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.