10 Sandblasting Tips & Tricks

As you may all know, Sandblasting is an excellent method of restoring metal by removing surface rust or debris using abrasive media. It is a quick and efficient way of refining any metal’s surface that is typically done before a re-paint. 

Before you start your blasting project, here are a few things to remember and sandblasting tips to help you make the most out of them.

Don’t forget about protective eyewear and a respirator.

Sandblasting is by no means an activity that you should be doing unprepared. Thousands of little abrasives particles are in it, so if your face is exposed, it could potentially harm your eyesight or inhale something that causes severe respiratory problems. Wearing a respirator or sandblast hood during blasting projects protects you from abrasive media.

Start with gentler media.

One of the most common questions before sandblasting is what type of blasting media is appropriate for a particular material. While it’s helpful to research which abrasives are ideal for your project, an excellent way to go about it is to start with gentler media. This way, you won’t risk damaging your metal and could slowly find your way up to the optimal blasting media for the finish you’re trying to go for.

Use siphon blaster for minor projects.

Two of the most common types of equipment used for sandblasting are siphon and pressurized blasters. While both have the same function, their mechanism is slightly skewed and ideal for different applications. The rule of thumb is to use siphon blasters for minor projects while pressurized blasters if you need a more aggressive force and heavier blasting media, such as removing hard, thick coatings, tough mill scale, and other surface deposits.

Aluminum Oxide is ideal for removing paint.

Aluminum Oxide is a cost-effective type of blasting media, as it can be efficiently used multiple times through many passes and still get a pretty good job removing paint from the surface material. It is also excellent at avoiding contamination and keeps the parts you’re working on from the risk of corrosion.

Pair your blasting equipment with Air Compressors

Another essential piece of equipment to consider, especially for workshops with a handful of sandblasting tasks, is an air compressor. Selecting the right compressor helps you get the most out of your sandblasters and makes the whole activity more effective and efficient. You’ll need to consider two measurements in choosing the right sandblasters and compressor size: CFM and PSI. The CFM pertains to the volume of air the system can move in a minute, while PSI is the pressure output.

Filter your media before sandblasting.

Filtering your chosen abrasive media before and after for future use is a good practice to prevent any dirt or unwanted debris from damaging the material you’ll be working on. Media blast strainer filters are equipped with multi-filtering features that would be useful before sandblasting. 

Use a bucket for pouring blasting media.

Efficiency is essential, especially when you’re in a workshop. One of the easiest yet helpful practices in sandblasting is simply transferring the blasting media from the bag into a bucket. This way, you won’t be risking spilling over any media, and it is also much easier to handle if it’s in a bucket.

Make sure that the air supply is sufficient for your nozzle.

Nozzles control the flow rate, speed, and direction of the air onto the substrate you’re working on. It is crucial to consider that your nozzle’s size, pressure resistance, and overall build are appropriate for your application. To find the ideal nozzle, you would have to determine the nozzle pressure PSI for optimal blasting and the CFM of your compressor.

Wearing a protective body suit is also recommended.

Abrasives become a real problem when those tiny particles run at very high speeds. It is highly recommended to use not just eyewear but a full-on body suit, ideal for sandblasting. Even the most minuscule particles could lead to severe damage to your skin, so it’s best to stay fully equipped with all the necessary protective wear to keep you safe from harm.

Power wash before sandblasting

Suppose you want to be as efficient as possible. In that case, power washing the material will undoubtedly save you a lot of blasting time and helps prevent the risk of unnecessary damage to the substrate, especially when grease and oil are present in the material you’ll be working on.

Replace worn-out nozzle

Replacing old nozzles often increases work efficiency and productivity because worn-out nozzles cause air pressure loss and abrasive waste. If you feel like you’re not getting the most out of your sandblasters and abrasives, it’s worth checking whether your nozzles need replacing or not.


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