According to Sandblastinginfo.com, using sandblasting equipment poses a potential danger if not properly trained or experienced. A serious problem that can occur is silicosis, when tiny bits of sand, which you shoot at high speeds through the air, accumulate in your lung tissue. You may want to consider hiring or consulting with a professional before you begin a sandblasting project. There are several tips for using sandblasting equipment you can follow to ensure both safety and optimal results.
Pressure vs. Siphon Blasters
For most do-it-yourself sandblasting projects, such as stripping a wall or vehicle exterior, a siphon blaster can get the job done. According to Speedprint.com, siphon blasters—although less powerful than the pressurised variety—are less expensive, easier to use, and require fewer nozzle replacements. One drawback is they take more time to use. If your project is large, you way want to go with pressurised equipment. Keep in mind that the design of most air compressors is not for this type of application. Periodically turn it off to let it cool.
According to Thepaintpro.com, nozzles for sandblasters come in a wide array of shapes and sizes. These include wide nozzles for large surfaces, and narrow ones for detail work. Of the many materials used to make nozzles, boron carbide nozzles are the most durable but also the most expensive.
When to use a Blast Cabinet
If your sandblasting project requires you to blast small parts, you may want to use a blast cabinet. The cabinet is a large container where you place an object to sandblast. As you work, the cabinet collects all of the sand, which you can then reuse. According to Speedprint.com, you can buy a blast cabinet from a manufacturer, or you can make one inexpensively as a do-it-yourself project.
When to use an After-cooler
After-coolers are essentially small-scale radiators for cooling the air in and around the sand. They extract moisture from the sand before it goes to the “blast pot,” which stores sand immediately before blasting. According to Thepaintpro.com, after-coolers are not always necessary. If you work in a particularly humid or otherwise moist environment, however, they can be beneficial. If you decide to use one, you will also need to get a moisture trap. This is the mechanism that actually extracts moisture (and other debris) from the air after it has cooled.