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Thread: HF Benchtop Sand Blast Cabinet?

  1. #1

    HF Benchtop Sand Blast Cabinet?

    Wondering if anyone has this? Is it worth it? I know it says you need 10CFM, but do you really? Aside from all the parts from machines that I could use this for, I also restore vintage alarm clocks, many of which are rusted and need new paint. Please tell me what you think...

  2. #2
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    I have not used the specific HF cabinet, but in my experience if it says you need 10CFM you probably really need 12+
    they nozzle on a sand blaster is usually a big 1/4" or larger hole. Its kind of like cutting the end off your air hose.
    Andrew Gibson
    Infinity Cutting Tools

  3. #3
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    Sandblasters use a LOT of CFM at pressure to do any meaningful work. The pros that do car chassis and other large things typically run a Sullair 185 or 375 (that's CFM...and they're powered by a 50 or 100 hp diesel, respectively)

    When I was just getting going I bought the free-standing horrible freight cabinet and was able to do some decent blasting using my Barbie compressor - a sealed high RPM 40 gal Porker Cable. It was rated at like 5 CFM @ 90 or something. I just did what I could do in 30-45 sec bursts and let the compressor catch up. I eventually got a 24 CFM @ 175 IR compressor after the Porker threw the con rod through the side of the case...Motor was still slappin it around!

    If you're just doing small parts, taking a break for the air to catch up probably isn't that big of a deal.
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  4. #4
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    My wife has that unit and for the money it does all she needs. It does take a lot of CFM's to run, but with small parts, it should not be a problem if you let the compressor catch up. Only downside is it is hard to see into the cabinet while blasting. I bought her a magnetic florescent light that can be hung inside or on top of the cabinet to see. It has a dust port and if you hook up a shop vac it will suck some of the dust out and will help visibility.
    SWE

  5. #5
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    I like a light

    And put a filter of some sort when you hook up the vac else it will suck out all the sand.

    HF sells ceramic tip inserts for blasting. Out a smaller size on. This will keep the velocity up even when lower air flow, although a smaller blast zone.

    You might also consider peel off liners for the window. Else it gets blasted and frosty and you can't see anymore

    Make sure you can load and unload parts the size you want to blast. And still have room in the box to run the gun when everything is in it

    Otherwise.... A box is a box is a box...

  6. #6
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    Mar 2015
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    cleveland,tn.
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    I agree I have a harbor freight cabinet type blaster and my Ingersoll Rand 5 hp 60 gal can not keep up must take a break to let pressure build might really need a 10 hp compressor to have more compressor than consumed air.

  7. #7
    It would be nice to have a 10CFM compressor, however I don't. Wish I could afford a better blast box as well, however space and $ prohibit that. I do have a 6.7CFM @ 90psi and hope that will be enough to do fairly small parts, as an alarm clock has. Mostly it's the painted cases that need stripping. Maybe someday I'll be able to afford the larger compressor. Do you think it's even worth my getting the Bench Top Cabinet with the compressor that I have?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Derek Arita View Post
    It would be nice to have a 10CFM compressor, however I don't. Wish I could afford a better blast box as well, however space and $ prohibit that. I do have a 6.7CFM @ 90psi and hope that will be enough to do fairly small parts, as an alarm clock has. Mostly it's the painted cases that need stripping. Maybe someday I'll be able to afford the larger compressor. Do you think it's even worth my getting the Bench Top Cabinet with the compressor that I have?
    You'll be fine with that set up. You can get a lot done with 1 min on 3 min off for compressor to catch up.

    As I mentioned, the 40 gal compressor I had in the larger cabinet was fine as long as I had the patience to wait for the air to build back up. I was doing crusty auto parts...much larger in size using silicon carbide.

