501,916 active members
5,784 visitors online
Register for free
Login
Results 1 to 11 of 11
  1. #1
    Registered
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    323

    HF Sand Blaster.

    I've often needed to prepare parts for powder coating, parkerizing, or even just deburring. So, I pulled the trigger on a HF sandblasting cabinet. It's their larger model with a tapered funnel bottom and legs. IOW, it's the floor standing model. Being HF, I wasn't expecting industrial quality and was prepared to make a few tweaks. Pricewise it's about half the price of other identical ChiCom units and the 20% discount coupon was cream cheese on the bagel.(Frosting on the cake for my Christian friends).

    Although the sheet metal must be something like 50 gauge, it was easy to assemble. Surprisingly, no missing parts and all the bolt holes actually lined up without the use of a rubber mallet. Out of the box there were a few items that had to be addressed. I had read that the pistol and pickup tube were useless and so straight away I ordered more professional replacements. The included light is useless
    and will soon be replaced. One of the gloves split at the seen=m and I'll try some FlexSeal. When filled with media the unit weighs just south of 200# so a set of castors was in order. I didn't think that something that was little more than a metal box could require much upgrading, but it was all stuff that was cheap and easy

    How does it perform? Great! But then it's just a metal box so what could go wrong? So far nothing and it has made metal prep and/or finishing much easier and very much faster. BTW, I'm supplying air with a Housfeld Campbell single stage 60 gallon compressor Model: VT6195 equipped with a drier. No problems to report. Wish I'd done this many years ago.

  2. #2
    Registered
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    450

    Re: HF Sand Blaster.

    Many folks look down their noses at anything that comes from Harbor Freight stores but when you're a budget minded hobbyist like myself laying out large chunks of cash for top quality gear is out of the question. With many of the items I've bought from Harbor Freight it true that they are very low quality but, the vast majority of tools etc. that I've bought from them have worked out real well and have lasted just as long or longer than many of the Snap-On, Craftsman and other high dollar name brand tools I've bought.

    I started out my metal working hobbies with a Harbor Freight mini mill and mini lathe. From there I kept upgrading till I reached my present state of Tormach CNC mills and full sized gunsmithing lathes. I'd love to own a Sand Blaster and several other items but right now I just wouldn't have the room to put them all.

    MetalShavings

  3. #3
    Registered
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    323

    Re: HF Sand Blaster.

    I can appreciate not enough room. My "shop" is just half a garage. I have a 10" SB lathe, a 14x40 Clark lathe, a CR 10 3d -printer, a Tormach 1100. and several work benches. All on wheels. If not for the wheels there would scarcely be walking space. My Grinders and Delta floor model drill press reside outdoors, covered with rust inhibitor and empty 50# dog food bags.

  4. #4
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Posts
    1451

    Re: HF Sand Blaster.

    I have an HF belt sander that I bought to surface finish aluminum, I figured it wouldnt last but it has lasted 3+ years and I use it to sand wood blocks by the hundreds, and its still going!

    I did have to take the seals out of the bearings and repack with US style grease, (warned about this) and it has been fine since.

    I buy the angle grinders that have the paddle switches, the first ones a few years ago didnt last, the ones they sell now work as good as my BD models.
    I think the tools are improving over the years but it will take several years to reduce the junk label stigma from when they first came out.
    mike sr

  5. #5
    Registered
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    450

    Re: HF Sand Blaster.

    At one point in my self-employed past I was black-balled by all the home insurance carriers due to multiple incidents (within the span of one year) of people crashing their cars into my back yard. None of it was my fault but the insurance companies would no longer insure me due to these incidents. Since I was working out of my home I was forced to look for work elsewhere in order to earn enough money to pay the ultra high insurance premiums to the one insurance company that agreed to insure me.

    All of that to say that I found work at a local Cadillac dealership where I worked for ten years. Virtually all of my co-workers at that dealership used Snap-On or one of the other high dollar brand name tool maker's tools. I may have been the only guy there who had a Harbor Freight tool box and nearly every hand tool in my box was also Harbor Freight. I would always get a kick out of it whenever one of their high priced tools gave up the ghost and they came over and ask to borrow one of my tools. Those high dollar tool manufactures would reliably replace tools under their warranty that had gone bad but the thing was that the Snap-On guy or any of those other vendors on wheels would only come by once or twice a month so these guys with broken tools would be stuck if they didn't have a replacement tool.

    Admittedly it didn't happen very often cause those high dollar tools are generally higher quality but it did happen on occasion. I generally had at least two of each of any tool I thought was more prone to go bad on me but for the price they paid for their Snap-On or whatever high dollar tool, I could buy two or three of the same tool to have as spares.

    Of course it's nice to have top quality stuff but not everyone can afford that.. I certainly couldn't back then. I worked there for ten years out of my life before the insurance companies would start to insure my home for the lesser amounts I was paying before all of those drunk drivers crashed their cars into my home. I was able to start working out of my home again and I still have nearly all the tools I had back when I as working in that Cadillac dealership. I'm retired now so I suspect I'll have those tools the rest of my life.

    MetalShavings

  6. #6
    Registered
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    1704

    Re: HF Sand Blaster.

