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Sandblasters: Playing with sand isn't just for kids anymore!
 
 
Sandblasters

Sanding a surface gives a smooth, clean, uniform finish that can shine like glass if done right. Sanding used to have to be done by hand and it was a long and tedious process. Today, there are sandblasters—and attachments for your pressure washer that can turn it into a sandblaster very economically. Why struggle by hand to get a surface sanded, and miss corners and crevices that mark your work as unprofessional, when a sandblaster can do the job for you…and does it better?

All you need is your pressure washer; a sandblasting kit, media, and some protective gear and you can clean or prepare surfaces by using the abrasive power of sandblasting.

Most kits come with a metal probe, 25’ of sand hose, a sandblast head, carbide nozzle, and clear tubing. The metal probe is placed in the sand container, and the sand suction hose is attached to the topside of the lance. Attach this hose on top so water doesn’t run down and get the sand wet. Electrical tape works fine!

To use the sandblaster, insert the induction probe into the sand and attach the sand blaster head on your pressure washer wand. Next, open your water supply. Then, before turning the pressure washer on, trigger the gun. Triggering the gun will release any air before you start the pressure washer. Once you start the pressure washer, triggering the gun will start the process delivering sand along with pressurized water to your object. Always start spraying a few feet away and move in closer as you scrutinize the job. Sandblasters are spraying abrasive particles at very high speeds against a surface. You must remember that sandblasting can cause a lot of damage in a few short seconds!

Sandblasters use water and sand (media) to obtain a smooth, clean surface. There are 3 different materials used for media; baking soda, dry silica sand, or washed and dried river sand. The “mesh” is the way the media is measured. Mesh is what size sieve any certain grade of sand will pass through. It is recorded in two numbers, the first being the size most of the grains will pass through, and the second is the size only a few grains will make it through. Common mesh grades are 16/50, 20/40, 40/60, and 10/35.

It is very important to keep the sand dry through out the process. Wet sand will clog the hose / nozzle. If the sand gets wet, you must remove the probe and allow the hose to dry before continuing. It is a good idea to cover the sand container to prevent over spray from wetting the sand.

Sandblasters can be used in many cleaning applications. It can remove paint from wood or metal, remove rust, smooth surfaces for repainting, and can clean grease and graffiti quickly and with ease.

When first starting out, experiment with the different results you get with different media, different angles, and different distances. The angle affects the nozzle distance and there are charts and information about this that is available through your supplier. Once you get going, you will be able to easily judge things like adjusting your sand intake and choosing the best media. One last thing that is stressed with all sandblasting applications is the importance of protective gear. Eye protection is necessary…and complete coverage of your body is highly recommended!

 

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