Blasting Box



Have A Blast!

Blasting boxes can be many different shapes and sizes...this one just happen to meet my immediate needs.

I have to admit that I've customize mine a touch, I'll mention what I've done as we go through the pictures.

Here is a front and right side view of the blasting box. These two sides contain about all the "goodies" there are.
The dimensions of this box are approximately: 29" wide, 24" deep, 25" tall. The front panel with the hand openings is about 15" tall, then the removable window section is about 14" on the diagonal. The top is another 13" to the back of the box.

The hand openings are made from cheap plastic bowls with lids I picked up at the grocery store. One has the lid on it and the other is removed so you can see in it.

I cut the bowl down to about 2" from the rim. I then made multiple cuts towards the rim leaving about 3/4" uncut nearest the rim. That uncut portion covers the 3/4" plywood hole and makes for a nice smooth entry into the box. The multiple cuts resulted in about 3/4" tabs that were folded over on the inside and stapled to the inside of the box holding the bowl rim securely to the box. The covers just keep the dust in and spiders out when you aren't using it. The bowl was 4 1/2" inches across - just right for me.

This is just a close-up of the right side corner (see above). The box is completely made of individual sides, top, and bottom so the whole thing can be taken apart and stored flat if needed.
Notice on of the wing-nuts holding a side in place. It is a screw on one end and threaded on the other so it hold the side firmly to the front. Two of these on each side to hold the front and back on. The bottom is held in place with a latch-hook (middle right).

The bottom (which I'll point out later) has a 3/4" rim set in 3/4" from each side. This keeps the sides square and helps align the bottom with the sides when you put it together.
The two holes here are for the air and siphon hoses. If you are using a pressure pot you will only need one hole, but the siphon system requires 2. I've modified this on my own box for quicker changes. More later on that.

Looking into the box from the back you can see where hand protectors have been installed (just heavy cloth). I just use blue jeans legs in mine -- works great!
You can also see the tabs from the bowls as they are bent outward and stapled to the front panel.

Notice the 3/4" square rim around the bottom - this is what I mentioned above and keeps the box square. I also put Formica on the bottom to make pickup of the abrasive easier. There is crushed garnet on the bottom here and the white Formica shows through in places.

Here, my lovely assistant, is holding the top of the box open - it just lays on top with a similar rim around the edges to keep it in place. Attached to it is a small fluorescent light to give you a little light on the inside.
The bottom Formica I use is white -- you need all the light you can get. I modified mine as this lighting just didn't give me the visibility I wanted -- but it works fine unless your eyes are getting old like mine are!

The cord for the light is just run out the top of the lid and plugged in on the workbench.

This is the inside of the removable front panel. The glass window is inset enough to allow wing nuts to hold it in place. The window is about 7" x 16".
Note the bevels to the top and bottom of the window panel and also the fit of the front hand panel to the sides in upper left hand corner. These fit together like this for a good reason -- it keeps the abrasive from blowing out all over you! The top is the same. The bevels are important and a lesson learned too late! (more modifications to my own box on this item!)

Also - I hinged the window panel so it lifts up on my box - when I got into production mode, it was too much of a bother to slide it to the side or take if off each time.

This show the top of the box, with an extended angled piece that the window panel rests on -- again, it is beveled to keep the abrasive from blowing right straight out at you! The side edge is recessed a little to allow for weather stripping to be installed (which isn't here). It helps keep the abrasive in the box too.

Here you can check out the fit of the window panel to the front hand panel. The window panel just rests on the sides and down against the front hand panel - the bevel makes for a tighter fit -- I hate abrasive in my hair!
Here too is a better view of the plastic bowl in the hand panel and the top wing nut holding the sides to the front.

OK, so there's a quick tour of the blasting box. As I mentioned I made a few modifications as time has past and I'll show you what those are here. The modifications mostly came from necessity - quicker changes, projects too large, more equipment to play with!!


Here is how I modified where the hoses come into my box. I made a couple different "plates" with one or two holes depending on my system. This plate just plugs into the side of the box with clips -- see next picture. I discovered that I wanted to keep leaks down to a minimum and getting the nozzle off the hose each time I needed to pull it from the box was the, I build the plate right around the hose and then the whole things comes out when I change.

Here you see the little wing nuts that just flip over to keep the plate snug to the side of the box and in place. Works great - cheap improvement. One of these days I'll have to rebuild my whole box and just incorporate all the changes - it looks a little like Frankenstein's monster at the moment!

Here's a charming picture! You can see I put hinges on the lid and a homemade holder bar on the right that clicks into place when the lid is lifted. Just push the bar back about 1/2" and the box closes. Hold on to it when you do that however!!
You can also see the magnets around the window that hold some plastic wrap over the glass. It is nice and tight and keeps me from replacing the glass (now it's Plexiglas) every time it gets blasted.

I also hung some sheet metal on the back as I blasted right through the back!!! (lots and lots of use!)

I've attached my air gauge to the side of the box and below that is my water filter. Both easy to reach and operate while blasting if need be. You might notice that the air from the gauge drops into a splitter. I have two tanks with different abrasives that both feed from the same single air supply. Beats disconnecting and connecting every time I needed to change...which brings me to the next little item I changed....

I got tired of scooping out the abrasive, and as this box is mounted to a wall, I put a hole in the bottom. I can either use this bucket to collect the abrasive if I'm changing grits, or I put a funnel there and it pours through a filter right back into my tank (situated below the hole). As you can also tell, I use two pressure tanks with different abrasives as well as a siphon with a third abrasive.
This little improvement saved me lots of time, I can shove the abrasive out the hole and back into the tank in about 1/4 of the time it took me before - and when doing production work, that's all savings to me!

I might mention that this box is built on the wall and is all hinged so that when I open it all up it fold out flat against the wall to save space.

One last thing, I made a little stand to put my glass on inside the box. It just sits at about a 60 degree angle. Has a grove between the easel stand and the backboard to hold double strength glass nice and snug.
I've also had several of these. You get really cool patterns in the wood by the time you blast through a 3/4" piece -- which takes quite a while -- my last one lasted about 4 years.