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proposal: Project (Hurricane) Sandy <sandblaster upgrade>

Posted: Sun Jan 06, 2013 11:18 am
by 53bash
To soon for that to be funny? I figured Bridget might like having a friend.

I used the sandblaster yesterday, was pretty happy with the results. It kind of fell apart under use, and I forgot to put it back together (window came off hinges, right glove's hose clamp came loose). My bad, I'll fix it this Wednesday.

However, this got me thinking. The mechanism in the blaster is decent, its just the cabinet that sucks. We could build a new cabinet pretty cheap, giving it the following features:

- Larger volume (potentially much larger)
- Easy & (relatively) clean media drain for swapping / cleaning blasting media
- 5 gal buckets with lids for media storage, and a variety of media
- Longer gloves (we can modify the existing ones, gluing them to lengthening the sleeves) with better retaining mechanism
- Window that has protective coverings that tape to glass OUTSIDE of cabinet seals (also would allow use to cheap mylar w/ no tape)
- Better sealing door (independent from view port - both would use actual weather stripping, or similar made from sturdy rubber hose)
- Working light inside cabinet (it has hardware for this already, just not wired up) w/ swtich
- Possible future hook up to dust / fume collection system (pulls dust from cabinet when blaster is not blowing & work light is on) to make it easier to see your work and reduce media contamination)

I'm volunteering to head this project up and put funding towards it, assuming space can be made available to place the cabinet and my costs go as credit towards membership fees. I'm not rich, so some additional funding may be needed. The space I'm proposing is on the aluminum table next to the big pickle (or in that location, with that table moved- its got a decent vice mounted to it, we may want it for other use). This would allow Sandy to tap directly into the Pickles plumbing, giving her max wind velocity; I suspect the hoses we have limit the hardware's capability somewhat.

This could very easily be a group project. Once the frame is done, the door, viewport, drain, cabinet skin, and hardware installation can be done as sub-projects by different individuals.

Although the location I'm proposing puts it in the metal shop (I've contacted Tony), a nice, easy to use blaster would potentially be of interest to other users. I could see using the laser cutter on some adhesive backed rubber to make a mask for blasting wood to make signs / images, for example. Sand blasted glass is also popular, and maybe could be used to make diffusers for the glass block pixel art project.

Re: proposal: Project (Hurricane) Sandy <sandblaster upgrade

Posted: Sun Jan 06, 2013 8:04 pm
by smittex
Sounds great! I'm willing to put some money towards this. What will be the total cost?

Re: proposal: Project (Hurricane) Sandy <sandblaster upgrade

Posted: Mon Jan 07, 2013 11:23 pm
by 53bash
Estimated Costs:

Cabinet - depends how big it is, and how we get materials. Can be light gauge steel. Going by Discount Steel prices, the materials for a 2x4x3 cabinet are about $300. If we can get some cheap sheet metal (thinner is better, galvinized is OK as we can do mechanical fastening) it could be under $100 (mostly for light square tubing; some of the frame can be wood, but metal makes it easier in many places). If I had choice, the cabinet would be bigger (like 2.5x5x3.5).
A cost saving option is to use wood for the walls and cover the interior with unrolled cans and other up-cycled lightweight metal. A cheap hack, but it could work. Means extra labor, but its labor that can easily be spread out among many contributors. Would probably delay completion, and take up extra space while in progress.

Misc Hardware - another $30-$50 (window glass, "gaskets", hinges, wiring for lighting, mylar, canvas or rubber for sleeves, gorilla tape, caulk, ???) - again, could be much cheaper, likely much of this can be scrounged up / is on hand

Media - a decent assortment of media and storage containers could be had for $100, though a larger budget buys more / more variety

I'd say that unless we get stuck buying new steel for the cabinet walls, a budget of $300 is realistically do-able, maybe even generous.

Re: proposal: Project (Hurricane) Sandy <sandblaster upgrade

Posted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 11:05 pm
by swinkdaddy
Was just at harbor freight and they have a free standing 40# cabinet (36" wide) that is all metal and has pretty nice seals. for $210. I have the smaller metal tabletop version, and Its actually well made and pretty nice. I like it.

Re: proposal: Project (Hurricane) Sandy <sandblaster upgrade

Posted: Thu Feb 07, 2013 9:56 am
by 53bash
It looks like for my purposes one of the HF portable soda blasters would be the lowest cost (and probably best) solution. They are a bit delicate and require careful assembly (teflon tape etc), but at $100 I'm willing to donate one to the shop, as long as there's some assurance people won't be loading improper media into it (I'd think a big "soda only" label will do). It's not worth much to me without a BIG compressor backing it up, which I don't ever plan on buying. Soda is a consumable, but the thing only holds about $10 worth of soda at a time anyhow.

Guess we can't call it "Sandy" if its a soda blaster, though. Ah well.

Re: proposal: Project (Hurricane) Sandy <sandblaster upgrade

Posted: Sat Feb 09, 2013 12:19 pm
by videoman
Please clear this with the area manager where you are planing to make it and Jeff the Shop manager before you make this.

We are tight on space at the shop.