A new addition to the shop

George CarlsonNews, Tools

Abrasive Blasting Caninet

Abrasive Blasting Cabinet

One of the latest additions to our arsenal of tools at The MakerBarn is an abrasive blasting cabinet. Since we have a large air compressor and the entire building has been plumbed for compressed air, installation of the unit was easy.
“Sand blasting” can be quite messy, but with the sealed cabinet, the operation is quite clean and comfortable. Parts to be blasted are brought in through a door that seals. The operator’s hands go into large gloves in the front of the cabinet and a window allows the operator to see inside. A shop vac keeps the air inside the cabinet clear of dust.
The unit has been supplied with 100 grit snow-white Aluminum Oxide abrasive. This is a fine abrasive that looks much like sugar. It works well for quickly removing rust and paint from metal surfaces. It also works well for texturizing a surface, or etching glass or plastic. The vinyl cutter can be used to produce a mask for etching glass. The fine abrasive cuts glass, but does not destroy the vinyl.
When using the blaster, make sure your part is clean and free of grease, oil, of loose paint chips. Grease and oil can contaminate the abrasive and make is useless for etching projects. Large paint chips can clog the blasting gun.
The gun should be held at an angle to the surface, not straight on. The idea is to scrub the surface. Blasting directing down unto the surface can peen the surface and damage the part.
Bring in an old rusty yard tool and try the blaster on it. You’ll be pleased with the results.