Like all products, there are blast cabinets at all kinds of quality levels and price points.
Not everyone looking for a blast cabinet will need an industrial-use blasting cabinet. But there is a segment of the market that wants to build a blasting cabinet from materials laying around the yard.
This sounds good in theory. But here are some reasons you should think twice about building a DIY blast cabinet, and opt for a professionally manufactured blast cabinet.
Reasons You Should Avoid DIY Blast Cabinets
Here are four compelling reasons you should invest in a blast cabinet from a manufacturer, instead of building your own.
1. Loss of Productivity
Put bluntly, DIY blast cabinets will drain your productivity time.
Instead of simply blasting coatings off wheels or stripping rust from old engine parts, you’ll spend half your time trying to build the cabinet.
Once you’ve got a makeshift blast cabinet built, chances are high that you’ll spend half your remaining time either adding more abrasive media or adjusting the dust collector.
Oftentimes, homemade blast cabinets don’t have adequate air compression to blast effectively. Dust collectors on homemade blast cabinets are also usually woefully under-powered.
When the parts you are using for a DIY blasting cabinet are haphazard, from the blasting gun to the dust collection, it makes it difficult to focus on blasting.
2. Lack of Longevity
Second on our list, is how long the typical homemade blast cabinet lasts. DIY blasting cabinets simply lack the durability that a manufactured blast cabinet does. This can be attributed to the materials that these homebrew sandblast boxes are constructed from.
We’ve seen people create DIY blast cabinets out of all sorts of strange materials. Refrigerators, freezers, plywood boxes, and oil drums are just some of the weird enclosures used to create homemade blast cabinets. The problem is, these materials weren’t designed to be media blasting enclosures. As a result, these DIY cabinet do not hold up to repeated use, and are quickly eaten up by the blasting process.
It’s much easier to spend the money and have a blast cabinet that lasts, versus spending time building a DIY cabinet that is a disposable unit.
3. Cleaning Up Blast Media
Let’s face it, dealing with glass blasting beads and other abrasive media is a hassle with DIY blast cabinets. One of the biggest complaints that we see with homemade blast cabinets (as well as low-end commercial blast cabinets), is that your blast media ends up all over the shop floor. We don’t like spending time cleaning up media, and we’re sure you don’t either. Not to mention, the money you may save on buying a real blast cabinet ends up getting spent on extra blast media. This is because DIY cabinets lack the media recycling that a professional grade blast cabinet and reclaimer possess.
We believe in keeping your blast media in the cabinet, not leaking onto the ground through cracks and crevices. A well-built blast cabinet lets you focus on what you came to do, which is blast objects and get on with the rest of your work.
4. Safety Concerns
Lastly, there is a safety risk in using household items to build a DIY blast cabinet. For example, abandoned freezers and refrigerators have a plastic lining inside of them, that is not meant to blasted with high-velocity abrasives. The result of blasting in these makeshift cabinets is that plastic gets torn into small particles, which in turn, you may end up breathing.
Also, DIY sandblasting boxes can be shoddily constructed — no offense. Because you are dealing with high velocity compressed air and blast particulate, it’s better to play it safe. Accidents can happen very easily, and we feel your health is more important than saving a few bucks. Respect the tools and be safe.
Why Do People Build DIY Blasting Cabinets?
Why do folks build homemade blast cabinets from household materials? It only makes sense if you have more time than money. Some people also see it as a challenge to see how much money they can save.
While we understand the motivation, getting your work done efficiently is a better use of your time. Like the other tools in your shop, a well-built sandblasting cabinet will serve you well and deliver value for many years to come. Even a downmarket blast cabinet is a better investment than a DIY blast cabinet.
Alternatives to Building a DIY Blast Cabinet
So, if we’re advocating against building a DIY blast cabinet, what are some alternatives?
If you’re only blasting once in a while, there are plenty of cabinets on the lower end of the market that will serve your purposes well. Even for infrequent abrasive blasting, a professionally-built blast cabinet is still better (and safer) than a hacked-up DIY project.
Now, if your shop relies on blasting objects as efficiently and quickly as possible, we have an ever-growing product line of sandblasting cabinets and abrasive blasting equipment we’d love for you to take a look at. As always, if you have additional questions, or you’d like to get a personalized quote, feel free to contact us here at Raptor Blaster.