DIY Sandblasting Cabinet and Etching Glass

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Introduction: DIY Sandblasting Cabinet and Etching Glass

About: http://www.youtube.com/c/AndrewWorkshop

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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    43 Discussions

    0
    PadraigC
    PadraigC

    9 months ago

    Excellent quick blast enclosure!! I don’t normally suggest items, even when warranted, but this doesn’t even have something I would add (for a quick use item). Long term, and I know you mentioned this, I would cut the top and put some Lexan clear polycarbonate and possibly make it easily replaceable. Thank you for doing this!!

    0
    Jlombard1212
    Jlombard1212

    Question 1 year ago on Step 1

    At what psi from your compressor do you recommend to use for sand blasting?

    0
    PadraigC
    PadraigC

    Answer 9 months ago

    Each blasting gun will give that to you in the directions. But also each type of blast media will have its own psi. Type of material being blasted will vary that also, since steel will be at 90-100 psi and poly will be at about 40-50 psi. But check online, since there is a lot of info on that.

    0
    kmpres
    kmpres

    1 year ago

    Nice project. I presume the $50 cost does not include the cost of the air compressor. Also, you should keep the box out of the sun or cover it up when not in use. The reason the plastic becomes brittle is because it breaks down in the presence of UV light. It only takes a year or two for this to happen. White translucent plastic is especially prone to this - don't ask me how I know. One final tip that others have mentioned: If you put in a removable Plexiglas panel in the top you'll both see better and be able to repair or replace it when it becomes cloudy.

    0
    yrralguthrie
    yrralguthrie

    1 year ago on Step 4

    A suggestion, find a friend with a sewing machine and make longer sleeves for those gloves.

    1
    Zaacharia
    Zaacharia

    Tip 1 year ago

    I am not up to sand-blasting yet but I do a lot of cleaning of glass pieces with dremel tools and I made one of these as a jiffy project. It keeps the air in my apt. clean. One thing I noticed: buy a big box so that you can have your hands at a comfortable angle; I bought a smaller box and it begins to hurt - it is difficult to work for any length of time. I will also have to cut a window into the top for a clear (lexan?) window into the box. Currently, the lid gets coated with some of the dust I generate.
    All-in-all your project is perfect for what I do. On my to do list is to check out sand-blasting but with softer material so I can blow the crap off the glass pieces (or I can figure out and fix the issue that causes bits to adhere when I get the piece out of the mold).

    0
    Valvelifter
    Valvelifter

    1 year ago

    Excellent article, thanks. Cutting the plastic box with hot knife might have been easier.

    0
    Paul Morrison
    Paul Morrison

    1 year ago

    Great idea, I'll def make one for brightening up rusted parts. Thanks for your time !!

    0
    JAYBO1
    JAYBO1

    Question 2 years ago on Introduction

    I know you said that the parts for the sandblasting cabinet could be purchased at a local hardware store but do you know the manufacturer of the tube and the gloves are, any assistance would be greatly appreciated. Jay, Oh it appears to be very simple to make.

    0
    StuartT9
    StuartT9

    2 years ago

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

    Cheers.

    0
    tkjtkj
    tkjtkj

    Reply 2 years ago

    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 HarborFreight.com 's collection , unless you already have a satisfactory compressor unit....

    1
    Mack937Y
    Mack937Y

    Question 2 years ago on Introduction

    Can I ask where you purchased the 6 clasps container from?

    0
    vsanchez111
    vsanchez111

    Answer 2 years ago

    Walmart sells them

    0
    Mack937Y
    Mack937Y

    Reply 2 years ago

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

    5
    bobdeetoe
    bobdeetoe

    2 years ago

    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 !

    0
    vsanchez111
    vsanchez111

    Reply 2 years ago

    or a soldering iron

    2
    salmansheikh
    salmansheikh

    2 years ago

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

    0
    DavidR228
    DavidR228

    2 years ago

    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?