DIY Sandblasting Cabinet and Etching Glass





Introduction: DIY Sandblasting Cabinet and Etching Glass


This is a really simple but effective project for a DIY sandblasting cabinet. I wanted to etch some glass so an easy way to do it, is to sandblast the glass. The only issue is I don't want to blasting material flying around in the open air. I could purchase a retail sandblasting cabinet but I would be using it so infrequently that it would not be worth the cost. Instead I built a cabinet for under 50 bucks with parts from the hardware store.

Step 1: Materials

  • A large clear plastic storage container - preferably one with a seal build into the lid
  • Handheld sandblaster
  • Long rubber gloves
  • 2 Toilet Flanges
  • Small automotive airfilter
  • Aluminum flat stock
  • Bolts and Nuts
  • Silicone sealant
  • Zipties
  • BBQ Grate

Step 2: Check Out the Build Video

Check out my build video and the written directions and pictures to follow.

Step 3: Building the Cabinet

The cabinet design is very straight forward but I will walk through all the steps I did. Also I used a clear storage container because I can see inside, otherwise if I used a opaque container, I would need to add clear panels.

Using a large hold saw I drilled out two holes for the toilet flanges in the front of the container. Another option for cutting out the holes is also to use a rotary cut out tool. Test fitting the toilet flanges and then marking where the bolt holes should go, the holes were then drilled out. The toilet flanges had some silicone applied for a sealing gasket and they were bolted in place.

Next a square hole was cut out in the back of the container so the air filter would fit. Using some aluminum stock a mounting bracket was made to hold the filter in place. The air filter is for venting when the cabinet is in operation.

A hole was drilled in the side of the container so an air hose could be ran into the container.

The gloves were then ziptied onto the flanges, tape could also be used. It's important to get gloves that are long and large, this makes getting your hands in and out much easier. I opted for some pretty Dollarstore ones.

To keep the sand blasted items off the floor of the cabinet, I placed an old BBQ grate on the floor. When the blasting media accumulates it lands below the grate.

Step 4: Usage

Run a compressor hose into the hole that was drilled into the side of the container and connect it to a handheld sandblaster. I also seal the hole with a small piece of cloth. Place the item you want to sandblast into the container, in my case a glass bottle to be etched. Attach the lid, the container I am using has a latching system and a seal, this makes for a very tight air tight seal.

For the etching I taped off a glass bottle and cut out a few designs.

Start up the compressor and insert your arms into the gloves. Sandblast away, if everything is sealed up properly no blasting media will escape.

Usage is pretty simple and overall this cabinet exceeded my expectation. The exhaust vent worked perfectly and the mess was completely contained!

Also using a vinyl sticker cutter would work really well for making stencils for etching glass.



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    34 Discussions

    Great video! Could you list the sandblasting tools you use? I'm trying to set up some home sandblasting on a budget!


    1 reply

    You won't get a more budget-friendly plan than ths!!! The 'Kiss Principle' is written all over this great project ...!

    If your plan involves 'light duty' blasting (that includes author's etching project) ya might wanna look at 's collection , unless you already have a satisfactory compressor unit....

    I'll look again next time I'm in store Or maybe online item

    Great project. One helpful hint... when drilling PVC or any plastic with a hole saw you will have fewer if any break-outs or breakage if you set the drill to reverse. That way the teeth don't grab the plastic and you get a nice smooth hole. Cheers !

    1 reply

    Perhaps some Amazon or ebay links to the products you use, especially the hand blaster, would be nice.

    1 reply

    I fear that visibility into the container will deteriorate over time due to the blasting media scratching the plastic.Have you noticed anything like this?

    2 replies

    Then cut a square and screw on a piece of new perspex

    Visibility was going to be an issue with me, but installing an acrylic window is a great idea. Definitely going to be making my own sandblasting unit.


    12 days ago

    Very nice. Very nice. One suggestion. I have a small sand blaster in my shop. I have connected a 5hp ShopVac to it. You could do that also. Why? It gets cloudy in there sometimes. The Vac will help with that.

    Nicely done! I want to build one for removing rust and paint from automotive parts. Thanks for the excellent and professional Instructable!

    Great idea!, but I have big hands. ( got stuck in a drain of that size once, embarrasing.)

    Perhaps an exhaust fan? I know, it adds $. Definately going to try it. For a more delicate mask for the finer artwork try frisket material. You can get a lifetime supply at Michaels. I just got 4 yards by 18 inches wide for less than $25. It's easier to cut for the finer work. Jim


    Tip 16 days ago

    I am going to make this! If you have access to a 3D printer, glove holders are at: Department stores sometimes have discontinued or old model car air filters on clearance for a few dollars, a 3D printed frame could easily be made up.

    In Canada, Princess Auto has a similar abrasive gun for <$30.


    Best "how to project I've seen in 3 years on Instruckables.

    Very Nicely done. Sticking a clear plastic sheet might save some scratching on the lid which can be peeled off and replace periodically. Simple and easy components to get. Keep up the good work.

    Good thinking & nice job ! One thing I might add is a cookie sheet or tray to fit under the BBQ grate to make recollecting the abrasive easier (if you are reusing it).