    Some tools from HF work just fine. I trusted a HF engine hoist to lift and set my Tormach 1100. And I trust a HF electric winch on a trolley to move things like a 220lb 8" super spacer on and off mill table. I find if its made of stamped or punched metal HF is a decent choice. On the other hand I recently purchased a HF tarp and it turned into dust about about 4 months later, guess it was not uv stable . Still, good tools do cost money and have a place. Hard to trust your life to something like cheap torque wrenches. And silly things like good cutters make my mill hum along and cheap ones chatter on contact.

  7. #7

    Re: HF Sand Blaster.

    I have the same HF sand blast cabinet. I modified the nozzle assembly, and finally got it to work to my satisfaction. I also built a new dip tube assembly, the original dip tube was made upside down with the ''stiffener'' on the bottom, rather than on the top as is should be to keep the media from packing around the end of the tube. Over the top creates an air space above the end of the tube and it works much better. I also added a electric solenoid valve and a HF foot switch. Runs nicely off of my 5HP compressor. And upgraded the lamp to a LED, works much better than the original.

    One other feature I changed was to modify the mounting system for the window with self tapping screws rather than the nut & bolt system as the original, I can change the window out in about 10 minutes, I also added a 100 mesh screen to the window opening to protect the window, lasts much longer than a bare window and you can see through the screen just fine.
    Jim Dawson
    Sandy, Oregon, USA

  8. #8
    Registered
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    286

    Re: HF Sand Blaster.

    I feel like HF used to source their stuff from the same manufacturers that make the big-box brand names (so, DeWalt, not Snap-On) and you'd get about the same quality at a lower cost.
    Same thing for hand tools.
    Also, they used to have a selection of abrasives, end mills, and even some stuff like indicator stands.

    These days, however, it seems like they are more in control of their own supply chain, and are driving price down more, with quality suffering.
    Also, nobody in the store even knew what an indicator stand was, and although it was available on their web page, they didn't have it in the store.
    The floor was full with discount piles of cheap twine, LED flashlights, and carpentry pencils, though.

  9. #9
    Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    1367

    Re: HF Sand Blaster.

    After years of buying name brand USA made top quality welders I sold it all because of a pending move that never came to pass. I ended up replacing those thousands of dollar ones with the new a year or so ago Vulcan MIGMax 215 welder with the one year like it or return it warranty. Best MIG welder I have ever used 120/240 with or without gas. For a Stick / TIG I have a Longevity 140 Stick, and a eBay scratch start TIG torch. Same deal 120/240 volt and weight... about 40 lbs.
    Retired Master Electrician, HVAC/R Commercial. FLA Saturn 2 4x4 CNC Router

  10. #10
    Registered
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    323

    Re: HF Sand Blaster.

    Quote Originally Posted by popspipes View Post
    I have an HF belt sander that I bought to surface finish aluminum, I figured it wouldnt last but it has lasted 3+ years and I use it to sand wood blocks by the hundreds, and its still going!

    I did have to take the seals out of the bearings and repack with US style grease, (warned about this) and it has been fine since.

    I buy the angle grinders that have the paddle switches, the first ones a few years ago didnt last, the ones they sell now work as good as my BD models.
    I think the tools are improving over the years but it will take several years to reduce the junk label stigma from when they first came out.
    I too have noticed the improvement in ChiCom tools from HF. That's the good news and yes it will take time. The bad news is I've noticed a decline in the quality of U.S. tools, often lack of deburring and/or grinding tool barks, and/or sharp edged\s. Recent purchases of Channel Loc tools come to mind.

  11. #11
    Registered
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    323

    Re: HF Sand Blaster.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Dawson View Post
    I have the same HF sand blast cabinet. I modified the nozzle assembly, and finally got it to work to my satisfaction. I also built a new dip tube assembly, the original dip tube was made upside down with the ''stiffener'' on the bottom, rather than on the top as is should be to keep the media from packing around the end of the tube. Over the top creates an air space above the end of the tube and it works much better. I also added a electric solenoid valve and a HF foot switch. Runs nicely off of my 5HP compressor. And upgraded the lamp to a LED, works much better than the original.

    One other feature I changed was to modify the mounting system for the window with self tapping screws rather than the nut & bolt system as the original, I can change the window out in about 10 minutes, I also added a 100 mesh screen to the window opening to protect the window, lasts much longer than a bare window and you can see through the screen just fine.
    Jim, thanks for the tip on those 12 window screws.

Similar Threads

  1. Cleaning Cool Blaster
    By colby2000 in forum CNC Swiss Screw Machines
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 11-09-2018, 03:39 PM
  2. CHIP BLASTER IN SWISS
    By BAD DOG in forum CNC Swiss Screw Machines
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: 01-18-2012, 02:26 AM
  3. Need Help Finding a Decent Bead/Sand Blaster Unit
    By bgator220 in forum General Metalwork Discussion
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 01-14-2011, 01:16 AM
  4. chip blaster AND/OR thru spindle air?
    By jay_dizzle in forum Okuma
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 12-03-2010, 02:58 PM
  5. Sand/Bead Blaster wood cutting
    By DDM in forum DIY CNC Router Table Machines
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: 12-27-2004, 03:12 PM

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •