Bead blaster

I just ordered the cheapest bead blaster Rio sells and wonder
what creative uses there are besides just texturing and if its
worth all this expensive for the texturing. Now have to save up
$200 for one of those Kmart tank compressors, gee then I’ll have
everything I need…DAve

Crystalguy Jewelry

Lapidary Journal did a piece about using the blaster to etch
stones. It was one of their project pages–stones with words in
them. A resist was applied and the background was etched away
with the bead blaster. It was a 2-part article. I believe it
was in 1998 sometime.


I’m assuming you are talking about the $85 bottle blaster?
Don’t know too much about that one specifically, but I use my
micro blaster for a lot of other things. Haven’t tried any metal
texturing yet, so can’t help you there. I would suggest you
spend a little more on your compressor, though. You may find
many other uses for it in the future. I just bought a Quincy
compressor for $389 that is much more powerful and Oh, so much
quieter than my old “cheapo” compressor. Also suggest you get a
blast cabinet. Otherwise, you will probably need to use your
blaster outside and sit upwind using all forms of personal
protective devices! One more quick tip: Find a local industrial
supply house that stocks glass bead media. I found the same
quality/size glass beads here for $17 per 40 lb. bag - beats the
heck out of Rio’s $20 per 5 lbs! (Sorry Rio). If you want more
info or tips, contact me off list.

Mark Williams,
Stone Broke Custom Lapidary

I got a bead/sandblast cabinet in Harbor Freight for $89.00. And
they ahve compressors at a good price!! And the best is “NO
SHIPPING CHARGE”" Yep you read that right!!! Contact me at and I’ll get the phone # or e-mail. Mary

Hi Dave, At the Australian War Memorial we use bead blasters to
remove corrosion products from all sorts of items. It is very
effective but you have to watch for the beads getting stuck in
small crevices (the pressure at which the beads are fired at the
object make it difficult to remove the beads that get lodged into
such crevices).