Sandblasting is a hobby with many practical uses. You can use a sandblaster to clean off coatings, sand before coatings or to add decorative elements to glass. Equipment for sandblasting can be expensive, but there are some parts you can make yourself. A sandblasting pot contains the abrasive for sandblasting and mixes it with pressurized air. All that is needed for a sandblasting pot is a tough, secure container. You can make your own sandblasting pot using an empty propane tank, such as the type used for barbeques. However, the best method of building a sandblaster requires some experience with welding.
Things You'll Need
- Small propane tank or similar container
- Welding equipment
- Three T-shaped pipes
- Three pieces of wood
- Pipe valve
- Gate valve
- Four straight pipes
- One elbow shaped pipe
- Pipe fitting end
- Air compressor
- Nozzle and hose
Drill two holes in the tank, one in the bottom and one in one side, toward the bottom. Be sure to use tools that are designed for cutting metal. Your tank needs three holes total, but you can create the third by removing the valves from the top of the tank and using the hole there. Be absolutely sure that the tank is empty. Propane tanks are convenient for sandblasting because they are designed to contain compressed air, but puncturing a tank that still contains propane is very dangerous
Clean out the tank, removing any material inside.
Attach three pieces of wood evenly around the top of the tank with the screws to form a stand. These pieces must be thick enough to support the tank but thin enough to be easy to work with. The bottom of the propane tank will become the top of the sandblaster pot, so turn the tank over.
Weld two T-shaped pipes to the tank. One of the pipes must go into the small hole in the side, which is now toward the top of the tank. One of the holes in the T must face down. The other pipe goes where the valves of the propane tank were, which is now the bottom. The hole in the middle of this T must face outward so that you can add a valve and access it easily.
Attach the pipe valve to the T-shaped pipe at the top, using any hole but the bottom one. Attach the gate valve to the T-shaped pipe at the bottom in the middle opening. This valve must have only one opening.
Connect a long piece of straight pipe to the bottom hole of the top T-shaped pipe. The pipe must extend slightly past the bottom of the tank. Attach the elbow-shaped pipe to the end of the straight pipe with the other opening facing the tank. Attach another piece of straight pipe, and connect it to the T-shaped pipe in the bottom with another T-shaped pipe. Add one more piece of straight pipe to the end of the second T-shaped pipe at the bottom.
Weld the last piece of straight pipe to the hole in the top and put the pipe fitting end over it. This is the hole in which you put your abrasive for sandblasting. It is important that the pipe fitting is snug and preferably screws on so that it does not pop off from the high pressures of sandblasting.
Attach the sand blaster pot to your air compressor and nozzle with hose. The air compressor attaches with a hose to the valve at the top of the sand blaster pot; this hose may or may not come with the compressor. You require a hose with a nozzle designed for sandblasting, as well. The end of this hose attaches to the open piece of straight pipe at the bottom of the sand blaster pot. This completes the sandblaster.
Tips & Warnings
- It is important that all of the pipes and valves are suited for use under high pressure so that your tank does not come apart during use, which could cause injury.
- Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images
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