A blasting cabinet allows you to clean the surfaces of parts with a blasting medium of your choice, such as sand or grit. The cabinets available on eBay work with siphon or direct pressure systems. Look for blast cabinets with features that improve safety and usability while minimising maintenance. Consider the capabilities of your compressor when choosing a model for your workshop.
Siphon Blasting Cabinets
A siphon or suction blasting cabinet creates suction on the abrasive supply hose using an injector gun. The hose carries the abrasive mixture and suction air to the gun where the air jet and compressed air supply accelerate the mixture. These types of cabinets come with two hoses that attach to the blast gun assembly. Look for a unit with an abrasive media mixing valve that allows you to regulate the amount of media fed to the gun assembly to prevent performance issues. Siphon cabinets are suitable for general surface cleaning and create a more uniform surface pattern than direct pressure systems do.
Direct Pressure Blasting Cabinets
A direct pressure or pressure pot blasting cabinet pneumatically pushes blast media through one abrasive hose and out of the blast nozzle or air jet. It does not have a gun body. This type of system concentrates the abrasive, allowing the operator to clean nooks and crannies siphon systems cannot reach. Direct pressure cabinets do not necessarily work faster than siphon systems do, but they can perform several tasks siphon systems cannot. They can handle heavy or large abrasives, such as steel shot; remove thick, heavy coatings that require increased frictional heat; are suitable for deep pocket or blind hole cleaning; and deliver optimal abrasive speed using the maximum compressor line pressure available.
Blasting Cabinet Features
Ensure that the blasting cabinet system and accessories are suitable for your media of choice, whether you want to perform sand blasting, grit blasting, or shot blasting. The dust collector should be efficient for proper cabinet ventilation and for protection of the components against abrasive wear. The machine should be easy to refill and clean; look for removable filters and easy access doors. A safety switch on the door prevents operation while the door is open. A separator reclaimer feature removes oxides and dust from blasting media, allowing you to reuse the abrasive.
Choosing a Blasting Cabinet
Although blast cabinet features are important, the cabinet cannot work without compressed air. Ensure that your compressor volume matches the compressed air requirements of the cabinet you choose. Hobby restoration cabinets tend to be basic models suitable for a home workshop. Look for machines that work with single-phase power. Larger machines are better suited for commercial and professional applications and workshops with three-phase power. Focus on features rather than cabinet size, and use the air volume specifications of your compressor to select a suitable cabinet size.