$6.00 Sandblaster That Actually Works




About: I enjoy simple DIY projects and enjoy sharing them with others. I'm 33 and I am a sheet metal worker by trade. I really enjoy remodeling and making things. I'm married and have two wonderful children.

I stumbled upon this on YouTube and thought to myself there's no way this would ever work. Then I thought it would be interesting to test out and if it doesn't work I'm only out 6 bucks...So I gave it a go. To my surprise this actually worked and worked very well!

There's a video to watch just because it shows a little more detail but it also shows the sandblaster in action. Let me know what you guys think and or if you tried it and how it worked for you.

You will need:

  • Cheap Air Nozzle (I purchased mine from Harbor Freight)
  • 3/8 Male/Female Adapter
  • Teflon Tape
  • Empty 20oz Plastic Bottle
  • Hot Glue Gun
  • Grinder or File
  • Air Compressor
  • Drill With Drill Bits
  • Sandblasting Material (I used crushed glass)
  • Utility Knife

Step 1: STEP 1: Switch Out the Nozzle

I bought this kit at Harbor Freight. It was $4.97 and this was the regular price. It came with two different air nozzles. Right out of the package the shorter of the two was attached so I switched out the shorter one for the longer one using the adjustable pliers that I had laying around. This wasn't the most practical way of changing out the fittings but it worked just fine.

Step 2: STEP 2: Add the Adapter

To make the air gun work we have to attach the male to female fitting to it. This is 3/8" and needs to be wrapped with teflon tape. Wrap the tape clockwise to ensure that the connection will not leak. I also bought this fitting from Harbor Freight and also used some adjustable pliers to tighten this.

Step 3: STEP 3: Setting Up the Nozzle

So with our blowgun all attached I lightly clamped the end of the nozzle into my bench top vise. Then using a grinder with a cut off wheel I removed about a 1/2 inch of material from the top. I should have only taken about 1/4 to 3/8 of an inch. This would have made the material last longer. If you're using a cut off wheel and not a file make sure that you take your time with the cutting and be very steady because the cut off wheel will grab and remove a lot more than you want if you're not careful.

Step 4: STEP 4: Prep the Bottle

Here I'm using an empty 20oz Mountain Dew bottle. I removed the inner ring with my utility knife. Then I drilled a hole straight through using a 1/8 inch drill bit followed by a 3/16 inch bit. This is the toughest part of the bottle so that is why we are drilling a hole here. I found it easiest to clamp the cap in my vise and then drill the hole. Try to drill as straight as possible.

Step 5: STEP 5: Add Blasting Material

I'm using some crushed glass that I found at Harbor Freight as well. To fill the the Mountain Dew bottle I rolled up a piece of paper and made a funnel out of it. Then I filled it to the top and screwed the cap on.

Now I don't know if this is necessary or not but I used some hot glue to seal the nozzle to the bottle. I haven't tried this without using the hot glue but since I had it laying around I figured why not.

I believe that crushed walnut shells will work as well for a blasting material.

Step 6: STEP 6: Testing

Now you should be ready to hook up your makeshift sandblaster to your air compressor. I did find though that regulating your compressor to 55 PSI worked best for me. I was removing rust and paint from a fitting I had laying around just to try it. It actually worked very well.

I would recommend using gloves, a face shield, safety glasses, long sleeves and a respirator. And if at all possible do this in a booth or outside since it makes a giant mess!

Thanks for looking at this instructable. To see a better visual visit my YouTube channel at: www.youtube.com/c/adamfleisch

I also have many other DIY videos that you may be interested in. Thanks again!



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    13 Discussions


    8 months ago on Step 6

    Works like a charm! I made one and this will save so much time on the old motorbike restoration I am doing with my eldest son... Thank you. For medium I use regular dry sand I have around, for PSI I don't care as long as the nozzle does not block. When that happens I simply clean it with a piece of wire...


    11 months ago

    i made one and it works great, as for psi, i just run it at whatever my 14cfm gas powered compressor puts out, id say around 120psi. one slight warning, make sure the sand your using is screened, i thought i got all the large stuff out of mine but i guess i didn't and before i could figure out why the sand stopped, the bottle exploded, so might wanna watch out for that and probably not run it around 120 psi lol. but it works great, way better than a bought one from harbor freight that i have


    1 year ago

    Crushed glass or common sand both have possible health consequences. Ideally, you would use crushed CO₂. This means you need another Instructable describing the dry ice machine, plus another explaining how to steal the electricity needed (considering amount it will use).


    1 year ago

    I love the simplicity! Definitely going to give this a try.


    1 year ago

    I made one ( I got the Harbor Freight air nozzle and glass as well) and I must need to mess with the pressure settings a lot more because my fine glass pretty much just dribbled out. It seemed like more glass came out when I turned the pressure off- it almost poured out the nozzle. If I remember correctly I used 40 psi because that's whatever instructional I had found said worked.


    1 year ago

    I would also read the many warnings about using sand in this instructables comments section. https://www.instructables.com/id/DIY-500-Sandblaster


    1 year ago

    Very nice! Does it work with fine sand too? I live near the beach ;-)

    2 replies

    Reply 1 year ago

    You should use compounds specifically sold for sandblasting. Beach sand could cause silicosis (caused by inhalation of silica dust).


    1 year ago

    Amazing! I will do it! It's perfect!


    1 year ago

    Use a water source and it becomes even more powerful. Could be used as a cutter.


    1 year ago

    You had me at $6.00, lol

    Actually that's pretty impressive, I like it. Nice to have that option.