Abrasive Blasting 101
Blog updated December 21, 2021: It’s hard to search “sandblasting” on YouTube without finding videos featuring a long list of DIY blast cabinets. They appear to work just as well as professional quality sandblasting cabinets produced by industrial equipment manufacturers, but do not be fooled.
ProTip: Evaluate the ROI of spending a bit more on a blasting cabinet that saves you hours of labor time of it’s lifespan for an increase in initial machine cost.
Many users don’t understand the value behind part processing time. They are purely motivated by the cost of the machine. Yes, a DIY blast cabinet may accomplish your goal and process parts, but it’s never going to work as effectively or efficiently as a professionally manufactured machine. Worst-case scenario? You’re compromising your safety by using a sub-par assembly.
To understand the cost and value of a professional machine , think about the painting industry.. While a one-inch paint brush might not cost much and be great for painting small, hand-held items, you wouldn’t want to paint a house with one. Sure, it’s possible, but it would take you considerably longer than using a brush designed for that application. You might even use more paint, or have to replace your brush prematurely because you’re overusing it. The same concept applies to sandblasting cabinets. Some people don’t value their time and would rather build their own DIY blast cabinet, or buy a cheap, low-quality machine that is more abrasive, takes longer to operate, and ultimately racks up lots of additional costs.
If you’re trying to clean small, hand-held parts using cleaner abrasives like glass beads there are lots of quality blast cabinets on the market. Media Blast manufactures 170 different blasting cabinet models, including a line of Compact sandblasting cabinets designed for use in home garages. Our goal is to help you buy the right machine for your application the first time!
ProTip: Make sure you’re purchasing a machine right for the air compressor. Home power is single-phase, 220-volt and the most air you can normally find is about 22 cubic feet of air per minute. This is a great combination for restoring hand held parts and making those parts look like new.
If you know your application and understand the basics of compressed air volume you are in good shape. Rather than trying to cut corners by building a DIY blast cabinet or buying the cheapest machine you can find, consider the benefits associated with professionally manufactured machines. It’s very likely you can save yourself exponential headaches and extensive secondary costs by spending a little bit more up front.
If you’re not sure what kind of sandblasting cabinet you need, check out our Buying Guide or contact our helpful customer service department.