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Old 11-25-2010, 10:44 PM   #1
John Timmins
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Default My improvements to my cheap sandblast cabinet

My cabinet is not Harbor Freight but likely made at the same place in China. I bought it on line and the lamp is actually WORSE than the HF unit. It has a shitty 120 volt to 12 volt (?) transformer to a weak florescent lamp inside the cabinet. It has the same side door.

I put wheels on the bottom with 1x4 boards using 7/16 inch bolts for axels. Are the wheels perfect? No and who cares? I can roll it away from the wall and outdoors. I blast with the sun shining through the window. I leave all the media and mess outside too.

The cabinet comes with some sticky protective clear sheets that you're supposed to put on the plastic window inside the cabinet to protect it. The sheets leak, the window gets dirty and scratched, and you have to replace the sheet by leaning inside the cabinet and BREATHING all that dust and paint. Even wearing a mask I don't like doing this.

My solution was to remove the entire window frame and get a pane of glass cut to order for the correct size. I bought some of that foam that's 1 inch wide and sticky on one side and put it on the cabinet around the opening in the top. I removed and discarded all the plastic frame nuts and bolts and have 4 screws sticking up through the cabinet, through the plastic frame, and through 1x2 inch wood strongbacks, and secured all the window frame with the wingnuts.

I went to Grainger and bought a package of sandblaster window protecting film - 2 rolls for about $20. The film rests between the foam on the cabinet and the new glass. At the top of the window you can see the roll of the protective plastic sheet. Seeing the pictures will explain this better.

How everything works for me is: I roll the cabinet outside and put the shopvac hose on the opening and start blasting. My window isn't leakproof but who cares? The shopvac is pulling a suction into the cabinet so not much leaks out. When the window film gets too dirty or scratched up, I shut off the shopvac and loosen the wingnuts and pull and fresh amount of film into place and cut off the used film. The window is clean and I resume blasting.

When I'm done I hose off the cabinet and blow air on it to dry it off. I dispose of the media in the shopvac.

I use glass bead and 60 psi (4 Bar) pressure to blast aluminum to bare metal ( I restore outboard motors). The snap-on guy has a competitive price on the glass bead I use. I think the HF and Tractor Supply stuff is too big.

I hope this helps others!
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File Type: jpg Outboard timing 003.jpg (45.1 KB, 231 views)
File Type: jpg Outboard timing 001.jpg (38.5 KB, 207 views)
File Type: jpg Outboard timing 002.jpg (38.7 KB, 193 views)
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Old 11-26-2010, 01:27 AM   #2
wornoutoldman
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Default Re: My improvements to my cheap sandblast cabinet

Smart mods. Thanks!
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Old 11-26-2010, 09:51 AM   #3
RMR&C
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Default Re: My improvements to my cheap sandblast cabinet

I have that same cabinet. You are right, the light is a joke.....so I tossed it and installed a small outdoor type enclosed floodlight (sealed, halogen).....finally, I can see what I'm blasting!!!
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Old 11-26-2010, 11:50 AM   #4
AJ1978
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Default Re: My improvements to my cheap sandblast cabinet

John, Nice Mod's.. I was just debating what to do with mine. I have the HF version. John What motors do you restore. I have a collection of older outboards, and no time to get to them
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Old 11-26-2010, 01:09 PM   #5
BlindViper
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Default Re: My improvements to my cheap sandblast cabinet

I have the same one it came from grizzly. The stock light worked for about 20 min. I removed the cone filter on the rear and hooked and shop vac to keep the dust out. My window didnt seal worth a crap so I siliconed mine in place
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Old 11-26-2010, 01:53 PM   #6
John Timmins
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Default Re: My improvements to my cheap sandblast cabinet

AJ 1948, I only restore automatic transmission Mercury outboards made from 1957 - 1962. I posted pictures 3-4 days ago in the Free Parking section. Look for my posting Automatic Tramsmission Mercury Outboards or something like that.
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Old 02-12-2013, 11:57 AM   #7
firemark2643
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Default Re: My improvements to my cheap sandblast cabinet

I know there was a post on the Journal for mods concerning the vacuum system but now I can't find it.
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Old 02-12-2013, 12:09 PM   #8
mayday0017
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Default Re: My improvements to my cheap sandblast cabinet

Hm.... I have been blasting with Glass Media for years, stopping using any sort of disposible film was the best thing I ever did. I use nothing, just the glass that is on the cabinet and it works great. The plastic film use to get blasted by the glass media and would be hard to see. The Tempered glass that is on the cabinet doesn't have a mark on it after years of using this way. I don't blast at the glass directly but I"m not really careful of it at all either. Sometimes I take a hand with the glove on and wipe it off inside but even that I can't remember doing in a very long time. I guess I'm trying to say you might not even need to have the protective film on there. And even if the glass lasted as long as the roll of film it would be the same price to replace. Just a little info to Chew on.....
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