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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Would I be better off buying a portable sand blaster or a blasting cabinet for cleaning up parts. I'm not planning on doing the entire car. I've got a buddy who will do that for me. Battery boxes, bumper brackets, hood latch, etc. is what I would be using it for. Also, what are some quality brands of blasters. I like buying quality and buying it once. Thanks for any replies.
 

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I have both and I can say that I use the cabinet fifty times for every one time I use my outside blaster.

I have been very happy with the cabinet I got from TIP many years ago. You can buy cabinets from Harbor Freight and other outlets like that, but they are mostly fiberglass now and the grating in the bottom is too large, allowing small parts to fall down into the media.

BTW, what are you working on? I notice that you're in Raleigh too.

HTH, James.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
1969 mach 1. I bought it about 2 months ago. I am in the disassembly stage right now, but it is real solid. I live in north raleigh, where are you?
 

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I don't have room for a cabinet so I really didn't have a choice.

I have a 50# portable blaster. I use #5 sandblasting sand which is the consistency of sugar. I do it in my back yard and don't try to recycle the sand.

I will say that NOTHING is as effective cleaning a part as sandblasting is. After blasting a part I just wipe it down with lacquer thinner and spray on the topcoat. Don't need to derust or use primer because ALL of the rust is gone.

Only advice that I can give is that if you blast on a humid day the moisture will eventually clog the blaster valve. I made a water separator that uses 50' of air hose in a large ice chest full of ice water.
 

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I have both too. I think for your use, you would use the cabinet more. I bought my cabinet at Harbor Freight. It is a metal cabinet and the grate is fine. Sandblasting is a pretty simple thing, so I'm not sure quality is as much of an issue as bells and whistles. Getting the right media and compressor is probably more of an issue.
 

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I will second the need for the right air compressor.I used to have a 2 stage 20gal compressor and I found myself spending more time waiting for the compressor to catch up than I was actually blasting. Blasting a pulley now take about a minute, whereas with my old compressor it would take about a half hour. I have an 80gal compressor and am quite pleased with it.
 

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Sorry, wasn't trying to trash Harbor Freight or any other maker, just pointing out a weak spot that the Chinese manufacturer didn't foresee.

It's a simple matter to replace the grate in the bottom with a tighter weave. I blast everything from intake manifolds down to small bolts and washers in mine, so the size of the holes is an issue.

Rsalway is also right in that compressor and media (in that order) are two very important considerations. You need a fairly big tank to sandblast for any length of time and a motor/compressor that can keep up.
 

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You will put many hours in with a quality booth. You can never buy a booth that is too big!

To run a quality booth you need a good compressor. I have the TP tools 960 cabinet and a real 5 HP compressor. The compressor catches up with the booth. You can do ok with a lower cost unit found with the 5HP special motor.

I highly recommend the carbide nozzles. You pay more and you get significantly more life then the ceramic. They pay for themselves over time. As the ceramic wear you get reduced cutting.

To save time I have found doing electrolytic rust and paint removal on the parts first helps. Depending on the paint and amount of rust you can cut your booth time down. I estimate I am saving 20 minutes by with the electrolytic rust removal process with the spoked wheels on my Model A Ford.

One person recommended putting topcoat directly to bare steel. This is not recommended as top coat is not designed to go directly to metal. You may have long term adhesion issues. It is best to use an epoxy primer. Epoxy will seal the surface from moisture. Some top coats are porous to moisture.

I have been using a product called PickleX 20 on the metal to protect it. It also helps with paint adhesion.

BTW, Keep watch on craigslist and your local paper for a good compressor. I got mine for $300. The guy complained it did not keep up with his TP booth. It worked fine after I tighten up the bolts holding the valve caps.
 

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My cabinet is the best tool I own. I bought it from an old factory. I second getting the biggest you can. Also, get a two stage compressor with is much HP as possible. Another trick is hard piping the air line from the compressor to the cabinet. They say you lose a lot of air through the long rubber hoses. Also, with the hard line you can build in moisture traps.
 
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