic) hand held shield I used to block sand while working closer (along with the hood).

3. The model I have shows S&H Ind. Cleveland Ohio. I'm sure it's produced in China now and I find that OK with some tools (if the needed quality is known and there. The out sourced tools are not my favorite but all I could justify affording in many cases. I basically had to see some quality and over a period before I "personally" was sold on most outsourced tools (I have on many). If it lasted a year of daily/constant use on the job, I felt it would last me years at home with less use.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2012 at 12:16PM
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Thanks, guys. If anybody else has thoughts, please chime in.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2012 at 10:56PM
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1 factor not mentioned yet is how large of a compressor do u have? how much do u have to blast?
If u have alot to blast and a small tank, u will be spitting out water in no time.
If u only have a small job, then i would look at paint stripper.

If u do blast, play sand is not a good idea - it has different size grains, unless you sift out the larger grains, it will clog.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2012 at 2:00PM
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We used a "Sandy Jim" sand blaster at work, for the few small jobs we needed a blaster for. We used white sand mostly. We had to replace the inner ceramic tip occasionally. It still is in use here, occasionally. Warning: If that ceramic tip wears thru, if you don't replace it, the sand will wear thru the outer part , and trouble will result. And always wear a white paper filter mask, plus eye protection, gloves, and clothing that will button up. No Tee-shirts! And goggles that cover the eyes.
A complete clear plastic face mask is useful, too. Seems like a lot of protection, but--if ya don't wear what is described here, you will look like a mummy, but a blind one at that!

    Bookmark   November 3, 2012 at 4:15PM
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