    You'll figure it out...and yes it should be good enough for what you are doing.
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  9. #9
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    If you have a TSC (Tractor Supply) near you the small blasting cabinet is a lot better than the HF one. It also has a filtered port for a shop vac and about the same price or cheaper. However any sandblaster in the shop is going to leak some sand. I purchased the smallest HF pressurized pot a 20 gal one, and it works fine Out Side! The hood that comes with it sucks, the hood that TSC sells for less than $25 is far better. Always wear a good dusk mask with any sandblaster as the sand dust is so small and if it gets in your lungs its there forever.
    Retired Guy- Central Iowa. , LightObject 40w CO2 Laser and Chiller, MakerGear M2 3D Printer. Fine Line Automation 4x4 CNC Router- Mach4 ESS

  10. #10
    Well, ended up with the HF Benchtop and also got some HF glass beads. Tried it on some parts and it works great! It was a lot more controllable than I thought it would be. I couldn't believe how quickly the old paint and rust came off the parts. I used masking tape on the nickel plated areas and that also worked out great, with very clean edges. I think I'll be able to go straight to paint, after a cleaning.
    The compressor I used is my old "5" HP, rated at 6.7cfm@90. I rarely had to open the nozzle fully and most worked at about 1/2 or so. I also didn't have to run my vac all the time with the glass bead media. It was very low dust, so I only turned it on prior to opening the cabinet door. By the way, there was no noticeable leakage of media anywhere. The only media that ended up outside the cabinet, was from opening the door.
    I was worried about being underpowered and was a bit confused on the media, but it couldn't have worked out better. I did look at the Tractor Supply version and although it had more bells and whistles, I liked the conical shape media reservoir on the HF, rather than the flat bottom one on TS. I could see how that was going to be a problem, unless the reservoir was full all the time.
    I'm sure I'll be doing some mods to the set up in the future, but right out-of-the box, I can't complain. Thanks for your help!

  11. #11
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    I have really had no issues with 90% of the Harbor Freight stuff I buy. Of course I go into it knowing its not commercial grade use 8 hours a day 6 days a week. I don't remember the TSC unit having a flat bottom, it was tapered I am sure or otherwise how would the sand get to the intake hose? I thought it had a grate? The picture shows a tapered trough and a metal grate. The sand metal pickup tube with 3 or 4 holes, lays in the bottom of that trough.
    Last edited by Bill George; 05-07-2019 at 4:36 PM.
    Retired Guy- Central Iowa. , LightObject 40w CO2 Laser and Chiller, MakerGear M2 3D Printer. Fine Line Automation 4x4 CNC Router- Mach4 ESS

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Bill George View Post
    I have really had no issues with 90% of the Harbor Freight stuff I buy. Of course I go into it knowing its not commercial grade use 8 hours a day 6 days a week. I don't remember the TSC unit having a flat bottom, it was tapered I am sure or otherwise how would the sand get to the intake hose? I thought it had a grate? The picture shows a tapered trough and a metal grate. The sand metal pickup tube with 3 or 4 holes, lays in the bottom of that trough.
    Actually, Bill, the one I saw had a V shaped bottom, so I should have said it was shaped like a trough, where media would pile up on one side of the V, opposite the side where the intake sat. The user would have to either move the intake over or move the media over. Most larger cabinets have the upside-down pyramid type bottom.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Derek Arita View Post
    Actually, Bill, the one I saw had a V shaped bottom, so I should have said it was shaped like a trough, where media would pile up on one side of the V, opposite the side where the intake sat. The user would have to either move the intake over or move the media over. Most larger cabinets have the upside-down pyramid type bottom.
    The intake tube is about 12 inches long with holes cut in it and it lays in that V or trough so its covered with sand anytime the V has sand in it. That tube goes directly to the intake hose on the gun. The one I had worked wonderfully, but I only used it 5 or 6 times as it was not what I needed to sandblast SS table plates.
    Retired Guy- Central Iowa. , LightObject 40w CO2 Laser and Chiller, MakerGear M2 3D Printer. Fine Line Automation 4x4 CNC Router- Mach4 ESS

  14. #14
    I've got one. It's ok for small parts.
    The clear suction tube could be better material, it likes to kink shut....often.
    I don't buy the expensive media, I use mason's sand. Very very fine sand.
    About 6-8 bucks at your local lumber yard for a 50# bag.


  15. #15
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    i use a 3850 dewalt pressure washer with a sandblast attachment from northern tool. i have constant pressure and since it mixes with water i get no dust. i had to customize a tip out of boron carbide because the stock tips were wearing out in 4 hours of blasting.

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