Cheap Blasting Cabinet and Pressure Pot Upgrades

  1. Dcal Member

    Antrim Northern Ireland
    I bought a blasting cabinet on the forum over 3 years ago and have been using it since.
    I already had one of the Clarke 10 gal pressure pots so I ended up marrying the two together.
    They work but not great and have some major flaws so I've been modifying them over the years and thought it was about time I really sorted them out.

    Most of the mods so far have been on the pressure pot and have been described in a number of other peoples threads and as lot of questions are asked abut this sort of kit I thought it would be an idea to bring them all together in one thread.
    It's certainly not the only or best way to modify these tools, just my approach.
    I would also like to thank and acknowledge all the help and ideas I got from folks on this forum.

    I'm in the middle of doing the final mods to the cabinet so might as well start with it.
    It lives in an open lean-to at the back of the workshop and as I've a pallet truck I cut a bit off the legs (to let the pallet truck fit) and bolted a bit of angle so I could move it about easily.



    It just about fits.
    I could have put the angle across the width of the cabinet, but they would have got in the way when using it and they would have to be removed and stored after every time I did move it.
    Also it would have made it harder to move as I would have had to clear a wider path to let it through and space is at a premium.

    The first job was to improve the extraction.
    It came with a extractor bolted to the back which worked but it had a big cartridge air filter that needed to be cleaned out regularly and was not that effective since I started using the pressure pot with it.
    I have a wood working chip extractor that I was using with it but I needed to install it properly.
    I removed the original extractor and made and installed a better outlet.



    I also got a very nice vortex separator on the forum so plumbed it in between the cabinet and the extractor.


    This photo's out of sequence and shows almost the finished article but I didn't take any while rigging the extractor for the first time.

    Next job was to sort out the lighting.
    It came with a couple of 600mm florescent tubes which might be fine for someone with better eyesight than me (the older I get the more lighting I need to see anything fine) and someone who changes the screen covers more often.

    I replace the tubes with LED versions
    Next I made a couple of pockets to accept a 20 watt LED spot each side.
    I wanted them to point towards the central working area of the cabinet so installed them at an angle.
    It did complicate things somewhat but why not.

    Marked up and cut out.


    Bent to shape to accept fillets of 1mm steel and welded in place.


    I used 10mm clear plastic sheet and a consumable screen cover cut out of A3 laminating sheets.
    To seal the openings I used 6mm neoprene cut to shape. IMG_0540.JPG

    After installation from the inside

    • IMG_0483.JPG
    optima21, Parm, Ashley Burton and 2 others like this.
  2. gordon stephenson

    gordon stephenson Forum Supporter

    Skelton in Cleveland U.K.
    Very nice Damian, You have been a busy man.
    Dcal likes this.
  3. Dcal Member

    Antrim Northern Ireland
    Thanks Gordon, these things always take longer than you think and you always find something else to change / improve when you start.
  4. gordon stephenson

    gordon stephenson Forum Supporter

    Skelton in Cleveland U.K.
    That is very true Damian, I very rarely plan anything on paper etc, Just like Topsy, it grows and evolves in my head as I go along.
    Dcal and Parm like this.
  5. awemawson Forum Supporter

    I find that my Guyson grit blaster window steams up as I'm using the cabinet - it's in an unheated workshop so my breath condenses.

    I recently solved this by placing a long thin centrifugal fan rescued from a photo-copier so that it blows across the window and keeps it clean. It's secured using rare earth magnets. Makes using the cabinet SO much easier.
    Dcal and gordon stephenson like this.
  6. Parm

    Parm We Will Do Whatever It Takes

    Those side lights are awesome
    Dcal likes this.
  7. Dcal Member

    Antrim Northern Ireland
    That sounds like a great idea.
    When I was using mine before upgraded the lighting I usually had a bright flood light shining in the window beside my head and didn't have a issue with condensation on the outside of the screen.
    Since I did and tried it out, I have that very problem.
  8. Dcal Member

    Antrim Northern Ireland
    Thanks Parm, they did turn out well and don't take up too much room inside the cabinet.
    I'm quite chuffed with them.

