The first consideration in choosing a shop blasting cabinet is compressed air volume. If you have an existing 5 hp compressor, it is most likely a single phase electrical motor, with a vertical tank. Buying a single stage compressor pump or a two stage pump can impact tank storage capacity in cfm even if you are limited to single phase electrical power. Two Stage Pumps have a higher stored tank pressure, equaling more air volume storage. You may have about 16 cfm at 90 psi average if you only have a 220-volt single phase electrical power panel.
Real World Example: When you send something out to be blasted, the shop you send it to is likely to be using a larger compressor which allows them to process parts much faster, almost geometrically faster. Expect to save part turn-around time but the 5 hp compressor will mean a smaller blast gun size. Think about blasting the hand-held parts in-house and sending out the larger surface area items like the engine block itself.
ProTip: Dry blasting is about 6 times faster than wet and we make both wet and dry machines and have for 43 years. We mention because some finishes are a two-step process. Dry for most applications using spin polishing glass beads for cleaning and surface sealing. The last step, if needed, can use wet blasting to polish the surface even brighter, think wet sanding vs. dry sanding. You find this two step process in many Job Shops offering abrasive blasting. Some vintage part applications use both dry and wet as a final part finish.
4 Things to Consider Buying a Shop Blasting Cabinet
- Buying a dry blasting cabinet if this is going to be a single blasting cabinet shop.
- Consider a machine with an efficient Separator Reclaimer to remove the dust and return the blast media… it keeps you from blasting with the stuff you removed from the part in a very dusty cabinet. It also eliminates the mess!
- Because 80% of the machine maintenance is dust collector related, concentrate on the dust collector filter storage size in sq. ft. and the blower cfm volume that runs the separator and produces cabinet air changes per minute for visibility.
- Daily Duty Cycle, DDC, ensures the gun size, the separator reclaimer and the dust collector filter area, are size-matched for the DDC hours for any application. Users buying by price alone normally find they have purchased a messy cabinet that’s meant for a different DDC and their expectations are never realized. The mess is eliminated if you buy the correct machine configuration.
Our Best Shop Blasting Cabinets
We’ve been in business more than 40 years and we make a machine for every application. These three shop blasting cabinets can handle whatever you need to throw at them.
The Shop Standard by Media Blast gives you access to larger cabinet sizes for operation using a smaller gun size. We call these panel cabinets because they are not made from one folded steel sheet but, larger panels.
Our Cobra Stage I and Stage II are moderate cabinet size machines using a clean negative pressure 100% welded dust collector. They also come complete with pneumatic vibrator, cartridge filter, cleaning cycle.
The N-200 model is an industrial-capacity shop blasting cabinet. It can operate using a small or large gun size based on your Daily Duty Cycle (DDC) requirements. Many shops use this model because it runs on 120-volt power with the option of being able to upgrade to a faster larger cfm gun size in the future. Like any quality tool, it is more expensive but it includes the best dust collector which offers the best performance for now and any expansion in the future.
Before you buy any shop blasting cabinet, or any blasting cabinet period, ask the question, “will I be adding compressed air for speed in the future?” Buying a better blasting cabinet now will prevent you from out-growing it in the future.
We recommend that shop’s buy a machine that allows a larger gun size, to ramp up to industrial applications down the road, and have a smaller gun installed now. Possibly think about adding air in the future, when you double the air volume of the gun you process the work in 1/3rd the time. Time is money and everyone likes to widen their profit. Doubling the cfm again means 1/9th the time turning 9-hour of blasting into less than 1 hour of blasting. It’s all about frictional heat, or the lack of, and dry machines, all blasting at the same pressure using different cfm volumes, have different blasting temperatures.
For more information about shop blasting cabinets, please reach out to our team of experts.