anybody use a soda blaster before? im trying to make my own

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anybody use a soda blaster before? im trying to make my own

Post by 73 Guy on Sun Jun 24, 2012 6:04 pm

Do any of you all have a sand blasting cabinet that you use and or built yourself? Ive been wanting one ever since my father in law gave me a cheap campbell hausfield siphon sand blasting gun. I ised it outside and realized fwo things: its awsum and it creages a lot of dust. So much that i wont do it outdoors because i live in the city and dont want to deal with my neighbors complaining.

So ive decided to create a soda blasting cabinet to help me progress with the cleaning and painting of parts on my chevelle. Ive never used one before but i know they must be an awsum tool to have if youve got some space to put it in your garage. I knew i wanted a bigger cabinet than fhe $200 ones harbor freight sells. So my motivation wasnt the money but the size. What it's cost me to construct one out of wood is not a whole lot cheaper and not as professional looking. But it will let me do whatever will fit that is 5 ft wide, 3 ft tall, and 2 feet deep.

So here are some pictures of where i'm at so far with it. If any one has any suggestions I'd love to hear them.















I still have to build the front wall, hinge the side door and mount the window, figure out a venting system for a shop vac, and i'm sure plenty more.

73 Guy
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Re: anybody use a soda blaster before? im trying to make my own

Post by jerry46765 on Sun Jun 24, 2012 6:35 pm

That is a cool cabinet. You could get bumpers in there.

I have a media cabinet from Skat Blast in Canfield Ohio and use it constantly. It can make the worst rusty part look like a new one with the right blast media and air pressure.

Get the biggest compressor you can afford.
That is the limiting factor of my cabinet.

And cost of blast media. Some of that stuff is 50 bucks a bag and you can barely reuse it. If you can't find it locally, you end up paying serious freight on each 50 pound bag. I have been buying media locally at Tractor Supply. The stuff is called Black Diamond, and it comes in three differnent medias; fine, medium, and coarse. Best part about it, it's 8 bucks a bag, you can reuse it over and over, and there are no crazy shipping costs.

Also, I got a hepa filter for mine since I obviously run it inside for hours at a time. I am not sure a shop vac filter will be able to keep up with the requirements of the cabinet. When the media is reused, it gets smaller (dustier), and the stuff that you blast off parts needs to be sucked up in the vac too.

Also, soda is a one use material. After you blast it on something once, it becomes dust. I thought about getting a bin for soda but the media cost is high (& one use), plus I have been able to work around not having it. Soda is best for soft metals and/or removing paint. It won't remove heavy rust, plating, or multiple layers of paint. When I do soft metals, I turn the air pressure way down and use very fine media. It takes more time, but I am able to get the job done with what I have.

Thanks -

Jerry
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Re: anybody use a soda blaster before? im trying to make my own

Post by 77mali on Sun Jun 24, 2012 9:52 pm

Check out harbor freight if you have one nearby- they have several specific soda blasters as well as decent compressors. I have a 26 gallon which I use with a small blast media unit- I wish I had gone for a larger compressor- especially for this application. If you have the extra $$- we'll worth it.
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Re: anybody use a soda blaster before? im trying to make my own

Post by pila on Sun Jun 24, 2012 11:18 pm

X2 on the Black Diamond blasting media. Less dust with it than the silica sand etc. I use glass bead media on aircraft items that are aluminum.
It does take a big volume of air to keep up with sand blasting. Having a compressor that can't keep up, can be helped by getting another one to add capacity, like another small one.

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Re: anybody use a soda blaster before? im trying to make my own

Post by jerry46765 on Mon Jun 25, 2012 4:08 pm

While the Harbor Freight stuff looks good for occational use tools, I don't think an air compressor from them would be the best idea.

A compressor is a constant use item which will need replacment parts.

Go with a name brand so when you need parts or service, you can repair the compressor rather than tossing it out and buying again.

Thanks -

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Re: anybody use a soda blaster before? im trying to make my own

Post by pila on Mon Jun 25, 2012 5:11 pm

X2 on what Jerry said. A good compressor is an investment of sorts, and a good one will even have resale value.
One of my friends bought a big soda blast rig, to remove paint from a WW2 airplane he was restoring. It took the paint off, without any trace of blasting, just normal looking aluminum skins when he was done. Quite surprising to me at the time.
The soda blasting doesn't remove rust though, from what I've seen.

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Re: anybody use a soda blaster before? im trying to make my own

Post by 77mali on Mon Jun 25, 2012 6:19 pm

I've had good luck w/ my compressor, even though it's smallish. Prob had it about a year and have used it quite often for rust removal w/ black "slag" media. Although for every day "professional" use I would agree that you'd want something that is easily serviced nearby, etc. All depends what you need.
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