From Flask to Sandblaster in 20 minutes.
Step 1: What You'll Need
I've been wanting to build my own sandblaster for ages, for glass frosting etc. The commercially available ones are quite expensive and do not meet expectations in most cases.
I discovered an old unused Stainless Steel flask in the back of the cupboard and decided to give it a go.
You need a similar container to what I used, but a plastic container will work as well. It just won't be as sturdy.
You will also need:
1. Drill bit corresponding to your chosen air coupler
2. Glue/Adhesive for securing and sealing fittings
3. Steel/Copper pipe with a OD of 4mm
4. Air supply that puts out at least 6 bar of pressure.
5. Fine dry sand
6. Something to sift the sand with ie. Your wife's cake flour sieve.
7. Funnel to get the sand into the container.
Step 2: Some Drilling Involved
Drilled a 8mm hole through the screw-on cap. Threaded a quick coupler into it for the air supply and sealed it with some Bicarbonate of Soda and Superglue. Pratleys Steel or JB Weld will work even better.
Step 3: Some More Drilling
Drilled a 4mm hole through both walls of the flask and inserted a 4mm OD steel pipe through the hole. About 2mm of the pipe sticks through on the inside. The length of the nozzle is 100mm, but you can make it longer if you wish. Once again I secured and sealed with Bicarb/Superglue.
Step 4: Almost Ready to Sandblast
Take some fine dry sand and sift it into a seperate container. Once you have enough to fill your container several times, you are ready to start blasting.
Step 5: Filling It Up and Blasting Away
Fill your blaster with sand up to about 20mm below the outlet nozzle when standing your container upright.
Get your compressor running and make sure you have an appropriate space to do the actual blasting. Safety goggles, gloves and long sleeves recommended. Please wear a respirator or at least a good quality dust mask to avoid silicosis.
Plug the airline when you are ready to blast. Some sand will come out the nozzle at this stage, but not much (still enough to sting though, so be carefull).
Step 6: Start Blasting
To start blasting, slowly turn your blaster upside down while aiming the nozzle on the side at the workpiece.
Test it on some scrap first. At 8Bar it blows a hole through a beer can, so start at 3Bar and work your way up.
Step 7: Some Test Pieces and 4 Windows Done With Stencils
Enjoy and be safe