Sand Blaster
Has anyone here ever used one of these Harbor Freight sand blasters:
I have a one-time job cleaning up some park bench end castings with lots of nooks and crannies that would probably go better/faster with something like this. But, only if it works. My compressor just barely has enough cfm capacity to run it according to specs.
Often thought about buying the HF cabinet model sand blaster but haven't pulled the trigger yet. Were I in the market for this style of blaster gun I'd probably give this one a whirl. At that price there is little to lose.

Good luck and please post the results if you decide to buy it.

I've used the "siphon gun" version, much like the "50 pound portable" set shown at the bottom of that page.

If you have dry, screened abrasive it will work well.  The tank will hold enough for SMALL jobs; I have the 50 pound version and found that if I put the tank on the benchtop or higher it really works better.

But the abrasive is the key -- dry and screened (I use window screen)

Face mask and long sleeves; do it outdoors or build a box to catch most of the abrasive.
"Truth is a highway leading to freedom"  --Kris Kristofferson

Wild Turkey
We may see the writing on the wall, but all we do is criticize the handwriting.
(joined 10/1999)
Easier to pay someone to do it, if you find a place that does powder coating, let them do that too.

You admitted your compressor is marginal to blast with. You also live in a high humidity area moisture is your enemy, it'll make the job a living he11....highly doubt this will end up being an enjoyable job for you.

Used to do a lot of eandblasting. 80lb "baby" pressure blaster, run it off an Ingersoll 100 cfm gas powered compressor.

I would ask someone with a decent blast cabinet or a shop that does media blasting before I would use that. Those are for small, like fit in the palm of your hand small, jobs. If you want to do it yourself, I think you'd have better luck with one of these.
Sign at N.E. Vocational School Cabinetmaking Shop 1976, "Free knowledge given daily... Bring your own container"
Hmm. Food for thought. I think the blaster, size wise, would be suitable for the detail work I'm doing. However, I'm not looking forward to trying to contain the mess. I've been giving that some thought.
I haven't given much thought to having someone else do the whole thing. I'm cheap. But I haven't dismissed the idea either.
The air needle is a neat idea. How does that work? Vibrate? Rotate? Reciprocate? These castings I'm working with are aluminum. Will it do any damage to them?
Yes, the needle scalers will damage aluminum. Think of poking the paint or rust with an ice pick; 48000 times per minute! For aluminum, you should consider something less aggressive. At U.S.M.C. Depot Maintenance, Barstow California, (complete tear-down and re-build) we used walnut shells for removing paint from aluminum parts. A lot of paint.
Sign at N.E. Vocational School Cabinetmaking Shop 1976, "Free knowledge given daily... Bring your own container"
I ended up soaking them in paint stripper and then blasting them with the pressure washer. It did a pretty good job. A little residue remains in some deeper nooks and crannies. These can be easily cleaned with a knife or pick.
Thanks for all the suggestions.
Here's a safety tip:
Use a face mask or goggles that compleely seal around your face. I used a plastic safety mask that had ventelation holes in the side panels. It didn't occur to me that sand bouncing back off my workpiece would enter the holes in the side of my mask. That was a mistake. I spent a miserable night and an hour in my opthalmologist's chair the next morning while he carefully picked grains of sand out of my eyes.

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