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Sandblasting gives bright-as-new look
By MANLY BANISTER
There are many uses for this versatile sandblasting unit—from cleaning corroded metal to etching glass
Scarred and rust-caked ladle, nippers and hammer were transformed by a sand shower and light emery cloth rub. Projects shown at top of page were made by using the sand-blaster pictured. Turn page for plans
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And once you've caught up on your backlog of sandblasting jobs. you can build your own sandblaster gun—plus a reach-in cabinet for handling all but the biggest items. you'll think of many more—such as producing novel effects in jewelry-making. etch frosted designs on glass and metal. brass and aluminum crafting. If you've been stumped by such jobs in the past. then wish no more. With the plans presented on these pages.sandblasting I st fil ty $: ai in T YOU'VE PROBABLY come up against a dozen jobs when you wished you had access to a sandblaster—to clean rust and paint off steel. ceramics. lamp bases and whatnots. 2252 . or copper. put a matte finish on metals. clean sparkplugs—or even to texture wood for picture frames.
you may want to switch to other grits.Cut openings with a saber saw (above). pipe fittings to build the nozzle unit around a levertype blowgun that you can buy new for less than $5. of air. tape cutouts in place and trace around edges. Ideally. The higher the pressure. You use stock 3/8-in. such as blasting steel. However. or less. You can use any sand that will pass through the siphon tube—including river sand. you up the pressure to 100 lbs. 60 garnet is a good choice. No. Those intended for nonrecovery are very cheap. ft. it operates on 15 lbs. A textured effect on fir plywood is best achieved when No. extremely hard grits such as garnet. Stand unit upright to cut holes in top The easiest way to lay out cutting lines for viewing windows and armholes is to cut paper to dimensions. of air per minute at a constant pressure Solder the window frame outside and in after seating it in hole and bending the straight tabs against inside of tub. 36-mesh garnet grit is used to erode the fibers between the hard annual rings. Then stick weatherstrip around window 2253 . but for rugged duty. your compressor should supply at least 5 or 6 cu. if there's an industrial supply house near. your outlay for materials shouldn't strain the shop budget. gripping coupled tubs between your knees. as shown at left If you already own an air compressor for paint spraying. For special jobs. For delicate work. For such work. but can be used over and over almost indefinitely. you can get much better results with the professional sands available. or more. in. the faster the cut. you need an air pressure of over 80 pounds per sq. emery and carborundum are higher in initial cost. For general use on a recovery basis. A hundredweight costs $5 or so and should last years with intermittent use.
laid on the screen table that's soldered at top rim of the cone. i.s. Paper stencil will wear away before glass etches at pressures over 30 p. the faster the cut.s. 40 p.i. at pressures under 90 lbs. 90 to 100 p. 60grit garnet GLASS Etching with stencil: small areas (such as cutout letters). Though glass can be etched at pressures as low as 15 p.s.i. hose that connects the gun to the siphon tube ALUMINUM Etching surface. 2254 . 40 to 50 p.i.i. BRASS Etching or cleaning.s. Note 1/4-in. same (or higher with more powerful compressor) Steel can also be worked.s. larger areas. COPPER Etching surface.i.d.. Etching surface. the higher the pressure. STEEL Cleaning rust or paint.sandblasting SUIT AIR PRESSURE TO JOB Pounds-per-square-inch settings for No.i. more slowly. Inside view shows the gun ready for action. 60 to 80 p. 30 p.i.s.i.s.s. 50 to 75 p.
unscrew connector from tapped plug Clam-shell construction makes it easy to insert work pieces that are too big to pass through armhole. Air hose is connected to gun inside. Tap-and-die tool for threading sand-hose connection costs about $2—plumbers use it to install copper overflow pipe in toilets.Sandblast gun consists of long-nozzle blow gun and standard pipe fittings. exhaust hose carries off the dust 2255 . machine to fit nipple. It also hastens cleaning of cabinet when you change grits. Centerbore from both ends. Only machining required is for added sand nozzle made of drill rod. With trunk latches clamped. the unit is ready for blast-off (right). To substitute reservoir.nozzle cherry red and quench in water. then heat .
