Monthly Book Giveaway - January 2023

Compact Blasting Cabinet/Powder Coat Station

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This was a project I built several years ago. I’ve got a small shop (a two car garage) that houses both my woodshop and metal shop. It’s about 2/3 woodshop, 1/3 metal shop. The metal side is mostly focused around a small mill and lathe, and then a couple welders and a fabrication table, a chop saw, belt grinder, that sort of stuff. I don’t have much room to spare, but I was having a hard time getting any sort of a reliable, durable finish on my metal projects. Some research lead me down a couple paths, the one most appropriate to most of the type of work I do seemed to be powder coating. Unfortunately, powder coating also takes up the most room…

I already had the blasting cabinet and figured I could nestle a Craigslist oven underneath it pretty easily, which would at least give me about 22” of project width….more if the project was narrow and could be set at an angle. Having never really done any this, I was winging it anyway so I figured what the hell? Given the fixed size of the oven, I figured a small spray tent would be adequate to contain the overspray. I designed the cart with a fold down wing that the tent can set on, with just enough room for a box fan and a filter behind it. I knew I was going to need some storage as well, so that was designed in. The Eastwood powder coat gun system is compact and has done everything I’ve asked it to do. Fit the bill perfectly for this build so I planned out spacing just for it. When I laid out the cart, I knew things were going to be ‘snug’ but I wanted to be able to use the bottom dump on the blasting cabinet, so I contoured a chute into the top of the cart that leads to the back so I can change media without too much of a gigantic hassle. I wouldn’t say it’s ‘simple’ but it’s not that bad in practice…much better than if I hadn’t built the chute!! I used expanded metal in some areas to keep it light and aid in cleanup. Heavy duty castors to keep it mobile. Basic sheet metal skin over the angle iron frame.

The blasting cabinet and powder gun were going to need an air supply, and I use compressed air to clean up as well, so I built a small manifold on the back of the cart. This way I just plug an airline from the compressor in and the whole cart is hot. Each outlet has its own cheap regulator to make things easy. The oven is 240v, but it’s smaller so it’s only rated to 40A I think. I was going to need power for some LED lights, the powder gun, the exhaust fan and a bucket head vacuum that I use to keep the air clear(er) inside the blasting cabinet during use. I don’t use all of this at once, so I got a heavy duty 240v extension cord and pulled power for the ancillary items off one of the legs. I’ve got an open 50A outlet nearby that supplies the whole cart when in use. Keeps all the cords compact and all the tools plugged in, so there’s very little setup for use. One ‘plug’ and the whole thing is hot.

Set up for use is pretty straight forward: Fold out the wing (it’s got magnetic keepers on the drop down, extendable legs), set up the tent and fan. Plug in Power, plug in Air. Set out the bucket head vac under the wing and run a vac line back to the rear of the blasting cabinet (the bucket head, buckets and hose live inside the blasting cabinet when not in use). I have a long length of grounding cable that I spool out to a ground rod I buried in front of the shop (I wasn’t getting great results until I started using this dedicated ground for spraying…night and day difference for me). And that’s it. Set up takes about 5 minutes, break dow and clean up takes maybe 20 minutes, but I clean up completely after each use. It’s simple enough that I don’t mind setting it up for one or two small brackets as part of a project, and the results are just so much better than the other alternatives I tried. Works for me!

The joke is, I had to spray the cart out with enamel because I didn’t have an oven big enough to bake it 🤣

Ryan/// ~sigh~ I blew up another bowl. Moke told me "I made the inside bigger than the outside".

19 Comments

ok so you like to bake cookies,no need to try and hide it with all this buddy. nothing to be embarrassed about 😲

working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

Cookies…pies…kydex…whatever…

Ryan/// ~sigh~ I blew up another bowl. Moke told me "I made the inside bigger than the outside".

Nice set up.  I always wanted one . 
The set up you have would be perfect,  unless you were wanting to do some big ass cart.
Have you tried wood?  (mdf especially)
One of my last shops was next to a powder coating shop and he was experimenting with it before he shortly after moved away. 

Figuring out how to do something you have never done is what makes a good challenge.

Your going to fit right into the metal side of the site Ryan.

Main Street to the Mountains

Bently I haven’t, but I’ve looked at some lower temp powders, so I may at some point. The challenge, I would think is getting the powder to adhere initially. 

Ryan/// ~sigh~ I blew up another bowl. Moke told me "I made the inside bigger than the outside".

I don't know enough anything about it but I think they say it sticks better if you primmer the wood first.  I don't know what kind of primmer though.

Figuring out how to do something you have never done is what makes a good challenge.

Well, the powder is a plastic, and is designed to be adhered via static electricity, which is where the gun and the grounding cable come in. That provides a bit of a challenge with wood. Maybe there’s enough basic porosity in the wood for it to adhere? I’m sure I could read about it. It would be a cool coating for some projects. It’s damn near bullet proof…

Ryan/// ~sigh~ I blew up another bowl. Moke told me "I made the inside bigger than the outside".

I've got a blaster under one of my assembly tables much the same size as your... been dragged out for miscellaneous jobs more than I would have thought, however, that tent seems like a handy add on and would have been great for some of my bigger needs that just finished up getting sanded externally.

If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

LBD, you may be aware of this, but the spray tents have a flap on the back and elastic bands specifically to hold a 20” box fan and a 20”x20” furnace filter. Works great!

Ryan/// ~sigh~ I blew up another bowl. Moke told me "I made the inside bigger than the outside".

 RyanGi 
 commented about 2 hours ago 
new
..... have a flap on the back and elastic bands....
Like my bedtime onesises that I wear 24x7?

I'm guessing they're readily available... are they a paint spray tent or specifically designed to weather sand blasting? 
I'm just a novice... do you just lower the PSI for the "safety" of the net?

If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

I’m pretty sure I love you Ryan.
Ryan, do you have a link for the spray tent? That would work great for a HVLP system, especially with the flap in back already for a box fan.

Main Street to the Mountains

Neat set up.  I like it. Powder coat oven is on my bucket list. Thanks for posting. 

-- Soli Deo gloria! ( To God alone be the Glory)

I'd love to be able to powder coat, neat setup!
Here’s a link to the small tent. I have two, they’re both by HomeRight I think. On Amazon. I only use this one for powder collection, with the fan and a filter. I also have a large one for setting up outside to spray oils and whatnot.

Duck, I don’t media blast in the tent, just in the cabinet. Although I would assume as long as you kept the project out near the front edge of the tent the media wouldn’t harm the tent material, and it would probably capture a great deal of it…if that’s what you’re thinking. I’d think it wouldn’t have the velocity left to do damage. It’s not thick material, but it’s certainly not flimsy.  

I love having the ability to powder coat. It’s a little bit of an investment, but honestly you could trim it down to a few hundred bucks if you didn’t go fancy and didn’t mind setting more stuff up for each use. As with any finishing regime, prep is the key. 

Ryan/// ~sigh~ I blew up another bowl. Moke told me "I made the inside bigger than the outside".

Thanks Ryan, that may work for my use.

Main Street to the Mountains

I’m fairly certain they have different sizes. This one is cool because it packs down into a small circle…kinda like the round sun shade for your car window with the springy edge? You know, the one that take a dozen attempts to put away…yeah, that one. 

Ryan/// ~sigh~ I blew up another bowl. Moke told me "I made the inside bigger than the outside".

Holy Moly!

When I see stuff like this, I feel inadequate. You guys have all the best shops. So jealous.