Harbor Freight sandblaster vs Texas Blaster

Building or maintaining your truck means you're going to need tools. This forum discusses tools we've used and is open to any type of tool or equipment discussion.

Moderator: the JoKeR

Harbor Freight sandblaster vs Texas Blaster

Postby Jon1097 » Wed Feb 01, 2006 1:20 pm

Just thought I'd post something here in hopes of helping others from making the mistake I made. I bought a harbor freight sandblaster (about $100) because that's all I could find locally and I didn't want to pay to ship a big item. I had nothing but problems with it- water seperator blew apart, went through ceramic tips pretty quick, clogged all the time without the seperator, constantly had to fill it up, wasted sand, etc.. I did my frame with it but it was a pain and took a long time.

I was not looking forward to using it for my body and started shopping online. The next step up for good ones were in the $1000 price range and I still didn't want to invest this much. I decided to try a Texas Blaster (they're on ebay and directly from TexasBlaster.com) and it works great. The ceramic tips are at least 3 times the size of the other- I'm still on my first tip and the body is done). The tank has a built in funnel and fills much faster. The tank is also twice the size and lasts a long time filled. The water seperator works. I also opted for the 20 ft hose and I could stand on a ladder and sandblast away. It clogged a lot less and only did with some bad sand (pebbles) that would clog any blaster. Everything on it was better. It was the best $400 I've spent in a long time- (price included shipping). I regret buying the first one but it's a learning experience. Hope this helps someone.
Jon1097
H1 Freshman
H1 Freshman
 
Posts: 62
Joined: Sat Oct 30, 2004 1:18 pm
Location: Florida

Postby tantoH1 » Fri Feb 03, 2006 6:11 am

What capacity of air compressor that can work with this blaster (CFM and pressure wise)?
Experience is the name people give to their mistakes.
tantoH1
H1 Mentor
H1 Mentor
 
Posts: 94
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2005 1:33 am

Postby MaximumBob » Tue Mar 06, 2007 12:01 pm

I also purchased the Harbor Freight 110# sand blaster. I worked horribly out of the box. But, I was in the midst of a job - sandblasting a area that needed to be repaired on my backhoe so I couldn't stop - really needed the sandblaster to work.

Spent a couple hours figuring it all out, made some adjustments / modifications and now it works GREAT - I wouldn't trade it for the world - and I've used a lot of different sandblasters. The modifications:

1) The sand HAS to be dry - this is true for most sandblasters, but this one especially so - the 110# IMO is still a large size home unit so they are a little more sensitive than the big industrial ones. I purchase play sand from Lowes which is stored inside the store. If I purchase cheaper play sand from Walmart - you can see the moisture inside the bag because it is stored outside - and I suspect that moisture is one of the ways the vendor delivers the product to Walmart by weight. If the sand is wet I spread it out on plastic in the sun to dry before I sweep it up for step #2 below.

2) You MUST sift the sand - or spend lots of time taking the nozzle, manifold (the part at the bottom of the tank) apart - constantly. I just pulled a window screen off my trailer (a 1966 single-wide - the "Star Regal" model - not to put on heirs). At any rate, I pulled off a window sreen, frame attached and set it on top of a 5 gallon bucket - you'd be amazed at what sifts out of playsand - or any other type of sand, especially if you're recycling your blast media. All those little peebles are guaranteed to clog the sandblaster - you can either take the extra 4 minutes per refill to sift, or stop every 20 seconds of blasting and clear the jams from inside the unit.

3) MOST IMPORTANT - after the close nipples are installed firmly on the manifold - maybe even installed on the bottom of the tank - although I didn't do mine in this way - run successively larger drill bits down the manifold from the nipple where the heavy black blasting hose attaches at the bottom of the tank. The problem here is that the close nipple from the bottom of the tank to the center of the manifold sticks way into the manifold - it cuts off the passage by at least 50% which causes a ton of jams. Start with a bit that fits inside the end nipple (again the one where the black hose attaches). After you've cut off the protruding end of the center nipple (protruding on the inside of the unit) then move up 3 or 4 drill sizes (I use a standard drill index) to open up the ID if the end nipple. Go slow through all of this because the drill bit wants to catch the ragged end of the middle close nipple - I broke a bit in this process, but got it out easily. Again, this is the MOST IMPORTANT modification.

4) Moisture is a problem no matter where you are, I live in Florida where it is especially humid - bigger tanks help and I also use a variety of moisture traps.

Once this is all done - and it took me about the time it took to write all this down, you'll be amazed at how well this "Cheap" sandblaster works.

Let me know how this works out if anyone tries it.

Good Luck,

MaximumBob
MaximumBob

Tremor, '85 Suburban 1/2 ton 2wd, high-mileage 350 (came with truck) or [more likely] swap for 6.2 H1 Diesel which I have on hand - never done conversion though and still have questions regarding plumbing etc.
User avatar
MaximumBob
H1 Neophyte
H1 Neophyte
 
Posts: 23
Joined: Mon Apr 03, 2006 1:14 am
Location: Florida

Postby MaximumBob » Tue Mar 06, 2007 10:15 pm

Couple of quick additional suggestions. When you start up the HF sand blaster the air control - the value on the upper part of the blaster located at the back of the machine should be about 3/4 open. The sand (valve at the bottom of the tank) should be completely OFF. Open the nozzle and the air will rush out (obviously) and then slowly crack open the sand valve - until you can see the sand coming out in the airstream - this usually translates into about 1/8 - 1/4 open on the sand valve.

If the sand value is open too much, the sand falls down and fills the manifold and you got tons of sand in the first part of the blast - which wastes sand.

Another tip - only add about 40# of sifted sand in each load - if you're experiencing moisture problems - the sand seems to work fine, but if you've got it too full, you're just moisturizing the whole load and it won't all necessarily get carried out of the tank - maybe a little superstition here, but my machine is working great - couldn't be happier.

I'll try to post my "Ghetto Air Helmet" in another post - basically added a fresh air supply to my [cheap] blasting helmet for under $30.
MaximumBob

Tremor, '85 Suburban 1/2 ton 2wd, high-mileage 350 (came with truck) or [more likely] swap for 6.2 H1 Diesel which I have on hand - never done conversion though and still have questions regarding plumbing etc.
User avatar
MaximumBob
H1 Neophyte
H1 Neophyte
 
Posts: 23
Joined: Mon Apr 03, 2006 1:14 am
Location: Florida

Postby TexasDan » Fri Mar 09, 2007 2:15 am

MaximumBob, your right on here. I have the same blaster as you. I did the same mods you did. I had also added a longer hose, (wish I hadn't). The sand still can build up in longer hoses when you shut down. I got a syve from the kitchen, its used for draining pasta, works perfectly.

I would recommend this to everyone when reusing your sand. Great post.
TexasDan
UG 79 GMC One Ton, Dana 60 front, 14 bolt rear, 6.5L Turbo Diesel, 4L80E, NP205
UAV-H1
TexasDan
H1 Master
H1 Master
 
Posts: 167
Joined: Sat Oct 09, 2004 5:11 pm
Location: TEXAS


Return to Tools and Equipment

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests

cron