DIY $5.00 Sandblaster




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Introduction: DIY $5.00 Sandblaster

About: Instagram: withered_perception Photographer and Aerial Photographer. Proudly Collaborating With HISTORY COLORADO.

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I have some rust on my driveway and some old rusty tools I got from my grandfather years ago.

I have been looking at sand and soda blasters for about 6 months. They are either inexpensive and cheap or very well made and expensive!

So I decided lets just make one.

Step 1: Get Crap

Go get some crap at Harbor Freight. This air gun kit ran $4.99.

Now find a bottle in the trash.

Step 2: Say "Hi" to the Cat

This optional but important step may be the difference between you succeeding or failing.

Step 3: Cut the Neck

Remove the locking neck for the cap.

Step 4: Drill

Grab a 3/16" bit and drill the neck just under the cap.

Step 5: Test Fit

Push the air rod in. It should be very snug!

Step 6: Mark

Mark the bottom of the air tube. Spin the tube around so you can hold the handle while you file.

Step 7: File

File a hole through the tube to let your media in. When you're done spin the tube back so the opening is at the bottom.

Step 8: Fit

Get the tube back into the hole.

Step 9: Seal

Not looking for the glue to actually stick here.

Just looking to prevent the hole from opening up too much while under pressure.

Step 10: Test Blast

Put your Saftey goggles and gloves on and give it a good blast. I shot at the rust on the drive way and removed a spot (the white part) in just a few seconds.

I will give you an update on the driveway once I have time to do some actual blasting on it.

Step 11: Real Deal

An old set of needle nose (rusty as hell...)

Step 12: Blast Away

Clean as a whistle!

Step 13: Extra Step

Because everyone keeps asking this is my air compressor a California Air Tools 10020c running at about 40 PSI for blasting.

I also use 20/40 crushed walnut for my media.

For PPE I use gloves, a P-100 respirator, long sleeves and a face shield. No excuses! Do not mess with your Safety!

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Please be positive and constructive.


If points/Open-Close mechanisms or Screws stucks due to Rusting lie item in Brake fluid and it'll eat away the Rust with out too much damage

3 Questions

Why does the hole have to be in the bottom of the tube? Thinking about it, wouldn't you want it on the top so that gravity helps the media enter the tube?

Can I substitute a a dog for step 2?

in 1975 a Diesel mechanic show me an engine overhaul and that was one of the things he did - the less force you use the better preserved the items are


this is neat!!!! I will build one!


Made one today. Used it to clean hard to reach area on welding project - I used sand, it caused some slight pitting , but not an issue for my project. Great idea !!

What kind of air compressor are you hooking up to this? Sorry, my shop is only electric, but I'm considering shifting to air pressure tools.

4 replies

Because everyone is asking, I posted short a video of the blaster in action:

Impressive. Did you try to frost glass with this? Can you use quikrete sandbox sand as medium?

If you use any kind of concrete, I'd suggest you wear an OSHA VOC type respirator. That is some pretty fine particulate and it is extremely bad for lungs (cancer etc.)

I accidentally hi my finger using crushed walnut. I'm just glad it wasn't an abrasive. OMG it hurt pretty bad. Learned two lessons with this project. 1. Safety is important and 2. Not heeding number 1 is painful.

It was only for a picture. Watch the video. Gloves are on! lol

Dude! I made it!!! It is awesome. I only had 30 bucks on me so I bought the crushed walnut at HF. I was so excited to try it I forgot to put on eye protection. I was wearing prescription eyeglasses, but....DON'T use this without FULL eye protection. Trust me.

Can you use regular old sand in this instead of buying the expensive abrasives at HF?

also just a question where do u get crushed walnut media from

1 reply

Harbor Freight has fine and coarse crushed walnut abrasive media.

Great idea. I am going to do this and use the sand blaster to clean radio chassis. I restore vintage radio's and am always having problems getting into tight areas to clean out 80 year old gunk. This will also be great for cleaning surface rust off, and stripping the cabinetry.

Is there any risk of sand going back into the air-hose? I am hesitant that some could make it's way up and damage a compressor or something.

4 replies

The air is coming OUT of the compressor under pressure. No, there is no chance sand will be able to fight its way back up the hose.

I understand it was coming out pressurized and that something making it's way up would be a low, low chance event. I was mostly trying to think about if it would be possible to have a low density filter (not impede the air flow but catch medium size pieces of media) before the air hose but after the hole in the air gun nozzle.

Sorry, that was a confusing way of putting it. In terms of coming down the line from the compressor, it would be after the air gun, but before the hole in the nozzle.

If it makes you feel better, put an inline filter like this on the end of your hose. $6