it's a good idea to stretch a piece of plastic window screen across the frame. The screen (which must be plastic. replace it with one of hardened steel— or buy a new blow gun. which must be drawn off by means of a shop vacuum or similar suction device. as in cabinet use. Sandblasting is often used on driftwood lamp bases. Your soldering is done when you've added the sheet-metal tube (to fit the hose of your shop vacuum) and the frame for holding the 6 x 12-in. Without this screen to keep rebounding grit from reaching the glass. 36-grit at top pressure. away from the surface to smooth and semipolish the wood. A pipe-reducer drain is soldered in the bottom hole to facilitate emptying the hopper when you want to change to another grit size. The stand's platform has a center hole for easy drainage of the hopper. When work is too large to fit inside the cabinet. metal cabinet There's a double reason for using a cabinet with the gun wherever possible. continued of 100 lbs. If a very large supply of sand is needed. You can either set the cabinet on top your workbench or build a special stand. When soldering this frame into the cabinet.s. When the opening wears nearly through. or more. Make a sheet-metal cover as detailed and solder it over the exposed connections. be sure to seal all the gaps to prevent sand leaks. Not only does it provide for recirculation of the sand. leaving a shoulder and throat of porcelain.i. Then. To avoid the sheet-metal construction shown in the hinging detail you could substitute a gatesize strap hinge. the nozzle will wear out. leaves the drill rod so brittle it could shatter if you dropped it. described. make a new nozzle.i. Because of the wearing effect of the sandblast. as shown in the photo and sketch. . With smaller-capacity compressors.. 18 light cord and install a line switch in the cord.s. Now you're ready to tackle the top tub. at pressures under 100 p. The hardening treatment for the nozzle. about % in. 2 (15-gallon) washtubs simplify construction. Don't try outside-the-cabinet blasting indoors unless you have a special room with a vacuum exhaust system. use a plastic screen If you plan to use any coarse grits. since a metal mesh would quickly wear out) cuts down on visibility —but far less than a frosted window would. hands should be protected with heavy industrial-type rubber gloves. Outside the cabinet you'll also need goggles or—better still—a face shield. The metal of the cabinet must not come in contact with the metal screw of the socket. The light sockets are the two-piece type that unscrew. then cut the ends square and braze them together. The air line should be equipped with both a regulator and a filter—the latter to trap moisture which could clog the flow of sand if it gets into the gun. bronze-brazing the sections of conduit with an air-acetylene torch. the hopper should fit snugly enough so that it must be driven down with light mallet blows. If you don't have access to a metal-turning lathe to do the simple machining called for. a tubful can be set by the work with the gun connected to the rubber feed tube. Bend a ring of heavy wire. such as No. they're cheap enough. But don't put it in place until you make the cutouts for the armholes and 2256 air line. but are less expensive than an equivalent amount of sheet metal of suitable gauge. a commercial machine shop can do it for you in a few minutes. it keeps the air clear and protects the operator from flying grit. Whether inside or out of the cabinet. as detailed. try it for size inside the tub. double-strength glass of the viewing window. Two No.sandblasting sandblaster. using one of the finer grits. as shown.. Solder a square of hardware cloth to the ring and trim away the excess with diagonal wire clippers. 60. Even with tempering. 36. the gun is backed 1 ft. inside the window. Wire the sockets with No. And when the blowgun nozzle wears out. Real cutting is done with No. The sand issues from the nozzle with considerable force and in doing its work generates a lot of dust. you'd probably be able to do only about 5 sec. The sloping hopper is provided in the bottom tub so the sand can slide down and replace that drawn up from the center by the siphon tube. This is especially likely in a cold room. you'll have an etched window in short order. kitchen oven for a half hour and quenching again. When formed into a cone. such as No. So some of the temper should be drawn by placing the nozzle in a 300deg. of blasting out of 25—the bulk of your time being spent pumping the pressure back toward 100 p. you need a separate sand reservoir. the cabinet must be metal. or outdoors.
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