by Pat Goss
No matter what you do around the house, sooner or later you’re going to have a cleaning job that, well, it could be made a lot easier and a lot better by sandblasting. See, parts like, even for the lawnmower, for instance, that need to get cleaned, they’re all rusty and dirty, and so on. Sandblasting is an ideal way to do all sorts of things. Not just automotive stuff, but marine and, you name it.
Now, sandblasters are very inexpensive. They’ve come down in price over the years, and the most inexpensive one is a type like this. Now, this doesn’t have a cabinet or anything with it, so before you use this, one of the things that you have to remember is that you need proper attire, gloves, you need eye and face protection. You need to be really covered up with this because the sand goes everywhere. You also have to be careful where you do it because you’re going to have sand where you never thought sand could possibly be.
Anyway, there are numerous types of media materials for doing sandblasting. We call it sand, but in reality, the media material can run from walnut shells to glass beads to silicon carbide, and several others along with that.
Now, one of the things that you have to be careful of is water. Whenever you’re sandblasting, you don’t want any water in the mix. And that means that your air lines need to have driers in them, like these Ingersoll-Rand driers that we have here. This does away with moisture because moisture will cause the sand to clump up, and it doesn’t do a good job of cleaning. Now, the moisture is also why you don’t use play sand, because the play sand has a lot of water in it and it will clog everything up, plus it doesn’t do a good job of cleaning either. So if you wanted to use that, well, you’d probably have to have it in the oven for several hours before you could use it, or air dry it for possibly a week or more to get it dry enough.
Now, here is something that, well, this is much, much better. This is from Eastwood Tools, and this is a blast cabinet, and it’s similar to what the professionals use. Inexpensive, couple hundred bucks gets you into the game. The things that you have to remember here is that you have to keep it closed, naturally, and locked so that you don’t get the sand coming out of it. And you also want to hook it up to a shop vac. Like so. And what that’s going to do is, your sandblasting, there is dust. This is going to draw the dust away and keep you safe. You should also wear a respirator while you’re doing any of these operations.
If you have a question or comment, write to me. The address is MotorWeek, Owings Mills, MD, 21117.