    With the lights and extraction sorted next on the list was a mod I'd been thinking about for a while.

    The stick on plastic screen covers for the glass on these are crazy expensive for what they are.
    Needless to say I refuse to buy them and instead run A3 laminate covers through the laminator and they make excellent cheap covers.
    However they are not the right size (too tall and not wide enough) but when cut down they work fine. I stick them on with a bit of duct tape and cover the rest of the glass with tape.
    Another bug bear I have with the cabinet is the glass surround is held on with 4mm nuts and bolts.
    Every time I need to take it off I have to open the lid to hold the nuts. Not a big issue but an easy fix so I just welded the nuts to the lid.
    Fiddly because they are 4mm nuts but fine with tig, I wouldnt fancy it with mig or stick.


    I've often thought a screen cover that you could roll past the screen would be a good idea (like a scroll) so decided to make one to see if I was right. This might be a lot of work for little or no gain but if someone doesn't try these things how would we know.
    In advance of trying this I ordered some thin cellophane that the florists use to wrap flowers but more on that later.

    I needed something to space the plastic away for the nuts and to give some sort of seal so keep the dust out from between the cellophane and the glass.
    I used timber to frame the window.
    I had to bore out the positions of the 4mm nuts and bolts to keep everything tight and flush.



    I installed brush type draft excluder to the top and bottom of the window frame to hold the plastic screen against the timber surround when the lids closed (that's the theory anyway)


    To make rollers "axles" for the winding mechanism I used 1" steel water pipe.
    I've plenty of HDPE so cut up and drilled four blocks to support the rollers, I also turned a couple of packers to fit into the cardboard tubes that the cellophane comes on.


    To load a roll of cellophane into the rollers I need it to come apart, I could have split the plastic supports to get the rollers out but opted for joining the water pipe with a nut and thread-bar.



    The window takes up a fair amount of the lid so I had to extend the mounting position of the blocks by mounting them on angle welded to the lid. This way could cut the roll to the required size. The plastic blocks were drilled and tapped for M8 setscrews and tighten up well.



    Cutting the cellophane was fun. I cam in 500mm wide rolls and I needed 350mm.
    I tried running the roll through a chop saw and though it did cut, it melted the edges making it useless.
    In the end I mounted the roll in the lathe on its axle and packers and used a knife to cut it to the size and that worked fine.
    Then it was a matter of slitting a slot in the lid with a grinder so the cellophane could be fed under the glass and out the other side and adding a couple of bits of steel pipe to act as guides and replace some of the strength lost from the butchery.
    I could add brush draft excluders to seal the entry and exit points for the cellophane but with the extraction running it needs to get air in from somewhere and in my opinion this isn't a bad place.
    We will see.

    optima21, james butler and Parm like this.
  9. Parm

    Parm We Will Do Whatever It Takes

    That going to be the 6 million dollar blaster !!!
  10. Dcal Member

    Antrim Northern Ireland
    Parm, it needs a tidy and paint but that will have to wait until I'm sure I've finished hacking it about.

    Photo of with the lights on


    In the past I made a hole in the front of the cabinet to let the hose from the pressure pot in.


    I welded it up and made an adapter to take claw type 3/4 airline fittings.



    The blasting hose I use is old hydraulic hose. It works great but is a bit stiff so I wanted to use something softer for a whip and I had a bit of the original hose laying about so used that inside the cabinet.


    That's the cabinet almost finished but the lid now doesn't stay up, (the scroll gubbins gets in the way) so I installed a spring loaded stay that I was keeping for no good reason (until now)


    I needed to stiffen up the frame with some 1" box


    Works an absolute treat and has a very satisfying action.
    That's the cabinet for now, next is the blast pot.
    anjum likes this.