by Bill C. -
Okay, FIRST... NO laughing! Now, the scenario here is that you
have some VW parts that are badly in need of some sandblasting. You are
fortunate enough to have decent air compressor and a few feet of hose. But
that is about it. What to do?
You can either spend that money you are saving for a set of tires on a
sandblasting cabinet and gun; or blow your blast sand all over the yard; OR
go the cheap route. After all you only need this for the time being.
You can open up your professional refinishing shop in the next life.
Most of the following is needed regardless of the option chosen:
- Ladiesí Nylon Hose
- Small Fluorescent Light
NOTE: You can (& probably will) get creative in the next steps. These
are just general construction steps.
- First, using the boxing tape, seal up the bottom seams of the
box, inside and out. Be thorough, since this will confine the sand
to the inside of the box (98% of it).
- Remove the top flap
on the FRONT of your soon to be "cabinet." Place the removed flap
in the bottom to act as a cushion, protecting the tape from the parts that
will be blasted.
- The flaps on U-haul TV boxes are FULL (larger), which make this step
easier. With the side flaps upright, fold the REAR flap inward (towards
the front) at some desired angle; perhaps 45 degrees. Trim the side flaps
- Tape the rear flap to the side flap. Then seal the seams (inside &
out) where the side and rear flaps meet with tape.
- Cut a piece of plastic sheeting, slightly larger than the opening left
between the rear flap and the front of the box. Lay it on a work surface.
- Using the scrap of plexiglass as a pattern, trace its outline onto the
center of the plastic sheeting. Now cut along the outline from the
plexiglass. This will act as your viewing window.
- Lay the plexiglass over the hole in the sheeting and tape it into
place around the perimeter of the hole, using the clear boxing tape. Set
- Cut 2 small "arm holes" in the front of the box.
NOTE: When positioning and spacing these holes, try to imagine
holding the part in one hand and the nozzle in the other. Probably 10-12"
center to center is a ballpark figure.
IMPORTANT: Cut the holes just large enough to get your forearms in;
any bigger and sand will blow out. A few radial cuts into the
circumference of a too small hole will help this.
- Cut 2 small holes for the hoses (air supply & sand supply), one above
the other. The tighter the fit, the better.
- If you want a light inside the, otherwise, dark box, now is the time
to install it. A small (cool) fluorescent light works well around the
cardboard and plastic.
- Mount the plastic sheeting with viewing window. Tape it at the TOP
& ONE SIDE, leaving an entry flap to get the parts in and out.
- Run the hoses through the holes and connect to the blasting gun.
You are almost operational!
Though I do not think that you will need an exhaust filter, you can
fashion one from a leg of some ladiesí nylons, taped to a hole cut in
the back of the box. I would only do this if you are noticing a lot of
pressure build up (not likely). However, it may reduce air flow out the
front, along with sand.
The pickup tube for the sand supply can either be "stuck" right into
the open bag or you can get fancy and use a 5 gallon bucket.
So far, I have "bare knuckled" my sandblasting adventures. If I can
ever find those heavy duty, long rubber gloves, (sold in the painting
section of home improvement stores) they will be "finger savers." Ouch!
Tested... it works!
I used mine to blast a header a pair of heat exchangers!