Abrasive Blasting 101
It’s a common misconception that it doesn’t take a lot to make an inexpensive blast cabinet – an enclosure with glove ports, a view window, abrasive storage hopper, lighting, and a vacuum dust collector. While this is technically true, most of the time low-cost cabinets contribute to the incorrect belief that all abrasive blasting cabinets create messy work environments. This assumption is completely incorrect.
A headache almost every time. Plain and simple, a blast cabinet is just like anything else in life: you get what you pay for. If your application requires certain features, you are very likely to be frustrated if you purchase a machine that can’t meet your needs. The first need is daily machine duty cycle. Remember, a blasting cabinet does not know the difference between eight hours one day a year and eight hours every day! One works, the other is a mess.
Pro Tip: A small cfm gun can require 10 times longer part cleaning times… DUTY CYCLE matters!
Blasting cabinets are more than what we listed above. A couple of key factors in cabinet performance are the air changes inside the cabinet as well as the size and type of media being used. Having an adequate number of air changes per minute will give you great visibility, but a viable separator reclaimer is required to keep the abrasive inside the cabinet and the dust in the dust collector. Unfortunately, most inexpensive blast cabinets use a shop vacuum for the dust collector and gloss over the limitations associated with a less-than-adequate dust collector.
Machine features are what set our Media Blasters apart from budget products made by our competitors. We know what makes machines clean, that and knowledge from years of experience. Abrasive blasting is not something really learned by having a group meeting and dumping information on the table. Find out more about what makes a proper abrasive blasting cabinet here.
For some reason, some people have gotten the idea that they can build their own blast cabinets to save a few bucks. YouTube is full of videos of people blasting using homemade machines and teaching people how they too can build a DIY cabinet.
We strongly recommend that you leave the manufacturing to the professionals. Most people don’t make their own cars because it’s very challenging to meet all the standards and legal requirements. The same is true of blast cabinets.
Real World Example: You can make a torque wrench using a 1/2” breaker bar by clamping a nail to the bar as a pointer at the end of the wrench by the 1/2” socket drive. This might cost you about $10, but if you test its torque, you’ll likely be disappointed.
If you need more convincing, check out these five reasons you shouldn’t use a DIY blast cabinet.
MediaBlast® has been manufacturing abrasive blasting cabinets for more than 42 years. We are a trusted source of machines for the military, automotive, and aerospace industries. We use the most advanced technology across 59 different models with more than 180 different standard abrasive blasting cabinets broken up into 11 categories. Media Blast & Abrasive offers Wet and Dry, siphon and direct pressure machines, with duty cycles from light duty to full industrial production. Our superior cabinets are built out of 100% welded steel to ensure a clean work area – nothing like the messy, low-cost models available online.
If you’re not sure which machine is right for you, visit our Buying Guide or give us a call today!